Is Sport Related To Physical Exertion?
Any definition of sport can be highly contentious. Activities engaged in for purely leisure, health and well-being or purely for the purpose of competition, with the sole aim of overcoming others, is a very narrow view of sport. Furthermore, is this all-important information accurate? It’s time we delved into the issue, so that we could establish what we really call sport, and whether it has changed as we’ve grown up.
Sport, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “the applied study of sport, whether from a professional point of view or for recreational purposes”. Sports may include “the sporting activities of gymnastics, athletics, cycling, swimming, tennis, motor racing and golf” and “an athletic competition”, but the Oxford Dictionary definition of sport excludes “any competitive form of the physical act of running, walking, dancing, playing with an instrument, etc”. The problem with this definition is that it includes any physical exertion – even walking, which is not directly related to sport by any means. This definition excludes most sports, which are not directly linked to sport – football, wrestling and fishing don’t count because they do not involve the application of physical exertion.
Another problem with this definition is that many people would see sport in completely different light. For example, many people would see soccer, rugby and golf, as being directly connected to sports when in fact they are nothing like sport. Golf is simply a game of golf, with very little bearing on skill, technique or physical strength. Soccer on the other hand is a contact sport where there is a lot of running, kicking and running. Therefore, when people say that soccer is a sport, they actually are saying that football is a sport…and that football is an entirely different thing!