31 Oct 2013

More than just the physical

12:35 pm on 31 October 2013

Sport is more than just the physical and mechanical. For many of us it makes us who we are. It defines us. Sport is the psychological, the spiritual and the social too. To some of us it’s our everything. 

Sport has the ability to shape and define the way we live – from the clubs we join and the friends we make, to the lifelong skills we learn along the way. It could even be considered to be part of our cultural identity. 

Within a social environment sport is defined as a physical, competitive, institutionalised, leisure activity which reflects the culture, values and morals of society. Sport allows us to analyse relationships between groups and individuals and address the social issues of class, gender, identity and ethnicity. We can even look at the links between sport, politics, business and the economy. 

Sport and its influence within society is a lot bigger than what you might think.

For me, sport plays a large role in my identity. I grew up in a sporting environment, reported on sport, worked for international sports organisations, traveled the world with sport and based my academic study on sport. It is a major part of who I am and how I identify within society.

Participation has shaped my perception of sport – from being a player, to an administrator and an academic.

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Often my experience has involved me being the only female within the sporting environment and because of this it has driven me to look at how women are represented within sport and how they identify in something that can be considered inherently masculine.

I’m a true believer in encouraging equality within all aspects of sport, from playing and funding to media coverage. Everyone should have equal opportunity and treatment.

The goal of this ongoing blog is to get you thinking differently about the way you engage, contemplate and interact with sport. I’ll strive to bring you informed, thought provoking and insightful critical analysis of the big issues that affect not only sport, but society as a whole.

And to get the ball rolling, so to speak, here’s some social sporting googlies to ponder:

  • Are all sports equal?
  • What role do the media play in deciding what sports I’m exposed to?
  • What’s the difference between drug taking and doping?
  • Why is rugby such a big sport in New Zealand?
  • Is it unpatriotic to not like sport?
  • Why do boys’ schools spend so much on sport?
  • Is there gender equality in sport?
  • Is a loss in men’s sport more important than a win in women’s?
  • Is there such thing as "men's" sports and "women's" sports?
  • Is it for the love or the money?
  • How does sport reflect our society?
  • What’s the link between alcohol and sport?
  • Why do we boo Quade Cooper?
  • What’s the difference between aggression and violence?
  • Should all international sporting successes by New Zealanders be celebrated equally?
  • Would banishing pokies affect subsidies for sports clubs?
  • Do I really know what is in that supplement I’m taking?

By thinking about sport in a different way, it allows us to delve deeper into the role sport plays not only in our own lives, but that of society as a whole.

If you have a googlie you want explored, let me know.