Sport and Health

Sport (or physical activity) is any forms of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual competitive involvement, attempt to employ, develop or increase physical aptitude and skills while also providing entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators. It may be played by humans and animals alike, and may be part of a team setting or organized competition. The term can also be used to refer to a set of sporting activities and practices, such as ice hockey, swimming, basketball, rugby, golf, horseback riding and snooker, among others. The word “sport” can also be used in a non-nautical sense, to describe an action or sport associated with water.


In its broadest sense, the term sport can cover any physical activity that a participant is engaged in order to achieve some form of reward or end. For example, track and field may be considered a sport when athletes compete to be the fastest or strongest swimmer, whereas fencing is not. Professional sport refers to a type of competitive bodily activity in which a participant obtains monetary, athletic or other rewards for engaging in that sport. Many governing bodies define professional sport as a competition in which the outcome is subject to pre-determined standards of skill, tactics, athleticism, strategy, persistence and resilience. Other types of professional sports include auto racing, rugby, ice skating, tennis, swimming, golf, hockey, boxing, gymnastics, bicycling, sailing and football.

The primary governing body for many sports, based in the United Kingdom, is the British Olympic Association. It organizes sporting events through its Sportscotland department. The UK body maintains that participation in sporting events is an individual right, and it enforces this right by applying rules and disciplines to athletes in sport categories, irrespective of race, age, gender, or religion. In addition, all competitors are required to wear accredited uniforms that protect them from harmful injuries; provide protection for personal safety; and ensure fair play.

The principal goal of UK sport policy is to ensure fair play and protection of the interests of competitors, sport officials, sponsors, and spectators. It also seeks to promote physical fitness, encourage participation and promote health. The policy defines sports as physical activities that require skill, athleticism, alertness, social responsiveness, and mental acuity. Therefore, all physical fitness levels and abilities should be accommodated within the sporting event. Injuries should be appropriately treated to ensure the fair play and safety of all involved.

The term sport can be applied to any one of the physical activities followed by mankind since its origin: walking, running, hunting, fishing, wrestling, cycling, skating, etc. These games have been developed to test man’s physical resources to the limit and improve his capabilities for doing the same task. In general, sport activities should be performed with a view to attaining particular goals. These goals may include gaining height, improving strength or improving stamina.

Each country has its own statutory sport law that prescribes the rules and regulation for various sports activities. Within each sport area, there are governing bodies to monitor and referee the sport to ensure fair play and safety. The United Kingdom is a country with many professional and amateur sporting organisations; as well as, national and international governing bodies for many other less known but popular sports.

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