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United through injury at the Commonwealth Games

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John Beattie | 16:32 UK time, Wednesday, 6 October 2010

What is the meaning of sport?

Sport could be a force for good in the world.

Today we went to see a project that gives the poorer children of India the entitlement to play.

We interviewed slum kids who said they were 14 but looked six. They have to work to earn money for their families and they study hard.

But Magic Bus gives them time to play. Little girls told me that their favourite thing is "games", and the project leaders talked of large-sided sports uniting children.

That's what the Commonwealth Games are about, unification and entertainment.

But, I confess, I know how Ross Edgar feels. I've fallen too. My fall was minor and without consequence, but he will be devastated.

For me it just means left-handed blogging as the right arm is sore.

Edgar, whose favourite event is the Kieran, has to pick himself up and try to compete a day later.

My fall happened because I went for a run this morning at half seven - tripped up and nearly fell - then for a swim, and on the way down the wet stairs, whoosh, my legs went away from under me on wet marble and, oh lucky day, that pointy bit of my elbow smacked the step.

In common with every injury I have ever had, sport had a hand in it.

The Kiwi broadcasters have a doctor, Steve Kara, who looks after the Auckland Blues rugby team and he kindly inserted three stitches at lunchtime.

I asked him if I could still run tomorrow.

"Oh yeah." He said. "You can even play the second half!"

He turned being stitched into a fun experience, so a big thanks to him.

Ross Edgar's crash happened in the blink of an eye as two men brought four years of training to an event, and both he and Pierre Esterhuizen went sprawling.

Can you imagine how that feels?

And the South African left the arena in a sling.

Thankfully, for Scotland, every cloud has a silver lining and it came, moments later, in the shape of a silver medal for the women's team sprint pair Jenny Davis and Charlie Joiner

But just perhaps, when there is so much negativity around, it's good to take a moment to concentrate on what sport in all its beauty gives you and me.

Fun, friendship and taking part.

Oh, and injuries. Lots and lots of injuries.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    why BBC score board is not working ?

    no update for more than 15 hours.

  • Comment number 3.

    can the moderator explain why my comment was removed????

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks for this wonderful story. I think you are the only sensible reporter from BBC, who is above race and culture. Get well soon.

  • Comment number 5.

    The international multisport events have become a breeding ground for corruption, and finally by the end of the day the only people benefiting would be the sporting federations. The concept of holding multisport events has changed in the last two decades. In the recent years countries are more involved in throwing their money and muscle power and trying to outdo their predecessors in terms of glitz and glamour. Opening and closing ceremony of the sporting events have suddenly taken center stage and seem to catch more eyeballs whereby pushing "sports" to the backstage. Since money power is the biggest priority for a country to host the games, countries from Asia and Africa have to go out of their way to match up the so called high standards of the western world and yet miserably fail to satisfy the whims and fancies of the West.

  • Comment number 6.

    It is sad to note that this is the second time CWG has been held in Asia, so expecting multisport events to become popular overnight in countries like India (there is a general lack of knowledge about events of this nature thanks to the fact that such events are mostly limited to developed countries) is asking a little too much. There is a serious need for introspection among countries about the need to throw away billions in the name of sports, when millions of children die each year across the world (lets not limit poverty only to India) due to starvation. We do need multisport events but the question should be "at what cost?"

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi John, Be careful of the wet marble in India! Actually, I don't know if wet marble everywhere is slippery, or if the Indian variety is slipperier--I think they might be going for the glossy as opposed to the matte finish--but since they do use it a lot in flooring, please watch out. I'm still recovering from a minor wrist fracture sustained while walking sloppily on wet marble in India.

    For some reason, I too fell a lot, especially outdoors, while running or hiking. But I like your attitude. Keep it up! And hope you feel better!


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