History of Sports
The term sport refers to various kinds of physical activities that are played by humans for leisure, and is a general description of any activity that is a form of recreation. Although it is difficult to pinpoint when this type of activity first began, it is clear that children have always included it in their play. Prehistoric paintings depict hunters pursuing their prey with joy and abandon. Rich iconographic and literary evidence from ancient civilizations shows that hunting became an end in itself, with the goal of achieving a superior catch.
While sport developed in Europe, it was not widely practiced until the Middle Ages. In colonial Virginia, Maryland, and other colonies, sports were incredibly popular and consumed much of the public’s attention. In England, hunting was a privilege of the landowners, but in America, game was abundant and everyone could participate, including slaves and servants. The activity was not only popular but also beneficial for one’s physical health. As a result, the British government encouraged sport by organizing competitions for better Virginians. The races were held between two teams or races, and the winners were decided by objective or subjective measures.
In the early days of colonial America, sports attracted great attention. Hunting in England was reserved for landowners, but because game was plentiful and abundant in the new world, everyone from slaves to servants could participate in hunting. The sport was socially neutral and was highly competitive. In 1691, Sir Francis Nicholson organized a race between the best Virginians. In the race, many people were competing at the same time.