kinds of sport originated from England. The English have a proverb, "All
work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". They do not think that play is
more important than work; they think that Jack will do his work better if he
plays as well. so he is encouraged to do both. Association football, or soccer
is one of the most popular games in the British Isles played from late August
until the beginning of May. In summer the English national sport is cricket.
When the English say: "that's not cricket" it means "that's not
fair", "to play the game" means "to be fair".
Golf is Scotland's chief contribution to British sport. It is worth noting
here an interesting feature of sporting life in Britain, namely, its
frequently close connections with social class of the players or spectators
except where a game may be said to be a "national" sport. This is
the case with cricket in England which is played and watched by all classes.
This is true of golf, which is everywhere in the British Isles a middle-class
activity. Rugby Union. the amateur variety of Rugby football, is the Welsh
national sport played by all sections of society whereas, elsewhere, it too is
a game for the middle classes. Association football is a working-class sport
as are boxing, wrestling, snooker, darts, and dog-racing. As far as fishing is
concerned it is a sport where what is caught determines the class of a
Walking and swimming are the two most popular sporting activities, being
almost equally undertaken by men and women. Snooker (billiards), pool and
darts are the next most popular sports among men. Aerobics (keep-fit exercises)
and yoga. squash and cycling are among the sports where participation has been
increasing in recent years.
There are several places in Britain associated with a particular kind of sport.
One of them is Wimbledon where the All-England Lawn Tennis Championship are
held in July (since 1877). The other one is Wembly - a stadium in north London
where international football matches, the Cup Finals and other events have
taken place since 1923.
Table tennis was first Invented in England in about 1880. At first the game
had several strange names: Gossima. Whiff Whaff and Ping Pong. It wasn't until
1926 that the International Table Tennis Association was formed with
international championships and rules.
Although the game was invented in England British players don't have much
chance in international championships. It's the Chinese with their fantastic
speed and power who win almost every title. Table tennis looks more like
gymnastics when the Chinese start playing, with the ball flying over the net
at speeds of over 150 kilometres per hour.
There are all kinds of racing in England - horse-racing, motor-car racing,
boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days at school
boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually a mile
race for older boys, and one who wins it is certainly a good runner.
Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible, but there are some races
in which everybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling.
The most famous boat-race in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It is
rowed over a course on the River Thames, and thousands of people go to watch
it. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is
usually only a short distance between the winners and the losers.
University boat-race started in 1820 and has been rowed on the Thames almost
every spring since 1836.
Squash began at Harrow School in the mid-nineteenth century, but has since
worked its way Into almost every city and district in Britain and throughout
Squash is one of the fastest games in the world. Two people play in a small
confined space surrounded by high walls with no net to keep them apart. The
aim is to get to the point at the centre of the court and to stay there.
Squash players hope that the game will make them stronger and fitter, but.
like many sports, squash can be very dangerous. The most obvious danger is the
small ball that shoots through the air extremely fast.
Windsurfing was invented in the mid-sixties by two southern Californian
surfers, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake. Surfers need strong rolling waves,
and hate days of calm sea. Schweitzer noticed that on days when waves were not
high enough to surf, there was often a strong wind and he set about finding a
way to use it.
His first experiments Involved standing on his surfboard holding out a piece
of sail cloth in his hands. Gradually he and Drake refined this idea into a
basic design for a sailboard, similar to a surfboard, but holding a mast and a
triangular sail which could be tilted and turned in any direction. The
windsurfer operates a boom which controls the amount of wind in the sail, for
speed and change of direction. Schweitzer immediately went into business
designing and making the new sailboards and taking the idea abroad. By
mid-seventies, the sport had spread to Holland, Germany and France.
GAMES IN LONDON
London was host for the first time in 1908. With 1,500 competitors from 19
nations, the Games were by now an institution of world-wide significance. The
programme, moreover, was augmented by the inclusion of Association football (which
appeared in 1900 but only in a demonstration match), diving, field hockey, and
ice hockey, as well as other sports since discontinued.
The most dramatic episode of these Games was in the marathon, run from Windsor
to Shepherd's Bush in London, the site of a new stadium. Pietri (Italy) led
into the arena but collapsed and was disqualified for accepting assistance
from officials. The gold medal went to the second man home, Hayes (USA), but
Queen Alexandra, who was present opposite the finishing line, was so moved by
the Italian's plight that she awarded him special gold cup. The 400 metres
provided an opportunity for Halswelle (GB) to become the only man in Olympic
history to win by a walk-over. The final was declared void after an American
had been disqualified for boring. Two other Americans withdrew from re-run
final in protest, leaving Halswelle an unopposed passage. Britain won the polo,
and all the boxing, lawn tennis, rackets, rowing, and yachting titles as well
as five out of six cycle races.
of people all over the world are fond of sports and games. Sport helps people
to stay in good shape, helps to support health and prevents from illness.
Sport makes them more organized and better disciplined in their daily
We've always paid great attention to sport in our schools, colleges and
universities. You can hardly find a school without a gym or a sports ground.
Every city and town has a few stadiums or swimming pools where local
competitions are usually held.
There are different sporting societies and clubs in Russia. Many of them take
part in different international tournaments and are known all over the world.
A great nu,ber of world records have been set by Russian sportsmen. Our
sportsmen also win a lot of gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympic