The level of organisational system that governs and impacts the sport can be used to differentiate if an activity is considered to be structured sport or not. Non-sport activities involve activities that are mentally challenging or purely recreational in nature and may not require physical effort. Sports involving repetitive physical activity and high levels of skill are considered to be structured sports. Activities engaged in for purely leisure, relaxation and health, or purely physical exercise, with the sole objective of human interaction, and involved in competitive action that takes place using rules and guidelines created by governing bodies. Sportive events such as athletics, motor sports, gymnastics, rugby, swimming and skiing are structured sports.
Organising sporting events is a complex process, which involves many different people and organisations. It requires careful consideration over the objectives, methods, formats and regulation of different sporting competitions, including sport law and sporting ethics. The development of a code of standard activity and a set of sport standards enables organizations to develop a common understanding of what it is that they are looking for in their sport events and how to protect the sport, its participants, the spectators and any other external parties. A sport event becomes a popular sport if the rules and regulations to ensure fair competition and uphold the values of sport itself.
Organisations involved in sport management must take into account the financial benefits of participating in the sport; this can be of great benefit to the national economy. However, beyond this there are many other issues to consider, such as welfare and issues of equal opportunity. Many governing bodies for mind sports have been reluctant to address these issues of fairness and equal opportunity in sport, often having been successful in the past at making some changes to certain behaviours that promote negative stereotypes. It is for this reason that it is often recommended that a sport management professional is consulted before taking up an involvement in a particular sport event.
Sport management professionals are able to work within a number of different sport organisations to ensure that sport and physical activity is promoted and encouraged as a socially responsible activity, where benefits are reaped by all stakeholders. It is for this reason that participation in sport and physical activity should be encouraged and supported at all levels, from schools and colleges to governing bodies. Sport management professionals are often involved in the development of policies and programs, providing a framework through which to tackle and change problems and promote positive attitudes and social responsibility.
The activities that sport can bring to society in general, and to each individual in particular, cannot be overlooked. As social activities, sport can create positive relationships between individuals and can help develop confidence and improve problem solving skills. Sport can foster teamwork and solidarity, helping to build a sense of positive engagement and team spirit. It can also provide a venue for professional sportspeople to display their skills and abilities to a wider audience and be rewarded accordingly. In addition, professionally developed sport programs can be used to build the recreational skills of everyone involved.
Sport management professionals can assist in promoting a healthy lifestyle and developing an environment that promotes physical fitness. Through sport development and scheduling, they can create an environment in which sport and physical activity can be enjoyed by everyone at all ages without the risk of injury. In addition to working with schools, colleges and universities, sport management professionals may be employed by private companies to manage their sports facilities and develop programs that will build overall fitness. This can prove very beneficial to the wider community, as healthy lifestyles are essential in preventing heart disease and other health issues. A career in sport and recreation can prove rewarding, both on the individual level and as part of an overall team effort.