Sports form a major part of many people's lives around the globe, whether playing or watching. They help keep people healthy, active and develop their skills. They also play an important social function, bringing people, countries and communities together, praticising activity together and sharing a common passion.
Some sports such as football are played throughout the world but each country has its own traditional games and activities, sometimes started centuries ago and confined to small areas. These games give an insight into the culture of different countries and an understanding of the people who live there. Meanwhile, new sporting pursuits develop all the time. Some of the largest growing activities of recent years have been extreme sports which take a step away from competitive, organised team sports towards expressive, individual activities often incorporating elements of danger and a lifestyle along with the physical activity.
Sports are also big business. Top sportsmen and women, idolised by millions around the globe are attractive to advertisers, commanding huge salaries and lucrative sponsorship deals. Meanwhile the relentless appetite for viewing sports ensures that more and more sport is available to watch on tv. .