Arguments Against Sport
“Sport” is frequently used as a blanket term to describe any form of physical activity that has been structured for competitive advantage. It often encompasses any activity that a sport could be construed to be, but does not necessarily have to include; horse racing, cricket, rugby, ice hockey, baseball, football & soccer. The dictionary definition is: “the sporting or other athletic activities of an individual”.
“Sport” means any form of physical activity, whether organised or casual, aiming at achieving or enhancing physical prowess, forming social relations, or gaining results at every level from amateur to professional. Organisations such as the National Trust for Sport in Britain, the UK Sports Council, the Olympic committee and the Football Association also see sport as an important cultural and recreational activity. These bodies work to promote, develop and recognise different types of sport, their importance to society and the physical and psychological health of sport enthusiasts. They also offer valuable information on how to support sport, including training, competitions and prizes.
The scope and role of sport in society have become increasingly clear in recent years, with a growing number of people recognising its benefits and importance. In sport, as in many things, there are good and bad, and it is usually the latter that gets all the attention. “Good” sport involves fair play and the application of rules; “bad” sport can be damaging to health and/or does not adhere to established rules. Examples of bad sport can be poaching, excessive speeding, rugby players who dive stamping on opponents, boxing, bicycle racing and tennis rackets crushing another player’s head. Sport can be divided further into two main categories, non-physical and physical. Non-physical sport can be as broad as the realm of team sport, such as sailing, to that of individual sports such as golf, tennis or football.
Non-physical sport can have significant positive effects on people’s physical fitness, health and happiness. Many people enjoy participating in professional sports because they improve their health and wellbeing. The nature of non-professional sport, however, is often overlooked by society at large. This section needs to understand that participation in these sports can bring both mental and physical benefits, and should not necessarily be ignored by society.
Sport, by its very nature, creates social interaction, increasing camaraderie being what it is primarily about. It is interesting to note that the same goes for non-sport, in that there is typically an element of social interaction associated with most physical activity. Sport can foster a sense of community, a sense of social status and respectability, which is not often the case with other activities. Sport can have the opposite effect, on the other hand, and cause individuals to be less cohesive and integrated in their communities and in their lives.
These are some of the main arguments against sport. I am often asked whether I think that darts should be banned altogether, or whether sports such as cricket should be regulated by a governing body. My views are that there should be enough regulation and restriction of the sporting activities in our local communities to protect the interests of those that enjoy them, without making sport itself inaccessible and unpleasant to the general public.