For the next 4 years at least

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It’s been over a week since the world witnessed France taking home the 2018 FIFA World Cup trophy.

As a 20-something female, I’ve never played football a day in my life, unless you count backyard fumbling with teenage guys who really had no choice but to take on the clumsy girl who didn’t know ‘own goals’ was a thing just to make even teams.

And yet, on the night of July 15, as French President Emmanuel Macron (see photo below) punched the air in clear victory, I yelled in triumph with my father and sisters when France won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, along with half of Brunei Darussalam, with the rest groaning in defeat after understandably rooting for the underdog Croatia.

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If there’s one thing that unites Bruneians other than our love for food, it’s probably our love for sports and health-related events (I’m looking at you, loyal ‘Bandarku Ceria’ folks). Many of us grew up with dads and uncles who had healthy football team rivalries; the legendary “Manchester United or Liverpool?” question still makes us laugh fondly as we recount memories of our families being divided for one night thanks to a bunch of guys throwing around a ball for 90 minutes.

All eyes on World Cup

For nearly two months, the World Cup was really all that the world was talking about. Even people like me, who hasn’t watched an English Premiere league match in years, was swept up in the fever. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to participate in the bouts of discussion about players I’ve barely heard of, much less their talents on the field. And the memes. (Honourary shoutouts to Messi and Neymar.)

Bruneians may not be known for their sports prowess, but there’s a number of groups dedicated to the array of sports available, ranging from the nation-loved football to other popular sports like basketball and badminton. It’s also interesting to note that somehow humanity has made throwing a Frisbee around into a team sport, and there’s an interest in that over here as well.

World Cup’s over… Now what?

And with the end of the World Cup comes a lull that seeks to be filled; and home health establishments should be taking that opportunity to promote their services. Football may not be the sport for everyone, but the beauty in sports is in the eye of the beholder: there’s a lot of them out there, curtailed to any individual’s preferences.

Not a fan of throwing around a ball? Perhaps an MMA class might be your thing. Not sure if you want to spend money just to sweat? Perhaps hiking would be a better option for you.

My mom picked up badminton… Coincidence?

My mother doesn’t understand football, but recently she’s picked up badminton again after two decades of not stepping onto the court. It might not solely be the power of the World Cup, but there’s something to be said about the influence an international sports event has on a middle-aged lady who books a court for two hours a week to “sweat out her stress” when there was zero inclination on her part to do so for the last 20 years.

As for me, I probably won’t start playing football anytime soon, either. But I’ve been meaning to get a gym membership one of these days, maybe even join a dance class. Maybe the late nights of watching football taught me something about hand-eye-leg coordination?

We’d love to hear you from you!

Has the World Cup made you remotely think about getting healthy? Or are you still disappointed that you didn’t win a car, thanks to the likes of Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain being knocked out so early?