National Identity and Sports – The Link

Sports, as an umbrella term, encompasses a wide variety of activities in which individuals or teams compete to achieve specific goals. The most common are team sports, which offer opportunities for the development of physical fitness and social interaction skills as well as a sense of competition and achievement.


A growing trend is the specialized involvement of children and adults in a single sport year-round. This can lead to emotional and mental health problems in athletes who lack the support of teammates or suffer from depression and other negative psychological effects when they fail to reach their desired goals.

National identity and sports

The use of sports to represent and shape a nation’s national identity is a long-standing feature of many cultures and societies. It has been especially important during the emergence and evolution of modern sports.

Internationally, sports have served as a catalyst for shifting power balances among nations, organizations, and ideologies. In addition, sports have been used to foster and promote the development of indigenous recreational pursuits in diverse societies.

National identity and sports – the link

As with any political process, the relationship between sports and national identity has been complicated by historical, economic, and cultural forces. This relationship also depends on the hegemonic beliefs and values that are constructed through sports.