Sports can have a great impact on people and society. Watching sports such as Olympic Games and the soccer/football World Cup inspires people with excitement. Playing sports can give people joy. Some people work as professional players, and some people work in areas which are related to sports. Besides these positive and well-known effects of sports on people and society, sports play very important roles in social change in many areas of the world in many aspects, for instance, peace building, health promotion, educating youth, social inclusion, promotion of living condition.
An organization called “Homeless World Cup” in UK changes living conditions of homeless people through soccer. They started World Cup for homeless people in 2003 with 5 national teams. In 2007, number of participating countries grew into 48 from all over the world, such as USA, France, China, Norway, Cameroon. Members of each team have been selected through tryal in each country. It is stimated that about more than 25000 homeless people have access to trainings or trials.
Statistics shows that the activity has brought great changes to their life. After World Cup in 2006, 92% have a new motivation for life (342 players), 89% have improved social relations (331 players), 35% have secured regular employment (130 players), 44% have improved their housing situation (164 players), 39% chose to pursue education (145 players), etc. Soccer gave them motivations and opportunities to improve their life and living conditions. Sports are also used as a tool for promoting human health.
Many researches have resulted that common health problems and diseases such as obesity, mental illness, cancers, diabetes, can be prevented or risk of getting them can be lowered by experiencing proper mount of physical activities. In addition to this, especially in developing countries, sports provide opportunities for health education. As it is well-known, spread of AIDS is very serious issue which is likely resulted because of the lack of proper hleath education. Many organizations gather youth and they play some sports together.
Sports help people to develop close relationship very quickly which makes easier for them to talk about serious issues such as how to protect themselves and others from AIDS. In this case, sports provide people opportunity of physical fitness and health education Sports can have positive impacts in society. What have to be considered is how to utilize sports and for whom and in what situation we are trying to make changes. By doing so, perhaps it is possible to foster a better society through the power of sports and expand the impact of sports on people and society.