Sport has become an integral part of human life. The word ‘Sport’ had originated between 1910 and 1915. Sport connotes a physical activity governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Over the years, Sport has undergone an amazing metamorphosis. The sport was initially developed for the recreation of human beings. It has grown monstrously in the modern days and become high-tech. Sport, athletic games, or skill tests have been undertaken primarily for the diversion or recreation of the participants or spectators. Sport has great and varied manifestations. It has been restricted to any play, pastime, exercise, game, or contest performed under the given rules.
It has been played either indoor or outdoor, on an individual or team basis, with or without competition, but requiring skill and some form of physical exertion. Some sports, such as hunting, fishing, running, and swimming, have evolved out of human life’s primitive ways and lifestyle. Some sports, such as riding, shooting, throwing the javelin, or archery, have derived from early military practices and background. Sports like boxing, wrestling, and jumping, had arisen from the spontaneous human outbursts and challenges and occasional hostilities that had accompanied human interaction.
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The development of sport in the ancient, middle ages and the modern days has been phenomenal. In the ancient days, the Greeks and Roman had evinced a keen interest in developing sport. It was the Greeks who organized the Olympics, and interestingly, people from all over the world participated and witnessed it. Thus modern Olympics had originated in Athens city of Greece. The feudal system of the middle ages had hampered the growth of the sport revived only in the days of a renaissance. In the modern days, especially in the 20th century, the sport has witnessed an organized growth and development of games. Baseball in the US, cricket in England, hockey in countries like India and Pakistan are some of the games that developed rapidly in the 20 th century. Olympic Games, Pan-American Games, Commonwealth Games, and Afro-Asian Games have been organized and held at periodic intervals, making the sport an international event in the 20 th century.
In the 21 century, the sport has turned ultra-modern and developed with high tech facilities. The games like cricket, football, and hockey have increasingly become global. The umpiring controversies have further complicated frequent changes in the rules of the games due to human errors. The building of ultramodern stadia, provision of adequate infrastructure facilities, etc., had further increased their problems manifold and put them under a heavy financial stake. On the other hand, technology has facilitated live telecasting and viewing of the matches and games so easily, thereby easing the common mans’ burden to some extent. The Olympic events have been held under the auspices of the International Olympic Association. Almost all world countries have become members of the International Olympic Association and participate in Olympics, which is periodically held once in four years. Similarly, cricket has a governing body called the International Cricket Council to hold the premiere events like the world cup and the champions trophy, etc., with the object of spreading cricket throughout the world. Hockey has an International governing council known as International Hockey Federation, enrolling all hockey-playing members in the world. Similarly, the soccer world cup has been held under an international organization’s auspices once in four years. The soccer-playing member countries have to go through rigorous qualifying rounds before participating in the soccer world cup. Modern sport has also witnessed the evolution of multimillionaires like Sachin Tendulkar in cricket, Ronaldo in soccer, William sisters in Tennis, who have risen to prominence by dint of their hard work, skill, and passion for their respective games.
Modern Sport has also witnessed the growth and development of sport and its allied industries. Media industries like Sports journalism, Sports education, and online games have evolved and developed out of sports. Each country has a separate Sports ministry. For example, India has a separate Sports Authority of India with sufficient funds to function separately and independently. Sports goods and apparel like tennis balls, rocket, etc., in tennis, bat, ball, flannels, Sports wears, etc. in cricket, hockey sticks, balls, synthetic astroturf, etc. in hockey have been the money-spinning projects globally. Sponsorship has been a modern feature in popular games like cricket, soccer, tennis, etc., involving millions of dollars. Similarly, popular cricket, soccer, tennis, etc., are engaged by multinational companies to advertise their products, spending millions of dollars. Last but not least, Sport has been not only meant for recreation but also has the object of keeping the individual concerned in good health and stamina. We are all aware that a healthy person is a wealthy person, and Sport has been the secret of one’s health and wealth.