Discovering Sports Cultures

| |

We watch, we play, we participate, we compete and we celebrate in the global arena of Sport, each individual participant dedicating a dream of accomplishment in their chosen sport. But why do we choose to participate? Is it a simple answer or is it more of a complex conundrum. Without art and culture, it could be said that sport is a blank canvas; culture expresses the independent factors behind our inspirations and creative prowess. So what is sports culture? And does it really express the art and culture of one’s lifestyle and self belonging?

History transcends the passage of sports origins in a plethora of metamorphoses, this in simple terms means the independent factors of what, and where and why the sport disciplines evolved. When recorded we interpret this as a subjective timeline, nevertheless it does not explain the reasoning for our participation and passion. So this is a dead end. Let’s put a twist of peculiar thinking in the mix, why was Stella McCartney asked to design GB Olympic sports kit? The question itself is not uncommon, but the answer can be questionable, firstly Stella McCartney is a designer and created a piece of wearable art to evoke patriotism. Some people might have hated it and some people loved it.  Does this make the athletes run faster, does this inspire children to take part in sport and does this breed audience participation?

Now we have aroused your suspicions we can look elsewhere; it would be far too easy to familiarise ourselves and debate with the theory of sport sociality, for example the analysis of class distinction on participation figures or an abstract discussion of theory of relationship culture in sport.  We have been indulged in a wave of new sporting disciplines within the last twenty to thirty years and these new sports may have the tangible theories and answers.

Snowboarding as with many sports has been a sport developed around a product, but at the time of its simple inception into the global arena there was no demand, as countless people did or could or would not understand the sport around the product, so the innovators of the product quickly realised that to sell their product that way they would need to actively promote the sport. The Generation of participants around this core product were known as generation X. This generation were not only the athletes but the creators of the product and of the sport, this allowed for self expression.  Put more simply the athlete was responsible for the graphics on the snowboard, and therefore they were not simply known as a snowboarder but as an artist.

We are now celebrating the key figures around the 2012 Olympics, this being the winning athletes and coaches, but should we? Can you imagine finishing your discipline in fourth place, no painted post box for you, but is it fair just because you win gold that you get to be celebrated?  Great Britain has been built on a nation of togetherness so why are we celebrating a division? Is this the way the opening ceremony started? This could be down to the celebration committee not understanding the dynamics of the society around sport. And as mentioned earlier instead of Stella McCartney designing the Team GB sports Kit, it could have been designed and produced by the athletes themselves.

Sports culture with it’s mashup of monumental idealisms and questions is still subjective to the view of self belonging in one’s life style, so is there really much more to it than this; a creative culture has it’s vices and it is so effortless to pick up on the easy points, and keep looking at the extreme sports culture for the answers.

Sports disciplines are dominated by product invasion and sports society dictates that a relationship takes place between the participant and the product, but that the product has no ethos, beliefs and personality. Thankfully, gone are the days of the 1980’s and 1990’s where healthy eating products were linked with sport participation.

Welcome the Unhealthy. Red Bull have dominated this market, with so much success, but to what cause, they are now so big and have now digressed into so many sports that I am clearly confused of what sports they actual believe in, as I see them as a host for product saturation to the masses, without the need to nurture and inspire talented athletes. McCain foods have sponsored UK Athletics (UKA) since 2008 with the aim of supporting and inspiring athletes from grass roots through to competitive level.  It is hard to say what affect and success McCain has on building and inspiring athletes for the Olympics. But I will be celebrating athletics in the Olympics in my own way that is, running in my creatively painted sports kit whilst eating chips.