Without a doubt, Great Britain is one of the leading sports nations in the world. This European country has given birth to a wide variety of major sports, including rugby, cricket, tennis, hockey, snooker and soccer.
Around 15.4 million people in the United Kingdom play sports at least once a week. Some people in England find this a disappointing number, especially after the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Other people emphasize the positive trend since the British capital won the bid for the Olympic Games in 2005: since then, 1.4 million more people are playing sports.
Most popular sports in Great Britain
The most popular sport in Great Britain is swimming, with 2.89 million people being active in a swimming pool. Athletics follows with 1.96 million, football is being played by 1.94 million footballers, there are 1.87 cyclists, while golf (770,000) completed the top 5.
Soccer, or football as they call it in Great Britain, is without a doubt the most popular sport to watch in the United Kingdom. English clubs, like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, are popular all over the world and the Premier League is considered to be one of the strongest leagues in the world.
Cricket is claimed to be invented in the UK and is the national sport of England. Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood, London is internationally regarded as the ‘Home of Cricket’. Although cricket is also being played in Northern Ireland and Scotland, it is in these regions not as popular as in England and Wales.
Rugby developed in Great Britain from soccer in the 19th century and England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are known as the Rugby Home Nations and all of these teams can be found in the top 10 of best rugby nations in the world. Twickenham Stadium, located in the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, has a capacity of 82,000 spectators and is the largest dedicated rugby stadium in the world.
Cycling has become more popular in the United Kingdom during recent years, especially after the Tour de France victories of Bradley Wiggings (2012) and Chris Froome (2013). The 2014 Tour de France will start in Leeds and also stage 2 and 3 will be held in England before returning to France.
(Source: Manchestereveningnews, Wiki)