What is a sport?
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
When a sport isn’t a sport
Scrounging for potential blog topics this morning, my colleagues came up with a suggestion. Activities that should qualify as training that don’t involve the gym, running shoes or your bicycle.
“Stacking firewood,” one colleague opined grimly. “I was wrecked.”
I suppose lifting the remote control probably wouldn’t qualify, no matter how many repetitions you did, but dancing in a club under the influence definitely would.
Training is a bit euphemistic. It covers a whole gambit of activities that don’t qualify as ‘sport’. This started me thinking about sports that just don’t seem to deserve that title.
Like chess. Seriously? Apparently it is a recognised sport. But surely just because something is competitive and requires skill, it doesn’t make it a sport.
I don’t know what you think about this, but although I know nothing at all about sport, to my mind it is something that requires athletic endeavour.
So, chess, not so much. But the often mocked synchronised swimming? I think it looks ridiculous, but I’d say it’s certainly a sport. Those girls can hold their breath for a long time and still look umm, poised, when they surface..
Have you ever trying increasing your aerobic capacity by hypoxic (low oxygen) swimming? I’m not convinced of its effectiveness. Basically, it may involve, for example, a length breathing every three strokes, followed by a length breathing every five strokes, then seven, then nine – you get the idea.
I could never go beyond seven and even then I’d have to stop at the end of the length. I have no idea if synchronised swimmers train using this method, but whatever they do, it clearly works.
Then again, my interpretation requiring sport to involve athletic endeavour, instead of just skill, could be shonky in the first place. What about croquet, or bowls? They may be fun, but they’re hardly high-intensity work-outs.
Now, let’s take motorsport. Clearly designated as a sport – the name is a clue. It’s evident it requires bucket loads of skill and daring. I wouldn’t last a single second. But is it an athletic endeavour? Now, I know we have couple of motorsport enthusiasts who read this blog, so fill me in. Does it require athletic skill or effort? It’s a subject I’m woefully ignorant on.
So what do you think? Should something involve athletic effort to be a sport? Are there any ‘sports’ that you think don’t deserve the name? Or activities that should be officially designated as sports that currently are not? (Extreme ironing anyone?)