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How loving sports can keep you young

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About Justin

Sharing my thoughts and opinions with you

Sports may seem like they are only for the young and fit. But here's how they can keep everyone connected and young at heart.

I was lucky enough to grow up with two brothers who were just as into sports as I am - with my father also a mad sportsman and my mother very tolerant of three sports-crazy, competitive sons.  

Sports help inspire, build relationships, community and teach valuable life lessons to boot.

Sports help inspire, build relationships, community and teach valuable life lessons to boot. Picture: iStock

Going to the park to kick the footy, shoot hoops or hit a tennis ball around was a regular occurrence and enjoyed by all of us as a family.

Sports are also a fantastic opportunity to either be supported by, or show support to, your family and/or friends. Having a crowd of friends or family at a game is one of the biggest thrills for an amateur sportsman or woman.

I always enjoyed going along to support my brothers as they played. It is always a joy and helps build great comeraderie and relationships.

Meanwhile, supporting a team - whether in a local, state, national or international competition - is a terrific way of participating and forming bonds with people just like you. Sports clubs can also provide inspiration, heart-warming stories and teach important life lessons.

Being a life-long supporter of the success-deprived Fremantle Dockers has taught me the important life tools of patience and loyalty, to stick with an unsuccessful team who do not look like succeeding.

There is something about supporting a team that makes you ride a rollercoaster of emotions on a weekly basis. A highlight of my childhood was going to the stadium or watching my beloved Dockers on television. It was almost a religious experience to go and cheer on the team with 40,000 other like-minded fans. 

Sports can deliver heart-warming stories, such as the friendship between 6-year-old cancer sufferer Bradley Lowrey and soccer superstar Jermaine Defoe, which you can read about here and Jesse Hogan’s return to the AFL field on the weekend after his battle with testicular cancer.

Because of the stories created, the life lessons taught, the passion of being a fan and the bonding with family and friends, it's no wonder is an important pillar of the lives of many in our society.                                         

  • Read more from Justin: CNN versus the world
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