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What Role Does Sporting Success Play in a Nation Development?

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Achin Bhattacharyya (2019) states that the feeling of nationalism is indispensable to the idea of building a nation. Bahattacharyya (2019) states that apart from religion, sport is the only common thread that binds people together and helps in developing a feeling of patriotism and unity that can counter regional factionalism and sinister design of various separatist forces. There are many examples of when sport brought a nation together such the 1995 Rugby World Cup. According to The South African Government News Agency (2014) after South Africa’s victory during the World Cup sport became a unifying force in South Africa, dedicated to creating more opportunities post-apartheid. It forced people to celebrate their commonalities and put aside their differences this was a huge step in the right direction for South Africa, strengthening the country more than ever before. According to Bhattacharyya (2019) sport can also build and define the character of a nation, it helps not only to develop a responsible society but also develops responsible and good leaders, especially the leaders of the future.

Dalton Myers (2019) states that sport plays a very important role in youth development, it creates a platform on which the youth can develop essential skills needed to navigate through life. People tend to focus on those who excel in sport and not on the impact sport can actually have on the next generation of leaders. Myers (2019) found that sports can help the youths improve self-esteem, team building, health, leadership etc. and can have an overall positive affect on their well-being however Katie Covell (2011) disagrees, Covell (2011) believes that sports is having a negative effect on the youth and society in general, the way professional athletes project themselves is staring to have a negative effect, the focus on sports is no longer the actual game but what comes from playing it. Covell (2011) found that fame, media and wealth are starting to take over the true meaning of sports and children are slowly but surely starting to notice this. Covell (2011) states that children are more concerned with fame and money than an actual love of not only the sport but life as well and this is due to the example athletes and sports industries are setting on TV, making the children feel like the whole purpose of life is just to make money and get famous. Covell (2011) believes that sports is brainwashing children to believe that material possessions will bring them true happiness, Covell (2011) thinks that this selfish mindset will negatively impact the children’s futures and result in them growing into materialistic adults, however Bhattacharyya (2019) found that sports has also been used to benefit underprivileged children who have been born into a negative environment, saving them from lives of crime and drug abuse by giving them a positive environment to shape their lives around. Having the right set of role models can be aptly summarized in the words of Idowu Koyenikan, “Show me the heroes that the youth of your country look up to, and I will tell you the future of your country”. Myers (2019) believes that sport can inspire the youth and transform a nation as the youth are the future.

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Apart from building a better nation sport can also build a global community. Bhattacharyya (2019) found that events such as the Olympics promote universal comradery and give people a sense of belonging to a larger global community. It’s not uncommon for most athletes to be very influential in society, their worldwide influence can unite people from various backgrounds. Bhattacharyya (2019) found that if the average person were to think of countries like New Zealand and South Africa their mind would immediately think of and the rivalry the two countries share in rugby, this concept is similar in many other sports and proves that even though we are different we can all be unified if we have the same interest. This global community must be used to unify the world during this current Covid-19 pandemic, as a global community we must band together to fight this virus and keep ourselves from global extinction, this pandemic is the time for athletes all around the world to use their influence on social media to educate people who may not tune into news channels on what’s happening and how to stay safe during these dark times. According to Mark Stock (2020) the virus has had a very negative impact on sport, it has cause the postponement and/or cancellation of many major events and the shutdown of various sport industries. Stock (2020) found that the virus began to make its impact on soccer matches when they were played in fan-less stadiums, later resulting the complete shutdown of every soccer league around the world, this trend was soon followed sport by sport until the entire sporting industry was completely shut down. It is times like these that should motivate people to come together to help stop the spread sooner than later people just need to have hope, to quote Laini Taylor “Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like light within you, you can make things happen like magic.” If everyone in the community does their part to prevent the spread of the virus we will succeed.

It’s clear that sport can not only build a nation but a global community as well. It can inspire the future generation and have an influence on the type of leaders they will become and although it has some negative aspects in terms of the motives of most athletes and sports industries as well as the morals they display to the youth, it has an overall positive influence and is a vital factor in society. To quote the late Nelson Mandela “Sport has the power to change the world,” Mandela said. “It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

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What Role Does Sporting Success Play in a Nation Development? (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from
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