Sports are a central element of many cultures. They offer influential representations of communities and individuals, and can help shape identity. Sport has been used to strengthen cosmopolitanism and introduce people to other cultures. But sports also have unintended consequences.
Modern sports have been marketed as signs of distinction and power. The more powerful nations are perceived as offering stiffer competition. They have better training facilities and financial rewards.
Sports involve physical exertion, which helps people cope with highs and lows. These experiences contribute to developing children’s resilience. Defeats teach them to deal with disappointment. Some athletes remain in the sport for their whole life. However, some people do not become athletes. This is because of age or motivation.
Sporting activities have evolved over time, with the advent of modern technology. It has allowed images to travel faster and money to be transmitted more easily.
Sports have been used to recruit athletic talent from African nations. In the 20th century, Western imperialism reached its apogee. During that period, Western nations recruited athletes from South America and Africa.
Sports can also be a source of national identity formation. For example, cricket in South Asia reflects the imperial past. Cricket has also taken on unique Indian attributes. On the other hand, rugby union is closely tied with religion and community.
Sports also contribute to liberal nationalist political struggles. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, an international order remains. Even today, the headquarters of nearly all international sports federations are in the West.