Among many other benefits, sports provide opportunities for people to develop a range of skills and improve their physical fitness. They also contribute to the formation of national identities. Sports also allow spectators to enjoy the game and participate in teamwork.
In the late 19th century, sports became increasingly popular. The first modern sports were developed in England. During this time, sports were primarily physical contests for adults. However, children were also encouraged to participate in sports from a young age.
In the twentieth century, sports underwent spatial and social diffusion. Sports organizations were formed to promote and govern the game. Many sports were introduced into international competition. The first World Cup was held in 1930.
The 20th century also saw the rise of sports as symbols of prestige and power. Modern sports have also been marketed as sources of enjoyment and pleasure.
In the post-World War II period, the United States began to dominate the sports world. They also recruited athletes from Africa and the former Soviet bloc. These nations were often outcompeted by more powerful nations that offered better training facilities and greater financial rewards.
In the last half of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union suppressed reformist efforts in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. They also used sports festivals to solidify their identities.
In the post-colonial present, cricket in South Asia has taken on a uniquely Indian character. The sport has also developed a close link to religion and community.