There are artifacts and structures that suggest that the Chinese engaged in sporting activities asearly as 2000 BC. Gymnastics appears to have been a popular sport in China’s ancient past. Monuments to the Pharaohs indicate that a number of sports, including swimming and fishing, were well-developed and regulated several thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt. Other Egyptian sports included javelin throwing, high jump, and wrestling. Ancient Persian sports such as the traditional Iranian martial art of Zourkhaneh had a close connection to the warfare skills. Among other sports that originate in ancient Persia are polo and jousting.
A wide range of sports were already established by the time of Ancient Greece and the military culture and the development of sports in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sports became such a prominent part of their culture that the Greeks created the Olympic Games, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the Peloponnesus called Olympia.
Female participation continues to rise alongside the opportunity for involvement and the value of sports for child development and physical fitness. Despite gains during the last three decades, a gap persists in the enrollment figures between male and female players. Female players account for 39% of the total participation in US interscholastic athletics. Gender balance has been accelerating from a 32% increase in 1973–74 to a 63% increase in 1994–95. Hessel [full citation needed].
Youth sports present children with opportunities for fun, socialization, forming peer relationships, physical fitness, and athletic scholarships. Activists for education and the war on drugs encourage youth sports as a means to increase educational participation and to fight the illegal drug trade. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the biggest risk for youth sports is death or serious injury including concussion, with the highest risk coming from running, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, and gymnastics.