I have defined some of the words (underlined) in the blog post, which you can add to your Personal Dictionary. Click on the Excel icon to download the word list to your PC or mobile device, which you can thereafter import into your Personal Dictionary. They are also listed below.
Scroll down to the bottom for links to a crossword and word search using words from this post.
Fair play – Respect for the rules or equal treatment of all concerned
Equality – The state of being essentially equal
Prominent – Important; famous
Mention – Refer to something briefly and without going into detail
Governing bodies – A group that manages or controls the activities of organisations, often in sport
Ensure – Make certain of something
Obey – Carry out a command or instruction
Fond – Having an affection or liking for
Drowning – Die through submersion in and inhalation of wate
Participating – Taking part in an activity
Underdog – One at a disadvantage and expected to lose
Relegation – The action of assigning to an inferior rank or position
Compete – Be able to rival another or other
Sensation – A person who arouses widespread interest and excitement
Howzat! No, that’s not another way of saying hello, it’s something cricketers shout when they are playing! Today, I’d like to talk to you about sport, which plays an important role in our culture.
The UK gave birth to the following sports, in alphabetical order – deep breath – badminton, billiards, bowls, boxing, cricket, croquet, curling, darts – yes, it is a sport, football, golf, hockey, netball, rugby, snooker, squash, table tennis, tennis and water polo. In most cases, we introduced these sports to the rest of the world, then they became better than us at them! But that is okay, because the people of the UK are well known for their sense of fair play in all sporting competitions. This means that respect, equality, friendship, and team spirit should be in evidence at all times. This is sometimes difficult, especially when we have been beaten by the Germans at football, in yet another penalty shoot-out!
Other sports which are now probably more popular outside the UK, include cricket, which is prominent in many countries including Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. But nowhere more than India, where cricket is their national sport and played by millions of people, almost everywhere. Another sport which is arguably more popular outside the UK, is rugby, which is played in many Southern Hemisphere countries.
It is likely that some of the sports I mentioned earlier, had already been played in one form or another in other countries. However, the UK was the first to create the rules of how the games should be played, as well as setting up governing bodies to ensure that the rules are obeyed. For the reason I mentioned earlier – fair play.
A great number of sports are introduced to school students. I still have fond memories of breaking my arm playing rugby and nearly drowning playing water polo… Just joking of course. Students are given the opportunity to try out all sports at schools or clubs. Currently the most popular sports for participating in as well as viewing live and on TV are football, rugby, tennis, cricket, snooker and athletics. Although most sports are available to everyone on free-to-air TV channels such as the BBC and ITV, some sports are only available on Pay TV. Therefore, many pubs and sports bars are full of sports fans, particularly at the weekend.
Famous annual sporting events include tennis at Wimbledon, the FA cup at Wembley, The Boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford universities on the Thames in London, horse racing events such as the Grand national and Ascot, the Formula One at Silverstone as well as the Six Nations rugby tournament.
One question often asked by foreigners is; why do the individual countries of England, Scotland, Wales (Great Britain) and Northern Ireland (UK) compete as countries in football, rugby and cricket etc. whereas all countries compete together as Team GB and Northern Ireland at the Olympics? The answer is not easy to explain, because it is historical as well as political. Probably the simplest way of explaining it is, that the governing bodies of these sports had already been formed and their national teams had already competed against each other before the International Olympic Committee started.
Finally, not only are we fans of all sports, whether we are good at them or not, we also love the spirit of the underdog. Everyone loves seeing David win against Goliath and will fondly remember Leicester FC coming from near relegation the previous season to win the football Premier league in 2016, Eddie ‘the eagle’ Edwards competing with true Olympian spirit in ski jumping at the Winter Olympics in Canada, in 1988. Crowds at the Wimbledon tennis tournament find underdogs to cheer on every year. Famous examples include Germany’s, Boris Becker in 1985 and the American teen sensation, Cori Gauff, who nearly caused a shock in 2019.
Which is your favourite sport, and do you think cricket should be played in German schools? Let me know in the comments below.
To test your knowledge, why not do a crossword puzzle, using words from this text?
Click here for instructions on how to play.
To test your knowledge, why not do a word search puzzle, using words from this text?
Click here for instructions on how to play.
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