Roshni Dadlani (United Arab Emirates) on Excellence, Respect and Friendship: Bridging Our Global Gap

August 7, 2012

Hearing the word excellence, I cannot help but immediately associate it with a notion of academic excellence. But if I stop and think further, beyond my implied connotations of the word, excellence is not rooted in academia but rather in character. A person who strives to excel demonstrates a strong foundation of character. The desire to make the most of something (which, to me, is what excelling is) displays an implicit respect for that field. If, for example, someone decided to train every day for years and tried to excel as a marathon runner, then I would consider that as not only being a display of enormous effort but also of tremendous respect towards that sport. Striving for excellence is a sign of caring about something and respecting it, and this is precisely how I think the Olympic values are shaped and intertwined. They function as stepping-stones, one leading to the other. By trying to be excellent, a person is also showing respect towards something. This respect is what allows a person to understand not only the responsibility involved in committing to something but also the value of his or her actions (and how effort pays off). A long-term sense of commitment and respect are essential to building friendships and sustaining them. Thus, it is only through the understanding of what respect is that we can form lasting and strong friendships.
In the twenty-first century the idea of bringing together these three values matters more than ever. The Olympic values can develop a great and valuable sense of empathy that is necessary for the tolerance humankind needs. Furthermore, it is important that the Olympic values develop a sense of equality and an understanding that no matter what race, ethnicity, location, socioeconomic background, or any other discerning factors, everyone deserves to exist with dignity and to live fundamental human experiences.

This is the basis of the project that I feel really encompasses the Olympic values and maintains the notion of interlocking cultures. I have always been a strong believer that children should express themselves not only artistically and creatively, but also through sport. Being out on a playground together develops an extraordinary and beautiful sense of kinship between children, where nothing but the sport really matters. I want to propose setting up summer camps in locations where children perhaps do not have the resources to learn how to play organized sports (soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc.). Along with the initiative of Giving is Winning, we could not only provide children in places like Bhutan and Nepal with sports apparel, but also with the ability to interact with children from all over the world through an organized sports summer program. As an international summer camp, children from different countries of the world could come together and form transcontinental friendships through striving for excellence in sport and shared respect among cultures.
comments powered by Disqus