Sports – it unites countries and inspires people. I love sports. I play different kinds of athletic activities, and I follow various kinds of sports. I am a big fan of football (soccer), tennis and golf. Recently, I found new fascination in rugby and cricket when I came across them throughout my first visit to England during the 2012 Olympics. Since then, I tune in, time after time, for these sports.
Nowadays, I make it a point to visit England mainly, if not only, because I want to attend and witness the sports tournaments it plays host to. England is sponsor to some of the world’s most renowned and revered sports, sports teams, sports arenas and sporting events.
When I visit England, I immediately check if the English Football Team, the “Three Lions”, is playing any of their international matches. The national team plays its home games at Wembley Stadium in the Borough of Brent, London. The English fans wear white t-shirts during games to show their support. The stadium gets packed with these supporters chanting throughout the game.
I got to tour the dressing rooms in the Wembley and take pictures of David Beckham’s 100th game jersey. I was also there to watch the 2014 World Cup qualifier game between England and Ukraine. There were over 90,000 of us screaming fans. It was an exhilarating experience. After the game, I visited the royal box and took photos of the trophies there.
I’ve been playing tennis since junior high. I actually got the interest in this sport by reading tennis-inspired anime and manga like the Prince of Tennis. These days, I tune in the television for tennis Grand Slam tournaments, especially Wimbledon – considered the oldest and the birthplace of modern tennis. This prestigious tournament is held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, England. The area boasts a lot of tennis courts. In fact, there are courts inside the stadiums and there are courts outside. People, including me, gather at the Center Court to watch the games progress. I only got to watch the games on the big screen at the Aorangi Park, known today as the Murray Mound, outside of the stadium. I ate the traditional Wimbledon snack of strawberry and cream.
Another of my desired sports is golf. In recent times, Europe has consistently won almost all the times they’ve been up against the U.S. for the Ryder Cup. England has the prestige of hosting four Ryder Cup tournaments at the Belfry. I was able to watch and play a little of the 3 courses especially the Brabazon, the official Ryder Cup golf course. I also attended the famous Bel-Air Night Club party. It was just divine.
One of my new sports discoveries is rugby. Rugby is essentially a man’s sport, much like American football in the U.S. The English rugby team and the Whales rugby team play home court at the Twickenham Stadium. The Twickenham boasts a number of cabarets and conference rooms. What I loved the most was the retractable seat auditorium on the Live Room. It was awesome to see the room transform into an auditorium.
Cricket is a big favorite in England. I kind of started a huge interest for it these days. I liken it to a more laid-back version of baseball in the U.S. Cricket also makes use of a bat and a ball, but the batting team scores when the batter and his teammate both touch the poles on opposite ends of the track. I find watching this game quite soothing and calming. And the arenas are very amazing themselves. I watched a live game in the Lord’s Cricket Ground once. It was a sight to behold.
The Lord’s Cricket Ground is the national stadium for the English cricket team. Inside, gorgeous infrastructures like the Victorian Era Pavilion, the Father Time Weather Vane and the Harris Garden were great delights to the eyes.
Clearly, England proves to be a very tantalizing escapade for sports enthusiasts like me. Its wonderful sporting events and arenas make a visit there a thrilling and exhilarating experience.
Photo by ststeve on Flickr