Any definition of sport can be controversial. In ordinary terms, sport has been functionarily defined by its sociological interpretation and its emotional tie to competitive activity and performance measures. It is an accepted fact that the development of mankind as a species has been intimately connected with the spirit of sport, since man has always been obsessed with competing to attain superiority in physical endeavors. Sportive activity has always been the most prevalent human behavior, dating back at the beginning of recorded history. Sport can loosely be defined as the athletic activities considered necessary for human beings to develop their faculties for further growth and self-realization.
In modern society, sport has achieved a great dimension both as a major mode of individual fitness and as a significant element of societal change. This conception of sport can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when the French sportsman Louis Pasteur identified certain natural laws by which sports could be controlled and improved. Sportsmanship and fair play were among his prime motivations. Sport, according to him, can be used as a moral compass, a force for positive social change, and a means of self-reformation and social liberation.
The twentieth century witnessed major shifts in the attitude of many peoples towards sport, especially physical activity. A great number of people started to identify sports as a source of enjoyment and a serious hobby. The growth of the motor vehicle and the sophistication of television allowed sports to be presented on a worldwide scale. Sport has come to represent many forms of competition, ranging from high school and college athletics to the Olympic Games.
Sports have also served as a mode of physical resistance against social injustice and political rebellion. Though not all cultures support the concept of sport as a source of physical activity, it has nonetheless become a potent symbol of national pride and identity. Though not all nations view sports with the same enthusiasm, many of them actively support the Olympic Movement as an example of sport’s ability to unite people and spirit.
Today, the definition of sport itself is constantly changing. In its traditional sense, sport refers to any physical activity involving physical exertion or physical contact. The Olympic movement, which began nearly four centuries ago, is perhaps the finest example of a sport’s ability to unify people. This sport was won by the United States during thelympics in 1900. The growing importance of sport can be seen throughout the world; most nations have created official associations that promote sports and physical education.
In today’s modern society, british sports enthusiasts such as cricket, golf, ice hockey, swimming and rugby have created enormous social awareness about their sport and helped to make them more popular. These social pioneers have inspired many people around the world to take up sport and create a positive influence on the younger generations. The modern concept of sport reflects these early efforts and has grown to form a wide variety of definitions and associations.