Which are the most popular sports in Great Britain?

Which are the most popular sports in Great Britain?  Great Britain is composed of three nations, namely, England, Scotland, and Wales. Great Britain is located in the North-Western European region and is separated from mainland Europe by the English Channel. The capitals of the three nations are London (England), Edinburgh (Scotland), and Cardiff (Wales). Approximately 65 million people live in Great Britain, and most of these people enjoy a bet on sports every now and then.

The wet climatic conditions of Great Britain have enabled very lush geography leading to spectacular parks and green open spaces. This natural infrastructure permitted the locals to practice outdoor rudimentary sports since the dawn of history and the beginning of time. One can candidly confirm that the inception of football and rugby occurred in Great Britain whilst cricket was imported from former British colonies like the West Indies. It, therefore, follows that the three major sporting disciplines in Great Britain are football, rugby, and cricket.

By far, football is the most popular and followed sport in Great Britain; so, you will find a wide array of football markets to bet on at the best UK bookmakers online. Incidentally, it is also the most popular sport in neighboring European countries like Germany, France, and Italy. The infrastructural setup of football in Great Britain follows a traditional league system harboring more than one hundred teams. In addition to professional football teams, Great Britain can boast of having a vast number of other non-league and amateur football teams playing Sunday morning football.

The top professional league is the Premier League in England. Players playing in the Premier League also include players coming from foreign countries like France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and on occasion from Caribbean countries. The most popular teams playing in the Premier League include Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, West Ham, and Leeds United. Some of the legendary players who played in the Premier League are Eric Cantona, Bobby Charlton, Jack Charlton, George Best, Bobby Moore, Nobby Stiles, Peter Shilton, Gordon Banks, and new fellows of the like David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, and Steven Gerrard.

Football clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal have also made their mark in Europe by winning the Champions League and other important European competitions organized by UEFA.

Welsh teams like Swansea City and Cardiff City play and participate in the English football structures whilst Scottish teams have their own football competitions organized and administered by the Scottish Football Association.

Cricket can be described as another national sport in Great Britain. Cricket traces its inception in the seventeenth century during the Saxon and Norman times. History tells us that children living in the southeast of England (in the vicinity of Kent and Sussex) played the first form of cricket. The game was eventually exported to countries forming part of the former British Empire like Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, India, and the West Indies. Cricket is extremely popular in these countries and international competitions between these former British colonies are well followed by lovers of the game.

In Great Britain, there are about eighteen professional county clubs which ironically all carry the names of historic counties. During summer these clubs participate in the First-Class County Championship consisting of two leagues. Matches are played over a period of four days.

Some of Great Britain’s cricket legends include Alastair Cook, Len Hutton, David Gower, and Joe Root.

Rugby is one of the top sports in the country as well. There are both professional and recreational teams divided into two categories – Rugby Union and Rugby League. The two differ in rules in particular in the number of players and the way the ball is played.

Rugby League administers the Challenge Cup, Super League and the Championship. The Rugby Union promotes and runs the sport, organise international matches and educates and trains players and officials. Some of the country’s well known rugby players include Wavell Wakefield, Peter Winterbottom, Rory Underwood, Jeremy Guscott and Martin Johnson.

That said, popular sports in Great Britain are not necessarily limited to football, cricket and rugby. Other popular sports enshrine tennis, badminton, athletics and swimming.

Mention Wimbledon in England and one will quickly relate to the famous and popular Tennis Tournament held annually in Wimbledon in England. This tournament traces its inception to 1877 and it is one of the four grand slam events on the ATP Tour which also comprises the Australian Open, the United States Open and the French Open.

Probably the main factors why tennis is so popular in Great Britain lies in the fact that the country is dawned with many public space and facilities which are either free to use or else a small token in payment is required to use the facilities.

Surprisingly, badminton is the most popular racket sport in Great Britain’s history. The Badminton Association was established in 1893 and is also a founder of the International Badminton Federation. Although not given wide media coverage as given to football, rugby, and tennis; yet, the sport of badminton continues to grow in stature and popularity in Great Britain.

Historians somehow label Great Britain as the cradle of democracy. However, in sporting terms, it can also be recognized as the cradle of sports. Football, rugby, and cricket were invented in Great Britain and were eventually exported to other countries in the world. Today football, tennis, and rugby are well-organized structures; heavily sponsored and derive financial benefits to the organizing entities as well the players taking part in these sporting disciplines. Whether this is good or bad can be debated until all faces are blue. What is factual is that these three sports and other sporting activities provide extreme entertainment to millions of people around the world.

Sporting activities have also ventured into international politics or better still in diplomatic circles. Sport is being used as a part of what is called “Soft Diplomacy”. Sports together with culture and education form the core of soft diplomacy which diplomats and world leaders alike refer to when other form of negotiations or reaching out fail. Sports like music have no language or ethnic barriers and can be instrumental to procure understanding between peoples and nations. Whilst sports in soft diplomacy is a welcome element, one needs to be extra careful not to fully involve sports in politics.