Diversity and Modern Day Cultural Fluidity Within All Sports

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Sports can illustrate all different types of cultural fluidity.

Sports can help break down prejudice, preconceptions, cultural differences, ignorance, intolerance and injustice by encouraging communication and overcoming differences.

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According to the Council of Europe: “Sport is a universal element in all cultures and therefore we have chosen to include it as a theme for Compass. Sport is popular particularly with young people; statistics show that 61% of young people aged between 15 and 24 participate regularly (at least once a week) in sporting activities in the EU.”

Cultural fluidity in all aspects starts with young people in a way. Even though they might have to learn and observe from someone else, it’s their decision on whether or not what they analyzed is right. Culture and sport are indeed human rights that are intertwined with other rights. They are also the foundations on which human rights, especially those of the youth, are frequently questioned and violated.

Everyone has the right to freely engage in the cultural life of the society, to enjoy the arts and to partake in scientific growth and its advantages, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

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Communities benefit from having their cultural rights recognized because it boosts their ego and motivates them to keep their traditions alive while also being recognized for their ideas and traditions. However, in sports and life there will always be diversity.

In an article in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Tatiana Ryba, Natalia Stambulova, Gangyan Si and Robert Schinke write: “Cultural diversity is an important challenge that is frequently encountered by sport and exercise psychology professionals. Increased globalization has fostered a wider exchange of people, objects, images, ideas, value systems, and information, which has thus changed the contemporary sporting landscape, signifying one of the most exciting and challenging movements in the globalized cultural field today.”

The heterogeneous panorama of modern sport makes it difficult to rethink sport and exercise psychology research and practice from a culturally reflective perspective, the authors add.

As different critical studies have witnessed, our contemporary understanding of sport is more than just a ball traveling between groups of players, a fight for a finish line or an attempt to impress judges. It’s more than just the usual accoutrements of athletics that fade into other areas of society: officiating and bookkeeping, financial information of events, victors’ hero worship, and youth training.

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