A Brief Guide to Sport

Any definition of sport can be highly controversial. The extent of socio-cultural organisation that impacts and surrounds the sport generally helps to differentiate whether an activity can be classified as sport. Activities engaged in for personal enjoyment, health and fitness or purely for the sake of physical exertion, with little social interaction and no underlying social agenda are often termed by those who speak about the topic as recreational sport. Even activities like dancing and gymnastics, which are predominantly used for entertainment purposes, can be considered as sport when performed by a group of people with some form of physical contact and goal-oriented goal-setting or interaction.

Sports can broadly be divided into two main categories, contact and endurance. Contact sport refers to any physical activity using a ball or part of the body in some way, with a corresponding goal. Endurance sports, on the other hand, generally acknowledges that the winner is the person, or persons, finishing the competition by crossing a finish line after the completion of the race or sport event. These events include speed skating, cross-country running, long-distance bicycle racing, bobsled hockey, canoeing, diving, swimming, horse riding, motor-cycling, golf, sailing and tennis.

Children have always been involved in sports, playing games and generally participating in recreational activity to gain physical dexterity, attention and organisation skills. Through sport, children are developing social skills like team-work and responsibility for their actions. With time, they acquire greater self-confidence, sense of achievement and assertiveness and as they mature, they enjoy a deeper involvement in all sport activities, especially competitive sports.