Sadly, no matter how much you may love a certain sport, there’s always going to be someone who just doesn’t see the appeal. Today, our writers and editors talk about a sport close to their heart, which they feel more people should follow…
Fun, fast-paced and frantic, high level netball is a sport that doesn’t seem to get enough air time. It’s not a sport I’ve ever played to a high level, but after supporting several Wasps matches including the dynamic Super league Final against Loughborough at the London Copper Box Arena in 2018, it’s given me a new appreciation for the sport. With tens of goals to be witnessed every 15 minute quarter, there’s always plenty of action to be seen and the buzz inside the arena is infectious. Following a memorable 52-51 triumph over Australia at the Gold Coast in 2018, England’s Commonwealth Games success put professional netball on the map. After being awarded Sports Personality Team and Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year in 2018, it’s about time netball bounced its way into the mainstream.
I think that people often see Snooker as a boring sport. The crowd aren’t allowed to speak, the players can takes ages before they pot a ball, and some people in the crowd have been known to fall asleep! However, I think that despite this image, it’s one of the more exciting and intense sports on the circuit. Whilst the ref ensures quiet during shots, between shots the crowd are always cheering at incredible pots, groaning at impossible snookers, or wincing at painful near-misses. For a sport played on a table it’s got more drama than you imagine, with some players mouthing off at each other, and even getting physical (Ronnie’s shoulder barge a couple years back comes to mind). It’s also similar to Cricket in that the atmosphere around the arena is buzzing, with pints scattered around. I’ve been lucky enough to see it a couple times across the UK with my grandad, and whilst only getting into snooker a few years ago, I’m looking forward to a lifetime of long pots and (hopefully) some 147s.
As a sport that embodies speed, skill, precision, fancy footwork, and even the occasional fist fight, it’s a travesty that ice hockey is a woefully underappreciated sport in the UK. It’s one thing to master a field or court sport, but to do all of the above on ice, with sharp blades strapped to your feet and an unforgiving rubber disk flying at you at upwards of 80 mph? Particularly impressive and well worth a watch, and there’s no time like the present: the NHL has been streaming classic playoff games to make up for this season’s postponement, and the ongoing IIHF World Championships have gone virtual this year across social media, so get voting for Team GB!
Ever since the 2012 London Olympics, the popularity of rowing in the United Kingdom has been growing rapidly. Rightfully so too, Team GB have a revered presence globally. Not only that, but it’s a sport that requires a lot more than a group of people sticking blades, or ‘oars’, in the water and pushing. It’s the team sport to beat all team sports as every single athlete must make exactly the same movements act exactly the same time in order to maintain boat balance and not lose precious seconds. On top of that, the strength of these athletes is remarkable. At it’s very best, you get races such as the GB4- at the 2004 Olympics – sport at it’s very best!
The obvious answer here for me would be cricket, but let me introduce you to the wonderful world of handball. Massively popular in Scandinavia and parts of Europe, handball is the ultimate test of speed and strength. Played on an indoor court about the size of a futsal pitch, each team contains seven players who alternate between attacking and defending. All players must attack and defend, with positions including goalie, a centre player who is pivotal in controlling and building up attack, two halves and two wingers on the left and right who build-up play and try and score, and a line player, who stands in the defence and weave their way through attempting to score closer to goal. The aim is to score as many goals as possible, beating a goalkeeper in a futsal sized net. Handball is a bloody knackering sport, which makes it all the more rewarding when you play. It is incredibly fast paced, with play often starting slow, then building up, before the ball and players start moving like lightening across the court attempting to score. Handball’s quickness and intricate moves and tactics make it a brilliant sport both to play and watch and I’d definitely recommend hitting it up on YouTube.
Feature image sourced from Wikimedia Commons
Last modified: 19th May 2020