Professional Sports: A Dream in the Making

Written by: Arthty Ragupathy

Growing up in a household full of males, sports has become a mutual source of entertainment for my family and I. We share a love for our home teams, whether it is the Blue Jays, Maple Leafs, Raptors, etc., the outcome of every game instigates a wave of emotions. Although true, a bold line is drawn there. The love for our country’s athletes remains as mere admiration. When the act of admiring transitions into the desire to follow, it becomes a problem. A child’s dream of becoming a professional athlete inevitably plants fear in the minds of Tamil parents, or a majority of immigrant parents for that matter. They immediately associate the profession with high risk, as a result becoming tangled in a huge web of uncertainty.

I have been brought up to believe that a career without substantial income is not a viable option. Many can agree with me when I say that their families have fixed perceptions of which career paths lead to high salaries. The respectable doctor or engineer professions, to name a couple, have shaped their ideology of success. Completing a degree in such fields provides higher chances of landing jobs so our parents reject the idea of becoming an athlete for the simple fact that income is not guaranteed. The percentage of individuals who succeed in playing sports at a professional level is extremely small. Therefore, in our parents’ eyes, this potentially harms their child’s ability to pursue the expected role of a breadwinner. Providing for their families is what they view to be their sole purpose, expecting the same from their children. Any factors impeding with that expectation is automatically viewed as a threat.

Parents promote sports to keep their children preoccupied, again only to prevent distractions. Also, they encourage it for the fact that it enables physical activity, which facilitates the adaptation of a healthy lifestyle. However, ultimately, education is the prime focus and activities such as sports are simply viewed as a time-pass. When such a time-pass turns into a strong passion/obsession, our parents intrude the idea with consistent lecturing about the importance of studying. Their childhood plays a huge role in this. The way an individual is brought up structures their morals, values, beliefs, etc. Growing up, our parents were raised amongst constant hardships; therefore they understand the struggles of being financially unstable. The difficulties they have endured justify the way they motivate their children to seek high-income professions. In this complicated scenario, passions and dreams are dismissed, while happiness via money is promoted.

The mentalities our parents have formed are a result of experiences that only they can comprehend. We are fortunate to be able to bask in the luxuries of the lives they have established for us after everything they have undergone. That being said, this article speaks for the general Tamil population, not to take away from the countless Tamil parents who expedite their children’s love for sports. Although professions that yield substantial income are the primary objective, a shift in parents’ mindsets is becoming more of a conceivable possibility. As time progresses, accepting a child’s passion and facilitating their growth is something parents will be more open to doing. Raising their children in a society that promotes the attainment of a career that not only brings income but happiness, will allow for them to become more understanding and with time- supportive. Many Tamil parents believe we do not have the luxury to pursue a high-risk profession, but the reality of the situation is, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. The future of sports for Tamil athletes is promising.


Arthty Ragupathy is a Raptors fanatic and social media enthusiast. She is currently a 3rd year Health Management student at York University with a love for writing.

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