Every country in the world has a national sport – a game that most of the nation follows and plays a major role in the public and cultural life of the nation. Governments often make a significant effort to promote sports to their populations. Nations also compete fiercely to host international sporting events.
All around the world people play sport and follow sports teams. But why do countries put such an enthesis on national sports? Why is sport important for a country?
1. Sports Promote Good Values
A first reason why sport is important for a country is because it promotes good values.
All sports involve competition between individuals who follow a set of rules to win a game. All sports also involve teamwork. Games such as football, rugby and cricket are played in teams, but even in solo sports like tennis and golf players are supported by coaches and other staff. Sports are important for a country because they promote good value like fair competition and teamwork
Millions of people watch their favourite sports every day or every weekend. Many people also play sports on a regular basis. From a young age, people follow their favourite teams as they play their nations top sports. Sport is important for a country because it shows people the importance of principles such as leadership, sticking to rules, working in a team, and winning and losing graciously. These are important values for any nation to have.
A country’s national sport is a major part of its culture. The values that sporting competition represents are key in almost all aspects of society. This is why sport is so important for a country.
2. National Sports Bring People Together
A second reason why a country’s national sport is important is because it brings people together.
In almost every country in the world people come together to play sports. Some people play sports casually with friends, others join sports clubs or are part of local or national teams. Sports play an important role in society in bringing people together. They not only provide entertainment, but also give people an outlet for stress, competitiveness, and physical energy. Playing sports is a great way for a community to come together and this is why they are important for a nation.
As well as the benefits of playing sports, watching sport can also be key to a country’s society. In almost every country in the world friends get together to watch their teams compete in national and international leagues. People often travel to see their teams play. Many people also follow local teams or watch their children perform in youth leagues.
Watching sport brings people together. Like with playing sport, it not only provides entertainment but also community, cohesion, and an outlet for passion. Both playing sport and watching it provides a significant benefit to a society, and this is why it is important for a country.
3. It Helps With Education
A third reason why sport is important for a country is because it is a vital part of children’s education.
Playing games is a key part of children’s emotional and physical development. Studies show that playing sports should be a major part of how children learn in school. Playing sports not only teaches children physical education, but also teaches them values such as fairness and teamwork. Learning how to play sports, and the rules and techniques, also helps with children’s wider education. A major reason why sport is important for a country is the value it adds to children’s education.
All school systems in the world put some enthesis on sport and physical education. It teaches children the importance of being fit and healthy.
Including sports in a national curriculum is important for a country because of the value it brings to children’s education. Children in school benefit from the both the psychical exertion of participation in sports, as well as the core principles it teaches them about society.
4. It Provide Role-Models For A Society
Another reason why sport is important for a country is because it provides role-models for a society.
Sports players are hugely famous. Leading sports personalities in a nation’s top teams are renowned all over the country. Some sports stars are internationally famous and have followings all over the world.
People look up to famous sports players. Many admire their top athletic performance, as well as what they bring to the sport they play. People of a country are proud of their sports stars when they play internationally and feel that they represent their country. Many people also choose to follow the private lives of sports stars, and many are huge celebrities.
As sports stars are looked-up to and admired, they act as role models for a society. Young people especially follow sports personalities both on and off the pitch. This means sports stars can promote values such as hard work, dedication, teamwork, and fair play in which young people can aspire to.
High-level and successful sports players are some of the most respected people in a society. When they use this for good, it can be a massive benefit. This is a big reason why sport can be important for a nation.
5. National Sports Are Linked To A Country’s History
A further reason why sport is important for a country is because it is connected a nation’s history.
All countries have long histories of playing sports and games. Although today, major international sports such as football, tennis, rugby, and cricket are most of the sports played and watched around the world, traditional games are still played in many places.
The sports a society creates are directly linked to their culture. They are also linked to their environment, societal make-up, and belief systems. Sports are important to a country because of their long history and deep routed connections to a society.
In the modern age, sporting triumph still plays a key role in a country’s history. Winning, or losing, international tournaments can be pivotal points for countries. Sporting history is often commonly discussed in countries and the connection between sports games and the wider historical context is often linked to people’s understanding of their past.
The history of almost every country in the world is directly connected to the sports they play. This is a major reason why sport is important for a country.
6. Sport Can Boost A Nation’s Economy
National sports can be a major boost to a nation’s economy. This is another reason why they can be important for a country.
Sports are big business. People pay significant sums to watch their teams play, both in a stadium and on TV. Advertising at sporting events brings in significant revenue and team sponsorships also add major sums to the sporting industry. People who play sport often spend large sums on equipment. All these areas combined make sports a major economic sector in most countries.
In many countries, sport is important because of the economic function it plays. The sports industry in a lot of countries employs large numbers of people. When big national and international tournaments come to a town, huge numbers of people arrive – spending money in shops, hotels, and restaurants in that city. This can give a massive economic boost.
With huge audiences and dedicated fans, sports teams can be hugely profitable businesses. Combine this with the other related businesses in the sports industry – advertisers, manufacturers, transport companies and stadium owners, and it becomes clear sport is important to many countries because of the finances involved.
7. Sport Can Help Build Connections With Other Countries
A final reason why sport is important for a country is that it can build international connections.
Sports are played all over the world. Hugely popular sports, like football, tennis, hockey, and basketball are played in almost every country on the globe. Huge international tournaments are held where teams come together and fans watch players compete between nations. These international events bring people together, help to make genuine connections across cultures and help to break down the barriers between people.
Many people travel abroad to watch their favourite teams play. Many more watch sporting events from around the world on TV. Both of these help people to get a better understanding of different parts of the world – often places they would never see otherwise.
Sport can also be a major driver to peace between countries. There have been several occasions throughout history where nations at odds with each other have put their differences aside over sport. The non-pollical nature of sport, combined with the fact almost everyone in the world follows a sporting team, can help to reduce hatred, and begin to build a connection between even some of the most acrimonious nations.
Want To Learn More?
If you want to know about the history of sports, and why they are important for a country, we recommend the book Games People Played: A Global History of Sports by Wray Vamplew. We think it’s the best overview of how games and sports came about and why they became important to almost every culture in the world. We’ve linked to the paperback on Amazon.com.
For those specifically interested in why sports are important to the United States, pick-up a copy of Sports in American Life by Richard O. Davies. It’s a fantastic book that links the development of sports in the US with the country’s history. We’ve also linked to it on Amazon.com.
Finally, if you want an international perspective on why sports are important for a country, we recommend the book The Games: A Global History of the Olympics by David Goldblatt. It looks at the founding of the modern Olympic Games and how they have played a pivotal role national and international affairs. The link to the book on Amazon.com.