The Definition of Sport
The Definition of Sport
Sports are among the most popular pastimes, with people ranging from school kids, university students, celebrities and ordinary folks. Sports are generally governed by some kind of code or rules, which ensure fair play, and enable consistent adjudication of the final winner. In popular sports, statistics of past performances are often documented, and in less popular sports, this data can be widely announced in sports news. The essence of sports is to enjoy and take part in physical contact, where the outcome is unpredictable at best. The sports frenzy seems all the more prevalent when the game or sport is associated with money or glamour.
So what drives a person to engage in sports and why is it so addictive? There has been much speculation on this matter. Some attribute it to a drive for physical prowess that is born out of childhood memories of running and jumping at the local playground, where success seemed assured and the sense of achievement overpowering any obstacles. Others attribute it to a need to belong and create an identity for oneself, a feeling of being part of something bigger than one’s self, a need to excel in something where there is no room for mediocre.
One thing is for sure – sports teach us valuable lessons in life. Through sports, we learn to accept ourselves as physical beings, and embrace the physical dexterity that sometimes goes hand in hand with self-esteem. We also learn to be polite and respectful of our opponents and fellow competitors. Sports also teach us to put our own ego aside, to compete with another equally talented individual, and to not give up when the going gets tough. Most sports teach us how to face challenges head on, to press on when we might not be able to see the results of our efforts right away, to overcome obstacles and come out on top.
Non-sports are activities that are not centered around physical activity or athletics. Activities that fall under this category include art, exercise, reading, writing, cooking, gardening, dancing, gardening, knitting, building things, playing video games, etc. (source: Online Essay Dictionary). One common denominator with non-sports, unlike sports, is that they focus more on the act of creation rather than the outcome of it.
What sets sport apart from non-sport is its universal appeal. It’s not that the rules of sport allow the expression of creative abilities unencumbered by the limitations of our bodies. No, it’s the spirit that drives the competition and motivates everyone to rise to the occasion, regardless of physical shape or capability. In rugby, for instance, if a player scores two tries in a row, he receives a point. If he misses a couple of kicks, he loses a point.
Sport is about competition, but it’s also inherently social. That’s why sport is such a good breeding ground for mental and physical growth. Unlike most activities we undertake today where we are at a loss to define our objectives, to measure our achievements, to challenge ourselves against others, sport gives us a way to communicate what we are about as individuals. It encourages us to be open, to share, to ask for help, to put our best foot forward and work towards a common goal. Whether it’s about winning a trophy, scoring a century, or simply enjoying the rush of adrenaline you get when you’re playing in the outfield, sports help us express ourselves in a language that all of us can understand.