Sporting venues are modern-day gladiators’ arenas, where men and women captivate the audiences with their excellent skills and abilities. The competitive spirit among players and the surge of emotions and adrenaline is what makes sport so enticing to many. Sports fans are just as enthusiastic, following their favorite teams no matter where they go, reading up the stats to make sure they can predict the outcome of each game! The popularity of certain sports has woven them into the very fabric of national identity in many countries across the globe.
There are many different kinds of games out there. There are individual sports where each player plays for himself, like tennis, or table tennis, and there are sports such as football, or basketball that are considered team sports, where players comprise a team and play together. We are going to explore some of these sports and try to portray their significance for certain nations around the world.
Football in England
Ever since the modern day football originated in England in the mid 19th century, it has been the most important sport to date. The first modern rules were drawn at Cambridge in 1848, and England’s Football Association was formed in 1863 when the first football competition started and is played even today in the form of what we know as the FA Cup. The Premier League is the top league in England and attracts thousands of spectators that are die-hard supporters of their local teams. The culture of supporting your local team is highly significant in England and gives football an additional edge over other sports.
American football (NFL) in the USA
American Football is a sport that evolved from combining football or soccer as it is called in the USA and rugby. This action-packed sport is the number one sport in the USA, with an average attendance of almost 70 thousand spectators per game. The American Football league is called the NFL, and 32 teams compete for a place in the final game, called the Super Bowl, where the winner becomes crowned champion of the league. Due to its tremendous popularity, American football is quite lucrative for sponsors and players alike. Substantial endorsement deals are signed with top sport equipment manufacturers, and this makes American Football a real moneymaker.
Ice hockey in Canada
Ice hockey is considered Canada’s favourite pastime activity, played by people of all ages. It is no wonder that hockey is popular in Canada since the weather conditions there are perfect for this beautiful winter sport, played on an ice pitch, with the help of hockey sticks and a ball called a puck. The players skate on ice and try to score as many goals as possible. It is so intricately connected to all Canadians that is considered an indelible part of Canadian national identity.
Table Tennis in China
By far the most popular sport in China is table tennis. Even though it originated in England, it has been widely accepted as the go-to sport in China. More than 60% percent of all competitions have been won by Chinese players since the early 60’s. It takes excellent agility and precision to play table tennis, and the Chinese know this exceptionally well. They founded schools that specifically train players under strict rules, where players train up to seven hours a day and where children start at a very young age, which ensures excellent success and is a source of tremendous national pride.