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Sports and games

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Sports and Games Sports are one of the most popular leisure time activities. This is mainly due to the fact that they help one to keep fit both physically and mentally. Such a form of relaxation as sports is refreshing can help take off some weight, and makes use of one's skills and strength. Last but not least, during sports events one 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 ever-new sports facilities. It is important to note that besides taking an active part in sports it is also possible just to watch sports events as a spectator- or play the pools (bet money on certain sports results). Usually all sports and games are further differentiated into two groups according to where they can be practised. Indoor sports include for example gymnastics, table tennis, boxing, wrestling etc. On the other hand, among outdoor sports are skiing (down-hill, cross-country, slalom, ski jump), sledding hiking, rock climbing, horse riding, golf, and some aquatic sports such as rowing or windsurfing, non-professional cycling, or riding a (mountain) bike, which is one of the most popular activities, is also enjoyed out of doors (on the roads or paths). But most sports and almostall games can be done both indoors and outdoors. Feelings in all the track and field events (sprints, middle and long distance runs, hurdling, high and long jump, pole vault, shot put, javelin and discus throw) take place in summer stadiums as well as in athletic halls. Also one of the healthiest sports, swimming, and figure skating do not actually demand a roofed room. One can easily recognize that those sports which can be done only on ice or snow (skating, skiing etc.) are winter sports whereas all the rest we call summer or all-season sports. The games are usually all-season activities, and they are practised both indoors and outdoors. The most numerous group of games are the ball games. Let us mention the individual games in the order in which they are popular in Great Britain, the United States, and the Czech Republic. The British are great lovers of competitive sports, and when they are neither playing nor watching games they like to talk about them. England was also the first home of many popular modern games. Among these, football is the most widespread. As is commonly known, in this collective game two teams of 11 members play with a ball on a grass playing field. The purpose is to kick the ball so as to get it into the opposite goal. In Britain there are a great number of clubs (some of them are Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Manchester United, Arsenal, Queens Park Rangers), and in London there is one of the worlds biggest football stadiums - the Wembley Arena. Football is played all over the world. In the United States, however, it is called soccer (derived from the name Association Football). Rugby football is also very popular. This game was first played at Rugby (a town) School, England. Thus the name. In this game the ball is oval. While golf is of Scottish origin, cricket was and still remains an English national game. Next to soccer the chief spectator sport is horseracing. The best-known steeplechase race is the Great national run at Aintree near Liverpool. Another annual sporting event that the British look forward to eagerly is the famous university rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge, which is held on the river Thames. The lawn tennis season reaches its peak every year at the Wimbledon tournament, which is played in London in early June. For relaxation squash is also played. In the USA most sports and games have been to a great extent commercionalized. The four foremost professional games there are American football, baseball, basketball, and ice-hockey (it has its roots in Canada, though). These games are turned into big shows in which the sports stars make a lot of money. American football differs from European mainly in the shape of the ball (oval), the way in which it is carried by the players (in the hands), and the form of scoring (touchdowns at field goals). Other sports such as the former Indian game lacrosse or field hockey are also popular. In our country ball games rank among the most popular ones. They include especially football, volleyball, basketball, handball, and tennis. Besides this ice hockey is played at a very high level here too. Our country has produced many sportsmen who have achieved success in top international competitions. In the first place athletics (recently javelin and decathlon), but also net games (tennis and volleyball) players and shooters have excelled abroad. In our town there are rather many sports facilities available. We can visit both the summer stadium, which serves as a track and football field, and the ice-rink where one can skate. Next to the summer stadium a few clay tennis and volleyball courts and a handball playground can be found. For indoor activities there is a modern sports hall and several fitness centres around the town. The only fault is that we have no indoor swimming pool yet. Besides many other small fields elsewhere in the town and a few gymnasiums near the schools there is a ski tow on a nearby hill at the skiers' disposal. Our physical training lessons are quite rare - we have them only twice a week. Usually before the lesson starts we change into sports wear such as T-shirts, shorts, track pants, sweatshirts, and sneakers in a dressing room. When the weather is good, our lessons are usually filled with running, jumping or simply playing games. But first we must always do a little warm-up exercise (for those who do not do morning exercises it is especially necessary). In winter or in bad weather, though, we go to the gym and do gymnastics. Our gym is fully equipped - there are many apparatuses there (wall bars, horizontal bar, parallel bars, beam, rings, vaulting horse, mats, springboards, climbing rope and pole). The 01ympic Games (t

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