Sports as a Tool of Integration

INTRODUCTION What is sport? According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. The meaning of “sport” is , activity that you do for pleasure and that needs physical effort or skill, usually done in a special area and according to fixed rules. Through Wikipedia, sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree of skill, especially at higher levels.

Hundreds of sports exist, including those for a single participant, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. Some non-physical activities, such as board games and card games are sometimes referred to as sports, but a sport is generally recognised as being based in physical athleticism. What is integration? According the same Dictionary , the meaning of “integration” is, the act or process of combining two or more things so that they work together (=of integrating them) .

Internet shows “Integration” (from the Latin integer, meaning whole or entire) generally means combining parts so that they work together or form a whole. * It is an act or instance of combining into an integral whole. * It is an act or instance of integrating a racial, religious, or ethnic group. * It is an act or instance of integrating an organization, place of business, school, etc. SPORTS as a tool of INTEGRATION More than just being about discipline and confidence, games bring the people together regardless of their background.

SPORTS are all forms of physical activities that contribute to fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. They include play, recreation, organised casual or competitive sports as well as indigenous sports and games. By their very nature, sports essentially denote participation. They are about inclusion and citizenship. Sports activities bring individuals and communities together, highlighting commonalities and bridging cultural or ethnic divides. The easy and inherent ability of sports to bring people ogether make them a powerful communication tool. Sports provide a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership and core principles such as acceptance, cooperation and respect. Sports expound the value of effort and how to manage victory as well as defeat. The fundamental elements of sports make them a viable and practical tool to support the achievement of nation development. Taking part in activities will also help reduce the likelihood of many diseases arising from a sedentary and inactive lifestyle.

Sports programmes are effective tools for social mobilisation, supporting health activities and they can provide employment and contribute to local development. They encourage volunteerism and can be utilised to spearhead non-governmental changes and transformation initiatives. Sports can cut across barriers that divide societies, making them a powerful tool to support conflict prevention and peace-building efforts. When applied effectively, sports programmes promote social integration and foster tolerance, help reduce tension and generate dialogue. The concept of “Sports for All” is central to the understanding of sports.

This concept aims to maximise access to and participation in appropriate forms of physical activities. Emphasis is placed on participation and accessibility for all groups in society regardless of gender, age, ability or race. Many of the core values inherent in sports are compatible with the principles necessary for development and peace, such as fair play, cooperation, sharing and respect. The life skills learned through sports help empower individuals and enhance psycho-social well-being such as increased resilience, self-esteem and connection with others.

These features of sports are beneficial to people of all ages but they are especially vital to the healthy development of young people who will inherit positions of power and responsibility in government organisations. Sports are valuable tools to initiate social development and improve social cohesion, especially when implemented among young people. When social and personal skills are combined, sports can be an effective medium to intervene in a person’s ability to decide whether to abuse or not abuse drugs.

This is especially true when elements of sports are combined with mechanisms and structures providing drug-related information and life-skills training. Sports can tackle causes of juvenile crime by helping youths make positive connections with adults and their peers, by integrating them into constructive activities within society and by providing useful activities. Besides , sports can be an effective tool for empowering girls and women, given that they are often excluded from participation and from enjoying its physical and psycho-social benefits.

By directly challenging and dispelling misperception about women’s capabilities, integrated sports programmes help to reduce discrimination and widen women’s role. Last but not least , sports can integrate persons with disabilities into society, providing an arena for positive social interaction, reducing isolation and breaking down prejudices. Sports programmes for the disabled are also cost-effective methods of rehabilitation. They are highly therapeutic, improving motor skills and increasing mobility, self-sufficiency and self-confidence.

The benefits are indeed tremendous and ideally sports can extend to previously unchartered territories of endeavours and manage human conflicts. Sports will continue to serve human development. What is “SPORT FOR ALL/ELITISM” The twin concepts of Sport for all (where everyone is encouraged and has the opportunity to take part in the sport of their choice, irrespective of any social or cultural differences such as wealth, gender or age) and Sporting excellence (where the very best performers are given additional support so that they may reach international success) can effectively be shown in the framework of a performance pyramid.

There are four level: At foundation level – young children are introduced to sport and learn basic movement skills and a positive attitude to physical activity through a wide variety of activities, possibly through their schools pe programme. At participation level – youngsters choose to take part in selected activities for enjoyment and friendships, as well as for health and fitness. This may be through extra-curricular school activities, local centres and clubs. At performance level – participants are committed to performing in formally organised activities at higher club and regional levels.

They are keen to improve their standard, train regularly and receive coaching. At excellence level – elite performers represent their country in national and international competition. They will be fully committed to their sport, and will, in some cases, train full time and receive financial, administrative, medical and personal support. The Sport for All campaign was launched in the UK in 1972 by the Sports Council. The Sports Council was, and remains, the catalyst and throughout, the on-going campaign has encouraged partners and organisations to join the campaign.

In this way governing bodies of sport, local authorities through their leisure and amenity committees, local sports councils, sports centres and clubs have joined to promote what they have to offer. Aims: * Increase the rate of participation. * Improve performance at all levels. * Establish and reinforce the principle that the provision of opportunity to participate in sport and physical recreation is a social service. * Promote the concept that regular physical activity is beneficial to health. * To improve the quality of life. Objectives: The promotion of sport within target groups of non-participants. * The promotion of excellence in support of the governing bodies of sport. * Targeting inner city and areas of social deprivation. * Attracting sponsorship and financial investment in sport. * The reduction of coronary heart disease. * Opening up of natural resources, such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, countryside, coastal areas, hills and mountains for recreational use. Sport in Olympics (example) Sports have been bringing people from all over the world together since the first Olympics in Greece many years ago.

Sports bring people a since of accomplishment but more importantly, unity. When playing a sport, whether it is with multiple people or by yourself, you have to be able to communicate with team members and coaches. If you are playing the sport by yourself, chances are you have a coach there at your side somewhere. Communication is extremely important when it comes to unity. It allows you to tell your other players or coach what is going on in a particular game situation in order to play as the game well. In a team setting, you know your team is unified when there is trust on the field or court.

You have to be able to trust your teammate will make the important catch to get you the first down or trust in your teammate to score the winning basket to win the championship. Sometimes you get the important super star on your team yet your team cannot win. It is because his/her players cannot communicate with him/her and therefore they cannot trust him. This team lost the game before they ever started because without trust talent means nothing. Trust brings unity and is the key to winning games. Additionally, sports have created unity amongst small towns, big cities, and nations all over the world.

When certain events such as the Olympics or the World Cup are played people will gather at the event, in a bar or at a friend’s house draped in their nation’s flag or wearing their favorite team’s colors. Without unity sports wouldn’t be any fun and no one would play them. Conclusion In conclusion, the information above show sports as a tool of integration. There are many of examples proved sports bring unity. For example, Olympics or the World Cup games are well-known events in the world which have the same the A. G. O (Aims, Goals, Objectives) are to unite the human all around the world.

Besides that, the “Sport for All” campaign is also a big well-known event in the world. It promotes sport for all the human being to participate sport. Throughout this event, human from all around the world can gather together to play games or sports. As a result, integration of human formed indirectly. In Malaysia, sports have a function as a tool of integration too. The held of SUKMA( SUKAN MALAYSIA) and MSSM (MAJLIS SUKAN-SUKAN SEKOLAH MALAYSIA). These two national sports events bring all the Malaysian together to enjoy the event and to play the games together without looking at the races and religion.

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