Sports are physical contests that humans engage in for the goals and challenges they entail. They can be played by individuals or teams. The definition of sport varies widely, but most cultures consider that it is a voluntary and uncoerced activity.
Sport is an integral part of modern life and represents a unique form of human activity. It offers a multitude of opportunities for the development of a wide range of skills, including discipline, self-possession, leadership, courage, grace, fearlessness, and camaraderie.
It also provides conditions that reinforce a variety of personal qualities: grit, perseverance, resolve, and tenacity. These are qualities that are vital for success in any field of work, whether in business or in the world of leisure and recreation.
Across the globe, people participate in sports and compete for recognition, honor, and glory. National sports, in particular, contribute to the construction of national identities.
These are often invested with tremendous political and emotional significance. They can serve as powerful tools for ethnic defensiveness or exclusivity, but they also foster cosmopolitanism and promote the globalization of cultures.
The emergence and diffusion of modern sports has been shaped by complex networks and interdependencies that reflect unequal power relations. It has also been influenced by the emergence and development of a global economy, a transnational cosmopolitan culture, and international social movements.