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This section contains information, facts, and worksheets on sports from across the globe and athletes who compete in those sports.
Derived from the Old French word “despot” and the oldest English definition meaning “anything that humans find amusing or entertaining”, sport is a universal activity enjoyed by every culture on Earth from ancient through to modern times. Whether they challenge individuals or are team activities, sport can be considered a unique microcosm of the human condition – its dramas, triumphs, defeats, hopes, struggles, communities, honor, endurance and excellence are all things that we can identify with.
Throughout time, sport has played a big role in shaping history and daily life. Icon Muhammad Ali wasn’t just a boxer, he represented the struggle of African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. Athlete Roger Bannister broke psychological barriers by becoming the first person to run a mile in under four minutes, a record that was quickly broken numerous times thereafter. Cyclist Lance Armstrong proved that even after battling cancer, the human spirit could prevail; while Usain Bolt, the fastest man on Earth, and Eddie the Eagle proved that with perseverance and dedication, dreams could be realized; while women like tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, athlete Kelly Holmes and basketball player Jackie Joyner-Kersee are proving to girls around the world that they can do anything they put their minds to. Whether it’s for fun with friends, friendly competition with community members, or a professional career on the world stage, watching or playing sport is a way to come together. You need only watch a football game, the most popular sport on Earth, to see that it transcends race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender and economic status. Even for those who don’t participate in sport or enjoy watching it, there’s a great sense of national pride and shared emotion when individuals represent their country on the international stage.
Because of its ability to bring people together, the United Nations has recognized it as a highly important low-cost, high-impact tool in humanitarian and peace-building efforts. Did you know that on Christmas Day, 1914, the height of World War 1, British and German troops ceased fighting and emerged from the trenches to play a friendly game of football?
By its very nature, sport is about teamwork, fairness, acceptance of agreed rules, inclusion and respect, all values that every nation aspires to. Sport is so much more than an outlet for physical energy and a mechanism for health; people can grow and learn, political systems can change, and the human spirit strengthens. Learn more about various sports and iconic men and women that left their mark on history through sports with our informative worksheet packs.