Sir, – Laura Kennedy claims “make-up is equally as trivial as traditionally male pursuits which do not qualify as intellectual, like football” (“Make up is as trivial as male pursuits like football but which one is taken more seriously?”, Online, March 13th).
As someone who has played and supported the game for most of my life, I can say with some certainty that football is much more than a trivial pursuit.
First, playing the game as a hobby from the age of seven has given me the opportunity to stay fit, meet people, and learn the value of teamwork. I have experienced the sheer joy of being involved in a thrilling football move and the frustration and anger of playing badly or being injured. We pick up vital skills from all of the above, particularly from teamwork and when things do not go our way. All these skills help shape other aspects of our character positively, helping us overcome difficult situations in life. As someone who lives abroad, football has been my biggest social outlet, making great friends, both men and women, through my weekly kickabouts.
Second, as a fan I have come to realise that no sport transcends the game itself like football, and it is very much intertwined with society in many countries steeped in football tradition. Learning about football clubs and their history sparked my interest in world politics, culture and history in a broader sense.
At 36, I continue to play football (badly), but my passion for this wonderful sport shows no sign of receding and it will continue to be an enriching part of my life. – Yours, etc,