The Contribution of Sports to the Caribbean Essay

Published: 2016-05-25 17:27:09
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Category: Caribbean

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Sport refers to all forms of competitive physical activity which, through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants. Over the years, many people in the Caribbean have overlooked the importance of sporting activity; however sport has made several contributions to the development of the region. Firstly, sport has the potential to be a source for the generation of increased income for the region, if it is marketed in an effective manner so as to attract sponsorship from local and foreign corporations, along with international government assistance. Along with this, with the increased leisure time available to persons nowadays, the region should try to use sporting activities as a means of attracting tourists to the region, which would not only generate income for the sporting bodies but also for a number of other industries such as the hotel, airline and food sectors.

This can be witnessed from the amount of tourism that was generated during the 2007 Cricket World Cup, which brought thousands of people to the region and generated a significant amount of business for locals. Sporting activity can also be used as an avenue to a higher education, as a number of well-known Caribbean sportspersons have obtained full scholarships to foreign universities, who have not only provided them with the opportunity to be exposed to top-class training facilities and professional expertise but also has exposed them to the opportunity of gaining a higher level of education. It can therefore be stated, that academic excellence is now not the only way by which poorer students can obtain opportunities to better themselves with a university education. Also as local athletes are trained abroad, they can also bring back a wealth of expertise obtained from exposure abroad, which can be used to develop the sport further regionally.

The growth of sport in the region has also lead to sport being a source of income and employment to a number of persons within the regions, such as coaching staff, nutritionists, medical personnel and other support staff. Sportspersons also are also allowed to generate an income through salaries received from clubs, and regional associations such as the WICB, along with receiving additional income from endorsement deals. In addition to the several benefits that highly competitive sport can have on the region as a whole, it can also have a positive impact on individuals in society as participation in sporting activities can lead to a greater awareness for the need to be physically fit and can promote the need for healthy lifestyle choices, which is overlooked in the Caribbean. These healthy lifestyle choices include following a more balanced diet, refraining from alcohol and cigarettes and engaging in physical activity regularly.

Also by the promotion of sporting activity in schools, it leads to the holistic development of students and teaches the generation of tomorrow the importance of physical activity to the mind and body. Success at sport has also been seen as a means towards developing a common feeling of Caribbean identity. The West Indies cricket team seems to be the regional organization which fosters a sense of a common identity the most as the players have been drawn from all countries and the success and failures of the team are remembered are reminisced upon by the majority of persons within the region. However, this sense of Caribbean identity is fostered to a little extent in all other sports, as most countries within the region field national teams for the various sports which compete with each other and therefore fosters a sense in most persons that country comes before region. In conclusion, sport has made several contributions to the development of the region however it still can be exploited to a larger extent in order to achieve its potential as being a catalyst to Caribbean development.

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