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Sports Development - Essay Example

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Summary
Sport can help to establish community values, create harmony and contribute to local economies. It helps to promote understanding, break down barriers and celebrate diversity. It can contribute to social justice, and even play a part in combating anti-social behaviour…
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Sports Development

Download file to see previous pages... Botswana seeks not only to increase the impact of its presence in such global events as the Olympics, but also to encourage "active living behaviours" among its populace (US Sports Academy, 2005). In Japan, sport is strongly perceived by the members of all age groups as something health-promoting, character-building, and heavily contributive to the economy. As a matter of fact, in that nation sport is considered to be an indispensable part of daily life (Japan Access, 1997).
There are those who say that the relatively recent debates around the concepts of "development of sport" and "development through sport" is at least 25 years too late, as the total concept of sports development has always had the two strands running through it. There is no denying that there is some truth in what they say. Returning to the Far East, let's consider that "before the introduction of Western sports, Japan had made progress in traditional sports called budo, which were born in the twelfth century and flourished mainly among the warrior classIn the Edo period (1600-1868), these sports, which put stress on their mental aspects, were established as martial arts...The traditional budo have been handed down from generation to generation and are still flourishing" (Japan Access, 1997). Moreover, "the tradition of regarding sports figures as heroes goes back to ancient Greece. The Greek term for hero literally meant someone who was semi-divine and born from one mortal and one divine parent, and eventually Greek society went on to view sporting champions as 'born of the Gods'... Heroes emerged from war and gained their title of hero by sacrificing themselves or risking their lives to save others. But sports allow heroes to emerge in times of peace" (Warner, 2004).

Fast-forwarding to the timelines of the last 25 years, there is an untold amount of sport development going on. The 1980s especially, and most predominantly but not exclusively in The United States, saw the beginnings of an explosive growth in personal sport development. Individual awareness of the benefits of sport and athletic participation grew exponentially throughout the population of Western culture. Significantly, groups that had previously been apathetic or marginalized with regard to sports exploded onto the development scene. The United States Olympic hockey team employed a rigorous, Eastern-European-inspired training program and a relentless commitment to pride of performance to "miraculously" defeat the "invincible" Soviet Union Olympic ice men in 1980 at Lake Placid. The Women's Sports Foundation of the US tells us that "women's athletic participation rates mushroomed during the 1980s and 1990s, and sports are now central to many girls' and women's lifestyles" (2005). With the newfound interest in personal sport development and health came industry growth. From the late 1980s to now in the US, "personal fitness training continues to be the strongest growth segment of the fitness industry, and this trend is expected to continue as personal trainers offer a variety of services that go beyond a general exercise program" (IDEA, 2005). Scientific studies of the effects and benefits of participation in sports became more frequent and more intense. In the 1980s, a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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