Today, it is very difficult to find a country that does not have a strong focus on the development of a sports nation. With the exception of the very disadvantaged countries, most countries now have some form of initiative or structured programme that leads to one. But what exactly is a sports nation? What are the individual countries doing to achieve this status? Is it national policy that sport must play a prominent role in society? These are some of the questions we will examine when we discover the nature of a sports nation.
All emerging sports nations today have a secret agenda, and that is the development of a healthier nation. Healthy people need less care costs in old age and in development. Promoting an active and healthy lifestyle is an indirect way to address the demographic problems of higher life expectancy and rising health care costs. In countries that are considered welfare states, such as Australia, the UK, France and Canada, the health costs of citizens are mainly borne by the public purse. This could place a significant burden on the country’s resources, as health care costs have skyrocketed or will continue to skyrocket over time. Since 1965, health care costs have risen exponentially.
This geometric increase poses a very challenging problem for world governments, as population growth has not slowed. In fact, the world population is predicted to exceed the 9 billion mark by 2020. How can governments deal with the urgent need to preserve their populations? The development of a sports nation can be a long-term strategy to solve this problem. The key is to keep people fit and strong and hopefully keep diseases and complaints at bay so that health costs can be contained.
Another feature why sports nations need to be developed more and more is the desire for more publicity and positive image building. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China became the overall winner for the first time in terms of gold medals won during the Games. It marks China’s rise and return to the top of the world order. As a sporting nation, China has created a lasting and long-lasting image and a sustainable public. This kind of positive image gain has softened the impact on other countries in the world. Because of this image of the sports nation that has been created, people suddenly see many things differently about China. For example, sports training systems are becoming the favourite of the whole world. Sports equipment and products are suddenly becoming more popular. Chinese sports heroes have become role models. In short, the country is getting a shot in the arm and the overall health of the country has improved. Sports Nations has an opportunity to promote and inspire people from all over the world, and that’s a good thing.
Sporting nations not only get an image boost and make it possible to cope with health costs, but also bring revenue for the country. As the world continues to move towards a sports world, nations that successfully become sports nations are becoming the targets of numerous international games, sports conferences, sports exhibitions, training trips and camps, even investment targets for companies manufacturing sporting goods and services. Just think of the construction of stadiums in South Africa for the Football World Cup. How many billions of dollars will be invested, and how many billions more will flow into such events. Given the nature of the money generated, it is no wonder that countries around the world are doing their best to become sports nations, avoiding the kind of functions that only sports nations have.
One of these features is the abundance of sports facilities and programs in a sports nation. In established and successful sports nations, the lifestyle and infrastructure of the nation gives the feeling of a truly healthy and active person in them. Stadiums are monuments and symbols of progress, parks and walkways are accessible to the masses, sports events for the masses are common, advertising campaigns are laundered with sports advertising, families practice sport wholeheartedly and holistically. In these countries, too, government initiatives and support for resource allocation are very evident. The whole nation breathes only sports culture. Due to all these factors in a sports nation, it is not surprising that the standard of living in the country can also be very high. The advantage