Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the UK

10. Netball

Netball was played first in England in the year 1895. England National netball team was established in 1963 and participated in every World Championship. There are nearly 500 clubs that exist like Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, etc. These clubs play in different leagues and many look for new players. In the UK, netball has become the top sport for female participation. Serena Guthrie, Joanne Harton, Geva Mentor are some of the players who play for the netball national team. In recent years, the England netball team is recording several wins over dominant Australia, New Zealand.

9. Rowing

The modern form of the sport of rowing was developed in the 1700s and the first rowing race started in 1829 with the Oxford Cambridge race. Oxford-Cambridge race, Henley Royal Regatta are the rowing leagues that are conducted in the UK every year. The individual members are affiliated to one of the 550 British rowing clubs and there are 10 rowing regions in England, each region has a regional council. Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave was a rower who won 5 Olympic Gold medals for the UK consecutively. Rowing is developing as a wider group of Olympic and paralympic sports in the UK.

8. Ice Hockey

Since the early years of the 20th century, Ice hockey has been played in the UK and in 1908, Britain was a founder member of the IIHF as well. In the 1930s ice hockey became a prominent sport. The EIHL and NIHL are the most played leagues in the UK in which the Elite Ice Hockey League is the highest level of competition and NIHL is a set of semi-professional leagues administered by the English Ice Hockey Association. Ben Bowns, Carl Erhardt, Ben O’Connor are considered as the best players for the UK. During 2010, ice hockey became familiar as the fastest growing winter sport and biggest indoor sport in the UK.

7. Athletics

Officially, Athletics was started in England after the British Athletics Federation was set up in 1999. Since then, Athletics has become one of the major sports and started playing at domestic and international levels. British Athletics League is a national league for men consisting of 38 clubs across 5 divisions. This league is a series of interconnected leagues for the British Athletic clubs in which men and women are segregated. In the UK, Athletics remains the most frequently participated sports with around 211000 people having participated in track and field activity in the year 2019.

6. Swimming

Swimming emerged as a competitive sport in England in the early 1800 and few competitions were held. By the year 1837, the National Swimming Society was formed to hold regular competitions in the UK. In 2014, British Swimming became the primary organization and organizes the championships in each of the disciplines every year. There are more than 1200 affiliated swimming clubs through sub-regional, regional, and national structures. Rebecca Adlington, Adam George Peaty are the best British Swimmers. By winning the 35 titles, the UK is one of the countries that produce the best competitive swimmers and doing over the years.

5. Badminton

Firstly, in 1870 the British army officers learned the game and started playing and the duke of Beaufort introduced the sport at his country estate in 1873. Later in 1893, the Badminton Association of England was established which takes care of events, development and coaching, elite plays, events in the country. The National Badminton League was launched in the year 2014 which is considered the first national badminton league in the UK and organized by Badminton England. The UK is one of the stronger badminton playing countries which conducts various tournaments every year.

4. Tennis

Tennis was introduced in the UK in the 16th century by Henry VIII and started playing the game with rackets. In 1873, Major Walter Wingfield reinvented the real tennis that can be played on the lawn outdoors that was first introduced to the UK. The growth of tennis began in the 1960s and continued over the decades. There are over 2700 tennis clubs in the UK such as England lawn tennis club, Sport England, etc. Fred Perry, Andy Murray are considered as all-time best players. One of the famous tennis leagues or grand slams is Wimbledon which will be conducted in All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club every year.

3. Rugby

Rugby was started around 1845 in Rugby, later it was split into 2 sports when 21 clubs split from Rugby football union to form the Northern Rugby football union which changed the name to Rugby football league in 1922. In the UK, the Rugby union consists of the highest professional leagues of 106. Super League is the top-most league where 11 out of 12 teams are based in England. Some of the UK players who are good in Rugby are Martin Johnson, Jonny Wilkinson, Jeremy Guscott. From the past few years, the number of players who are interested in Rugby has increased in the leagues.

2. Cricket

Cricket originated in England around 1300 years and became a famous sport in the 17th century. By the mid of 18th century, cricket was played at every level of society. The first cricket club was formed in Hampshire, Hambledon in 1760. In 1835, MCC made the rules of modern cricket which are still followed in the game. 18 professional county clubs are there in the UK, of which 17 are from England and 1 from Wales. Sir Jack Cobbs, Wally Hammond, Sir Ian Botham are considered good players in cricket. In recent years, the England national team has won the Cricket World Cup and one of the strongest teams in the world.

1. Football

Football or Soccer has a tremendous impact on the UK and football was invented around the 1100s. But the club games started in the 1860s and got to know more people about the game. The first football club was set up in the year 1857 named Sheffield FC and the Football Association was started in 1863 that set up the rules in the modern game. England played their 1st international match in 1872 against Scotland. Sir Bobby Charlton, Alan Shearer, Billy Wright are some of the best players in football. Presently there are around 40000 registered FC and they have support from all over the world.

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