Aside from being a global and regional leader in politics and economics, the United Kingdom is a major player in the world of sports. Virtually every sport this European nation have featured in has seen an incredible performance from its contingents. The United Kingdom has also produced some of the best players in various sports such as football, tennis and netball—this has inspired our article on the top-10 most popular sports in the United Kingdom in 2020
The success of the UK in sports can be attributed to the deep cultural ingrained practices and traditions its people have lived by over the years. These cultural ingrained sports traditions have been passed down from generation to generation which has helped improve the United Kingdom’s reputation in sports as one of the best countries who can boast of remarkable talents as well as exemplary success in the intensely competitive world of sports. Though many in the UK engage in lots of sporting activities, few of these sports have attracted an incredible amount of followers. Here are the trending and most popular sports in the United Kingdom right now.
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10. Field Hockey
As a result of the United Kingdom climate, field hockey which is often referred to as hockey has gained grounds in the United Kingdom. A thriving domestic hockey league exist in the United Kingdom which adds to the popularity of the sports. As at September 2016, about 162,000 adults play hockey in the United Kingdom.
In the United Kingdom, Netball attracts about 92,000 registered players. The popularity of the sport is further impacted by its an introduction into the physical health education curriculum in the United Kingdom. The sports have been played for over a century in the United Kingdom and has continued to gain more followers in recent years. On the global stage, the United Kingdom is considered great contenders in the sports. The 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup held in Liverpool, England featured sell-out crowd who turned out to be a part of the colourful grand opening.
8. Horse Racing
Horse racing in the United Kingdom is a sport that attracts thousands of spectators in the UK. Its immense contribution in terms of monetary value in the British economy is pegged at about £3.7 billion. The game enjoys a good media following as certain newspapers such as the Racing Post provide details about horse racing in the UK. The sport is broadcasted on TV in the UK on channels such as the Sky Sports Racing and the subscription-based Racing TV.
One of the fastest-growing sports in the United Kingdom which has attracted thousands is the energy-demanding swimming. The sports which date back as far as the 19th century is now being pursued as a full-fledged sport in the United Kingdom. Swimmers in the UK often compete in major swimming competitions such as the Olympics, coming out victorious to establish the United Kingdom as a major contender in the world of swimming.
One name that comes to mind when the success if the United Kingdom in athletics is evaluated is the ever determined, Mo Farah. The young man is just one of the many in athletics the UK has produced who have helped create awareness about the game. The reputation the UK has globally in athletics is further emphasized during its victories at global events such as the Olympics.
Tennis in the United Kingdom receives a reasonable level of attention. Grand Slam tournaments such as the Wimbledon which is held in the United Kingdom, attracts the big wigs in the tennis world, thereby bringing the spotlight on tennis in the United Kingdom. The 2019 Wimbledon Open final which lasted for four hours 57 minutes attracted an average of six million people in the United Kingdom, an undeniable increase in the popularity of the sports.
Founded in 1893, Badminton has been steadily on the ruse in terms of popularity in the United Kingdom. In recent years, though a decrease has been seen in participants, badminton still remains one of the fastest-growing sports in the United Kingdom. The All England Open Badminton Championship brings the public’s attention to the sports, hereby increasing its popularity.
The period where the game of rugby was reserved strictly for elites in the United Kingdom have long passed, currently, about two million people majorly in England engage in rugby in the United Kingdom. The rugby premiership league enjoys good following across the UK as well as the various national rugby side which competes in the rugby league’s Super League enjoy the support of the people of the United Kingdom.
Unarguably one of the most popular sports in the United Kingdom, cricket which has been played for over a century in the United Kingdom has seen an increase in the number of individuals who follow the sports. The sport is especially popular in England which has about 65% of its population constantly following the sport. Though the number of individuals in the United Kingdom who play cricket has decreased over the years, the number of individuals who constantly watch cricket games has increased remarkably. About 4.5 million individuals watched the cricket world cup.
1. Football (Soccer)
The United Kingdom is home to a huge array of fans loyal to its domestic football teams. The popularity of football cannot be downplayed in the United Kingdom. Its domestic football league is one of the most followed football league worldwide, it also features some of the biggest stars in the game. The United Kingdom further proves its point as a formidable power in competitive football tournaments as one of its domestic clubs claimed one of the most prestigious football event in Europe and on the planet, the UEFA champions league. At the 2019 Women World Cup, the exploits of the female England team was so impressive that about 7.6 million people on UK soil tuned to watch their side prevail into the final of the prestigious tournament. The media buzz surrounding the English premier league further add makes football the most popular sport in the United Kingdom.
There you have it—our list of the top-10 most popular sports in the United Kingdom, 2020. Which of the trending sports in the UK did you expect on this list? Please share in the comments section below.