By Amelia Meyer
Although part of the United Kingdom – which comprises England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – England competes in many international sporting events as a separate entity, a country on its own. England is very committed to and whole-heartedly involved in the sporting arena of the world.
The most popular sports in modern-day England are:
Vintage photograph of a group of boys playing football. From the late victorian or early edwardian period
Significantly, football and cricket both have their roots in England and are now two of the most popular, successful and lucrative sports in the entire world. Sports that are played on an individual basis and feature highly in England include:
In general, England’s most “loyal” or consistent rivals are Scotland and Australia, although this feeling does vary, depending on the nature of the sport. Because England competes as an independent entity in most sporting events (such as the Rugby World Cup, for example), it gives fans the opportunity to connect with one another on the basis of national pride. Having this common ground is intrinsic to enforcing those feelings of camaraderie and mutual support, which is a key part in establishing a positive vibe at any sporting event.
Cricket is recognised as the national sport of England. However, football (or soccer) is certainly one of the country’s most popular.
The English football teams are highly esteemed the world over and include the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. The players are quickly turned into celebrities. Outstanding examples are John Terry, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, George Best and Wayne Rooney. Many of these lead somewhat questionable lifestyles, which are romanticised by the ever-present media and paparazzi. Even their wives and girlfriends (dubbed the WAGS) enjoy a certain degree of celebrity status, all due to the success of football in the minds and hearts of English soccer supporters.
Records of a game like cricket being played date back to the 14th century. It was played by the shepherds, who would wait for their sheep to graze in the field and have plenty of time to invent new activities. The short grass was ideal. The target was usually the gate of the sheep’s pasture (now the wicket) and their “bat” was the staff used to direct the animals. By the middle of the 18th century, everyone had caught on to this exciting game. Today, its players, famous in their own rights (although not quite in the same celebrity league as the football players), include Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Alastair Cook and Eoin Morgan.
In 2012, London will be hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This mammoth event will feature 26 individual sports, which will then be divided into different disciplines. Sports enthusiasts will come from all over the world to witness some of the breath-taking sporting achievements at the Olympics, making this the pinnacle of most of the participants’ careers and lives.
Other major sporting events that take place in England include:
•Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire
•International Show Jumping Championships – Olympia, London
•Derby Day in Surrey
•The Grand National
•Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
•British Grand Prix
•World Snooker Championships
•Six Nations Cup Rugby
•Isle of Man TT (known to be the crazies motorcycle road races in the world)
•World Darts Championships
•London to Sydney Rally
For more information, please view: http://www’sportengland.org/