Sports and games
People got new possibilities and new ideas how to spend their spare time. Nowadays, sports are one of the most popular leisure time activities. Sports play an important part in the life of people all over the world. Sports offer us refreshments, relaxation, keep us fit physically and mentally and help us to lose some weight and build our muscles. During sports events you can meet a lot of new people and see how it feels to be a winner or a loser. The increase of interest in sports is best illustrated by the appearance of new sports facilities (playgrounds, sport halls, covered pools, stadiums, tennis courts, fitness centres etc.). Kinds of sports
We can divide sports and games into several categories: outdoor, indoor, summer and winter.
Outdoor sports – golf, skiing (cross-country, downhill, slalom, ski jumping), sledding, windsurfing, fishing, climbing, hiking, horse riding, yachting, diving, water skiing, etc.
Indoor sports – table tennis, gymnastics, chess, boxing, wrestling, snooker, aerobic, etc.
Ball games, athletics (sprint, high and long jump, etc.), swimming, tennis, skateboarding and skating (figure skating, speed skating, roller skating) may be practised both outdoors and indoors.
Summer sports – athletics, aquatic sports, ball games, cycling, hiking, skateboarding, etc.
Winter sports – skiing, snowboarding, skating, ice-hockey, snowball fighting, etc. Popular sports and games in the Czech Republic, GB and the USA
In our country ball games rank among the most popular ones. They include especially football, volleyball, basketball, handball and tennis. Ice-hockey is played at a very high level here too.
Volleyball - It is a popular ball game, which can be played indoors (each team has six players) while in beach volleyball, which is played outdoors on sand, teams consist of two players each. This game is played on a volleyball court of size 9 by 18 metres. Across the court there is a net in a height of 2,43 m. You play it with a white or coloured ball. The team consists of six players (2 of them are smash-men, 2 of them make blockade, 2 of them pass the ball to smash-men who should score). It´s played till one team reaches 25 points – it means that they win the set. When you win two sets, you also win the match.
The English are great lovers of competitive sports, and when they are neither playing nor watching games they talk about them.
England was the first home of many modern world´s most popular sports. Favourite games in Great Britain are cricket, golf, football, tennis, squash, but they don´t play volleyball at all.
University boat race - Since 1829 the university of Oxford and Cambridge agreed to have a rowing race. The tradition started. Now every spring the university of Oxford compete with the university of Cambridge on the River Thames. There are 8 men in each boat and there is also cox, who controls the boat. Royal Ascot - Ascot is a small town in the south of England. In June it becomes the centre of horse racing. The Queen always goes there. Wimbledon – It´s the world’s famous tennis tournament. It takes a place in south part of London. It started in the 19th century. The United States of America
In the USA most sports and games have been to a great extent commercionalized. The four foremost professional games there are baseball, American football, basketball and ice-hockey. These games are turned into big shows in which the sports stars make a lot of money.
Basketball – It´s a ball game played by two teams of 5 players. The aim of the game is to dribble the ball down the court and throw it into a basket. Height is a great advantage in this game. In basketball the scores are high, and it´s very exciting to watch. Basketball consists of two periods. One period lasts 20 minutes.
Polo, which is during the whole time played in gallop, is one of the quickest games in the world. Origin of this game is in Persia and China. It was brought to Europe by British soldiers. We can compare it to the "hockey on horses". There are two teams and two referees on the field. One team consists of 4 players sitting on small, specially trained horses called polo-poneys. The size of the playground is 275x180 m. The aim of the game is to place the wooden ball with the hammer into the rival´s goal and score as much as possible. The players are moving at the highest speed. The match is divided into 7 and half minute periods, so called "chukkas". Each period the horses are changed. The game is played with wooden hammers with long handles and a small hard ball. The players wear hard helmet, T-shirts, white riding trousers, brown highboots, knee shetlers and leather gloves.
The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games were already held in ancient Greece (first one were held in 776 B.C.) There was always a flame at the ancient Games, because it was a symbol of perfection and victory.
The Olympics were renewed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1896, and today as well as in ancient times they take place every four years. Pierre de Coubertin was born in Paris and he believed in the Greek athletic ideal of perfection of mind and body. Since 1924 there are two parts of the games. The winter part and the summer part, which alternate once every two years.
The symbol of the Olympic Games is the Olympic Flag with five connected circles, which stand for the friendship of all the races from the five continents. These circles are against white background and their colours are blue (Europe), black (Africa), red (America), yellow (Asia), green (Australia). Motto of the Olympic Games is "faster, higher, stronger". The aims of the Olympic movement are to promote sport, to create a more peaceful and friendly world, to bring athletes together in a great sport festival and to spread these Olympic principals.
My attitude to sports
In our town there aren´t many sports facilities. There is a football field, new fitness centre and sauna, basketball pitch, sportsground and two gyms. I think it´s enough, but there isn´t a swimming pool. It´d be great on hot summer days. We have our PE lessons twice a week. Before the lesson starts we change into sports wear in a dressing room. Our lessons are usually filled with playing volleyball or doing gymnastics. We don´t do anything else bacause our teacher can´t think of any other game. In our gym we have bad equipment. Everything it´s too old.
I don´t watch sports on TV because I don´t have time for it. But my favourite sportsmen are D. Coulthard, S. Eberharter, K. Neumannová, A. Valenta and my parents (my father plays tennisfootball and my mother does aerobics).
When I was small, I learned to swim, to ski and to ride a bike. I´ve practised various sports such as orienteering run, sledding, snowball fighting, skating, swimming, skiing and I´ve even tried skateboarding. Nowadays I have a passion for doing aerobics. My mother is an instructor. I go to the gym to train three times a week. My other favourite sports are floorball, volleyball (thanks to my friend), basketball, skiing and swimming. Every winter we go to the mountains to downhill ski. I do sports only for pleasure and because I can be with friends and enjoy the play.