Sports – What Are They?
Sports (or athletic activities) is any types of physical activity that, through organised or casual engagement, attempt to employ, enhance or develop certain physical faculties and abilities while also providing entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators, who participate. Sports can be chosen from a wide variety of activities such as cycling, golf, swimming, hiking, fishing, tennis, racquetball, badminton, soccer, volleyball, hockey and basketball, as well as many other games including rugby, motor racing and the running and cycling events in many countries. In the US alone, there are estimated to be around 260 different sports which are popular with Americans, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.
During the first half of the twentieth century, sports had gained widespread popularity in Europe as well. Theodor von Nassau, the leader of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, introduced what came to be known as the classical style of music, which was characterized by its clear, yet flowing quality and, hence, became the benchmark against which many other styles were measured. This style was further developed into what we know today as the “Symphony”, and much later in the early part of the twentieth century, when the first modern sports teams were formed, these teams became a symbol of idealism and achievement for the whole nation.
The twentieth century has seen both the introduction of organized sports and, particularly in Britain, the growth of amateurism, and the gradual replacement of professional sports with a number of smaller, less formalized, high spirited competitions. These competitions are now known as football, cricket, rugby, athletics, hockey, polo and lacrosse, and have become an ever increasing attraction for those throughout the UK who, for a variety of reasons, find the rigours and demands associated with traditional sports difficult or unsuitable. There are now many National Football Teams competing internationally, and some of these teams play regular season matches on a regular basis.