Traditional National Sports
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Traditional National Sports

Sport probably plays a more important part in people's lives in Britain than it does in most other countries. The British are fond of sport and regard themselves as good sportsmen. This is not surpris­ing since Britain has been the home of sports for centuries and gave birth to nearly all games played on land or water. The list of sports invented by the British includes football, tennis, cricket, rugby, golf, billiards, badminton and others. Modern rules of most games were first formulated in Britain. Sport and active recreation play a spe­cial role in Britain.

The major, spectator sports – golf, cricket and rugby are no longer the major participatory sports. Jogging and aerobics are by far the most popular active recreations, followed by swimming, cy­cling and badminton. About 30 million British people over the age of 16 regularly take part in sport or exercise. Sport for all is becom­ing a reality.

Traditional National Sports


is a national game which originated in the 15th century. It is played on a golf-course by 2 or 4 persons, each with a small hard ball, driven with the club, into a series of 9 or 18 holes, using as few strokes as possible.


is a national game which started in the 17th century. It is played on grass field with bats and a small ball by two teams of 11 players each. A cricket match may last two or three days.


is a form of football played with an oval ball which may be kicked or carried. The game originated in 1823, in the town of Rugby, when during a football match a pupil of a local school picked up the ball and ran to score a goal. .

Football (Soccer)

is the most popular spectator and participa­tory sport in Britain. More than 20 million people a year go to football matches. The game is played at all levels from children to top international teams. Football in its present form dates from 1863 when 11 clubs got together in London to form the Football Association (FA). Today the FA is controlling about 450 clubs reg­istered as members and 40 000 amateur clubs in the country.

Lawn Tennis

was first played in Britain in the late 19th century. While the most popular team game is football, the favourite indi­vidual game in Britain is lawn tennis. Today tennis is played in al­most all secondary schools, in the public parks and in the local clubs. The annual championships held at Wimbledon in July are watched by thousands of televiewers all over the country.


is a long-established and popular spectator sport in Britain. The first official race was recorded in 1540. There are two forms of racing: flat-racing over level ground without jumps and steeplechase when horses must jump over a series of hedges and ditches. One of the attractions of horse racing for most people is the opportunity it provides for gambling.

Boat Races

started in England in the 18th century. The first boat race between Oxford and Cambridge was held in 1829. Nearly every year since then there has been a boat race between these two Uni­versities. It is held in London on the Thames during the Easter vacation. The crews of the boats (8 oarsmen and a coxswain) train together for 12 weeks before the race. The course is about 6km. long and the time under 20 m.


to be fond of sport – любити, захоплюватися спортом

to regard oneself – вважати себе

to give birth to smth. – породити щось, покласти початок чомусь

recreation – розвага, відпочинок

spectator sports – масові, видовищні види спорту

participatory sports – загальні види спорту

Jogging (Walking) – біг підтюпцем (running slowly and steadily for physical exercise).

by far – загальновизнано

Swimming – плавання

Cy­cling – велоспорт

to take part in – приймати участь в …

a golf-course – майданчик для гри в гольф

club – ключка

stroke – удар

bat – битка

kick – удар ногою

to pick up – підняти

to score a goal – забити гол

Lawn Tennis – лаун-теніс, теніс на траві

Horse-Racing – перегони, верхогони, кінний спорт

long-established – загальноприйнятий

race – перегони

flat-racing – перегони (верхогони, скачки) без перешкод, без перепон

level ground – 1) рівнинна місцевість 2) горизонтальна ділянка дороги, шляху

steeplechase – перегони (верхогони, скачки) з перешкодами, з перепонами

hedges – бар’єри

ditches – канави

gambling – азартні ігри, ставки

Boat Races – змагання з греблі

to be held – проводитись

crews – команда

oarsmen – веслярі

coxswain – рульовий

to train – тренуватися

course – заплив, дистанція

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