Sports as a Tool of Integration

Topics: Sport, National sport, Olympic Games Pages: 5 (1710 words) Published: November 25, 2011
What is sport?
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The meaning of “sport” is , activity that you do for pleasure and that needs physical effort or skill, usually done in a special area and according to fixed rules. Through Wikipedia, sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree of skill, especially at higher levels. Hundreds of sports exist, including those for a single participant, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. Some non-physical activities, such as board games and card games are sometimes referred to as sports, but a sport is generally recognised as being based in physical athleticism. What is integration?

According the same Dictionary , the meaning of “integration” is, the act or process of combining two or more things so that they work together (=of integrating them) . Internet shows “Integration” (from the Latin integer, meaning whole or entire) generally means combining parts so that they work together or form a whole. * It is an act or instance of combining into an integral whole. * It is an act or instance of integrating a racial, religious, or ethnic group. * It is an act or instance of integrating an organization, place of business, school, etc.

More than just being about discipline and confidence, games bring the people together regardless of their background. SPORTS are all forms of physical activities that contribute to fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. They include play, recreation, organised casual or competitive sports as well as indigenous sports and games. By their very nature, sports essentially denote participation. They are about inclusion and citizenship. Sports activities bring individuals and communities together, highlighting commonalities and bridging cultural or ethnic divides. The easy and inherent ability of sports to bring people together make them a powerful communication tool. Sports provide a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership and core principles such as acceptance, cooperation and respect. Sports expound the value of effort and how to manage victory as well as defeat. The fundamental elements of sports make them a viable and practical tool to support the achievement of nation development. Taking part in activities will also help reduce the likelihood of many diseases arising from a sedentary and inactive lifestyle. Sports programmes are effective tools for social mobilisation, supporting health activities and they can provide employment and contribute to local development. They encourage volunteerism and can be utilised to spearhead non-governmental changes and transformation initiatives. Sports can cut across barriers that divide societies, making them a powerful tool to support conflict prevention and peace-building efforts. When applied effectively, sports programmes promote social integration and foster tolerance, help reduce tension and generate dialogue. The concept of “Sports for All” is central to the understanding of sports. This concept aims to maximise access to and participation in appropriate forms of physical activities. Emphasis is placed on participation and accessibility for all groups in society regardless of gender, age, ability or race. Many of the core values inherent in sports are compatible with the principles necessary for development and peace, such as fair play, cooperation, sharing and respect. The life skills learned through sports help empower individuals and enhance psycho-social well-being such as increased resilience,...
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