How patriotism can unite and divide

SPORT DIVIDES  the country, creates competition and rivalry, animosity and even violence as supporters take sides. However, it can also be a major factor in bringing people together, particularly when national teams are playing, writes Danni Cox.

National sports inspire patriotism in many people. Whatever the sport, a winning result is liable to inspire a sense of national pride. Whether or not they are normally sports fans, most people will respond to the achievements of their country – and the failures.

While there are exceptions, this is a fairly common phenomenon and is the subject of tomorrow afternoon’s session by speakers, including Russell Holden, Director of In The Zone, a Sport and Politics Consultancy, and Agim Islami, President of the Tennis Federation of Kosovo.

The session will examine the ways in which sport can be used politically to promote ‘national well-being’ and how sport has helped to form national identities in countries as diverse as Jamaica and Kosovo.


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Filed under Play The Game 2009

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