SPORT. The word is derived from the Latin word “skill” (the meaning of which is “craft”) and it refers to any type of physical activity involving the use of any apparatus, equipment or motion other than the application of the arms and hands. Sports are typically competitive games and physical exercises. These fulfill the need for physical exercise, play and competition.
All physical activities are potentially athletic activities. This is why all sports are potentially athletic. It is also why all people, children, athletes and adults, can engage in sports. The key difference between sports and other recreational, leisure or social opportunities is that sports require the use of the entire body.
Sports improve physical health and motor skills. Those who engage in sports are less likely to develop osteoporosis, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity. In sports, athletes improve physical fitness, speed, power, endurance, agility, balance, strength and coordination. The development of sport specific skills enhances physical performance and sports ability.
Types of sports Physical activities may be divided into two main categories: contact sports and non-contact sports. Among contact sports, football and baseball are the most popular. Association sports, such as swimming, basketball and softball, are less popular. Based on their equipment and rules, most outdoor activities fall into one of these two categories. Outdoor recreational sports can be classified based on the equipment used, the competition format, the location and the competitions themselves. Some of the more popular sports activities include skiing, sailing, surfing, bocce ball, golf, tennis, bowling, swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, racing, track and field, softball, soccer, horseback riding, cricket, hockey, Australian football, rugby, soccer and American football.
Growth and Development Studies have shown that sports have significant effects on physical growth and development of children. During the months of November to February, children take part in many outdoor and indoor activities. During this time, they are exposed to a variety of sports activities, including running, walking, cycling, climbing, swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, football and softball. During this time, their muscle strength and cardiovascular capacity are tested. Parents and teachers are advised to observe for any changes and to report any deterioration in performance. Parents should also monitor their children’s eating and drinking habits, especially during this period.
Playing sports helps children cultivate physical, mental and social skills that will prepare them for life. Sports help children grow into well-balanced, socially mature young adults. Parents should monitor their children’s sports activities and report any changes, even if they think the child is playing safely. Allowing a child to pursue sports can be a beneficial and exciting experience, but parents must be aware that there are dangers involved and that a child’s physical safety should always come first.