The story of traditional sports enthusiast
Who am I and where do I come from?
My name is Bartosz Prabucki and I am passionate about sport. Or rather sports, games and plays as there are thousands of them all over the world. From the time immemorial, people have been very creative in practising and inventing new games and sports. According to the great philosopher Friedrich Schiller, people are only fully “human beings” when they play.
I have been interested in sport since my childhood. I come from a sports family – my father is a former physical education teacher and a football coach with considerable achievements, my mother is a psychologist, successfully working with sportsmen and my brother is a great physiotherapist and dietician.
I was training football and table tennis, achieving nationwide results. Currently, I am 33 years old, still practising recreational sports.
At a certain point of my life, I became interested in TRADITIONAL SPORTS, GAMES and PLAYS.
What are traditional sports?
It is not easy to clearly define them. These are usually forms of physical activity, associated with a given ethnic, regional or local group (but not always), rather amateur and derived from particular cultures and traditions.
They are often recreational (though not always) and their rules are sometimes spontaneously created by the playing group. They put more emphasis on participation and common play than on a victory at all costs.
They create a rich, world cultural heritage, capable of connecting our past with the present and the future.
What is also important, these sports are elements of culture, education and everyday life. They have had various functions and have satisfied numerous human needs. They have always accompanied people, exciting and inspiring them.
Traditional sports are my passion, inspiration and life mission
These sports and games fascinated me to such an extent that I devoted my Bachelor and Master’s theses to them during my anthropological studies, which made me an anthropologist.
They inspired me so much that I went a step further. I have written several scientific articles and a PhD thesis about them, becoming a doctor of physical culture sciences. Now, I am preparing this thesis for publication.
This original combination of anthropology and sport led me to work in the Wielkopolska Ethnographic Park, where I was developing this subject in 2017-2018, organizing, among others, practical activities and events from traditional games and plays for children and adults.
What am I doing now?
Currently, I work as an international projects and programmes specialist in Sport and Rehabilitation Association START in Poznań and as an expert in traditional sports and international projects manager in the Institute for the Development of Sport and Education (IRSiE) from Warsaw.
For many years, I have been actively involved in various national and international projects, dedicated to promotion and development of traditional sports and games.
I am a member of the International Relations Commission of the European Traditional Sports and Games Association (ETSGA).
I constantly cooperate with the world’s best experts in this field. Thanks to that, I am developing myself and becoming better and better specialist in what I do.
I also organize practical activities for children and adults, during which they actively participate in various traditional games.
In my life, I am inspired by cultural diversity and richness, hidden in the broadly understood sport.
It is in this sphere of life that, for centuries, human attempts to understand the universe have been revealing and implementing. People have always been inspired by the world of games, plays and fun, taking care of health, social integration and just pure happiness, coming from a joyful and valuable spending of their common free time.
That is why this blog (and me) is INSPIRED BY SPORT.
My educational background
My professional experience (click the button)
Recommendation from the President of the Institute for the Development of Sport and Education (IRSiE) – dr Kazimierz Waluch
Recommendation from Prof. Małgorzata Bronikowska from University School of Physical Education in Poznań
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This blog is a story about traditional sports, games and plays (TSG)
The values of traditional games
Playing games, having fun together has always been something special. The greatest civilizations attributed huge importance to games. They have inspired philosophers, thinkers, poets and have accompanied the mankind at every stage of history.
Their richness on our planet is amazing. Probably, there has never been and will never be any human community that would not be fascinated by the world of sports, games and plays.
Is their value still so high today? What can they give us?
In the next articles I will be answering these questions and I will be bringing you closer to this exciting world of traditional games.
Here, I would like to show a couple of their important values.
Traditional games are fun!
Let’s start with this. Why have fun? Just for fun! This, apparently obvious, truth is sometimes missing in our thinking about traditional games. We focus on specific values and practical applications of sports, games and plays. We ask – what they can give us.
These are of course the right questions – I am going to write about it, because it is really important. However, we should start from the simplest things:
Traditional sports, games and plays (TSG) are just a good fun.
TSG give us:
- a lot of joy, laugh, physical movement as a natural human need,
- a smile on the faces of children and adults,
- the most beautiful emotions.
People have experienced it many times during my practical activities from traditional games for children and adults.
Children enjoy playing, which is at least as important today as it was in the past. It seems to be even more significant now.
Sports, games and plays are a great way of spending valuable and active time together
In the current world – the era of technology, computers, the Internet and so on we are threatened by a sedentary lifestyle. This is a problem for all of us, but especially for children. The consequences may be disastrous.
Meanwhile, thanks to the simple games and plays, you can spend your time in an active, interesting and creative way, both in the open air as well as inside – playing indoor, at many sport centres or even at home.
Education through play
Traditional sports, games and plays are a real school of life. They teach import social skills:
- good cooperation in a group,
- healthy competition,
- responsibility for other participants of play etc.
- preparation for positive dealing with failures and problems and drawing conclusions from them,
- proper interpersonal communication etc.
They educate people to understand better how important is to be active for their physical, mental an social health.
Moreover, thanks to experiencing games from different cultures, children and adults learn tolerance, respect for the others and simply get to know the world.
Traditional games and their role in family and peer integration
Thanks to TSG, people can integrate. This applies to:
- the integration of parents with children,
- children with each other,
- the older generations with the younger ones,
- people with disabilities with the able-bodied
- many other participants or groups with each other
Parents and grandparents, who remember “the old days” when they were running around the backyard, playing simple games, can show now their children how important it was and still is for their development, health and just fun. Play is a joy for everyone.
Games are healthy!
Scientific research, conducted among others in Poland and Spain, has proven that traditional games have a positive impact on various aspects of health.
• improve eye-hand coordination, strength, agility and the overall physical fitness. This applies to children and the elderly, as well as to special target groups, e.g. women after mastectomy. It has been proven that traditional games can increase the level of their physical activity.
When it comes to children, research conducted by the Catalan scientist Pere Lavega has shown that these children, who had a special, regular programme of physical activity with traditional games, have achieved a real improvement of important health factors, including the reduction of excessive body weight and the decrease of the so-called “bad” cholesterol.
• TSG can also improve mental health. It has been proven that they positively develop the emotional dimension of human life.
They help you learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, control your emotions, overcome life difficulties and better identify your physical abilities and limitations,. They are just positive emotions!
• These games also help build social bonds, dialogue between people, interpersonal relationships and integration of different age and gender groups.
You can see that at the various events, festivals, fiestas, holidays etc. These games are an integral part of them all around the world. The examples are festivals in Italy, Scotland, the Basque Country, Denmark, Spain, France, Brittany, Russia or Poland (and much more), which I will be describing in the subsequent articles. Here, the game is an integral part of festivals or fiestas, enriching them with cultural sports experience.
• TSG have a significant impact on intercultural dialogue and integration. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the world’s cultural diversity. I am going to write more about it in the articles about World Sport for All Games and I European Sport for All Games in which I took an active part in Lithuania (2012) and the Netherlands (2018).
Plays, games and sports are a tourist attraction
Traditional sports, games and plays create also many interesting opportunities for the development of tourism – especially cultural and sports tourism.
When you visit some countries and take part in local festivals and other cultural events, you can sometimes experience them in practice. Thanks to that, you can get to know better with this important element of culture of a given community, region or country.
TSG are a very interesting and attractive element of such a tourist experience. Tourists learn more about sport cultural traditions.
Traditional sports are a new quality
Traditional sports, games and plays are better and better “fitting” to the needs of the contemporary world.
Nowadays, when the importance of spontaneous, physical play is growing again, traditional sports and games are a solution to the problem of the exclusiveness of the elite sport, which, in an active form, is only available to a small group of professional players.
Meanwhile, traditional games are for everyone.
TSG is a model of sport for the future – an important alternative to the modern, professional sport, focused on competition and results.
Traditional sports are a cultural heritage, a source of positive experiences and emotions through an active participation of all people in play. They also build a mutual, interpersonal respect.
At the same time, traditional sports and games are not just a “museum relict”, not a regression, but a progression – a new quality: sport for everyone, more inclusive and integrative.
To sum up, these sports and games have many important functions and satisfy several human needs – such as:
- taking care of many aspects of health,
- social integration and inclusion,
- cultural experience,
- having fun, experience joy and happiness,
- building respect of each other,
- cooperation between different people and many others.
Traditional sports and games are vivid!, valuable and practical
The entire world is appreciating them more and more again. It is the right time for it!
In the following articles, I am going to continue the descriptions and presentations of their positive values and various dimensions of their practical functioning and implications in the current world.