Play Hard, Fight Hard
The Military Museum teams up with the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame
Since July 1st The Military Museum in Calgary has hosted an exhibit called Play Hard, Fight Hard. This has been a collaborative effort between the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame (CSHOF) and the Military Museums, designed to showcase the vast similarities between sport and military conduct.
The gallery’s website describes it as a showcase of “the relationship between sports and military service and how concepts like teamwork, leadership, physical fitness, and tactical planning are shared between the two worlds.”
When looking at physical sport, it’s not hard to see the similarities with war and battle. In football, the line of scrimmage separates the two opposing teams, much like on a battlefield.
Face paint and the terms offence and defence, are often similarly used as war tactics. Cheering and berating the opposing team: all of these rituals of sport are common practices in the military as well.
Play Hard, Fight Hard showcases a long history of military and sport, dating back to the First World War .
Some of the oldest sports included tug-of-wars, cricket and cross-country skiing, dating back to 1935, when skiing was part of mandatory military training, designed to test navigational skills.
The exhibit’s sole aim is not to enlighten the public to these recurrences, but also to educate the public on programs and initiatives in place that support our troops.
Soldier On is one of the programs that the Military Museum has put on, helping veterans overcome physical and mental illness, as well as other symptoms of war- related PTSD, through physical activity and sports.
The Play Hard, Fight Hard exhibit, and more specifically, the Soldier On program, features one veteran in particular, Mark Fuchko.
“After having both legs amputated as a result of an IED explosion in Afghanistan, Mark has gone on to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, plays sledge hockey, and has gone sea kayaking among other activities in the program,” says the Military Museum’s website.
Truly an inspirational story, the program hopes to encourage more triumphs, like Fuchko’s, through the application of sport.
An interesting and worthwhile exhibition for history aficionados, and for any sport or military fans alike.