The Difference Between Sport and Competition


The Difference Between Sport and Competition

“Sport” is one of those words that we use all the time without really thinking about it, but it means different things to different people. In a world where there seems to be a constant stream of new sports trying to be introduced into the public domain, what constitutes a sport can become blurred. We need to start looking at this in a very simple way; what type of activity does it take for an individual to achieve? Sport does not always mean competition, as many people believe, but rather involves any type of physical activity that takes an individual to complete.

“Sport” as used by Sport England means any kind of physical activity that aims to achieve, test, demonstrate skill, using sporting equipment or any form of apparatus to assist. It is important to remember that sport does not necessarily mean skill, as some would argue. Fundamentally, sport is a philosophy or a set of ideals, developed over centuries, which have been recognised as having proven success and significance, regardless of whether that sport was competitive or non-competitive.

In the last few years sport has become synonymous with competitive eating, as the general public and media have begun to associate performance, skill and achievement with eating well, and the general state of one’s health. However, as this type of thinking continues to develop, it is important for sport to be distinguished from this and its definition should not be equated to it. Sport is an idea, a concept, something that people feel strongly about and pursue in their own individual ways, with the ultimate aim of achievement. A sport that pushes the limits of physical ability may not necessarily be defined as a sport because it could also be seen as a competition, especially when a competitor is trying to test their personal boundaries. It is this individual drive and commitment to their sport that makes it both rewarding and challenging to pursue.

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