Sports (or physical activities devoted to the physical exercise of human beings) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual competition, attempt to employ, enhance or increase physical power and ability while offering entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators. It is an Olympic sport. As such, the term encompasses many types of sports, but it is perhaps the American football that receives the most attention as an Olympic sport, and also one of the most popular, because of its widespread commercialization. But even these days, when the term ‘Olympic sport’ is looked at, there are many other sports that have qualified to be included, and the list is growing each day. The Olympic committee is very careful to keep the games of every discipline exclusive of inter-discipline competitions, to ensure that the spirit of the games is maintained.
To be precise, then, the definition of a sport needs to take into account not only the development of skill or physical exertion, but also the progression of an individual’s ability to do so. Therefore, a game like track and field can be both a skill competition and a competition for the championship. A game such as badminton, on the other hand, can be both a contest for skill and a competition for the trophy. In short, it takes into account the development of both physical and mental ability as well as the development of the spirit. A game such as fencing, on the other hand, can be both a sport and a form of competitive performance.
The first Olympic sports were introduced to the world in the 1900’s as a means of boosting interest in the Olympic Games themselves. The universal acceptance of sports as a vital part of life, and an interest in improving the health and fitness of athletes, has helped to expand the definition of sport to include a much wider range of activities than was once the case. Sports now cover a much wider range of athletic endeavour, from swimming, to sailing, to Track and Field. International sports competitions are now open to men, women and children, and the Olympic Games have even extended their definition of what constitutes a sport to include sports that are played in other countries and by teams and individuals other than those who compete in the Olympic Games.
As regards the development of the skills and physical dexterity required to engage in the games, technological developments have had a huge part to play. With television and cinema having a massive influence on young people’s perceptions of how sport should be, many people consider themselves to be sports enthusiasts. Of course, this is heavily influenced by the marketing of sport and much modern day sport relates to money, power and status (as in the case of football and golf). But there is a great deal of passion and real skill behind most sports.
One aspect of sports which is often overlooked is the effect that participation creates within the individual. Certainly, many people recognise the importance of physical fitness in achieving success in everyday life, and this leads to a huge amount of investment in gymnasiums and sports equipment. However, when you step away from the sporting arena, it is important to remember that the individual can still use their muscles and bodies in incredibly productive ways-and sports can provide that opportunity. Whether it is playing a sport such as table tennis or participating in a physical education or fitness class, being actively involved in sports is highly beneficial for the body, mind and spirit.
In fact, it is this wide variety of results which makes sports such a great leveller. Everyone can find something to do whether they are young, old, healthy or injured. And whether you are looking for something more active or intellectual, the opportunities are never ending. So if you ever felt that the world was coming to an end and you had nothing to fill it, then getting involved with sports may prove to be the answer.