Recreational sports entail a set of physical, competitive games that are played leisurely and for fun. The most common recreational sports all around the world include surfing, swimming, hiking and skiing just to name a few. Some recreational sports are, however, too expensive for most to indulge in despite their fun appeal. Recreational sports such as skydiving, paragliding or sailing are among the luxurious recreational sports activities that require a set of resources not available to everyone. The most popular recreational sports are, however, accessible to most which add to their popularity around the world. Recreational sporting is meant to be leisurely hence does not require professional skills to participate. All these recreational sports, however, are played professionally all around the world, but they have as well found their ways to normal fun seeking individuals as recreational sports. The following are three of the most popular recreational sports worldwide which you might notice have a wide professional fan base.

1. Surfing

Surfing is quite the popular recreational sport globally which entails a surfing board and a huge sea wave. This beautiful game discovered for the first time in the Islands of Tahiti requires only the prowess of mastering your balance. Surfing is mostly famous alongside the coast which goes without saying is due to its high dependence on a large water mass especially the ocean.

2. Alpine Skiing

Skiing is more of a winter season recreational event when the ground is white and all covered in snow. It mostly takes place on mountain and hill sides, which form a white slippery slope of snow. All you might need are some ski shoes, a ski mask, a pair of gloves just as basic but not the only necessities. Then down the slope, you go in alleviating speed along marked ski routes that include obstacles and jumping ramps. Other popular recreational sports such as sledding, kite skiing, and water skiing are from the first alpine skiing.

3. Golfing

Golfing is among the most expensive recreational sports and yet has gained the popularity votes on a global aspect. This recreational sport entails a vast field, a couple of golf balls and a bunch of golf clubs. It may seem that golfing as a recreational sport is a favorite to many due to its tranquility and leisure as you have fun. Golfing has rather developed as a recreational sport into more of a professional outlook given the many current professional golfers worldwide.

Have you ever had an occasional insatiable hollowness within you, like there is something you lack yet you do not know how to fill this hole? Well, the answer to that question for most individuals is yes. The simplest explanation to the matter that has been plaguing your consciousness is that you seek adventure and thrill to break the monotony of the continuous routine that is your life. The simple solution is to pick a recreational sport to participate, heck, even an inflatable water slide could be a great starter. Once you get the one that suits you, not only will you feel the sense of fulfillment and achievement, you will have become complete both physically and mentally.

For those of us who are sport fans we may have noticed that worldwide sports has been corrupted over the past few years by commercialism and drug abuse by athletes. Love of money (the root of all evil) is making a nonsense of competitive sport.

COMMERCIALISM OF SPORT

Professional sport has always been played for reward, though not for very much. But in the 1980’s there was a great influx of investment in worldwide sport notably cricket, soccer and athletics.

In cricket, an Australian Television tycoon named Kerry Packer, hired the best players in the world to play cricket in Australia and paid them exorbitant money in a sport which had hitherto been starved of resources. Packer cricket lasted only about 3 years but the Packer revolution as it was called had ignited a spark in players to go after big bucks wherever and however it could be found – ‘Have Bat Will Travel’. So we had rebel tours to apartheid South Africa by some West Indian players as they went in search of their kruggerands and other players were caught ‘selling’ matches. Money had come into the game to stay and some cricketers now earn $1.55 million for a five week season (World’s Top – Earning Cricketers by Schwartz & Smith 2009), a far cry from yester year.

In athletics, investment was restricted originally because athletes were amateurs and could not be paid but they soon found a way around that by setting up trusts which could receive the payments on their behalf. Also, the line between the amateur and the professional is breaking down as the International Olympic Committee is increasingly letting in professionals in events such as soccer, tennis and basketball because they have commercial appeal i.e. put a line of clothes on them, put them before the cameras and everybody will rush in to buy. In any event lots of athletes are now turning professionals.

In soccer, there has been a similar inflow of money as rich businessmen from East Europe, America and the Middle East are buying up top clubs in Europe and then buying the top players wherever they can be found. All done with one goal i.e.to win. Another popular form of investment is through sponsorship, for example a company will bankroll a team and in return stipulate the terms on which that team participates in games and competitions. Soccer players’ salaries now average $14.67 million a year (How Much Do Soccer Players Earn? by K. Madden). Club Directors also do well for themselves by selling their shares in top clubs (China Daily by Geoffrey Wheatcroft 2007).

Sport is no longer played for the love of the game or staying loyal to your team or fans or even to your country. While the Packer cricketers were negotiating to play for Packer to compete with official cricket they were still playing for their countries. It is a question of ‘show me the money’ and ‘ win at all costs’. There have been numerous cases of cheating, for example the hand of God from Thierry Henry and fake injuries and blood in rugby.

There is now controversy as to whether athletes deserve their million dollar contracts. Corporations virtually own the players with tremendous control over them and their sport. Many highly paid players are not worthy of their status while less popular sports like Brazilian women’s soccer lack the backing they need as they don’t fit the sponsors criteria.

DRUG USE

Drug use in sport has been around for a few years but the influx of big money in the last 30 years has greatly fueled the desire to win even if you have to get some help.

This investment in sport has produced big financial rewards for the investors through sponsorships, television rights, advertising, gate receipts etc. It has also helped to improve facilities, provide training and higher incomes for competitors especially in the poorer countries.

But there has also been a downside. There is the tendency now to cheat because of the lucrative rewards that can be gained. Add to this, the rapid advancement in modern medicine and technology so that drug use in sport has now become common place. It can be done as part of Government policy as was done in the former East Germany but more often it is done on an individual level by the competitor with the collusion of the coach and sometimes the sports association.

Some competitors get away with it while others are not so lucky. In the London Olympics a number of athletes from various sports were sent home because they failed drug tests.

Accusations and cross accusations are now rampant so that anyone who performs well is now the target of suspicion. American talk radio now accuse Jamaican sprinters of ‘funny business’ and allege the Jamaican drug testing system is not sophisticated enough to stop them. But I have not heard of one case of them “catching” any Jamaican competitor at an international competition. And it has not been for want of trying. At the Beijing Olympics Usain Bolt was tested 34 times.

Money has so overtaken sports today that every sports story is not about the achievements of athletes but about earning money and this has also infected sports organizations- wherever you have cheese you find rats. Sports columns are not about play but about the trading of players. In cricket, limited over games were formed specifically for commercial purposes. Games were originally 60 overs but are now only 20 as organizers rush to make a fast buck. In the London Olympics soccer games were even interrupted for advertising.

Sports are no longer played for fun but is now a multi billion dollar business. Sports organizers, competitors, the media and big business have all contributed to produce the ‘show’ that we now call sport. The biggest loser is the fan. That is a pity because for me sport was one of the last avenues of recreation and diversion.

Victor A Dixon, attorney & social scientist

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Victor_A_Dixon/1549988