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Introduction

Sport in childhood. Association football, shown above, is a team sport which also provides opportunities to nurture physical fitness and social interaction skills.

Sport includes all forms of competitive physical activity or games which, through casual or organised participation, at least in part aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, simultaneously or consecutively, with one winner; in others, the contest (a match) is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a "tie" or "draw", in which there is no single winner; others provide tie-breaking methods to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs.

Sport is generally recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition, and other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports. However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), Go and xiangqi, and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports.

Selected article

Route of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race
The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was a non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race, held in 1968–1969, and was the first round-the-world yacht race. The race was controversial due to the failure by most competitors to finish the race and because of the suicide of one entrant; however, it ultimately led to the founding of the BOC Challenge and Vendée Globe round-the-world races, both of which continue to be successful and popular.

The race was sponsored by the British Sunday Times newspaper and was designed to capitalise on a number of individual round-the-world voyages which were already being planned by various sailors; for this reason, there were no qualification requirements, and competitors were offered the opportunity to join and permitted to start at any time between 1 June and 31 October 1968. The Golden Globe trophy was offered to the first person to complete an unassisted, non-stop single-handed circumnavigation of the world via the great capes, and a separate £5,000 prize was offered for the fastest single-handed circumnavigation.

Nine sailors started the race; four retired before leaving the Atlantic Ocean. Of the five remaining, Chay Blyth, who had set off with absolutely no sailing experience, sailed past the Cape of Good Hope before retiring; Nigel Tetley sank with 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km) to go while leading; Donald Crowhurst, who attempted to fake a round-the-world voyage, began to show signs of mental illness, and then committed suicide; and Bernard Moitessier, who rejected the philosophy behind a commercialised competition, abandoned the race while in a strong position to win and kept sailing non-stop until he reached Tahiti after circling the globe one and a half times. Robin Knox-Johnston was the only entrant to complete the race, becoming the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world. He was awarded both prizes, and later donated the £5,000 to a fund supporting Crowhurst's family.

Selected image

A rider in a the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships mountain bike trial receives a one point penalty for touching his foot to the ground
Credit: Steve Bennett

A rider in the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships mountain bike trial receives a one point penalty for touching his foot to the ground

Selected athlete

Waisale Serevi during the 2007 Wellington Sevens
Waisale Tikoisolomoni Serevi (born 20 May 1968 in Suva, Fiji) is a former Fijian rugby union footballer, and coach. Although he played fifteen-a-side rugby throughout his playing career, Serevi is most notable for his achievements in rugby sevens. He is widely considered one of the greatest rugby players ever, especially in the game of sevens.

In the 15-man game, he played for Fiji 39 times between 1989 and 2003, and scored 376 points. This included representing Fiji in the 1991, 1999, and 2003 Rugby World Cups. He has also played professionally for the Mitsubishi, Leicester, Stade Montois, Stade Bordelais and Staines rugby teams.

His representative sevens career started in 1989 when he played for Fiji at the Hong Kong tournament. With the exception of 2001, 2003 and 2004 he has played at Hong Kong every year since. Serevi has also played in the 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens, winning the World Cup with Fiji in 1997 and 2005. He won silver at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and 2002, and captured bronze in 2006. Serevi has played in the International Rugby Board Sevens Series since its creation in 1999. In 2005 after winning the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens Serevi was appointed the Fiji Sevens team's coach. He coached Fiji to the 2005/2006 IRB Sevens Series victory – the first time the series was not won by New Zealand.

In 2010 Serevi moved his family to the United States and settled in Seattle, Washington, to run a business with Fijian expatriates. He used his experience in rugby to open a new brand, the Serevi Rugby Nation, to help pool funds for Pacific Islander players and run rugby training workshops for the youth. He also worked with the Old Puget Sound Rugby club, and helped Central Washington University qualify for the Collegiate Rugby Championships. On October 6, 2011, Serevi flew home to Fiji and declared his availability to coach the team in qualifying for the 2013 Sevens World Cup and help the team qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Selected team

The All Blacks perform the Haka before a match
The New Zealand men's national rugby union team, known as the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in what is regarded as its national sport. The team first competed in 1884 against Cumberland County, New South Wales, and played their first Test match in 1903, a victory over Australia.

The All Blacks are the Rugby World Cup champions, the leading points scorers of all time, and the only international rugby team with a winning record against every test nation they have ever played. The All Blacks have held the top ranking in the world for longer than all other countries combined, and in over 100 years only five test rugby nations have ever beaten New Zealand. The All Blacks have won The Rugby Championship a record eleven times (in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012) in the competition's 16-year history. The All Blacks have won over a record 75% of all rugby matches they have played since 1903 (which is amongst the highest in all International sport) and they were named the International Rugby Board (IRB) Team of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and a record fifth time in 2011. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame; three of these are also inductees of the IRB Hall of Fame, and another player is a member of the IRB Hall.

The team's early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By their 1905 tour New Zealand were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, and their All Black name dates from this time. New Zealand traditionally perform a haka (Māori challenge) before each match, traditionally the Te Rauparaha's Ka Mate.

Selected quote

Rudy Tomjanovich in 2009
We had nonbelievers all along the way, and I have one thing to say to those nonbelievers: Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion!     

Did you know...

Jaime Navarro in 2008

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Athletes march during the opening ceremony of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games

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