There are several competing perspectives on the purpose of sports. Some suggest that sport is a means to an end, while others argue that it serves a more encompassing function. Sports can be used to cultivate human excellence and promote social change.
While the exact purpose of sports is debatable, the benefits of participating are numerous. Physical activity, exercise, and fitness help prevent osteoporosis, maintain a healthy weight, and promote overall health. Also, the competitive nature of sports encourages players to enhance their performance. Participants may use performance-enhancing drugs to improve their chances of winning, or they may cheat to gain an advantage.
Among the most famous statements in sports is the assertion by Pierre de Coubertin that “it’s not about winning, it’s about playing.” He asserted that sport was about enhancing the well-being of the participants.
A variety of philosophers have explored the question of what is the purpose of sports. For example, philosophers of law, like H. L. A. Hart, and philosophers of rules, like Immanuel Kant, have been influential.
Some consider sports as activities that are performed for amusement, while others consider them as tools for training and combat preparation. However, many participants use them for financial gains, and some even break the rules to achieve an advantage.
Another way to look at the purpose of sports is to consider the mutualism. The mutualist approach, which is a variant of Aristotle’s teleology, views sport as an activity that helps develop human flourishing.