The other weekend, I was lying in bed, causally browsing my list of ‘Not Watched’ movies.
At that point, I came across an Australian movie called Paper Planes, and decided to watch it.
The premise is basically a child competing in a Paper Planes’ competition.
Yes, the planes we used to fly around in primary school when the teacher was out of class.
The protagonist of the movie *Spoiler alert* ends up competing in Japan for the gold medal.
I thought this was a bit ridiculous, so I decided to Google it. Lo and behold, Paper Planes is not just some crazy thing an Australian decided to make a ridiculous script out of, but it is indeed a recognised sport.
They even hold World Championships for it.
This really put sport in perspective for me. A lot of people think if it’s not football, rugby or cricket, then it is not sport. But that could not be farther from the truth.
Besides just competing in a Paper Planes’ sport, the movie was also essentially about a relationship between a father and his son, them dealing with the death of the mother and how this sport managed to bring them closer together.
There are hundreds of sports and activities which not only do good in terms of representing the country outside, but for the participants’ psyche as well, but they are just not that popular.
Besides fringe sports like fencing and others, there are some sports we are allowing to die out, sports which are unique and part of Namibian and African culture and lifestyles.
Fencing and gymnastics, as great as they are, are not Namibian inventions. But how many of us with a village or Katutura background do not remember getting our entire bodies dusty, packing sand into a Tafel Lager dumpy bottle?
We know most fringe sports don’t make a lot of money, and often require a lot of financial investments to be worthwhile.
But if people can appreciate those realities beforehand, and just do the sport for the love of it, there are many rewards to be reaped.
Like the child in Paper Planes, it will have a very rich nostalgic attachment for the many who participated.
With iPhones, S6s and Xbox Ones, children these days are moving away from playing these outdoor games, most especially the cultural ones like ‘Amagus’ or ‘Dila Ekende’.
There have been attempts to popularise these sports, but I don’t think enough is being done, and government should be the one taking up these initiatives.