Intergenerational sports are an excellent means to social harmony because they encourage the sharing of knowledge and values for some and intellectual stimulation for others.
More specifically, older generations have more experience with sports and can pass their knowledge on to children, like mistakes they may have made, the importance of sports and even sports etiquette. For example, in billiards you never stand in front of the person playing, it could mess up their shot. But how do you know the rules if no one teaches you?
Solidarity and better communication
Sporting habits have evolved over time (ways of dressing, rules, etc.) and so have communication styles, which can create a divide between different generations and even cause miscommunications. Intergenerational sports will put an end to all of that.
They increase acceptance, understanding and empathy between different generations. They also provide opportunities to share and socialize with someone from another age group. In other words, they force you out of your comfort zone. For younger players, it's an excellent way to learn how to be more accommodating to everyone: older people, people with disabilities, etc. In sum, intergenerational sports teach respect!
In badminton, communication with your opponent is key if you want to avoid butting heads with your teammate and lower your risk of losing a point from a silly mistake
Communication, acceptance, solidarity… These values are just as important for young people when playing sports (group sports) as in their everyday life.
Learn to slow down
Today, everything is scheduled: lunch breaks, workouts, errands… We do it all quickly, without ever slowing down. In intergenerational sports, there's no other choice but to stop. You have to learn to listen, understand and help each other, and sometimes even practice patience when learning a move or rule.
And yes, teaching a young person how to do a proper billiards bridge (the hand position that holds the billiards cue in place) will require patience because learning a sport for the first time isn't instinctual.
But these are precious moments that you will learn to appreciate.
Make memories together
While sports require some physical effort, it's more important that you have fun playing. You talk, share, laugh and make new memories.
And finally, everyone is equal on the court, which creates a feeling of belonging and builds team spirit: close connections are made, making the moment even more enjoyable.
Sometimes sessions end with a fun break, when you can discuss your sport and just talk!
Which sports can you play together?
You can play billiards alone but it's more fun with a partner. The advantage of billiards is that it requires less muscular strength, making this sport accessible to everyone, truly everyone… Magali Declunder, 12 x European Champion, tells us: “Playing billiard sports doesn't take a huge amount of physical effort. It's a sport of concentration, technique, discipline and accuracy."
In addition, there are various cue sports within billiards so you're sure to find common ground between different generations.
2. Table tennis
Table tennis can also be played with the whole family, as is commonly done today. In this sport, grandparents can play with their kids and grandchildren. This reinforces family ties and provides an opportunity to make fun memories. In fact, both young and old can easily volley without needing to know the rules of the sport.
It's fun and enjoyable for everyone, no matter their age or physical fitness. With a table or a retractable net, table tennis can bridge any age gap!
Badminton is another fun sport that can help you make connections, but don't be deceived by its smaller court, you're likely to run much more (especially for the person playing at the back of the court). This sport requires skill, concentration and fast reaction times. The racket and shuttlecock are lightweight, making them easy to maneuver by both kids and older adults. In doubles, badminton requires different skill sets: one player at the front that has to put pressure on their opponents and another player at the back to score points. In short, there's no better way for different generations to enjoy themselves.
DID YOU KNOW? Badminton is one of the rare sports (along with billiards and a few others) that offers coed competitions in which men and women can play against each other.