Sports are a wide variety of activities where participants engage in physical activity. This physical activity helps individuals to improve their physical fitness and mental wellbeing, as well as creates social bonds. In addition, sports can offer competitive competition at all levels. Therefore, a clear definition of sports is essential for a proper understanding of the subject.
The origin of sports can be traced back to the ancient times. In the ancient world, people engaged in sport in order to express their tribal beliefs. However, after the arrival of Europeans, some indigenous customs were lost. In addition, the conversion of many African people to Islam has tended to diminish the religious function of African sports. Nevertheless, there are still many elements of pre-Christian magical cults present in traditional African sports. For example, Zulu football players depend on their coaches, trainers, and inyanga (traditional Zulu word meaning “healer”).
In the 20th century, sports coverage became increasingly important. Sports articles began appearing in newspapers and magazines across the world. Even the august New York Times began publishing hefty sports sections. As the demand for sports news grew, daily sports newspapers appeared in many countries. In France, for instance, the newspaper L’Equipe was founded in the early twentieth century.
The evolution of sports in modern times can be considered part of a larger globalization process that is characterized by the rise of global economies, transnational cosmopolitan culture, and a broad range of international social movements. With the advancement of modern technologies, people, money, and images can now move much more rapidly across boundaries. This also impacted the development of modern sports.