What's up: Historic and Modern Day Sport
A lot has changed in the world of sport since its introduction to society. However, certain individuals would argue that the principals and values of sport have stayed the same. In today’s modern day society it is fair to say sport is a world-wide past time enjoyed by many and the influence of sport can shape countries and cultures both economically and socially. Sport has the power to grip society and harness a worldwide audience. The Olympic Games and Football World Cup are watched by millions worldwide and more recently ‘El Classico’, Barcelona vs Real Madrid, was viewed by just under 100,000 individuals in the stadium alone, not to mention all those who watched the match from the comfort of their own home or in a social space with friends.
In this edition of “What’s Up” we will look over a range of different aspects of sport and see if there has been change or continuity throughout the world of sport as we know it.
Competitions have drastically changed in terms of size and the level of participants since they were fist officially introduced. However, the concept has roughly stayed the same- an individual, or group of individuals, competing against each other in order to win. If we take the EUSA Games as an example, Cordoba hosted the first ever EUSA Games in 2012. The Championship was a land mark event for EUSA and kick started the legacy that we now enjoy as students, officials and organisers every two years. From the first games in Cordoba to last summer’s Games in Rotterdam we have seen an increase in participants and we can see that the level of competition within University sport is always getting better. The main change within any modern competition in sport, for a lot of individuals, is the sheer scale of the event. It is great to see so many countries host massive events like the Olympics and the National European Games but are we in danger of making future large scale sporting events too complicated or indeed financially impossible? Maybe, but one thing is for sure - they are a great event to be part of!
For me personally, sport is a great way to interact and make friends. This is something which I feel has not changed and will be ever present in the world of sport. It doesn’t matter if you participate in sport for recreational or competitive needs, socialising will always take place and be present when you share a common interest such as sport. Even in an individual sporting event you will be able to travel and meet new competitors which you will not have had the opportunity to do so previously. Some individuals would argue that sport is becoming far to commercialised, however regardless if you are playing at grass roots level or you are a professional you will always make friends whilst being involved in sport.
The advance in aviation and low cost airlines have offered many athletes the opportunity to compete all over the world more regularly. Competitions are now organised all throughout the world and are regularly attended by international competitors. The EUSA Games are a great example of this. The next Games in Croatia are going to be held in 2016 and shared across two different cities, Zagreb and Rijeka. This would have not been possible even 15 years ago but now with the development of technology it can bring countries, in theory, closer together and can provide a wider and higher level of competition.
Commercialisation of Sport
The origins of many local sports teams have stemmed from local businesses .For many, sports teams would be supported and sponsored by local businesses and the teams would use the businesses, to socialise and to welcome other teams back after a match. There has always been an element of commercialisation within sport but now sponsorship is key to the survival of many clubs, teams and sports.. However, the introduction of sponsorship could be argued is enhancing sport for the better allowing organising committees to undertake challenges which were previously not possible.
Aspect of Fun
Despite sport evolving the aspect of fun and enjoyment is ever present. It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete taking part, an organiser, an official or a spectator you are involved because sport is griping and because you enjoy it! What we have as part of the EUSA family is great and enhances the student experience. As a team and family it is important to support our students whilst giving them the best possible experience!
Sport is an integral part of society: LIVE IT, LEARN IT, LOVE IT!
The author Christopher Purdie is a graduate from the University of Stirling and served as the Vice-Chair of the EUSA Student Commission.
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