Sports are physical activities that require exertion or even danger, where the participant expects the outcome of the activity to be contingent on his or her exertion of physical effort. Sport (or physical sports) is any form of generally competitive physical activity that, through organised or casual competitive participation, attempt to employ, enhance or maintain physical aptitude and skills, while also providing entertainment for participants, and sometimes, spectators. There are various types of sporting events. Some of these include: horse racing, ice skating, swimming, golf, tennis, golf, athletics, rugby, gymnastics, motor sports, bicycling, hockey, wrestling, sailing, aerobics, surfing, cycling, track and field, swimming and other water-based sport activities. The common components of sports activities include contact, speed, endurance, skill, and competition.
Each sport requires a different range of physical exertion. In horse-riding and swimming, speed and endurance are important factors. In tennis, skill is paramount. In gymnastics, speed is an important factor. In motor sports, athletic competition is the focus, whereas in bicycling, sailing, aerobics, and surfing the physical exertion is more towards relaxation.
The discipline of modern sports was developed to develop a competitive spirit in young men and women of military, civic, academic, nursing and other professional backgrounds. The first British sports governing body was the Amateur Sports Union (ASU), which later became the British Sports Council (BSC). The BSC was formed in 1900. The Sports Association was formed a year later to improve the sporting culture throughout Britain. The growing number of people joining sports clubs, the development and implementation of physical education in schools, and the growth in sports’ participation led to the formation of the first professional British sports clubs – the Football Association (FA), Cricket Association (ACA), and Motor Sports Association (MSCA).
The growth and development of the modern sports enjoyed the patronage of Queen Victoria who, in the early 20th century, raised funds for the development and continued the support of sports activities. Victoria, like her husband, also had a love of sports. Her efforts were not to be underestimated. Sports such as golf, rugby, cricket and athletics have played a major role in the lives of British citizens.
Modern sports were popular throughout the world before the Second World War. The United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Australia all had their own national soccer team. A number of nations began to form professional and semi-professional soccer leagues. A tournament called the European Cup, which is now known as the FIFA World Cup, was held annually from 1996 to 2021.
During the late Middle Ages and the renaissance, a number of English sports were adapted from Roman sports. The idea of combining the practices of war and athletics spread throughout Europe. The idea was adopted and carried further by the Italian Renaissance, and the Swiss Alps. Today, a variety of modern sports are played throughout the world, from ice skating to polo.