Tokyo 2020 is approaching and, with still 3 years to go, many people are getting excited about the event. Sport has provided us with thousands of years of exercise and enjoyment. It’s given us joy, sweat, tears and has brought us the world’s largest communal event in existence. Not only has it provided the world with so much joy and (often) friendly rivalry, but it has had a real positive impact on the lives of many.
One of the largest impacts sport has had is that it’s provided an opportunity of unity. Millions of people come together, from all over their country; nay, the world, to support and celebrate their team. It radiates a real sense of national pride that can really unify communities. This experience can also lift people from difficult times and give them an overwhelming sense of elation and a whole new positive outlook on their life.
The Christmas truce of 1914 is a wonderful story that happened due to the overwhelming power that sport holds. This was such a beautiful moment of peace between two countries in the midst of a violent war. On Christmas Day, in No Man’s Land, enemy soldiers emerged from their trenches and spent Christmas together, exchanging gifts, taking photographs and playing games of football together, in peaceful harmony.
Sport also provides healthy role models for children and adults alike. Not only is it good for children and adults to look up to athletes, as it will encourage them to stay active and lead a healthy lifestyle but it also gives athletes the chance to promote good social changes. Former heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis made a public announcement stating that “Real men don’t hit women”. This provided a real understanding to young people about how you must behave socially and emotionally. This would have had a real impact on domestic abuse at the time and could even influence generations to come.
In 2012, it was reported that more than one-third of adolescents or children were overweight or obese. Sport provides a fun, competitive way for young adults or children to be active and stay healthy. Children’s role models being athletes means that they are more likely to get out there and play sports themselves and therefore stay fit and healthy. Sport is also an easy way to introduce exercise into children or young people’s daily lifestyle. Children have a lot of energy and always want to play – what’s better than playing a game of football or basketball with them? Netball, Rounders and swimming are all great sporting activities that are very popular with children that also provide a lot of variety, so they have lots to choose from. Sport can also be a great window into getting disadvantaged urban youths back into a healthy community as teaching them team games can help them build meaningful, strong relationships with other people.
“The great thing coming from sports is you understand the concept of a team. It leaves no room for being selfish, and that’s something I picked up from home” – Michael Stahan.
Playing sport can have other personal benefits that can really aid a person’s wellbeing. It boosts self-esteem and can really make a person much more confident within themselves. Another wonderfully positive thing about sports is how much joy it can bring a person. This doesn’t just apply to the player but to everyone involved: the coaches, the organisers, the family of the players, the fans and anybody else.
Sport has provided the world with so much happiness and is bound to do so for centuries to come. It means so much to so many people and has been a brilliant reason for people to come together, whether that be to watch an Olympic game in a massive arena or to just meet up with your mates in the local pub and have a good shout at the television.