Otázka: Sports and games
At first I´d like to talk about sports and games in general. They are one of the most popular leisure time activities. This is mainly due to the fact that they help people to keep fit both physically and mentally. As we say: “A sound mind in a sound body”. People started to do sports and play games many years ago, but the biggest boom was in this century. With coming of new technologies people got new possibilities and new ideas how to spend their spare time. The main difference between sports and games is that games (football) are collective and sports are more individual (swimming).
People do the sports because they want to keep fit, build their muscles and make their body better for look. It is also very good kind of relaxation. During sports events we can meet a lot of new people. It is even more enjoyable to have somebody to do some sport with. The majority of people do the sports as a hobby but some people do the sport as a job – professional sportsmen, coaches.
Millions of people also like to attend matches, watch them on TV or listen to them on the radio to cross their fingers for their favourite team. Some of them also like to bet on match results.
Kinds of sports
There are lots of types of sports and games. Generally we can divide sports into two groups according to where they can be practised – outdoor or indoor sports. We can do outdoor or indoor sports in, under or above water, wind and the earth. Shortly – anywhere we want.
Outdoor sports are as follows:
- rollerblading, jogging, golf, tennis
- nature sports: cycling, climbing, hiking, horse riding, fishing
- water sports: windsurfing, diving, rowing, sailing
- air sports: gliding, parachuting, paragliding
- winter sports: skiing, snowboarding, skating
- athletic disciplines: sprint, long-distance running, long and high jump, throwing the javelin, the discus, the hammer
- team games: baseball, rugby, cricket
- extreme sports: bungee jumping, rock climbing, car racing
When we consider climate conditions, these sports are usually seasonal.
On the contrary the most of indoor sports can be practised throughout the whole year. Indoor sports include:
- gymnastics, aerobics, spinning, bodybuilding, weightlifting, darts, bowling, chess
- martial arts: judo, karate, boxing, jiu-jitsu
- winter sports: skating (figure, speed), ice hockey
- ball games: floorball, basketball, handball, volleyball
Of course, games (such as football) are usually all-season activities, and they may be practised both indoors and outdoors.
Rules, equipment and places
When you want to do some sport or play a game first you need to know the rules. If you don’t know it you may be sent off the play or you don’t achieve the best score you could. Rules are very specific for different kinds of sports, but I think that all the sports have in common that they don’t tolerate any anabolic steroids and other substances which may affect results of sportsmen.
You usually need some special equipment for doing a certain sport.
- golf – require different kinds of sticks, balls, special trolley
- hockey – hockey stick, puck
- tennis –racket, ball, net
- football – ball, goal
On the other hand for some sports you don’t need nearly anything, just your body (e.g. swimming – just swimsuit).
There are a lot of places and sports facilities where it’s possible to do some exercise – sports halls, open air stadiums, swimming pools, open air pools, gyms, playgrounds, tennis courts etc.
Typical sports and sport events
Many sports have their origins in Britain that is why Britain is sometimes called the cradle of sports. Cricket, two types of rugby, modern game of hockey, darts, tennis or boxing was invented in Britain. Golf, also called the sport of rich people, has its origins in Scotland.
- Cricket – often called national sport, it has never spread in foreign countries, it is intensively played only in the UK, Australia and some other Commonwealth countries; it is played on a cricket field of approximately size of two pitches, two teams of 11 members, they use cricket-bat and a small leather-ball. It’s interesting that one match might last even three days.
- Football – the most popular game in the UK. There are a great number of clubs. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea belong among the most famous. The Football League is English football championship and it’s the oldest competition in world football.
Here are other major sports events which take place in Britain – Wimbledon (the oldest and the most famous Grand Slam Tennis Tournament), The British Open Golf Championship, The Grand National (it is the best known horse-race steeplechase, in the Czech republic there is one similar, the Velká Pardubická).
In the USA most sports and games have been commercialized. There are the four most popular professional games: American football, baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. These games are turned into big shows in which the sports stars make a lot of money. Each of them has its own national competition. Football teams across the country compete for the grand prize in the Superbowl. Baseball teams strive to win in the World Series. In basketball, the highest achievement is to win the NBA Championship. In ice hockey there’s the Stanley Cup for the winner of NHL.
The Czech Republic
Popular sports in the Czech Republic are for instance football, ice-hockey, tennis, volleyball. I think that our little country is the most known due to our excellent sportsmen who have achieved success in top international competitions.
- tennis players: Berdych, Štěpánek, Navrátilová, Heinová, Kvitová
- ice – hockey players: Jágr, Plekanec, Eliáš, Židlický, Hudler
- football players: Čech, Rosický, Baroš
- athletes: Šebrle, Dvořák, Železný, Špotáková
Other sports events
There are other very important sports events where the most talented sportsmen can take part in. The Olympic Games (the Olympics) are the most famous-they are held every four years, they have their summer and winter parts which change (alternate) once every two years. Most successful sportsmen may obtain a gold, silver or bronze medal.
- summer disciplines: athletics, cycling, football, badminton, basketball, baseball, voleyball
- winter disciplines: biathlon, bobsleigh, figure skating, speed skating, curling, ice hockey
Some other important sports events are the World and European Championships and Cups in various sports.
My attitude to sports
I like doing sports. I enjoy winter sports the most. My father taught me skiing when I was 3. I used to ski till I tried snowboarding when I was on winter course with my primary school. I go to mountains every year and I think I am getting better and better at it. In winter I also visit spinning classes at the fitness centre which is near my house.
I like spending time outdoors so I enjoy outdoor sports like cycling and hiking, especially with my friends. Sometimes I go also rollerblading or jogging. When weather isn’t really nice I don’t mind playing some games indoors – squash, badminton. My huge passion is swimming and diving, that´s why I love travelling to sea.
We do different sports in our P.E. classes. I like doing athletics and playing ball games in the gym.
My huge dream is to try tandem jump, so let’s hope I’ll make it!