- – Major sporting events are held at large stadiums, such as Wembly Stadium in London and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
- – Local governments and private companies provide sports facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and football fields, among others.
- – The UK has hosted the Olympic Games three times: 1908, 1948, and 2012. The main stadium for the 2012 Olympics was in Stratford, East London. The British Olympic team came in 3rd at the medal table.
- – London has also hosted the 2012 Paralympic Games. The Paralympic Games evolved from work done by Dr. Sir Ludwig Guttman, a German refugee who worked at the Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire. He developed new ways for dealing with spinal injuries and encouraged patients to exercise and participate in sports.
- – There are several sports that are particularly popular in the UK.
- o Cricket
- Originated in England and is now played in many countries.
- Games can take up to 5 days to complete.
- The most famous competition is played is the Ashes. It is a series of Testmatches that are played between England and Australia.
- Some phrases from cricket have made their way into everyday life:
- “rain stopped play”
- “playing a straight bat”
- “batting on a sticky wicket”
- “bowled a googly”
- “it’s just not cricket”
- Football is the most popular sport in the UK.
- The first professional football clubs were formed in the 19th century.
- The English Premier League has a huge worldwide audience. Many of the best players in the world play in this league.
- Many UK teams also compete against European teams in the UEFA (Unionof European Football Association)
- Each country in the UK has its own national team, which competes with other national teams around the world. Some competitions are hosted by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and the UEFA. In addition, many towns and cities have local teams, and there can be fierce rivalries among the fans.
- There are also many amateur teams that play in local communities.
- Rugby originated in the UK in the 19th century.
- There are two types of rugby, union and league. They have different rules.
- Each type has separate leagues and national teams in England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland plays with the Irish Republic.
- Teams from all countries compete in different competitions.
- The Super League is the most famous league competition.
- The Six Nations Championship is the most famous union competition. Thesix competing countries are England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy.
o Horse Racing
- There is evidence that horse racing in the UK dates back to Roman times. There are racecourses all over the UK. Some famous events include:
- The Royal Ascot, a five day event in Berkshire, which members of the Royal Family attend.
- The Grand National at Aintree near Liverpool.
- The Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
- There is a National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, Suffolk.
- Golf can be traced back to 15th century Scotland
- St. Andrews in Scotland is known as the home of golf. There are also many public and private golf courses throughout the UK.
- Golf is a popular sport played by amateurs and professionals alike.
- The “Major” tournament is the only golf tournament held outside of the US.It is held at a different golf course each year.
- Modern tennis dates back to the late 19th century.
- The first tennis club was founded in Leamington Spa in 1972.
- The most famous British tennis competition is The Wimbledon Championships which is held every year at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. It is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the only one played on grass.
o Water Sports
- Sailing is popular in the UK.
- In 1966/67 Sir Francis Chichester was the first person to sail single-handedly around the globe, passing both the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and Cape Horn in South America.
- Two years later Sir Robin Knox-Johnston replicated Chichester’s feat, but without stopping.
- Many sailing events are held throughout the year. The most famous is at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
- Rowing is also popular both competitively and as a leisure activity. One popular event is a race across the Thames between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
Arts and Culture
o Motor Sports
- Motor Car racing first started in Britain in 1902.
- A Formula 1 Grand Prix event is held every year. A number of British drivershave won the Formula 1 World Championship including:
- Damon Hill
- Lewis Hamilton
- Jensen Button
- Britain is also a leader in motor-sport technology.
- Skiing is increasing in popularity throughout the UK.
- There are several dry slopes in Britain. Some people also go abroad to ski.
There are 5 ski slopes in Scotland as well as Europe’s longest dry ski slope, near Edinburgh.
Skiing on snow may also be possible in winter.
o Music is an important part of British culture. All kinds of music are appreciated,
from classical and opera to pop and rock & roll. o Classical
- The Proms is a yearly event taking place over eight weeks each summer. It has been organized by the BBC since 1927. Individual performances take place in various venues, including the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Last Night of the Proms is the most popular of the event, and is televised by the BBC.
- Many world-renown classical musicians come from Britain. Some are:
- Henry Purcell (17th century)
- George Frederick Handel (17th-18th centuries) German immigrant
- Gustaf Holst (19th century)
- Sir Edward Elgar (19th – 20th centuries)
- Ralph Vaughan Williams (19th – 20th centuries
- Sir William Walton (20th century)
- Benjamin Britten (20th century)
Since the 1950s pop and rock music have made important contributions to British culture.
- In the 1960s the Beatles and the Rolling Stones became popular.Their influence is still felt today.
- The Punk movement of the late 1970s and the boy/girl groups ofthe 1990s were innovative and made an impact on the world.
o Events are held at large stadiums throughout Britain.
Wembley Stadium in Brent, London
The O2 in Greenwich, London
The SECC (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center) in Glasgow
o Music festivals are held every summer. Major festivals include:
- The Isle of Wight Festival
- The V Festival
- The National Eisteddfod (a Welsh language festival)o Awards
- The Mercury Music Prize is awarded every September for the best albumfrom the UK or Ireland.
- The Brit Awards are annual, and award efforts in several categories,including best British group and best British solo artist.