Sports And The Future

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Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies
Melanie Muise

April 4 Thinking About The Future • Sports are social constructions; they can be invented, redefined, and changed • The meaning, purpose, and organization of sports in the future will be based on the collective decisions and actions of human beings • Sports are contested activities when people struggle over these decisions Models for Thinking about sports in the future • Power and Performance Sports: will be the dominant sport form in the immediate future. Sponsors give priority to these sports • Pleasure and Participation Sports: will grow as “connections” are valued over confrontation and domination. Sponsorships will be difficult to obtain and maintain Power and performance Sports • Will remain popular but there are some problems • They are exclusive and many people will not have the opportunity or desire to participate • Their popularity depends on power staying in the control of men who value conquest over others Questions that people are raising, and will continue to raise, about power and performance sports • How should technology be regulated when exploring human limits? • How can fairness be guaranteed when there is unequal access to training and technology? • How can injuries be minimized and access maximized when the goal is conquest? Alternatives • Women will be among those who seek alternatives to power and performance sports • Those who favour unstructured activities will seek alternatives to power and performance sports • Alternative sports will include much more than “extreme” sports in the future Growth of Pleasure and Participation Sports Factors producing growth in these sports will be: • Concerns about health and fitness • Concerns about energy and the environment • Participation priorities of older people • Values brought to sports by women • Groups seeking alternative sports • More people will seek connections through sports with each other and the environment (as in this disability related example) Current Trends: Pro Sports • Profit-driver national/global expansion • Staging total entertainment spectacles • Dependence, wherever possible, on public funds to build facilities designed as malls with playing fields • Contentious negotiations between players and leagues/own
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