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The purpose of the study is to uncover modern ideas about the essence of the concept of “sport”.
Methods of Research: Include an analysis of special literature, which covers various aspects of the development of the field of human activities associated with the use of physical exercises.
The Results of the Analysis: Shows that sport as a special socio-cultural phenomenon is a historically determined activity of people connected with the use of physical exercises, which is aimed at preparation and participation in competitions, as well as individual and socially significant results of such activity.
The results of the analysis of the special literature, in which the concept sport is used and analyzed, testify to the existence of certain differences in its definition. The existing differences are reflected in the regulatory legal documents regulating the activities of people in the field of sports and scientific works of specialists from different countries. For example, in the report of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace  it is noted that the term sport covers all forms of physical activity that promote good physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction. It includes games, entertainment, recreational or competitive sporting events, as well as sports and traditional games. The “Sports Charter of Europe” , adopted in 1992 at the Ministerial Conference on Sport of the States of Europe, gives the following definition of sport: “sport means all forms of physical activity which, through random or organized participation, are directed towards the expression or improvement of physical and mental well-being, formation of social relations or achievement of results in competitions of all levels”.
The problem of the correct definition of the concept of “sport” is actively discussed in the scientific community, including specialists from post-Soviet countries. Thus, L Matveev , revealing the nature of contemporary sport, offers two of its definitions “in the narrow sense and in the broadest sense.” In his opinion, “sport in the narrow sense is legitimate to call only the actual competition activity”, and in the broad sense (but not overly extended) the concept” sport “covers the actual competitive activity, the process of preparation for achievements in it, as well as specific interspecific relations and behavioral norms arising on the basis of this activity “.
This problem is widely covered in English-language scientific practice. Thus, K Shillinh  notes that the definition of “sport” has historically changed, but now it is used to describe those activities and games that have become a competitive race between teams or individuals and the public received the highest rating. The complexity of the correct definition of “sport” and pay attention D Koukli, E Danninh  noting that the attempt to introduce a comprehensive definition of the term “sport” that runs in any cultural environment proved illusory. In their opinion, the only definition for such an institution is comparable to the concept of “religion”.
On the existing contradictory definition of the concept of “sport” pay attention and German specialists. Thus, M Frentsel  at work “policy in Darmstadt” vidmichav that the concept of “sport” covers various types of physical activity that participants show event held on the principle of fair rules and includes a special sports ethics. H Sorzho  to work “Asceticism and consumption” draws attention to the fact that the exact definition of sport is controversial and so far it has not been clearly defined. The same position is K Dreer , who in his thesis stated that so far the existing wording of the concept of “Sports” not found universal acceptance.
The raised problem is actively discussed also in the
environment of the French scientific community. Thus, O Naarier
 states that at present an active search work is underway to
define the concept of “sport”, which should lead to a refinement
of this complicated term. According to his data, nobody was able
to offer his consensus definition. T Terret  in the editorial
of the journal “Kinds of Sports” observes that the question
of determining the essence of sport, inspired by academic
discourses of the 1960s and 1970s, will never be fully resolved.
P Bucha and K Swobri , paying attention to the complexity of
the definition of “sport”, note that at present there are more than
200 encyclopedic definitions.
The above review of definitions of the concept of “sport”
used in normative legal documents, as well as the analysis of
the results of scientific inquiries carried out by specialists from
different countries on the problem of forming modern ideas
about the socio-cultural nature of sport, are not exhaustive.
However, they indicate the existence of a clearly expressed
contradiction. On the one hand, there are a number of definitions
of the concept of “sport”, which differ in form but have similar
substantive-structural basis and on the other hand, it is stated
that it is impossible to introduce a “consensus” definition of this
concept. The latter provision, taking into account its scientific
and practical significance, requires a separate and more
thorough analysis that goes beyond the scope of this article. The
main results of this analysis are presented in a separate article
a) The review of definitions of the concept of “sport”
used in normative documents, as well as the results of the
analysis of scientific researches carried out by specialists
from different countries on the problem of forming modern
ideas about the socio-cultural nature of sport, have been
carried out, indicating the existence of a clearly expressed
contradiction. On the one hand, there are a number of
definitions of the concept of “sport”, which differ in form
but have similar substantive-structural basis and on the
other hand it is stated that it is impossible to introduce a
“consensus” definition of this concept.
b) The clarifications made to the operational and
resultant components in the wording of the concept of
“sport”, which are used in scientific practice, allowed
to formulate the following generalization (consensus)
definition of the concept of “sport”. Sport as a special sociocultural
phenomenon, is a historically determined activity of
people connected with the use of physical exercises, which is
aimed at preparing and participating in a specially organized
system of competitions, as well as individual and socially
significant results of such activity.