Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mainstream Sports v The Uncommon Ones

In a Malay society, it seems so unusual that Taekwondo being the main sports played by a person. Maybe the society is so stuck to the old narrow minded, that sports have to be from the mainstream types, and anything else would than be considered as recreational activity, exercises, or self defense, but not sports. What I meant by main stream sports are those of the common types, such as soccer, basket ball or rugby.

"What sport do you play?"

When asked with this question, I would answer with an affirmative tone: Taekwondo. And the person asking would reply with a question mark tone, "Taekwondo je?”

There is even a Malay proverb which further illustrate how narrow the mind of the person using such proverb: 'Kaki Bangku'. This term is used to describe a male who does not know how to play soccer. Kaki Bangku, in a direct translation to English would mean the leg of a stool.

The question is; what is so special about soccer, that every one must, without reference to interests, play the sport? I am not condemning the sport of soccer, instead I am condemning the mind of the people who thinks that soccer is a must play sport by the people. This is especially to the Malays. I am also condemning the narrow minded people who see only the mainstream sports as sports activity, while they neglect to accept other uncommon types of sports.

In my secondary school hostel, people not playing soccer were labeled as passive types of people. In Sunway College, a friend of mine (who play basket ball) described Taekwondo as merely moving hands and legs, and it will not benefit much towards ones fitness. When I first entered UiTM, some of the new friends I met describe people not having interest in soccer as girlish.

Well, despite all those opinions, I remained silence as I assume they actually do not really understand the concept of sports in Taekwondo. They have never experienced 3 minutes in a Taekwondo ring. The 3 minutes, though sounds very short, but can really actually result to severe exhaust.

Now, in the end of semester, it seems that the mainstream sports people are the one who has nothing. While I am awarded with the Anugerah Emas Sukan UiTM Kedah (Gold Award), they do not even receive any kind of sports award. Not even bronze. The fact is that, during the Malam Semarak Budi (Award Dinner), the person awarded as sportsman and sportswoman was not from the mainstream sport.

After all, do not get me wrong. Though I major in Taekwondo as my sports activity, but I am also interested in other kinds of sports as well. I love swimming very much. I even have a scuba diving license. I have dived and snorkeled in several oceans of the world: Mediterranean Sea, Read Sea, and also some small islands in South Sulawesi. I also go for horse riding- though I am still a beginner in this arena. I play tennis a little bit, but seldom go for it. All in all, the sports that I really don’t play, and am not interested are mostly from the mainstream sports.

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