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Q1: Why do countries place so much emphasis on sport?
Today, sport is an activity which is almost unlimited. in its scope and variety, as well as complexity, ranging a com from water sports to land-based games and even aerial competition. Basically, a sport can be classified as a c petition-oriented activity by which individuals maximise their physical endurance, skill and stamina to win within the constraints of the rules and regulations. Nations have always prided themselves on the quality of their national athletes as well as on their sporting development. The reasons for this are multi-faceted and varied, ranging from political, economic to social reasons.
Within the scope of political advantage, by examining influence exerted by major international sporting extravaganzas such as the Olympics and the World Cup on the many different nations, we can conclude that these events bring countries together for a common goal in which they form a basic platform on which diplomatic ties can be formed between the host nation and the participating nations as well.
Another politically-inclined reason why countries actively participate in international sporting events is that they help in improving global unity as well as international harmony. This is achieved through interaction be tween athletes, officials and even fans who may be of different races, nationalities and religions. Sport will help in promoting unity among nationalities or even erase the wounds of broken diplomatic ties due to misunderstanding or war in the past. This may even, perhaps, help to prevent the outbreak of war or aggression using military power.
Furthermore, fame and popularity will inevitably be heaped upon the champion nation, hence improving the status and image of that country in the eyes of other nations. This new standing may, perhaps, be an added ad vantage to trade or political agreements among countries.
Economic factors also play an important role in enhancing the importance of sport to countries. Firstly, by examining the “sporting industry” as it may be called, we are aware of the large amount of revenue earned by the government as well as businesses generated by this “sports industry”. For example, the advertising industry benefits from companies which sponsor athletes, thereby creating a demand for advertisements based on the sport or athletes’ popularity. Other industries which cash in on sports include sporting accessory manufacturers as well as the construction industry, which is involved in the construction of stadiums and facilities such as pools, courts and gymnasiums. Usually, the construction of large sports in complexes and stadiums involves sound systems, acoustics, electrical wiring and lighting, all of which require professional services and serve as a market for local industries to provide such requirements.
Job opportunities may also be increased: from the professional sportsmen and sportswomen to coaches, trainers, stadium attendants, promoters, referees, umpires and other sport-related professions and may even involve fields such as medicine, health services or even research and development of sporting gear.
Another aspect of economic advantage which sport brings to countries is seen in special cases where a country has the opportunity to host a major sporting event. Large amounts of revenue may be derived from the tourists and fans who come into the country to view the event and also through promotions, advertisements, the sale of souvenirs and tickets. Restaurants and hotels also benefit from the influx of foreigners.
By changing our perspective from the economic scene to focus on the social scene, we find that in built-up areas of high population density, it is an important town planning factor to provide sporting arenas and facilities to entertain the local population, especially in housing estates. Furthermore, the development of sporting activities among local young people is important to steer them towards good physical development as well as building qualities such as discipline endurance, patience and de termination, which are prime requisites for success in sports. This helps in turning the younger generation into all-rounded individuals, as well as establishing a healthy and dedicated labour force, which is good for the country’s development and productivity.
In addition, sport serves as a form of family activity which helps in interpersonal ties between family members, hence avoiding domestic problems which may lead to the breakdown of the family structure due to lack of interaction. Also, the younger members of the family will be able to fill up their free time beneficially through sports rather than mixing with bad company and being involved in taking drugs, smoking or engaging in criminal activity such as shoplifting, theft, vandalism and assault. Hence, sports can help a country’s government in its effort to fight the rise in juvenile delinquency as well as in establishing healthy, close knit communities.
Finally, sport is important to a country as it builds national spirit when the population is engaged in sup porting the national team, hence enhancing togetherness when community members are in harmony to cheer for a common dream. This harmonious effect is transmitted to the people of all nations by satellite during international events, hence uniting the hearts of all viewers in a symbolic sense.
In conclusion, sport is indeed vital and should be effectively used by all countries, and its value correctly weighed, as it is undeniably a contributing factor to the political, economic and social development of the country, as well as creating mutual understanding among nations.