Taking Inventory of Our Sports
October 6, 2007

The term sport is documented to have come from the old French term desport, which means leisure. The quest for leisure in its various forms is an innate human behavior that may be as old as humanity, if we presume that humanityís bodily expression of leisure started with its origin.

Even though records about humanityís sporting activities at the time of its origin arenít available, some records indicate that the Chinese engaged in sporting activities as early as 4000 BC, according to Wikipedia. Wikipedia also indicates about various sporting activities in ancient Egypt several thousands of years ago, based on observations on the monuments of the Pharaohs.

Social progress and the accumulation of wealth by industrialization may have increased time for leisure that would lead to engaging in various sporting activities. Without a question, this would definitely lead to regulating the activities so that each activity would have its own laws. Today, at the Olympics or other organized sporting events, there are competitions in many kinds of sports. New kinds of sports are created from time to time and played at these events. What is not clear is how many sporting activities are out there that have not been regulated or presented as sporting activities in their own right.

Specifically, there may be several sporting activities in Ethiopia that have not seen the light of the day at organized sport games. For example, horse riding is a common in Ethiopia. Even though this is common else where, there have been different kinds of arts to it that we havenít seen in other parts of the world. These include crawling under the horseís belly as well as throwing sticks to a fellow rider armed with a shield. These sports seem dangerous at first sight but with a close study, it is perhaps easy to make these kinds of sports safe enough while at the same time make them enjoyable. These are areas that the culture and tourism bureaus in Oromia in particular and in Ethiopia in general could work on. With careful study and planning, these kinds of unexplored sports could possibly end being played at international Olympics events in the future.

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