SPORT THIS SUMMER
What a few weeks of wonderful sport – the European Championships, Wimbledon, the Open Golf Championship at Troon and the Davis Cup Quarter Finals.
Sport has such highs and lows and these have been very evident over the past weeks – the disappointment for the French losing the Euro 2016 final, the elation of Andy Murray and Helensburgh’s Gordon Reid on becoming Wimbledon Champions, the former for the second time and Gordon both Singles and Doubles Men’s Wheelchair Champion, the relief when Kyle Edmunds led the GB Davis Cup team (without Andy Murray!) to victory in Serbia and a wonderful display of golf as Henrik Stenson played amazing golf to win the British Open on a thrilling last day.
As well as all of these high profile sporting competitions, the Homeless Football World Cup took place in Glasgow. Five hundred and twelve players came to Glasgow each with their own story to tell, their own point on a journey to create a better life for themselves.
The universal language of sport has the capacity to build friendships, teach values, merge cultures and discipline nations. It can change lives, as it did for Gordon who overnight was paralysed by transverse myelitis but his amazing determination to beat this illness led to his tennis giving him hope, success and joy for all his family, friends and indeed the people of Helensburgh. France so sadly suffered the dreadful tragedy in Nice just a few days after the end of the Euro 2016 Championships which had helped to unite and raise the spirits of the country following the terrorist incidents of the past two years.
Let us hope that the forthcoming Olympic Games will unite the continents and countries of the world, as symbolized by the five Olympic rings. Many will say this is just a pipe dream but sporting events bring out the best (as well as the worst!) in people. Christian sportsmen and women know that their talent is God given and, win or lose, they will compete to their full ability in the same way as they live their lives. Let us pray for a safe Games played in the true spirit of sport, giving huge pleasure to competitors and spectators alike.