Sports are physical contests pursued for the goals and challenges they entail.
The term “sport” is derived from the Greek word dran, meaning “to act, do, perform.” These games and contests can be used to promote or challenge hegemonic social relations.
Throughout history, people have sought to create, maintain, and challenge their national identities through sports. Often these are rooted in ethnicity, race, religion, class, and gender.
By the beginning of the 19th century, many established and non-established societies had incorporated sports into their national identity politics. Nationalism became a means to build hegemony in the face of external threats and to construct social order.
Sports have also been important to promoting socialization in the form of teamwork, leadership skills, and other highly prized traits. This may be a good thing for some, but it has also been shown to promote behaviors that lead to negative outcomes such as cheating and bullying.
In addition, sports can provide a variety of health benefits. Depending on the sport, these can include reduced risk of heart attacks and many types of cancers.
Athletes, coaches, and sport administrators engage in ongoing education about the sport they are involved with. This allows them to constantly improve their skills and their relationships with their peers.