Реферат: Sport in the United Kingdom

<img src="/cache/referats/24714/image001.gif" v:shapes="_x0000_s1028">МОУ Лицея “Экос”

<span Times New Roman",«serif»;mso-ansi-language:RU">Творческаяработа по темеSPORT IN THE <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>UNITED KINGDOM</st1:country-region></st1:place>


Ученик8а класса Гарбуз Максим

Учитель Горчакова Елена Георгиевна

<span Times New Roman",«serif»;mso-ansi-language:RU">Новоалексадровск2007<img src="/cache/referats/24714/image002.gif" v:shapes="_x0000_s1029">
<span Century Schoolbook",«serif»">CONTENTS
·<span Times New Roman"">       INTRODUCTION·<span Times New Roman"">       THEMAIN PART

1.<span Times New Roman"">

The social importance of sport

2.<span Times New Roman"">

FootballuFootball pools

3.<span Times New Roman"">

<st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place>

4.<span Times New Roman"">


5.<span Times New Roman"">

Animalsin Sport

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7.<span Times New Roman"">


8.<span Times New Roman"">

<st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place>

9.<span Times New Roman"">


·<span Times New Roman"">       


·<span Times New Roman"">       

The list of literature<span Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:«Times New Roman»;mso-ansi-language: EN-US;mso-fareast-language:RU;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">
<span Century Schoolbook",«serif»">INTRODUCTIONWhy

have I chosen such theme? Sport is supposed to beinteresting

only for men, notfor women. But I think it is a mistaken opinion. Sport is one of the mostamusing things in the world, because of fillings, experiences, excitementsconnected with it. Particularly it is so when we speak about the <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>UK</st1:place></st1:country-region>.

Think of your favorite sport. Whatever it is, there is good chancethat it was first played in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>,and an even better chance that its modern rules were first codified in thiscountry.

Sport probably plays a more important part in people’s life in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region> than itdoes in most other countries. For a very large number it is their main form ofentertainment. 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. Thereare 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 particularsports in modern times. However, they are one of the best in the world in amuch larger number of different sports than any other country (Britishindividualism at work again). My work looks at the most publicized sports withthe largest followings. But it should be noted that hundreds of other sportsare played in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:country-region></st1:place>, each with its own small but enthusiastic following. Some of these may not beseen as a sport at all by many people. For most people with large gardens, forexample, croquet is just an agreeable social pastime for a sunny afternoon. Butto a few, it is a deadly serious competition. The same is true of the game suchas indoor bowling, darts or snooker. Even board games, the kind you buy in ashop, have their national championships. Think of any pastime, however trivial,which involves some element of competition and, somewhere in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>, thereis probably a ‘national association’ for it which organized contents.

The British are so fond of competition that they even introduced itinto gardening. Many people indulge in an informal rivalry with their neighborsas to who can grow the better flowers or vegetables. But the rivalry issometimes formalized. Though the country, there are competitions in whichgardeners enter their cabbage, leeks, onions, carrots or whatever in the hopethat 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 hopethat their pet will win a prize. There are a lot of such specific kinds ofsport in the <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>United Kingdom</st1:place></st1:country-region>but I want to stop my thought on consideration of more widespread.

<span Times New Roman",«serif»;mso-fareast-font-family:«Times New Roman»; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:RU;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">

<span Century Schoolbook",«serif»">THEMAIN PART


British are greatlovers of competitive sports; and when they are neither playing nor watchinggames they like to talk about them, or when they cannot do that, to thinkabout them. Modern sport in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>is very different. 'Winning isn't every­thing' and 'it's only a game' arestill well-known sayings which reflect the amateur approach of the past. But tomodern professionals, sport is clearly not just a game. These days, top playersin 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 meansthat it began as an amateur pastime — a leisure-time activity which nobody was paidfor takingpart in. Even in football, which has been played on a profes­sional basis since1885, one of the first teams to win the FA (Football Association) Cup was a team of amateur players (theCorinthians). In many other sports there has been resistance to professionalism. People thought itwould spoil the sporting spirit. May be they are right.

The social importance of sport

The importance of participation in sport has legal recognition in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Every localauthority has a duty to provide and maintain playing fields and otherfacilities, which are usually very cheap to use and sometimes even free.Spectator sport is also a matter of official public concern. For example, thereis a law which prevents the televi­sion rights to the most famous annual sportingoccasions, such as the Cup Final and the <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Derby</st1:place></st1:City>, being sold exclusively to satellitechannels, which most people cannot receive. In these cases it seems to be theevent, rather than the sport itself, which is important. Every year the BoatRace and the Grand National are watched on television by millions of people who haveno great inter­est in rowing or horse-racing. Over time, some events havedeveloped a mystique which gives them a higher status than the standard atwhich they are played deserves. In modern times, for example, the standard of rugby atthe annual Varsity Match has been rather low — and yet it is always shown live ontelevision.

Sometimes thetraditions which accompany an event can seem as important as the actual sportingcontest. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place>, for instance, is not just a tennistournament. It means summer fashions, strawber­ries and cream, garden partiesand long, warm English summer evenings. This reputation created a problem for theevent's organizers in 1993,when it was felt that security for playershad to be tightened. Because <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> isessentially a middle-class event, British tennis fans would never allow themselves to be treated like football fans. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place>with security fences, policemen on horses and other measures to keep fans off the court? It just wouldn't be <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place>!

The long history of such eventshas meant that many of them, and their venues, have become world-famous. Therefore, itis not only the British who tune in to watch. The Grand National, for example,attracts a television audience of 300 million. This worldwide enthu­siasm haslittle to do with the standard of British sport. The cup finals of other countriesoften have better quality and more entertaining football on view — but moreEuropeans watch the English Cup Final than any other. The standard of Britishtennis is poor, and <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place>is only oneof the world's major tournaments. But if you ask any top tennis player,you find that <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> is the one they reallywant to win. Every footballer in the world dreams of playing at Wembley, everycricketer in the world of playing at Lord's. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimble­don</st1:place>, Wembley and Lord's are the 'spiritual homes' of their respectivesports. Sport is a British export!

There are a lot of sports in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region> todayand of course, there is no use in considering all of them. I try to make ashort review of the most famous in the world on the one hand and unusual sportson the other hand. And the first one is the most popular game in the world:


Football is the most popular team game in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. TheBritish invented it and it has spread to every corner of the world. There is no British team. <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region>,<st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Scotland</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Wales</st1:country-region>and <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Northern Ireland</st1:place></st1:country-region>compete separately in European and World Cup matches. The English and Welshclubs have together formed a League with four divisions. The Scottish Leaguehas three divisions. The champions of the English First Division, and theScottish Premier Division qualify to play in the European Cup competition.

Britishfootball has traditionally drawn its main following from the working class. Ingeneral, the intelligentsia ignored it. But in the last two decades of thetwentieth century, it has started to attract wider interest. Theappearance of fanzines is an indication of this. Fanzines are magazineswritten in an informal but often highly intelli­gent and witty style,published by the fans of some of the clubs. One or two books of literarymerit have been written which focus not only on players, teams andtactics but also on the wider social aspects of the game. Light-heartedfootball programmes have appeared on television which similarly give attentionto 'off-the-field' matters. There has also been much academic interest. At the1990 World Cup there was a joke among English fans that it was impossible tofind a hotel room because they had all been taken by sociologists!

Many teamsports in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>,but especially football, tend to be men-only, 'tribal' affairs. In the <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>USA</st1:place></st1:country-region>, the wholefamily goes to watch the baseball. Similarly, the whole family goes along tocheer the Irish national football team. But in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>, only a handful of childrenor women go to football matches. Perhaps this is why active support for localteams has had a tendency to become violent. During the 1970s and 1980sfootball hooliganism was a major problem in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>. In the 1990s,however, it seemed to be on the decline. English fans visiting <st1:place w:st=«on»>Europe</st1:place>are now no worse in their behavior than the fans of many other countries.

For the great mass of the British public the eight months of thefootball season are more important than the four months of cricket. There are plenty of amateurassociation football (or 'soccer') clubs, and professional football is bigbusiness. The annual Cup Final match, between the two teams which have defeated theiropponents in each round of a knock-out contest, dominates the scene; theregular 'league' games, organised in four divisions, provide the mainentertainment through the season and the basis for the vast system of bettingon the football pools. Many of the graffiti on public walls are aggressivestatements of support for football teams, and the hooliganism of some British supporters has become notorious outside as well as inside <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.

Football has been called the most popular game in the world, and itcertainly has a great many fans in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. And now I want to mentionthe English terminology for football.

Association football (or soccer) is the game that isplayed in nearly all countries. Ateam is composed of a goalkeeper, two backs, three half-backs and fiveforwards.

Association football remains one of the most popular games played in the <st1:place w:st=«on»>British Isles</st1:place>. Every Saturday from late August un­til the beginning ofMay, large crowds of people support their sides in football grounds up and downthe country, while an almost equally large number of people play the game in clubsteams of every imagin­able variety and level of skill. Over the last 20years though, the attend­ance at football matches has fallen away sharply. Thisis because of changing lifestyles and football hooligans about I have already writtenbut I want to add that violence at and near the football grounds increased, therewas an ever-increasing tendency for people to stay away, leaving the grounds tofootball fans.

After serious disturbances involving English supportersat the Eu­ropean Cup Finals in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Brussels</st1:City></st1:place>in 1985 which led to the deaths of 38 spectators, English clubs were withdrawn fromEuropean competitions for the 1985-1986 season by the Football Association. The Cup Final atWembley remains, though, an event of national importance. Here is a drawing of a foot­ball field, or«pitch», as it is usually called.

<img src="/cache/referats/24714/image004.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1030">The football pitchshould be between 100 and <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«130 metres» w:st=«on»>130 metres</st1:metricconverter> long and between 50 and <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«100 metres» w:st=«on»>100 metres</st1:metricconverter> wide. It isdivided into two halves by the halfway line. The sides of the field are called thetouch-lines and the ends are called the goal-lines. In the middle of the field there is acentre circleand there is a goal at each end. Each goal is <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«8 metres» w:st=«on»>8 metres</st1:metricconverter> wide and be­tween 21/2 and <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«3 metres» w:st=«on»>3 metres</st1:metricconverter> high. In front ofeach goal is the goal area and the penalty area. There is a penalty spot inside thepenalty area and a penalty arc outside it. A game of football usually lasts for one and a half hours. Athalf-time, the teams change ends. The refereecontrols the game.The aim of each team is obviously to score as many goals as possible. If bothteams score the same number of goals, or if neither team scores any goals at all, theresult is a draw.

The final of the football competition takesplace every May at the famous Wembley stadium in <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>London</st1:place></st1:City>. Some of the best known clubs in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region>are ManchesterUnited, <st1:place w:st=«on»>Liverpool</st1:place> and the Arsenal. In <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Scot­land</st1:country-region>either Rangers, Celtic or <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:City w:st=«on»>Aberdeen</st1:City></st1:place> usually win the cup or the championship.

Today, many people are only interested in footballbecause of the pools and the chance ofwinning a lot of money.

Football pools

«Doing the pools» is a popular form of betting on footballresults each week. It is possible to win more than half a million pounds for a few pence.

The Englishhave never been against a gamble though most of themknow where to draw the line and wisely refrainfrom bettingtoo often. Since the war the most popular form ofgambling is no doubt that of staking a small sum on the football pools.(The word «pool» is connected with the picture of streams of moneypouring into a com­mon fund, or «pool» from which the winnersare paid after the firm has taken its expenses and profit.) Those who do soreceive every week from one of the pools firms a printed form; on thisare listed the week's matches. Against each match, or against a number ofthem, the opti­mist puts down a I, a 2 or an x to show that he thinks theresult of the match will be a home win (stake on fun’s team), an away win (stake on ateam of opponent) or a draw. The form is then posted to the pools firm, with a postal orderor cheque for the sum staked (or, as thefirms say, «invested»). At the end of the week the results of the matches are announced on television andpublished in the news­papers and the «investor» can take outhis copy of his coupon and check hisforecast.

<st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place>

There is another game called rugby football, so called because itoriginated at <st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place>, a well-known Englishpublic school. In this game the players may carry the ball. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place>football (or 'rugger') is played with an egg-shaped ball, which may be carried and thrown (but not forward). The ball is passed from hand to hand rather thanfrom foot to foot. If a player iscarrying the ball he may be'tackled' and made to fall down. Each team has fifteen players, who spend a lot of time lying in the mudor on top of each other and becomevery dirty, but do not need to wear such heavily protective clothing asplayers of American football.

There are two forms ofrugby — Rugby Union, which is strictly amateur, and Rugby League, playedlargely in the north, which is a professional sport. Rugby Union has fifteenplayers, while Rugby League has thirteen, but the two games are basically thesame. Theyare so similar that somebody who is good at one of them can quickly learn tobecome good at the other. The real difference between them is a matter of socialhistory. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place> union is the older of the two. Inthe nineteenth century it was enthusi­astically taken up by most of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>'spublic schools. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place> league split off from rugbyunion at the end of the century. There are two versions of this fast and aggressiveball game: rugby union and rugby league. Although it has now spread to many of the sameplaces in the world where rugby union is played (rugby union is played at top levelin theBritish Isles, France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand; also to a high level inNorth America, Argentina, Romania and some Pacific islands). Rugby can be consideredthe 'nationalsport' of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Wales</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>New Zealand</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Fiji</st1:country-region>,<st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Western Samoa</st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Tonga</st1:place></st1:country-region>, and ofSouth African whites.Its traditional home is among the working class of thenorth of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>,where it was a way for miners and factory workers to make a little bit of extramoney from their sporting talents. Unlike rugby union, it has always been aprofes­sionalsport.

Because of thesesocial origins, rugby league in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>is seen as a working class sport, while rugby union is mainly for the middle classes. Except insouth <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Wales</st1:country-region></st1:place>.There, rugby union is a sport for all classes, and more popular than football.In <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Wales</st1:country-region></st1:place>,the phrase 'interna­tional day' means only one thing — that the national rugby team areplaying. Since 1970, some of the best Welsh players have been persuaded to 'changecodes'. They are 'bought' by one of the big rugby league clubs, where theycan make a lot of money. Whenever this happens it is seen as a nationaldisaster among the Welsh.

<st1:place w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:place>union has had some success inrecent years in selling itself to a wider audience. As a result, just as football hasbecome less exclusively working class in character, rugby union has become lessexclusivelymiddle class. In 1995- it finally abandoned amateurism. In fact, the amateurstatus of top rugby union players had already become meaningless. They didn'tget paid a salary or fee for playing, but they received large 'expenses' as well asvarious publicity con­tracts and paid speaking engagements.


The game particularly associated with <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region> is cricket. Judging by thenumbers of people who play it and watch it (<span Times New Roman";mso-hansi-font-family:«Times New Roman»; color:black;letter-spacing:-.55pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-char-type:symbol; mso-symbol-font-family:Wingdings">ê

look at ‘Spectatorattendance at major sports’), cricket isdefinitely not the national sport of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. In <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Scotland</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Wales</st1:country-region>and <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Northern Ireland</st1:place></st1:country-region>,interest in it is largely confined to the middle classes. Only in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region> and a small part of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Wales</st1:place></st1:country-region> is itplayed at top level. And even in <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region></st1:place>, where its enthusiasts comefrom all classes, the majority of the population do not understand its rules.Moreover, it is rare for the English national team to be the best in the world.

<img src="/cache/referats/24714/image006.jpg" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1037">Cricket is,therefore, the national English game in a symbolic sense. However, to somepeople cricket is more than just a symbol. The comparatively low attendance attop class matches does not give a true picture of the level of interest in thecountry. One game of cricket takes a terribly long time, which a lot of people simply don'thave to spare. Eleven players in each team. Test matches between national teams can last upto five days of six hours each. Top club teams play matches lasting between twoand four days. There are also one-day matches lasting about seven hours. In fact there aremillions of people in the country who don't just enjoy cricket but are passionate about it!These people spend up to thirty days each summer tuned to the live radio commentaryof ‘Test’ (= international) Matches. When they get the chance, they watcha bit of the live television coverage. Some people even do both at thesame time (they turn the sound down on the television and listen to the radio).To these people, the commentators become well-loved figures. When, in 1994, onefamous commentator died, the Prime Minister lamented that 'summers will never:be the same again'. And if cricket fans are too busy to listen to the radiocommentary, they can always phone a special number to be given the latest score!

Many other games which are English in originhave been adopted with enthusiasm all over the world, but cricket has been seriouslyand extensively adopted only in the former British empire, particularly in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Australia</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>New Zealand</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>India</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Pakistan</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Sri Lanka</st1:country-region>, the West Indies and <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>South Africa</st1:country-region></st1:place>. Do you know how toplay cricket? If you don't live in these countriesyou won't learn it at school.English people love cricket. Summer isn't summer without it. Even if you do notunderstand the rules, it is attractive to watch the players, dressed inwhite playing on the beautiful green crick­et fields. Every Sunday morningfrom May to the end of September many Englishmen get up very early, and take a lot ofsandwiches with them. It is necessary because the games are very long. Games between twovillage teams last for only one afternoon. Games between counties last forthree days, with 6 hours play on each day. When <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region>plays with one or other cricketing countries such as <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Australia</st1:country-region>and <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>New Zea­land</st1:place></st1:country-region>it is called a test match and lasts for five days. Cricket is played in schools, colleges anduniversities and in most towns and villages by teams which play weekly games.Test matches with other cricketing countries are held annually.

Cricket is also played by women and girls. The governingbody is Women's Cricket Association, founded in 1926. Women's cricket clubs have regular weekend games. Test matchesand other international matches take place.The women's World Cup is held every four years. But There is The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and Lord's cricketgroundin the <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:country-region w:st=«on»>United Kingdom</st1:country-region></st1:place>. The MCC was foundedin 1787, and is still the most important authority on cricket in the world. Asa club it is exclusively male. No woman is allowed to enter the club buildings.There are special stands for members and their wives and quests.

Organised amateur cricket is played between clubteams, mainly on Saturday afternoons. Nearly every village, except in the far north, hasits cricketclub, and there must be few places in which the popular image of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>, as sentimentalistslike to think of it, is so clearly seen as on a village cricket field. Afirst-class match between English counties lasts for up to three days, with six hoursplay on each day. The game is slow, and a spectator, sitting in theafternoon sun after a lunch of sandwiches and beer, may be excused for havinga little sleep for half an hour.

When people refer to cricket as the English national game, they are not thinking so muchof its level of popularity or of the standard of English players but more of thevery English associations that it carries with it. Cricket is much morethan just a sport; it symbolizes a way of life — a slow and peaceful rural wayof life. Cricket is associated with long sunny summer afternoons, the smell ofnew-mown grass and the sound of leather (the ball) connecting with willow (the wood from which cricketbats are made). Cricket is special because it com­bines competition with theBritish dream of rural life. Cricket is what the village green is for! As if toemphasize the rural connection, ‘first class’ cricket teams in England, unliketeams in other sports, do not bear the names of towns but of counties (Essexand Yorkshire, for example).


Traditionally, thefavourite sports of the British upper class are hunting, shooting and fishing.The most widespread form of hunting is foxhunting — indeed,that is what the word ‘hunting’ usuallymeans in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.Foxhuntingworks like this. A group of people on horses, dressed in eighteenth centuryriding clothes, ride around with a pack of dogs. When the dogs pick up the scentof a fox, somebody blows a horn and then dogs, horses and riders all chase the fox. Often thefox gets away, but if not, the dogs get to it before the hunters and tear it to pieces. Asyou might guess in a country of animal-lovers, where most people have little experience ofthe harsher realit­ies of nature, foxhunting is strongly opposed by some people. The League Against CruelSports wants it made illegal and the campaign has been steadily intensifying. There are sometimes violentencounters between foxhunters and protestors (whom the hunters call 'saboteurs').Foxhunting is a popularpastime amongsome members of the higher social classes and a few people from lower social classes,who often see their participation as a mark of newly won status.The hunting of foxesis sport associated through the centuries withownership of land. The hounds chase the fox, followed by people riding horses, wearing red or black coatsand conforming with various rules andcustoms. In a few hill areas stags are hunted similarly. Both these types of hunting are enjoyed mainly bypeople who can afford the cost ofkeeping horses and carrying them to hunt meetings in 'horse boxes', or trailer vans. Both, particularlystag-hunting, are opposed by people who condemn the cruelty involved inchasing and killing frightened animals.There have been attempts to persuade Parliament to pass laws to forbid hunting, but none has beensuccessful. There is no law about hunting foxes, but there is a fox-huntingseasons – from November to March.

Killing birds with guns isknown as 'shooting' in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. It isa minority pastime confined largely to the higher socialclasses; there are more than three times as many licensed guns forthis purpose in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>France</st1:country-region>as there are in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.The birds which people try to shoot (such as grouse) may only beshot during certain specified times of the year. The upper classes oftenorganize 'shooting parties' during the 'season'. The British do notshoot small animals or birds for sport, though some farmers who shoot rabbits orpigeons may enjoy doing so. But 'game birds', mainly pheasant, grouse and partridge, have traditionally provided sport for the landowning gentry. Until Labour's election victory of 1964 many ofthe prime ministers of the past twohundred years, along with members of their cabinets, had gone to the grouse moors of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Scotland</st1:country-region> or the <st1:place w:st=«on»>Pennines</st1:place>for the opening of the shootingseason on 12 August. Since 1964 all that has changed. Now there are notmany leading British politicians carrying guns in the shooting parties, though there may be foreign millionaires, not all ofthem from <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>America</st1:place></st1:country-region>. Some of the beaters, whosejob is to disturb the grouse so thatthey fly up to be shot, are students earning money to pay for trips abroad. Butthere is still a race to send the first shot grouse to <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>London</st1:place></st1:City> restaurants, where there are people happy to pay huge amounts of moneyfor the privilege of eating them.

The only kind of huntingwhich is associated with the working class is hare-coursing,in which greyhound dogs chase hares. However, because the vast majority ofpeople in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>are urban dwellers, this too is a minority activity.

The one kind of ‘hunting’ which is popular among allsocial classes is fishing.In fact, this is the most popular participatory sport of all in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.Between four and five million people go fishing regularly. Whenfishing is done competitively, it is called ‘angling’.The most popular of all outdoorsports is fishing, from the banks of lakes or rivers or in the sea, from jetties,rocks or beaches. Some British lakesand rivers are famous for their trout or salmon, and attract enthusiasts from all over the world.

Apart from being hunted,another way in which animals are used in sport is when they race.Horse-racing is a long-established and popularsport in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>,both ‘flat racing’ and ‘national hunt’ racing (where thereare jumps for the horses), sometimes known as ‘steeple­chase’.The former became known as 'thesportof kings' in the seventeenth century,and modern British royalty has close connec­tions with sport involving horses. Some members of the royal family own racehorses and attend certain annual racemeetings (<st1:place w:st=«on»>Ascot</st1:place>,for example);some are also active participants in the sports of polo and show-jumping (both of which involve riding ahorse). The steeplechase (crosscountry running) is very popular in most Europeancountries. The first known organized crosscountry race in 1837 was the Crick Run at <st1:place w:st=«on»><st1:PlaceName w:st=«on»>Rugby</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st=«on»>School</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>.Originally,crosscountry running took place over open countrywhere the hazardswere the natural ones to be found in the country. These included hedges, ditches,streams and the like. Schools and some clubs still run over open country.Sometimes, however, the competitors run off the course as, on one occasion,happened to all the runners in a race. Because of this, the organization of theseraces has to be very strict. Nowadays, crosscountry races (orsteeplechases) are often run in an enclosed area where the hazards are artificial.This makes organization easier.

The chief attraction ofhorse-racing for most people is the oppor­tunity itprovides for gambling (see below). Greyhound racing, although declining, isstill popular for the same reason. In this sport, the dogschase a mechanical hare round a racetrack. It is easier to organizethan horse-racing and ‘the dogs’ has the reputation of being the‘poor man's racing’.Greyhound racing has had a remarkable revival in the 1980s, and by 1988 it accountedfor about a quarter of all gambling. Its stadiums are near town centres, smallenough to be floodlit in the evenings. Until recently the spectators were mostly maleand poor, the surroundings shabby. The 1980s have changed all this, with thegrowth of commercial sponsorship for advertising. There are fewer stadiums and fewerspectators than in 1970, but the old cloth cap image has become much less appropriate. But one thing has notchanged. The elite of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:country-region>'sdogs, and their trainers, mostly come from <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Ireland</st1:place></st1:country-region>.


<span Times New Roman",«serif»;font-weight:normal">Famous (horse) racemeetings

The Grand National: at Aintree, nearLiverpool, in March or April It is <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>'s main steeplechase (raceover fences). The course is over seven kilometres and includes thirty jumps, of which fourteenare jumped twice. It is a dangerous race Jockeys have been hurt and horseshave been killed.

The <st1:City w:st=«on»>Derby</st1:City>:atEpsom, south of <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>London</st1:place></st1:City>,in May or June. It is <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>'sleading flat race (not over fences).

Ascot: near <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Windsor</st1:place></st1:City> in June. Very fashionable. The Queenalways attends.

As I have mentioned horse-racing,I think it will be good to draw attention to racing in hole.


There are all kinds of racing in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region> —horse-racing, motor­car racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days atschool boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually amile race for older boys, and the one who wins it is certainly a good runner.

Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible,but there are some races in whicheverybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling.

Thereis the «three-legged» race, for example, in which a pair of runners have the right leg of one tied to theleft leg of the other. If they try to go too fast they are certain tofall. And there is the egg-and-spoon race, in which each runner must carry anegg in a spoon without letting it drop. Ifthe egg does fall, it must be picked up with the spoon, not the fingers.

Naturally animals don't race unless they are made torun in some way, though it often seems as if little lambs are running races witheach otherin the fields in spring.

Horsesare ridden, of course. Dogs won't race unless they have something to chase, andso they are given a hare to go after, either a real one or an imitation one.

Themost famous boat-race in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»>England</st1:country-region>is between <st1:City w:st=«on»>Oxford</st1:City> and <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Cambridge</st1:place></st1:City>. It is rowed over a course on the River Thames,and thou­sands of people go to watchit. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is usually only a short distance betweenthe winners and the losers.

The University boat-race started in 1820 and has beenrowed on the <st1:place w:st=«on»>Thames</st1:place>almost every spring since 1836.At the Henly Regatta in Ox­fordshire, founded in 1839, crews from all over theworld compete each July in various kinds of race over a straight course of <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«1 mile» w:st=«on»>1 mile</st1:metricconverter> <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«550 yards» w:st=«on»>550 yards</st1:metricconverter> (about <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«2.1 km» w:st=«on»>2.1 km</st1:metricconverter>).

Horse racing is big business, along with the bettingwhich sustains it. Every day of the year, except Sundays, there is a racemeeting at least one of <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>'sseveral dozen racecourses. Nine-tenths of the betting is done by people allover the country, by post or at local betting shops, and it is estimated that atenth of all British men bet regularly on horse races, many of them never going to arace course.

Horse racing accounts for about half of all gambling,dog racing for a quarter (after increasing by 27 per cent in 1987-88). Thetotal gambling expenditure is estimated at over three billion pounds a year, ornearly 1 per cent of the gross domestic product — though those who bet getabout three-quarters of theirstake back in winnings. There is no national lottery, though premium bonds area form of national savings, with monthly prizes instead of interest. About halfof all households bet regularly on the football pools, although half of themoney staked is divided between the state,through taxes, and the operators. People are attracted by the hope of winning huge prizes, but some winners become miserable with their sudden unaccustomed wealth.Bingo sessions, often in oldcinemas, are attractive mainly to women, and have a good social element. More popular are the slot machines inestablishments described as'amusement arcades'. There has been some worry about the addiction of youngpeople to this form of gambling, which can lead to theft.


A nation of gamblers

In <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«1993 a» " w:st=«on»>1993 a</st1:metricconverter> total of <span Lucida Console";color:black;letter-spacing:-.3pt; mso-ansi-language:EN-US">£

12.7 billion was wagered by the British — that's <span Lucida Console"; color:black;letter-spacing:-.3pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-US">£289 for every adult in the country. <span Lucida Console";color:black;letter-spacing: -.3pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-US">£9.5  billion was won. The government took just over £1 billion in taxes. The rest was kept by the bookmakers. About half of all the money bet in 1993  was on horses or greyhounds. 74% of all adults gambled at least once during the year.

At least once every two weeks:

•39% did the football pools;

•20% played on gaming and    fruit machines;

•18% played bingo;

•14% put money on the horses.

In <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region> in 1993, there was one betting shop for every 3,000 adults.

There were also:

120 casinos;

120,000 fruit machines;

1,000 bingo clubs;

1,000 lotteries;

59 racetracks;

37 greyhound stadiums.

<img src="/cache/referats/24714/image007.gif" align=«left» hspace=«12» v:shapes="_x0000_s1038">Even if they are not taking part or watching, Britishpeople like to be involved in sport. They can do this by placing bets on futureresults. Gambling is widespread throughout all social classes. It is so basic to sport that the word'sportsman' used to be a synonym for 'gambler'.

When, in 1993,the starting procedure for the GrandNational did not work properly, sothat the race could not take place, it was widely regarded as a national disaster. The £70million which had been gambled on theresult (that's more than a pound for each man, woman and child in the country!) all had to be givenback.

Every year, billions of pounds are bet on horse races.So well-known is this activity that everybody in the country, even those with no interest inhorse-racing, would understand the meaning of a ques­tion such as 'who won the 2.30at <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Chester</st1:place></st1:City>?'(Which horse won the race that was scheduled to take place at half past twotoday at the <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Chester</st1:place></st1:City>racecourse? Thequestioner probably wants to know because he or she has gambled some moneyon the result.) The central role of horse-racing in gambling is also shown by one ofthe names used to denote companies and individuals whose business it is to take bets. Although these aregenerally known as 'bookmakers', they some­times call themselves 'turf accountants' ('turf is aword for ground where grass grows);

Apart from the horses and the dogs, the most popular form of gambling connectedwith sports is the football pools. Every week, more than ten million peoplestake a small sum on the results of Saturday's professional matches. Anotherpopular type of gambling, stereotypically for middle-aged working class women,is bingo.

Nonconformist religious groups traditionally frown upon gamblingand their disapproval has had some influence. Perhaps this is why <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region> did nothave a national lottery until 1994. But if people want to gamble, then theywill. For instance, before the national lottery started, the British gambled£250,000 on which company would be given the licence to run it! Thecountry's big bookmakers are willing to offer odds on almost anything at all if asked.Who will be the next Labour party leader? Will it rain during the <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> tennis tournament? Will it snow on ChristmasDay? Allof these offer opportunities for 'a flutter'.

Apropos of the Wimbledon tennis tournament: <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> is a place to which every tennis-player aspire.And I want to write some words about it.

<st1:place w:st=«on»>WIMBLEDON</st1:place>

People all over the world know <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> as the centre of lawn tennis. But mostpeople do not know that it was famous for anothergame before tennis was invented. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> isnow a part of Greater London. In1874 it was a country village, but it had a railway station and it wasthe home of the All-England Croquet Club. The Clubhad been there since <st1:metricconverter ProductID=«1864. A» w:st=«on»>1864. A</st1:metricconverter>lot of people played croquet in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Eng­land</st1:place></st1:country-region>at that time and enjoyed it, but the nationalchampionships did not attractmany spectators. So the Club had very little money, and the members were looking for ways of getting some.«This new game of lawn tennisseems to have plenty of action, and people like watching it,» theythought. «Shall we allow people to play lawn tennis on some of our beautiful croquet lawns?»

In 1875 they changed the name of the Club to the «All-England LawnTennis and Croquet Club», and that is the name that you will still find in the telephone book. Two yearslater, in 1877, <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place> held the first world lawn tennis championship(men's singles).3 The winnerwas S. W. Gore, a Londoner. There were 22 players, and 200 spectators, each paid one shilling. Those whowatched were dressed in the verylatest fashion — the men in hard top hats and long coats, and the ladies in dresses that reached to the ground!The Club gained £ 10. It wassaved. <st1:place w:st=«on»>Wimbledon</st1:place>grew. There was some surprise and doubt, ofcourse, when the Club allowed women to play in the first women's singleschampionship in 1884. But the ladies playedwell—even in long skirts that hid their legs and feet.

The Wimbledon championships begin on the Mondaynearest to June 22, at a time when <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region>often has its finest weather. It is not only because of the tennis that people like to gothere. When the weather is good, it is avery pleasant place to spend an afternoon. The grass is fresh and green, the players wear beautiful white clothes, thespectators are dressed in the latestfashion, there may be members of theRoyal Family among them, and there are cool drinks in the open-air cafesnext to the tennis courts. Millions ofpeople watch the championships on television.


Almost every sport which exists is played in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. As well as the sports alreadymentioned, hockey (mostly on a field but also on ice) is quite popular, and bothbasketball (for men) and netball (for women) are growing in popularity. So toois the ancient game of rounders.


This sport is rather similar to Amer­ican baseball andancient Russian lapta, but it certainly does not have the same image. It has a long history in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>England</st1:place></st1:country-region> as some­thing that people(young and old, male and female) can play together at village fetes. It is oftenseen as not being a proper ‘sport’.

However, despite this image, it has recently becomethe second most popular sport for state schools in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>. More traditional sports such as cricket andrugby are being abandoned in favour of rounders, which is much easier toorganize. Rounders requires less special equipment, less money and boys and girls can play ittogether. It also takes up less time. It is especially attractive for state schools withlittle moneyand time to spare. More than a quarter of all state-school sports fields are now usedfor rounders. Only football, which is played on nearly half of all state-schoolfields, is more popular.

The British have a preference for team games.Individual sports such as athletics, cycling, gymnastics and swimming havecomparat­ively small followings. Large numbers of people become interested in them only whenBritish competitors do well in international events. The more popularindividual sports are those in which social­izing is an important aspect(such as tennis, golf, sailing and snooker). It is notable in this context that,apart from international competitions, the only athletics event which generatesa lot of enthu­siasm is the annual London Marathon. Most of the tens ofthousands of participants in this race are 'fun runners' who are merely trying tocomplete it, sometimes in outrageous costumes, and so collect money for charity.The biggest newdevelopment in sport has been with long-distance running. 'Jogging',for healthy outdoor exercise, needing no skill or equipment, became popular in the 1970s, and soon more and more people took it seriously. Now the annual London Marathonis like a carnival, with a millionpeople watching as the world's star runners are followed by 25,000ordinary people trying to complete the course. Most of them succeed and then collect money from supporters forcharitable causes. Many thousands ofpeople take part in local marathons all over <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region>.

The <st1:place w:st=«on»>Highland</st1:place>Games

Scottish Highland Games, at which sports (including tossing the caber, putting the weight andthrowing the hammer), dancing and piping competitions take place, attract largenumbers of spectators fromall over the world.

These meetings are held every year in differentplaces in the Scottish Highlands. They include the clans led by their pipers,dressed in their kilts, tartan plaids, and plumed bonnets, who march round the arena.

The features common to Highland Games arebagpipe and High­land dancingcompetitions and the performance of heavy athletic events — some of which, such as tossing the caber, are <st1:City w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Highland</st1:place></st1:City> in ori­gin. All competitors wear <st1:place w:st=«on»>Highland</st1:place>dress, as do most of the judges. The games take place in a large roped-offarena. Several events take place at thesame time: pipers and dancers perform on a platform; athletes toss the caber, put the weight, throw the hammer, andwrestle. There is also a competitionfor the best-dressed Highlander.

<st1:place w:st=«on»>Highland</st1:place>dancing is performed to bagpipe music, bymen and women, such as the Sword Dance and the Reel.

No one knows exactly when the men of the <st1:place w:st=«on»>Highlands</st1:place> first gathered to wrestle, toss cabers, throwhammers, put weights, dance and play music. The Games reflected the tough life ofthe early Scots. Muscle-power was their means of livelihood — handling timber,lifting rocks to build houses, hunting. From such activities have developed the cont