Is Sport the Answer?
What an interesting question! Well today and for the rest of April, we are here to say with unequivocal confidence, that yes, it absolutely is.
Today, Mr Green is more than happy to celebrate International Day of Sport for Peace and Development. This is a dashing day dedicated to developing oneself, whether it be on a personal level, corporate level or competitive level.
I had the lovely honour of ‘kicking off’ this Mr Green series with Jesper Kärrbrink, our very own CEO and sports enthusiast about his thoughts on today and whether sport can be used as a tool to better our future.
This is the first of a series of inspirational and interesting sports talks with other members of the Mr Green team. We will join such people as Jon, our Editor in Chief for a look into tennis, Greg, our Head of Campaigns and Loyalty and his rugby career to Juli, our IT Guru and his passion for sky diving!
However, without further ado, here is Jesper on sport, golf and his advice for those hoping to develop themselves further.
What do you think to the idea of International day of sport for peace and development, do you believe that sport is something that could help bring about those ideals?
Of course! Sport is unified in all aspects, that is what it is about. That is the beauty of sport, you can get out your aggression against another team but it is also very friendly. That relationship you have after a 90 minute highly competitive game is always one of camaraderie. You need that.
Sport is absolutely non-political, non-racial, non-religious it is an equaliser on every level.
What sport would you say is your passion? Today we will cover your love of golf but is there another sport that just pips the post?
Oh yes, my sport is Bandy, a Swedish Sport that I played professionally when I was young. Both my sons have played it and one son is still playing it, so that is my big, big passion.
Then I also have a passion for Swimrun, I have taken part in many races and train often, it is a sport that I truly enjoy and is important also for Mr Green as we are now a sponsor for the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Series.
Then of course Golf.
The Swedish sport of Bandy
Why were you drawn to golf, how did your journey with the sport begin?
I started playing when I was really young, in a small town in Sweden that happened to have a fantastic golf course. I was taking my father’s bag while he was playing and then he would take mine as I played. I stopped playing for a long time, as I concentrated more on Bandy and was training at a competitive level.
I took golf up again a few years ago, it is a difficult sport and it really does take some practice, now the kids are grown, and I am not training as much as before, I have the time.
I am sure you have travelled the world and tee’d off on many a green, which course would you say tops them all and is there anywhere you are dying to play?
I am sure it is not surprising for me to mention Scotland, England and Ireland. The beauty of those courses are they are not built for golf they are completely natural and still perfect.
Then you have those fantastic courses, but they were built for golf, adjusting the lands, putting a tree in here a slope over there. Whereas in England and the UK, they thought “ahh lets play golf here”.
I think those are the most beautiful.
It is also what I like about swimrun, as you swim and run in the most naturalistic of any environment and I just love that.
The Trump Turnburry Estate, Scotland
I know you are an avid golfer and have a membership with the golf course here in Malta, how would you say this course lives up to the Mr greens ideal of “looking for entertainment?”
It really does. First of all, it is amazing that we even have a golf course in Malta considering the weather and even the size of the island.
It is small, but it still is a full course and they keep it very well all year round. It is a cut above the rest when it comes to this area. Of course, there are courses that are bigger, grander and more luxurious but for the area, of where Malta is located, I think it is brilliant.
I really like it.
To what degree do you believe golf can help to develop you in business and even on a personal level?
Well, actually, for me, it’s one of the few mind breaks I get.
What I mean is, when I play golf, that is what I focus on for 3 hours, there are no texts and alerts coming in. So, for me it is more personal development and a mental break from the busy day and stresses of work.
It is one of those sports where you really have to concentrate, such as tennis and squash, but unlike tennis and squash, you play golf for 3 hours.
Like a form of meditation?
So, outside of the meditation, it is no secret that a lot of business is done on the golf course. Is this something you have experienced at all?
I try to stay away from business on the golf course as I believe business should be done in meeting rooms and board rooms. I still play golf with a lot of business partners but we do not talk business. It is not the place, in my opinion.
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom to budding golfers wanting to start developing themselves within the sport?
Being an athlete my entire life, golf is more a hobby, definitely a hobby.
Golf is one of the few sports where you go out on the course and you play, compared to other sports where you train and train before it is time to compete.
To improve at golf, you need to take that same sport mentality and put in some serious training – if you want to be good.
For most of us it is entertainment. We try to do our best.
Don’t forget to join us for the rest of April when we will glean invaluable advice from the Mr Green dream team when they share with us their passions and how we can all change the world. If we only try.