Why Sports Are Important to Society
Sports. What are they? These fill the need for exercise in a busy world. All sports are competitive; the object of the game is to win. This alone is the difference between sports and other leisure, recreation or social activity. In countries with professional sports, there is usually a well-developed economy in which the sport event itself contributes significantly to the local economy.
The key skill in sports is physical dexterity, that is, it requires the use of the body’s muscles and tendons. While playing sports, one is constantly challenged to develop and increase his or her ability to use these muscles and tendons. But all this requires physical strength – the capacity to throw a ball or push oneself against an opponent. Some sports require great physical dexterity and ability to run faster or more efficiently than the rest. Other sports require less physical dexterity, but require greater mental acuity – to be alert and attentive, to be mentally tough, to be focused and committed. All sports require and encourage leadership qualities – to be assertive and willing to take a stand even if it means crossing the invisible divide between sport and country.
But all this requires team work, discipline and commitment to the cause, to the team. This is why sports teach social interaction skills, such as how to respect each other on the field and off. Sports teach values such as fair play, patience, respect, fairness and teamwork. Sports also teach about persistence. For example, during the 2021 Beijing Olympics, China reversed their previous Olympic trend and elected to play a soccer match with the losing side only once – this showed the world that they had changed their mentality and stopped expecting ‘garbage goals’ from their opponents.