Whe have I chosen such theme? Sport is supposed to be interesting
only for men, not for women. But I think it is a mistaken opinion. Sport is one of the most amusing things in the world, because of fillings, experiences, excitements connected with it. Particularly it is so when we speak about the UK.
Think of your favorite sport. Whatever it is, there is good chance that it was first played in Britain, and an even better chance that its modern rules were first codified in this country.
Sport probably plays a more important part in people’s life in Britain than it does in most other countries. For a very large number it is their main form of entertainment. Millions take part in some kind of sport at least once a week. Many millions more are regular spectators and follow one or more sports. There are hours of televised sport each week. Every newspaper, national or local, quality or popular, devotes several pages entirely to sport.
The British are only rarely the best in the world at particular sports in modern times. However, they are one of the best in the world in a much larger number of different sports than any other country (British individualism at work again). My course paper looks at the most publicized sports with the largest followings. But it should be noted that hundreds of other sports are played in Britain , each with its own small but enthusiastic following. Some of these may not be seen as a sport at all by many people. For most people with large gardens, for example, croquet is just an agreeable social pastime for a sunny afternoon. But to a few, it is a deadly serious competition. The same is true of the game such as indoor bowling, darts or snooker. Even board games, the kind you buy in a shop, have their national championships. Think of any pastime, however trivial, which involves some element of competition and, somewhere in Britain, there is probably a ‘national association’ for it which organized contents.
The British are so fond of competition that they even introduced it into gardening. Many people indulge in an informal rivalry with their neighbors as to who can grow the better flowers or vegetables. But the rivalry is sometimes formalized. Though the country, there are competitions in which gardeners enter their cabbage, leeks, onions, carrots or whatever in the hope that they will be judged ‘the best’. There is a similar situation with animal. There hundreds of dog and cat shows throughout the country at which owners hope that their pet will win a prize. There are a lot of such specific kinds of sport in the United Kingdom but I want to stop my thought on consideration of more widespread.
THE MAIN PART
The British are great lovers of competitive sports; and when they are neither playing nor watching games they like to talk about them, or when they cannot do that, to think about them. Modern sport in Britain is very different. 'Winning isn't everything' and 'it's only a game' are still well-known sayings which reflect the amateur approach of the past. But to modern professionals, sport is clearly not just a game. These days, top players in any sport talk about having a 'professional attitude' and doing their 'job' well, even if, officially, their sport is still an amateur one. The middle-class origins of much British sport means that it began as an amateur pastime - a leisure-time activity which nobody was paid for taking part in. Even in football, which has been played on a professional basis since 1885, one of the first teams to win the FA (Football Association) Cup was a team of amateur players (the Corinthians). In many other sports there has been resistance to professionalism. People thought it would spoil the sporting spirit. May be they are right.