Sports (or sports) has been around for a long time, with evidence suggesting that the habit can be traced back to more than 6000 years ago. The early sports developed around what were already known as “contact sports”, those that involved actual physical contact, such as wrestling or boxing, as well as horse riding and polo. Later, sports developed around what were considered more leisurely activities, for example tennis, or even the “gymnastics” sport of gymnastics, though the first recorded sports competitions date from the second millennium BC. Sports have developed through the years to what are now known as team sports, such as football, baseball and basketball, as well as sports which require many people to work together, such as ice skating and synchronized swimming. A sport which combines a variety of these activities is often referred to as a sports competition.
In the late 19th century, with the development of new technologies such as the automobile and the introduction of the factory, sports had become more widespread, and there was a growing commercialization of them, particularly in Britain. There was a huge demand for sports equipment, especially shoes, as well as sports medicine, nutritional supplements and other means of keeping fit. Some sports had even developed as an industry on their own. A notable example was cricket, which began to be covered in newspapers and magazines as a result of the rising popularity of amateur players.
Sports had become so popular that several different sports came about during the late 19th century and into the early 20th century. The first of these is motor racing, which started out as a race for money between individuals. However, over the last hundred years, motor racing has developed into a very reputable spectator sport, and it is now regularly held at several different tracks, as well as on television, in a wide variety of countries.
Another common form of sports recreation that developed in the late Victorian era is fencing, and this developed into both a competitive and a recreational sport. Fencing was initially formed as a means of keeping chickens safe from foxes – and today it still preserves this original purpose, but also incorporates many different sports as an element of the sport. The first British fencing competitions were held in 18 47, and many of the pioneers of the sport are remembered for their achievements in this area. The most famous of these is English fencing champion Sir Henry Parkes, who won the trophy four times and is today revered by others as the person who singlehandedly devised the game of golf.
Modern sports also include several games not normally associated with the sporting arena. One of the most famous examples is table tennis, which has grown massively in popularity in recent years as a means of playing a competitive game while sitting down. Another popular modern sport is cricket, which was originally played between teams of soldiers stationed in India during World War 1. It has developed into a very popular sport in countries like the USA, UK and Australia, and is growing in its popularity in other countries including France and South Africa.
Some sports have evolved from more ancient sports such as archery, wrestling and boxing, and have remained popular throughout the ages. Britain has had some of its earliest recorded sports successes in this period, such as wrestling, whilst the Romans were also known to have used various techniques to help train their gladiators. A more recent example of a sport that developed in Britain was ice skating, which became popular amongst the Victorians. Modern sports in Britain are constantly developing and innovating, and this has been made easier by the growth of sports television and the establishment of the National Lottery. Many younger people take part in various competitions and often develop an interest in them as they watch the moves on TV and admire the skill of the athletes. This is further boosted by the wide variety of sports activities that are available, from racquet sports, rugby, badminton and skating to karate, cricket and bowling.