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Sports is a word used to define any activity that involves the physical being of an individual, and that is subject to rules and regulations that govern it (Brightbill and Meyer 2-10). Sports have been in existence for as long as man has lived, with early evidence from the Chinese and the Egyptians. However, the kinds of sporting activities that existed in the ancient cultures were not organized. They were used for leisure and entertainment, and were varied from culture to the other. It was the Greeks who first came up with organized sports and called them the Olympics (Andrei and Lars 45-46).
Sports have created international peace, understanding and the policy of neutrality among nations. The formation of games regionally, continentally and internationally has been useful in uniting nations with a common purpose. For example, we have the world cup, engaging many countries in the world, and that happen after every four years. Professionalism has also been heightened in today’s sports, making the activity attractive and more competitive (Andrei and Lars 50-55). This has been noted where countries have federations looking into the organization and success of any given sports activity. Many people all over the world look forward to various championships, happening after a certain period. It has been made much easier due to the presence of electronic media that allow people follow up sports all over the world.
Sport is an activity that plays such a big role in the global society, and cannot be wished away. In fact, sports are recognized as an international language and known to make a total turnaround for a majority of people. Many people are found to enjoy watching and discussing sports in their leisure time. The global world eagerly awaits for sports activities with enthusiasm; the hearts of the majority are happy to spend time doing sporting activities. It has been known to bring together many people all over the world and as such, it is of great importance. It is therefore vital that a lot of input is made to the sporting arena. This could for example imply financial input, or better still, commitment to ensure that it grows in every area.
One of the key roles that sports is known to play is to improve peoples health. Health is vital in every one’s life, making it mandatory for everyone to evaluate their physical health and take the necessary measures. In particular, the last decade has seen many nutritionists caution people to watch out for their health and lifestyle (Coakley 299-305). Sports have been in the fore front of fighting such diseases like obesity. Due to this, people around the world have taken on the decision to participate in physical exercise consistently. Sports have been recommended due to the ability to help a vast population achieve good health, and at the same time bring in a lot of fun in the process.
When asked to participate in a sporting activity, most people will embrace it openly as opposed to any other idea, due to the perception that they will enjoy the activity. Some of the activities in sports are rigorous and, involve most parts of the body. These kinds of sports include ball games and athletics. Sports, will therefore give people a chance to exercise their bodies and keep fit. Obese children are encouraged to participate in sports to burn the unnecessary calories and cut off the weight. Beyond the physical health, there is also the whole aspect of mental health. Everybody needs this especially in the modern day that relies on electronic assistance to accomplish certain tasks. This only means that our ability to stretch our minds in thinking is hindered. Some sporting activities for example the scramble games will enable any person think and as such achieve mental health. Still on health, some sporting activities are highly associated with the spiritual well being of an individual. For example, the yoga is known to help relax the mind and body, and at the same connect with the spiritual well being of an individual.
The other aspect is that it enables people to manage stress levels in a successful way. You will find a stressed person jogging or playing football, making it easier to focus on something else more interesting than the normal schedule that may bring in this condition. This checks people’s health and helps them to avoid further consequences of stress and depression. Still, sports persons are known to boost their self-esteem and confidence. Chances are that improved body image and health will play a key role in anyone’s self-esteem. Sports will therefore come in handy to boost this. Furthermore, sports can be used as a platform to educate people on healthy living and on various diseases. Ultimately, every person needs to participate in one or two sporting activities to keep healthy.
Sporting activities are used to promote the social integration of any given place in the world. Sports bring in many people together, who may be different in their culture, lifestyles, ethnicity, race, language among other differences (Andrei and Lars 225). It is easier for anybody to participate in sports despite their differences as individuals. The physically challenged are also integrated among the physically fit and as such, it helps them gain inclusion in the society. Therefore, their abilities are recognized through sports, eliminating the gap between them and the rest of the society. It also comes in handy to help other groups such as the immigrants get opportunities to interact with the hosts of a given country.
Globally, sports enable different continents come together and interact despite all the vast differences that exist. Some sporting activities are known to develop social skills. As people interact in the games, they are able to learn the virtues of endurance, patience, co-operation, persistence among other key roles. These skills enable majority of people live together in harmony and participate in the social activities with more ease. It is important to note that majority of the young people find an alternative lifestyle in sports (Lampman and Pretty man 220). Sports will cultivate harmony in the society by ensuring that the idle people within it have something to look forward to, doing away with the anti-social behaviours. For example, young people are discouraged from using drugs and other sorts of crime, but rather participate in the local championships. The other aspect is that of sports being able to achieve gender equality (Andrei and Lars 30-355). The modern world has awakened to an era of equality of all people, and especially the gender equality. Many activities have been known to discriminate against women in particular. They have been segregated into a class of their own, yet their abilities to do achieve are the same as that of men. However, sports bring in cohesion between the genders. They are inclusive activities, meaning that any gender can participate. For example, swimming includes both genders and none of them is viewed differently.
One very important role that sports play is international diplomacy. When countries come together in sports, they pave way for dialogue and co-operation among different nations (Levermore and Budd 18-25). Some tensions existing between different nations have been eliminated through sports. The leaders are able to meet in forums and arrange for competitions, with the specific agenda of bringing different countries together. Various organizations have been formed to spearhead dialogue and achieve common ground during the sporting activities. Several countries have taken the advantage of the power that sports has and made organizations that involve a whole continent, say Africa, with the very aim of ensuring that different countries come together. The agenda has been purely to make continental goals and objectives to ensure that they are able to move in the same direction as far as the continent is concerned. For example, there is a federation in the African continent that is responsible for looking into the Africa cup of nation’s competition, bringing together every one in the continent. European countries also hold sports activities under a similar umbrella. This ensures that diplomacy prevails globally.
All over the world, many people have turned to sports as a means of generating income. There are income benefits both the players and every other person involved indirectly. Most professional players have been able to earn a living out of sports (Coakley 562). Their livelihood has been enhanced, especially after wining international competitions. Other people also earn income by making and selling products so needed in the competitions. For example, during the international matches, uniforms, balls, and such like facilities are contracted to business people who will earn an income out of it. In the end, countries are able to earn an income from the sports. The countries are able to boost their infrastructure, in case of major sporting events, which leaves the economic growth of such like countries better. Economic growth and development is therefore enhanced due to sports all over the world. The humanitarian organizations, for example, have long used sports to achieve various economic goals. For example, United Nations intends to use sports as a tool of achieving millennium development goals (Lampman and Prettyman 56). They intend to ensure funding is done to any sporting activity that brings in better standards of living for a majority of people in the countries that they represent. The plans have already been implemented, bringing in several benefits already.
The press has benefited greatly from the sporting activities. It is able communicate to millions of people globally concerning various occurrences in the sporting arena. Many types of media, for example the newspapers, magazines, televisions and radios have broadcasted different activities that continue to happen in sports (Brightbill and Meyer 225-245). As a result, many people are look forward to the media to give them the needed information. As such, the media has grown, from the number of people that they are able to reach, to the continual existence of it for a long period. There are media stations that exist to broadcast specifically on information that is related to sport. Sports have produced good role models to the young people, who may be their fans. They are also able to expose the kinds of people, from the international players, who can mentor young talents and linked them to bring up a society where talents are appreciated. Sporting activities receive all the exposure and attention while the media is expanded, and sponsored to achieve its corporate goals.
Another role played by sporting activities is preservation of the environment. Most sports are now moving towards ensuring that the environment is friendly and is preserved. Every sports person can tell you that in the places where environment is depleted, then sporting activities are hindered. Still, many people can be discouraged from pursuing sports as a career (Coakley 56-63). They may for example, consider the environment that surrounds them and decide not to try getting into sporting activities. Many types of pollution may hinder sports. These include air pollution, land and water pollution among others. Due to all these factors, most sports persons will be very keen on ensuring that the environment around them is clean. For instance, they hold public forums to educate people on how to improve their environment. They will also lobby for funds to improve the environment all over the world. The best thing is that most people will listen to the sports persons. This means that the concerns that they raise are able to reach a large group of people, unlike any other person raising the same concerns. This gives it a unique chance of bringing in harmony as far as environmental upgrading is concerned.
Sports are directly related to art. Some sporting activities that appreciate artwork include gymnastics, figure skating and dance sport. Various sporting have been included in the drama films. They have been very effective in terms of the audience that they attract and the income that they generate. The films are able to portray the personal lives of the player, their training, the character traits, making the audience identify more with them. They are able to answer effectively answer the questions in the minds of fans that may be looking up to such people as heroes and role models. These same films bring in inspiration and humour at the same time to a majority of the audience. To the makers of the same, they earn an income from selling the films to the audience in the global market.
As effective as sports prove to be, several things must be watched out for (Brightbill and Meyer 60). For one, most governments may not be keen on being cost effective as far as sports are concerned. For example, major tournaments may be highly funded, at the expense of other important sectors. The desire to emerge as winners may drive the state to chance a lot of financial resource towards sports. The government and the organizers may be attracted to the financial income that sports generate and fail to focus on other important aspects that come with it. For example, the players who have given good results in the past are sometimes given more attention, giving a blind eye on those who may be equally good, but who need more training. Talents need to be appreciated and grown to ensure that every one has an equal chance in every area of life. This calls for regulation and monitoring to ensure that balance prevails. Secondly, the drive to be known as a champion sometimes drives players into using drugs to boost their performance. Having known the prestige of holding a certain title, players may find themselves taking in harmful drugs if only to win in a match. Thus, some people have often related some sporting personnel to drug abuse.
Sports present a situation globally where some groups of people may face exclusion. Women and children sometimes are limited in the activities that may give them equal benefits as men. For example, the men may play major football tournaments, while women are involved in other smaller matches. This calls for balance so that everyone feels included in the sports, and that they get equal attention. There is also the whole aspect of corruption. Corruption has been rampant in the sporting arena, such that many results are manipulated. Many people and countries want to emerge winners and, may part with money or any other form of bribe to manipulate any given results. Still, the media will tend to intrude into the lives of the sportsman, bringing in lack of freedom to live, as they would wish. Some of the stories that are brought on attention by the media have no substantial proof. This may mean a damaged image, sometimes even the end of career for some players.
The media has denied players the freedom to live normal lives by giving out stories that cannot be evidenced. Some players have been known to get discouraged from pursuing their career due to fear of getting their image damaged. Sports have been internationally used to create a sense of identity and that is what the media has been after. People would want to wear clothes with brands of their favourite sporting activity of bearing the name of the sports personality they love. Thus, sports have influenced a lot in the choice of wear that people all over the world adopts. Many cloth manufacturing companies have used sports as source of their creativity and approach in marketing their products. Sports have moulded personalities and people seem to have an interest in the emerging personalities from the sporting arena. Not manufacturing companies alone but also other companies have wanted to be associated with sporting teams. They have thus come out to sponsor teams.
In conclusion, sport is a powerful tool, capable of achieving a lot in any given county. Most countries have recognized the influence and the attention it receives globally, and as such investing heavily in it. The results have been great! Most countries owe the social cohesion and development to the sporting activities that they have chosen to engage in. economies have thrived and incomes boosted due to the organized and professional sporting that has emerged in the modern day. This therefore means that sport can only grow. It means that more efforts are likely to be channelled towards sport all over the world. However, even in the light of this, we cannot overdo sports. There has to be balance and regulation towards the same. No government should watch as various vices emerge from the sports, and as such, they must educate the people on not taking things to the extreme.
The sportsmen must be made to know the consequences of their behaviour, while at the same time punishing those caught on the wrong side of the law. Otherwise, we may have to lose the very thing we have invested heavily on and spent our time building. For example, young people must never lose focus, turning to drugs for performance boost. The governments of the world must ensure balance in the sector. Nevertheless, sports must continue to thrive, to remain influential and a means to an end for many other important goals of various countries. Many countries will continue to come up with newer and better ways of managing sports, and in this case, the power of sports will even be bigger. Generally, sports have been tremendous in promoting the welfare of all nations across the world. Sports have created a sense of identity and people seek pride and satisfaction in them. All over the world, innovations will be made in the sports arena, and this only means that growth in the field is inevitable.