In the broadest sense, sports are competitive physical activities. These events are enjoyed by people of all cultures and can be divided into many subtypes. Each culture has its own definition of sport. Despite this diversity, the most useful definitions are based on the difference between play and sport. In simple terms, play is purposeless activity, while sports are voluntary contests.
The history of sports goes back thousands of years. Some evidence suggests that sport was played in ancient China as early as 2000 BC. Various archaeological finds show that gymnastics was a common form of sport during this time. Ancient Egypt also developed sports such as wrestling and javelin throwing. In ancient Persia, sports such as Zoorkhaneh martial arts and jousting were popular. Since then, many motorised sports have been developed.
Globalization has also affected sports participation. While many people continue to participate in sports throughout their lives, there are those who quit later in life. For some, sports become their primary identity. For others, it’s a means to achieve a certain goal. Yet others lose interest in sports later in life, either due to motivation or age.
In the late nineteenth century, sports became an important part of national identity construction. Many outsider and established groups used sports to represent their nation. These games were viewed as a way to assert their national identity and strengthen social relations.