National sports of Great Britain
Many kinds of sport originated from England. The English have a proverb, «All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy». They do not think that play is more important than work; they think that Jack will do his work better if he plays as well, so he is encouraged to do both. Association football, or soccer is one of the most popular games in the British Isles played from late August until the beginning of May. In summer the English national sport is cricket. When the English say: «that`s not cricket» it means «that`s not fair», «to play the game» means «to be fair». Golf is Scotland`s chief contribution to British sport. It is worth noting here an interesting feature of sporting life in Britain, namely, its frequently close connections with social class of the players or spectators except where a game may be said to be a «national» sport. This is the case with cricket in England which is played and watched by all classes. This is true of golf, which is everywhere in the British Isles a middle-class activity. Rugby Union. the amateur variety of Rugby football, is the Welsh national sport played by all sections of society whereas, elsewhere, it too is a game for the middle classes. Association football is a working-class sport as are boxing, wrestling, snooker, darts, and dog-racing. As far as fishing is concerned it is a sport where what is caught determines the class of a fisherman. Walking and swimming are the two most popular sporting activities, being almost equally undertaken by men and women. Snooker (billiards), pool and darts are the next most popular sports among men. Aerobics (keep-fit exercises) and yoga. squash and cycling are among the sports where participation has been increasing in recent years. There are several places in Britain associated with a particular kind of sport. One of them is Wimbledon where the All-England Lawn Tennis Championship are held in July (since 1877). The other one is Wembly — a stadium in north London where international football matches, the Cup Finals and other events have taken place since 1923.