Sports and charities

I’ve been bothered by this for a while, and I know I’m not alone in being confused by it, so I’m going to write a post and get it over with.

I’m not into sports. That’s nothing new. I kind of understand how it’s entertaining, but I don’t understand the obsession we have with it. It almost seems like Gladiator times, or The Hunger Games, to enjoy watching people risk injuring themselves and compete like that on television. It seems like the same thing over and over, but I understand being loyal and supportive of your city, or country.

However, I don’t understand why we have to associate sports with charitable donations. This included marathons as well as Sports Relief. I understand that people want to raise money and awareness. And I totally understand those who have been severely ill or injured and have been able to recover and be active again as well as help others with the same health issues. But why do we, as the public, only give to charity because someone will put themselves through pain and agony to do a race for a day or a week? Why doesn’t it have to be about sports?

I know when we had the London Olympics, people were all up in arms about how much money was spent on the events. Granted, I like the Olympics because it brings countries together in unified peace for a least a couple of weeks. So, why do we require people who aren’t professional athletes to do the same things in order for us to consider being charitable?

And the celebrities. This is what I really don’t understand. Celebrities are rich with rich friends. Do they really need to go through horrendous pain and almost kill themselves over a race so they can get people to donate money to help people in need? Are we that shallow of a community? Do we really need to see a television personality suffer, risk their life, put stress on their marriage and family, before we’ll give a dime to help other? Are we really that stingy that we need someone to physically prove themselves to us before we’ll drop a few coins in a donation bucket?

Personally, the charities that I give to are the ones where I am told, “Your money will go to do this specific good work for this specific group of people. Here are some good works we’ve already done for others. We have proof and video and testimony.” That makes me want to be involved. I don’t need to have someone convince me by running across the country. I don’t think anyone else should either.

Why do we need one person to entertain us with their “physical challenge?” I don’t even understand why that’s important. Benefits of exercise have to be continual. Why do we need to prove to ourselves that our bodies can be broken and twisted to make us feel alive? I’ve sprained my ankle jogging – that really sucked. But these people are in horrible pain and still run because they have to entertain us.

Because a celebrity survived a gruelling race that they chose to do on their own – is that the only thing that makes them strong, commendable, and an inspiration to others? Why do we feel we should we make idols of athletes and celebrities? They do what they do because they enjoy it and they’re good at it, just as we all should do, but it doesn’t have to be about sports.

People exercise every day. They do the Insanity workouts, and lift weights, and run all over the place to lose weight, gain muscle tone, and improve their health. It’s an on-going process that has to be kept up all the time. Some of them enjoy it, and they’d do it every day. Some people donate to charities on a regular basis already. This is why I don’t get why we force these two concepts together. Why do we need to see people physically labor for charities? Why do people feel they’ll let us down if they don’t almost break their bodies and their spirits? It really seem sort of sadistic to me.

“Will you help me help someone else?”

“I don’t know, what will you do to entertain me?”

“Um, I can run across the country and almost permanently damage my body.”

“Will it be on television?”

“Of course.”

“Okay then. Here’s £5.”

For those who do marathons to raise money for charities, I commend you. You’re doing something you believe in and if it’s helping people, great. I just don’t understand why people won’t help you, or others, when you’re not running, biking, or swimming.


About Suzanne Schultz Pick

Married to Steve. Mother of Jack. Librarian IT Assistant. Writer, teacher, blogger, podcaster, technological princess.
This entry was posted in All About Me, Exercise, Television and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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