The Importance of Sports in Culture


(Image via Snack Media)

Morgan Cottrill, Writer

Everywhere you go, different people and different cultures have sports they play or enjoy. Sports also have a different meaning and importance for all people. If you go to the U.S football is a big thing, just like how, in Asia, baseball is the most popular sport. All around the world different cultures have their special sport. My question is how did that sport come to be such a popular one in that certain culture. What significance does it have and why do they enjoy it so much? 

Like I said earlier, baseball is a really big sport in Asia. Baseball may have started in the U.S in the mid-1840s, but soon Asia was playing the game in the “Meiji era, a period when the country was adopting more Western customs and practices” according to Culture Trip. Although they began playing the game its popularity there did not pick up till about the post-world war two period.  The significance of the sport to them had a lot to do with the discipline and teamwork that goes into it. The game of baseball is a little different there than in America. It has grown around the cultures around it and has evolved into the sport they know. Just like how all cultures are different, so are sports wherever you go. Asia has definitely made this sport their own and is now something very special to them. 

Now going back a little closer to home. When you think of Canada what sport do you think of? Ice hockey. Well, that is Canada’s most played and popular sport. They are also very good at it. According to Birthplace of Hockey, hockey originated in the 1800s in Nova Scotia, a Canadian province. Hockey was invented in Canada so no wonder it has remained popular for so long. It is also the national sport of Canada. Hockey has been a part of Canadian culture for so long so I believe that is what makes it so important to them and why they keep that as an important part of their culture.

Now a little further away is India. As Culture Trip said, the unofficial national sport of India is cricket. It is a weird undecided thing with them.  But their most popular sport is Cricket. Although it is not a very popular sport in most places is is very big there. Cricket actually started somewhere in England and Athnet says that the first recorded cricket match took place in Kent in 1646. Maps of India claims that The first recorded match to appear in India was believed to happen about 1720. At first people in India didn’t really prefer the game.No one was quite interested in it. It started gaining in popularity when Sir Ranjitisinhji, an Indian man, started playing for a team in England in the 1900s. Then people in India started enjoying the game and now has become the most popular sport there. I guess you could say it hasn’t always been a part of the Indian culture but now it is now and is very important to lots of people there.

In the U.K., there are many football or as we know it, soccer, lovers. England’s Premier League has gained a lot popularity there and in the U.S. Football has always been a part of the culture in the U.K. since very early on. The People History says that “it all began in 1863 in England when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the Football Association in England was formed.”  For a long time, soccer didn’t have any set rules until, “in 1863, a group of London-based schools came together to draw up an agreed-upon set of rules. 11 schools formed the Football Association (FA).” Now, this is really where soccer started to begin its journey through England’s history. According to The Sun, eventually, the Premier League was founded on February 20, 1992. Now every season 20 teams compete in the Premier League and everyone gets super hyped and excited. It is in Big Deal when you team gets far or even wins. Even people all over the U.S get excited about their premier teams. Soccer is a big part of the culture there is even the most played sport. People love the Premier League as much if not more than people love the Super Bowl. 

Now that you have seen some other countries around the world and what sports are important to them and how they are important to culture, I hope next time you go to play a game of soccer of enjoying a hockey game you think of all the importance and meaning of the sport. Not only do sports have cultural and ethnic importance to a lot of people and places it can have sentimental importance. Think about it: if for generations yours and many other families enjoy this sport that has been a part of the place they live and the things they do that is a pretty deep meaning. Sports influence culture and people. It brings them together. Sports are more than just sports and I hope now you see that. Imagine if sports were not a part of the cultures we have created. What would we do? They also have such importance to so many. Sports can be a way of expression and that’s what happens when a certain culture has an important sport that’s what makes it special, the part where anyone can play and it can show who you are.