Entertainment through sports participation
Entertainment through sports participation really gathered pace during the industrial revolution when more and more people were attracted to live in urban areas. During the 19th century the first sports clubs were founded and at this time leagues were created, and confirmation of all the rules in each sport were published. The most publicized teams and leagues were of course the professional ones that produced the clubs that are followed globally in the sporting events today. However, there has always been a trickling down effect. At the top of the pyramid there are the very best leagues that produce the highest paid sportsman and international athletes.
At the bottom of the pyramid are those players who are simply participating just for the enjoyment of playing the game. In sports such as rugby union there are veteran teams for those players over the age of 35. Once they can no longer compete for a place in the clubs top teams players often prefer to play with the veterans as the result is no longer the be all and end all of the match. Many Old Boys sports associations will put out a number of different teams in soccer, rugby, hockey and cricket. The sides are purely amateur but it keeps people involved in the sports club social life. This is especially relevant to Old Boys sides as many of the players from different sports would have remembered each other from their school days together.
It’s Never Too Late to Try!
The Old Southendian Association is for the former pupils of Southend Grammar School. In the winter on Saturday’s the club fields 6 men’s hockey teams, 2 ladies hockey teams, six football teams plus there are further senior and junior fixtures on a Sunday. The club has 2867 current members and as well as these sports they also produce teams in golf cricket and Bowls. There are certain sports that are tailor made for participation from people who may not be in the best physical shape of their lives. The pub leagues in the UK produce competitions between different Public Houses in sports such as darts, pool and Skittles.
Pick up any local paper in the West Country and the sports section is full of the results and tables from the local skittles league. Different pubs will produce both men’s and ladies teams with the competition between each hostelry at times being quite fierce. The bonus for the pub is that it will guarantee custom on some of its quietest days of the week. Some people however participate in sports to remain fit and in good health. This has led to the emergence of health clubs and these clubs are a hive of activity at certain times of the day and certain days of the week.
In today’s societies people are more conscious of looking healthy and fit, and modern education has taught that a mixture of eating less with exercising more will result in healthier looking bodies. Some people hire personal trainers to help with fitness programs but generally more people are becoming increasingly aware of their image. Certain sports will rise and fall in different times. During the 1990s step aerobics were a popular class in virtually every health club. Today although step is it still held its participation rates aren’t what they were 20 years ago.
A recent craze in sports has been the rise in members of cycling clubs. In 2016 it was estimated that 2 million people in the UK cycled at least once a week which is higher than it has ever been. The recent rise is due to a number of factors. The success of British Cyclists at recent Olympic Games and the Toured de France has catapulted the sport into every ones attention. There has also been “cycle to work schemes’ to keep cities cleaner and the middle classes appear to be enjoying investing large sums of their money on high tech bikes and cycling gear.
As societies develop its population tend to become more affluent and appear to have no problem with spending their money on participating in sport.