Sports and Participation

Sports (or physical sport) is any form of usually strenuous physical activity that, through organised or casual participation, attempt to utilize, hone or enhance physical aptitude and abilities while also providing enjoyment to participants, and sometimes, spectators. There are various different types of sports. Some of them are ice hockey, ice skating, football, rugby, tennis, basketball, horse racing, golf, motor racing and wrestling. The list continues to grow by the day. In addition to the traditional, regularly occurring games like these, sports have also been introduced into schools, camps, military and peacekeeping forces, sporting competitions, school and public sports facilities and, of course, into the homes of millions of people through television and the internet.

The most popular sports are those that require team or competitive participation and, of course, football, baseball and basketball are obvious choices. But what is also becoming more popular sports that require individual, competitive participation or, for example, beach volleyball or table tennis. Beach volleyball is a relatively new sport that started in the United States in the early 1990s. Since then, beach volleyball has steadily gained momentum, especially in countries such as Australia, Ireland, Spain and Brazil. Through television coverage, the sport has spread to other countries and has become so popular that there are now even teams and clubs that have been formed.

Another aspect of sports that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide is non-physical skill/fitness sports. These include non-conventional activities such as taekwondo and karate, swimming and snorkeling, tennis, soccer, surfing, weightlifting and, of course, cricket. To ensure fair competition, these activities must be monitored and, where necessary, performed in accordance with certain sets of rules. Because they do not engage in any physical contact with the other participants, these activities, unlike physical skill sports such as baseball, tennis and golf, are open to anyone who wants to take up the sport and, therefore, are a very accessible form of competition.

There is another area of increasing physical fitness and growth within the non-physical fields of sport that has reached global proportions and that is health and fitness. This encompasses a vast array of activities from skiing, climbing, Pilates and Tai Chi to yoga, strength training, aerobics and more. These non-physical activities are becoming more popular because of their potential to benefit participants of all ages, whether they are trying to manage weight or just improve their overall health and wellbeing. They can improve mind fitness through concentration and focus, enhance cardiovascular health through improved stamina and increased endurance levels and improve mind and body fitness through relaxation, meditation and learning new habits and behaviours. It is a fact that there are now more people involved in sport and recreation than at any time since the start of the twentieth century and this trend is set to continue.

In terms of spectator sports, television, radio and print media play a major role in the promotion and growth of sports and recreational activities. The development of sportive venues such as football grounds and athletics arenas are being built in order to create the ‘wow’ factor, attracting crowds and enthusiasts to the main events. Spectator sports provide a unique opportunity for those with an interest in a particular sport or group of sports to develop personal links with the game or players and to participate in a social environment. Whether playing an actual sport or watching a film or watching an athletic event, the main article here is the development of social interaction and camaraderie within the sporting arena. These opportunities allow participants to promote their social relationships and build bonds that will benefit them in their future pursuits.

So the next time you enjoy yourself watching your favourite sporting event or participating in some kind of recreational activity, remember that you are partaking in a collection of individual talents and drive to excel within the wider context of humanity. Whether you are watching the game live on television or listening to a commentary on a radio station, all forms of participation sports offer an incredible opportunity for the human species to experience what it means to be human and to take on our planet in order to push it forward. Sports and spectator sports are a great way for groups of people to interact, develop and promote social ties that will benefit them in their future undertakings. Sports and participation sports are here to stay.

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