The power of words, action and representation in the world of sport counts a lot. Our ability to see, hear, read and do enables us to believe in what’s possible. To follow our life's passions, purpose and preferences. And, ultimately, to experience a sense of mastery, meaning and connectedness to the communities that surround us throughout our lifetime.
To fully appreciate how the power of words can shape our involvement in sports, we wanted to go right to the source. And that meant talking with Loba Fallah, owner and operator of Aurora’s newest bookstore Bookworms & Co.. Loba's deep passion for books was nurtured very early in life by her mother who filled her bookcase with incredible books to read. For Loba, books are a place to experience both a sense of peace when reading and pure excitement when contemplating her next book.
As a merchant of books, Loba appreciates the ability of stories to help us relate to the world around us and to not feel alone. She also believes they can enable us to not only feel inspired but to be more appreciative and educated on the work and dedication it takes to excel. While she would love to see the selection of books that share the sport stories of and written by women continue to grow, she does believe all sport stories often share the determination, persistence and overall commitment it takes and believes you can learn a lot without having in-person access to the athletes and authors.
Loba’s own children - a daughter and a son - are now at a stage where they are developing their own sense of awe in words. Her daughter’s passion for basketball has been fuelled by a book called Mamba Mentality by the late Kobe Bryant. For Loba, while It’s one thing for kids to watch great athletes live or on tv play sports so seamlessly, to read their inner thoughts and how much hard work they’ve put in is what can make the difference for kids. They need real role models not superheroes.
Nurturing a love for reading in her own children has meant appreciating that children follow by example. It also means making time to read together as a family - much like taking time for family movie night or game night. Often, if we as parents see reading as daunting or not interesting, so will our kids. And just because they can read independently doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy reading together. The key is to not stop reading together from an early age and, if you have, then be consistent and read together again. Loba suggests starting with non-fiction or picture-heavy books (like a coffee table book) and then mix it up from there.
For Loba, reading is always time well spent. For her, the act of reading enables us to deepen our commitment to taking care of our health, playing a sport or being involved in a physical activity. By placing priority on reading, we are able to learn and appreciate the work it takes to being fit or excel in a specific sport. A perfect way to leverage the power of words.
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Blog and photos by Caroline Wiley. Caroline bridged her 20+ years of professional experience in the sport and recreation industry together with her passions for photography and supporting women in sport to create SeeWhatSheCanDo. Her vision is to create a welcoming space where active women find a sense of belonging within their own local community, see themselves in authentic and awe-inspiring ways and find resources to help them be their best active selves.
This article was originally written for and published in Sport Aurora's August 2022 Sport in Aurora magazine. SeeWhatSheCanDo wishes to thank Sport Aurora for the opportunity to support their efforts to showcase local athletes, businesses and community sport and their impact on the Town of Aurora, Ontario. SWSCD would also like to thank Loba Fallah for her generosity in sharing her insights on the power of words to inspire us to move, play and compete.
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