Sports of Great Britain
Table tennis was first Invented in England in about 1880. At first the game had several strange names: Gossima. Whiff Whaff and Ping Pong. It wasn’t until 1926 that the International Table Tennis Association was formed with international championships and rules. Although the game was invented in England British players don’t have much chance in international championships. It’s the Chinese with their fantastic speed and power who win almost every title. Table tennis looks more like gymnastics when the Chinese start playing, with the ball flying over the net at speeds of over 150 kilometres per hour.
There are all kinds of racing in England – horse-racing, motor-car racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days at school boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually a mile race for older boys, and one who wins it is certainly a good runner.
Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible, but there are some races in which everybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling.
The most famous boat-race in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It is rowed over a course on the River Thames, and thousands of people go to watch it. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is usually only a short distance between the winners and the losers.
The University boat-race started in 1820 and has been rowed on the Thames almost every spring since 1836.
Squash began at Harrow School in the mid-nineteenth century, but has since worked its way Into almost every city and district in Britain and throughout Europe.
Squash is one of the fastest games in the world. Two people play in a small confined space surrounded by high walls with no net to keep them apart. The aim is to get to the point at the centre of the court and to stay there.
Squash players hope that the game will make them stronger and fitter, but. like many sports, squash can be very dangerous. The most obvious danger is the small ball that shoots through the air extremely fast.
Windsurfing was invented in the mid-sixties by two southern Californian surfers, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake. Surfers need strong rolling waves, and hate days of calm sea. Schweitzer noticed that on days when waves were not high enough to surf, there was often a strong wind and he set about finding a way to use it.
His first experiments Involved standing on his surfboard holding out a piece of sail cloth in his hands. Gradually he and Drake refined this idea into a basic design for a sailboard, similar to a surfboard, but holding a mast and a triangular sail which could be tilted and turned in any direction. The windsurfer operates a boom which controls the amount of wind in the sail, for speed and change of direction. Schweitzer immediately went into business designing and making the new sailboards and taking the idea abroad. By mid-seventies, the sport had spread to Holland, Germany and France.