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A sport is a game that involves physical exertion, such as football or baseball, or a team or an individual. While fishing and dancing are also pastimes, these activities are still considered sports when organized into structured competitions. Whether the game is played on a team or between individuals, it’s a great way to increase one’s skills and improve the overall quality of life. In addition to the physical benefits of playing a sport, it can also build one’s self-esteem.

Though it is unclear when sports first emerged, the idea has a long and illustrious history. Prehistoric paintings show hunters running after prey with joy and vigor. The early Greeks and Romans included sports in their religious rituals, and it is thought that hunting became a way to forge national identity. Athletes in particular internalized scripts from coaches and a variety of media pundits. The resulting emotional atmosphere makes sports and their fans a social phenomenon.

In the 20th century, many sports began to transcend their racial and social boundaries. The rights of African Americans, Australian Aboriginals, and South Africa’s “Cape Coloureds” to play sports were won by those nations. Similarly, women were able to compete in sports once considered patriarchal and a sign of masculinity. However, sports were still far from being mainstream. Nevertheless, the racial and sex divides between men and women are more apparent than ever.