The History of Sports

Sport is a form of physical exercise that is enjoyed by the participants. People who play sports are able to boost their self-esteem. Many people call the activity they enjoy a sport, even if they do not participate. The word “sport” itself is subjective, which is why it should be treated with respect. Some sports are not “sports,” but rather activities that have a competitive component. The Council of Europe defines sports as “physical exercises, games, or competitions that promote healthy lifestyles.”


In colonial Virginia and Maryland, sports attracted a great deal of attention. In England, hunting was restricted to landowners, but in America, game was abundant and everyone could participate. The rich and famous ranked among the most prosperous people in the world, and many professional athletes earned hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising deals and endorsements. During the early 1700s, sports in the new colonies continued to grow in popularity, as sports grew in importance to the communities.

In colonial America, sports occupied a high place in society. Hunting was a privilege for landowners in England, but in the colonies, game was plentiful and everyone was welcome to hunt. No matter their social status, everyone could participate in a sport and win. In 1691, Sir Francis Nicholson organized competitions for a “better sort” of Virginians. These competitions included owners, trainers, spectators, and participants of all social levels.