Practicing Sports - a Fundamental Human Right

By Voicu, Alexandru Virgil; Fuerea, Augustin et al. | The International Sports Law Journal, July-October 2011 | Go to article overview

Practicing Sports - a Fundamental Human Right


Voicu, Alexandru Virgil, Fuerea, Augustin, Visoiu, Daniel Florentin, Sustac, Zeno Daniel, Bocsa, Marcel Ionel, The International Sports Law Journal


The theme of this article covers the benefits of sport for society in general, but also the provisions of Romanian Law no. 69/2000 on Physical Education and Sport, as subsequently amended, as well as all the relevant Romanian legislation arising from the provisions of European Union (EU) law on the subject, in particular The White Paper on Sport and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, documents which entered into force pursuant to the Treaty of Lisbon. Last but not least, the article debates the possibility of enhancing the importance of practicing physical education and sport as an inherent human right.

The sporting phenomenon - a significant social phenomenon

Every individual is keen on developing speculations and debates regarding the causes, consequences and even the content itself of various phenomena and processes that he or she might encounter in daily life. The most probable outcome of such an endeavor would most probably be that of referring to these subjects from different perspectives that is, ascertaining different point of views - subjectivity owing, in this case, mainly to conditional experience and common sense. Therefore, one must position himself in a position that claims a prudent attitude - if not total rejection - towards intuition, speculation, horse sense (the fundamentals of common sense), and strive for the rigors of the scientific method.

It is thought that human rights are an ideological projection in order to justify certain social actions, a philosophy, a concept on the world and the existence. Human rights are, foremost, a sociology of contemporary life, inasmuch that they encompass facts, phenomena, social processes and relationships alike, mentalities, states of mind, imagery, representations, interests and perceptions. Max Weber spoke of the design of the world and man's place in it. The topic on human rights is often reduced to a legislative concept, and human rights education bears a technical nature - law articles, pros and cons debates in sustaining a certain idea, case analysis etc. In this particular context, one cannot ignore the existence of a sporting phenomenon, which has developed into an important social phenomenon. Its importance is foremost justifiable by man's dependence on his physiological and social needs to participate in organized or random sporting activities, also used - more recently - with the aim of satisfying a professional avocation (professional sports).

We see it imperative to remind ourselves that man "is not static, he is profoundly dynamic, he is a living reality in a tireless state of wanting, restless until reaching his goal" (1). It is from this psychology-of-the-(dynamic)-person perspective that we will be able to appreciate the three forms of human development: biological, dynamic and psychological, reaching the conclusion that these are the working fundamentals of the motivational theories. Whether one agrees or not - ultimately confident in the social-cultural calling of the human nature - man is concurrently nature and culture. That is why one can argue that the need to exert physical activity - viewed as a means of physical education and sport, whether professional or amateur - is also a biological need that is integrated in man's various organic necessities, as are those "linked to the assimilation and dissimilation process, or anabolism and catabolism, such as hunger, thirst and breathing, on one hand, and the necessity to preserve the species, or sexual instinct, on the other." (2)

Every single need-related work motivation theory drawn up by authors such as Maslow, Clayton Alderfer (ERG theory - Existence, Relatedness, Growth), McClelland (3) (Necessities theory), Faverge J.M (4), states that until elementary necessities, more urgent and pressing, have not been fulfilled, all others remain in the background; as one category of needs is satisfied, another, superior one, is sought after. …

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