Sport is a huge topic of which a great deal has been written and spoken. At this time of mid summer in the UK, much sport is taking place and more will commence shortly. There’s tennis at Wimbledon, the Indian Cricket team is on tour, the Tour de France is due to start on 5th July, and the Commonwealth Games on 23rd July.
Over the years since the founder of the International Olympic Committee, Baron Pierre de Coubertin summed up the spirit of the Games, with these words, “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering, but fighting well,” there has been a vast change of attitudes brought about by the commercialization of sport.
Pope Francis has said, “When sport is considered only in economic terms and consequently for victory at every cost, it risks reducing athletes to mere trading material from whom profits are extracted.”
The essential nature of any physical sport is competition, either between individuals or teams, the members of which cooperate in order to gain victory. When it comes to this year’s FIFA World Cup, astronomical sums of money have been spent on building stadiums, associated facilities and infrastructure. Many Brazilians believe the perceived benefits cannot be justified, and that money could have been better spent on job creations schemes, building schools, training teachers, and on health care. As a result, discontents have expressed their anger by staging riots in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte and Salvador.
The health benefits of sport cannot be denied, and many useful lessons can be learned by those who participate in them. ‘Sport for sports sake - not for monetary gain’ is the mantra to teach our children.
1 Corinthians 9:24 ‘Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.’
XX Commonwealth Games
Pope Francis warns against commercializing sport
Which football team does the new Pope support?
Ethics of Sport
Ethics and Sport
The Tour de France
Pierre de Coubertin
FIFA World Cup
Riot Force Created for World Cup
Brazil Riot Protests against World Cup 2014