The difference between sport and leisure is that sports are more structured, competitive and focused on winning, while leisure activities are centered around enjoyment or relaxation. Sport activities tend to have established rules, score keeping, designated competitors and set schedules, whereas leisurely events are more flexible and interpretive.
Competition is the driving force behind all sports, while leisure activities usually focus on individual or mutual fun or personal improvement. Most sporting events and activities have very specific rules, which if broken, can determine the outcome of the event. Sports directly pit athletes and teams against each other with the primary goal of winning. Leisurely activities are not meant to be competitive and are mostly engaged in for their relaxing or therapeutic aspects. Many leisure activities focus on preferred company, as opposed to teams, and many are designed for individual enjoyment or enlightenment.
In some cases, an activity can be both a sport and a leisurely event. Activities such as golf, fishing and swimming can be considered either sport or leisure, depending on how they are approached. Both sporting and leisure activities are used to help in various forms of medical and mental rehabilitation. Sport movements help individuals regain mobility after accidents or surgeries, and leisure activities reduce stress and encourage personal growth.