What is sport? The word’sport’ comes from the old French word ‘desporter’, meaning to divert, amuse, or play. According to the dictionary, the word sports was used since the 1400s. Early man played sporting games such as fishing and hunting, and while it was necessary to get food, it was also taken up by the rich for recreational purposes. But, as time progressed, the term came to mean more than playing.
The concept of sport is rooted in the principles of sportsmanship, which express the pleasure one derives from participating in an activity. Famous figures such as Grantland Rice and Pierre de Coubertin have remarked that sport is not about winning; rather, it is about playing for the sake of the activity. Moreover, key principles of sport include equal opportunities for both players and spectators. Rules are set for fair play, but the participants are free to break the rules for personal or social advantage.
The evolution of sports began in the late seventeenth century in England. The concept of a sports record first appeared during the Restoration era. Puritanical reformers had driven traditional pastimes underground, but in the 1700s, the development of organized games began. The Marylebone Cricket Club (founded in 1787) was a major contributor to the development of organized sports. The Marylebone Cricket Club helped develop the sport of cricket.