Historical Review
Physical activities were always a part of human leisure activity. Those that held first place among primitive people were activities of warlike nature and of hunting. In time of peace, dance and recreational pastimes took place. The ancient Greeks admired the beauty of human body, and the Romans loved military and gladiatorial games and professional exhibitions. The Middle Ages were famous for their knight tournaments and religious festivals.

What does SPORT mean nowadays?

Definition of sport used in the dictionary says: SPORT is an outdoor or indoor game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill and usually carried on according to rules.

Some people say that sport is a physical activity governed by rules and played by individuals seeking to outperform opponents, while others can understand sport as organized spontaneous exercises or games, or as a competitive or non-competitive process through which an individual obtains physical skills, mental relaxation and bodily fitness.

Sport gives people enjoyment, happiness, friendship, satisfaction, health, fitness, popularity, recognition, the feeling of victory and success, but on the other hand, it may be boring, cause sadness, sorrow, disappointment, fatigue, exhaustion, injuries, illness, and in some cases even death.


Sport can be categorized from various standpoints. We can distinguish various categories in sport activities according to:


Besides taking an active part in sport, it is also possible just to watch sport events as a spectator or TV watcher, or to play the pools, which means to bet money on certain sport results. Passive sport is also important because spectators and fans can encourage sportsmen and players and help improve so their performance. Spectators can be one of the income sources for sport clubs too. However, there are many problems with different groups of fans who arrive at stadiums, especially those that support particular football clubs. Some groups are called e.g. Hooligans.

Active sport is either recreational or competitive and top performance.


Recreational sport is also called sport for all and is done for various purposes, but mainly for fun and entertainment in leisure time. An increasing number of people are becoming health-conscious and do recreational sport activities and various keep-fit exercises to maintain or improve their physical as well as mental fitness and health, to affect their flexibility, to strengthen their muscles and shape the body, to delay ageing symptoms, etc. Some people desire to learn new skills or experience new feelings through sport activities. Some people might have social reasons for their participation in sport including the need of integration, friendship, team work, support, recognition etc.

Competitive sport is done mainly for performance, for achieving good results in competitions, defeating opponents and becoming the winner or record holder. People who do competitive sport train hard and regularly and participate in various forms of competition. They are organised and belong to different sport teams, clubs, associations or federations. The highest level of competitive sport is elite sport (top performance sport). Elite athletes must sacrifice almost everything to their sport. It lasts many years to become an excellent sportsman. Such a process means years of hard everyday training, effort and drudgery, years of pain and stress as well. Financial and social background is a necessity. Elite athletes are often professionals who make living through sport. They follow principles of sport training to make progress, including various regeneration programmes. The elite sport is linked with a serious problem – doping, the use of illegal substances to improve performance.


Amateur sportsmen take part in sport because of the enjoyment and satisfaction gained from the activity. They train and compete in their leisure time, usually after work or at weekends. They are not paid for that.

Professional sport is a paid form of participation in sport events. Professional athletes make living through sport, do sport as a job, are paid to compete in sport. Winning and success are the most important things. The more successful professionals are the more money they earn. They usually train full-time and devote themselves to their sport. They sign contracts with different organisations or firms, have to train properly, participate in competitions, promote the employer or his/her products, take part in press conferences, advertising campaigns, etc.

The international governing bodies of each sport draw up rules to decide who is amateur in their sport. They decide if professionals may compete with amateurs.


It is an organized sport event in which participants – competitors want to become winners, strive to achieve the best possible results, to show an excellent performance, to beat opponents, to set or break records, or want to test their abilities and skills and compare them with those of the other competitors. Those who enter for a competition are obliged to keep (observe) the rules. Breaking (violating) the rules is penalized or punished in various ways.

Officials are people who conduct competitions, assess performances of competitors, referee games, decide the result of a competition. They are called different names, such as referees, judges, or umpires. The referee is used in connection with e.g. basketball, boxing, football, hockey, rugby, squash, and wrestling. The umpire acts in badminton, baseball, cricket, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. There is a panel of judges in sports like gymnastics or figure skating.

Competitions have various forms with respect to particular sport areas. We speak about races in athletics, cycling or skiing, players and teams play matches, participate in tournaments, leagues, or cups, horse riders or motor-bikers have their trophies, motor racers compete in rallies, windsurfers, yachtsmen and rowmen take part in regattas, boxers fight in bouts, the name combat or contest is used in some combat sports, etc. Major competitions are called championships.


Physical Education (PE) was derived from the Latin words “physica”, physics, and “educatio”, education, meaning the training of the bodily organs and powers with a view to the promotion of health and vigour.

The Article One of the UNESCO International Charter of Physical Education and Sports says that freedom to develop physical, intellectual and moral powers through physical education and sport must be guaranteed both within the educational system and in other aspects of social life.

The main goals that the PE program should strive to accomplish concern four areas. The PE curriculum should 1) develop health-related and motor performance-related fitness, 2) develop skill in activities, 3) develop an understanding and appreciation of physical activity, and 4) provide a meaningful psycho-social experience.

Factors that influence PE program development:

  1. the community,
  2. state legislation,
  3. research,
  4. professional organizations,
  5. attitudes of managers, school or faculty, students, and consumers,
  6. facilities and equipment,
  7. scheduling classes,
  8. class size,
  9. physical education and coaching staff,
  10. climate and geographical considerations,
  11. social forces,
  12. economic issues.
READING (Authentic text)


Organized sport in American schools has its origin in the athleticism movement that developed in private schools for boys in Britain (called Public Schools) in the mid- to late 19th century. During this time period a system of institutionalized games became associated with the philosophy of muscular Christianity, characterized by a belief in God, country, playing by rules and playing fairly, and accepting amateurism as the highest form of sport. The idea that participation in sport “build character” was the basis of this philosophy. Teachers were put in charge of sports teams and participation became compulsory. Since these activities were school sponsored, they were, by definition, of educational value.

The muscular Christianity movement was exported to the British Empire as the graduates of the Public School system took up administrative and teaching positions in the colonies. Schools were set up for the sons of the local elites in British colonial possessions, and organized sports were practised in these schools in much the same way as in Britain. Sport became central to the education of the sons of American elites in a similar manner, since in the mid-nineteenth century private schools following the British model were developed in the East Coast region of the United States.

The British “play up and play the game” mentality may have been the initial philosophy behind playing sport in America, but during the late 19th and early 20th century this philosophy became modified, and winning became more important. Social historian Donald Mrozek (1983) has traced the origins of this “victory philosophy” in sport to the spirit of social efficiency, the idea that individuals could work together like the parts of a machine to produce a positive social environment. Contemporary business and educational leaders in America enthusiastically accepted this philosophy. Victory in sport was seen as “the greatest of all manifestations of social efficiency” and was used by the political leaders of the time such as T. Roosevelt as a metaphor for victory by the nation in a broader political context. Sports, particularly “American” team sports such as baseball and football, gave the opportunity for action, and as a result of action, success and victory. Winning in sport became an “invented tradition” of America, symbolizing moral superiority and national dominance.

This winning philosophy quickly became part of organized sport at American universities, as the unique system of American intercollegiate athletics developed. During the first two decades of 20th century universities began to hire professional coaches whose job was to help the sports teams win games. This system of intercollegiate athletics is much the same today then, although now the financial stakes for the universities are much higher.

The winning philosophy also became part of a system of high school sports organized along the same lines as college, but until recently without the high financial stakes. Sport became an essential part of the expansion of American secondary education to meet the great influx of immigrants during the early 20th century. In America almost everyone comes from somewhere else, so the need to develop a sense of community, i.e. to invent the idea of being “American”, was an important educational goal. Sport became a valuable consensual ritual in American schools, a ritual which created a sense of solidarity and community, and it still performs this function today. There is nothing like winning sporting events to bring the school together and develop community pride. The town can collectively celebrate the success of the high school sports teams, and through that success all community members can think of themselves as “winners”.


Perspectives, Vol. 1: School Sport and Competition, Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2000. Article (p. 115-129): School Sports in America: the Production of “Winners” and “Losers” written by Prof. Dr. C. Roger Rees from Department of Health Sciences, Physical Education and Human Performance Science, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY 11530, USA

Listening comprehension

Extreme Sports

Prosím, stáhněte si nejnovější Javu a Flash


  1. Why are these sports called extreme sports?
  2. What is a common feature of extreme sports?
  3. Why do people enjoy extreme sports?
  4. What extreme sports are considered popular?
  5. What does BASE jumping involve?
  6. Why is BASE jumping more dangerous than skydiving?
  7. What every-day situations may be as dangerous as the extreme sports are?


ability schopnost
advertising reklama
ageing symptoms příznaky stárnutí
air sports letecké sporty
all-season sports celoroční sporty
approach přístup
aquatics vodní sporty
assess posuzovat, hodnotit
association asociace, svaz
background zázemí
beat porazit (soupeře)
benjamins žáci (ve sportu)
bout zápas, kolo, (jedna) hra
break record překonat rekord
break rules porušit pravidla
championship mistrovství, šampionát
charter charta
combat sports úpolové sporty
combat zápas, boj
competitive sport soutěžní/ závodní sport
contest zápas, boj, utkání, soutěž
courage odvaha
cup pohár
defeat porazit (soupeře)
disappointment zklamání
drudgery dřina
effort úsilí
elite athlete vrcholový sportovec
elite sport vrcholový sport
encourage povzbuzovat
enter for (a race) přihlásit se (do závodu)
environment prostředí
equestrian jezdectví
equipment vybavení
exert (effort) vynaložit (úsilí)
exhaustion vyčerpání
fitness zdatnost
flexibility ohebnost
full-time na plný úvazek
gear výstroj, výzbroj, vybavení, potřeby
goal games brankové hry
governing body řídící orgán (ve sportu)
health-conscious zajímající se o zdraví
Hooligans chuligáni
hunting lov
illegal substance zakázaná látka
improve zdokonalit, zlepšit
income příjem (peněz)
injury zranění
issues problematika, otázky, záležitosti
judge rozhodčí; rozhodovat
juniors junioři, dorostenci
keep rules dodržovat pravidla
keep-fit exercises kondiční cvičení
knight tournament rytířský turnaj
league liga
leisure activity zájmová činnost (ve volném čase)
major sports hlavní sporty
Martial arts bojová umění
match zápas (ve sportovních hrách)
minor sports malé sporty
objective cíl, smysl
observe rules dodržovat pravidla
officials rozhodčí, činovníci
opponent soupeř
participant účastník
pastime koníček, činnost ve volném čase
penalize potrestat, penalizovat
performance výkon, provedení
physical education (PE) tělesná výchova (TV)
play the pools sázet (na výsledky)
promote propagovat
punish potrestat
purpose účel, cíl
race závod
recognition uznání
record holder držitel rekordu
referee rozhodčí; rozhodovat
religious festival náboženský svátek
result výsledek
set record udělat rekord
shape the body tvarovat tělo
shooting sports střelecké sporty
skill dovednost
spectators diváci
sport facility sportovní zařízení
sport for all sport pro všechny, rekreační sport
staff personál, zaměstnanci
standpoint hledisko
strengthen muscles posilovat svaly
success úspěch
top performance sport vrcholový sport
tournament turnaj
track and field events běžecké a technické discipliny (v atletice)
track dráha
trophy trofej
umpire rozhodčí
violate rules porušit pravidla
warlike nature válečná povaha

Content        Chapters: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7        Vocabulary       Listening        References