History Of Sports

History of sports can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. During those days admiration for the healthy human body is shown in their sculpture and makes almost a religion of competitive athletics. It was their custom on solemn occasions, including even funerals, to engage in races. This passion leads to the world's first athletic fixture - the games at Olympia, established according to tradition in the year 776 BC and held every four years. At the beginning this was a one-day athletic meeting with a single competitive event. The entire day is taken up with heats for a running race - a sprint the length of the stadium, the equivalent of about 200 meters. In later years more events are added.

In the sports history, the important events that are included in the Olympic Games are discus throw, javelin throw, long jump, boxing, wrestling, chariots, horse racing and a challenge to test all-round ability - the pentathlon. The pentathlon actually starts with contest in four criteria - running, jumping, throwing the discus and the javelin. The winners from these encounters have to meet in a fifth and exclusive contest, wrestling. However, the winner receives a simple token of their victory, a garland of fresh olive to wear on the head. This is essentially a religious festival, in honor of the greatest of the Greek gods, Zeus whose sanctuary is at Olympia.

Looking back to the origin of sports during the Victorian period, sports developed in the context of industrial capitalism and class equality. In this period sport became linked to a moral code defined by the middle classes. Nationwide sport developed through the influence of technology, the public schools and the national governing bodies. Amateur and professional sport became increasingly separated. However, during those years, working class sport in school was limited largely to drill and therapeutic gymnastics.

In the history of sports during the World Wars, there was steady growth in the participation of sports continued for all classes of society, although working class were least involved. Most sports during those years were class orientated. Football (in all its versions) continued to increase in popularity and by the 1930s, was the most popular sporting activity. There was also little government involvement in sport, apart from physical education in schools. Commercialization of sport expanded rapidly, especially the provision for spectator sport.

Sports history can also be dated back to the 19th century; as an improved standard of living in this century has enabled greater participation in sport for most social groups. However, professional sports people had a long battle to be given fair rewards. An advisory Sports Council was established in 1965 and the independent executive Sports Council in 1972. Moreover, physical education was established in the 1944 Act for its educational value. There has been an increasing influence of market forces on schools, physical education, sports facilities and sport. Today, sport, as a part of a national culture, now extended to the majority of the population.

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