European Sport Heritage

Famous European Sports


Many of Europe’s most popular sports today developed from traditional pastimes, many of which originated in the United Kingdom. The most common sport in Europe is football, (read more about football in this theme). Another popular sport in Europe is Rugby Union, which is especially enjoyed in southern France, parts of the UK, Ireland and northern Italy. Cricket is a favourite summer sport in the UK and has been exported to other parts of the former British Empire. Tennis is another famous European sport now played all over the world. Just as the popular and ancient game Boxing. An even older sport is skiing. Skiing is not only a famous sport, but also a popular holiday activity.


While the modern game of tennis originated in late 19th century England, most historians believe that the game’s ancient origin is from 12th century France, when the ball was struck not with a racket but with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of ‘jeu de paume’, which evolved into what is now called ‘real tennis’, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style.

It was not until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called ‘tennis’, from the Old French term ‘tenez’, which can be translated as ‘hold!’, ‘receive!’ or ‘take!’, an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent.

Nationale tenniskampioenschappen 

At the METS courts in Scheveningen the national tennis championships are played. In the men's double the teams Karsten-Teschmacher and De Brauw-Hughan compete against eachother. In the men's singles Hughan and Teschmacher compete against eachother. The doubles match is won by Karsten- Teschmacher; the singles match is won by Hughan. All players pose. 0:09 Karsten and Teschmacher; 0:11 De Brauw and Hughan. During World War II the newsreels by film producers Polygoon and Profilti were controlled by the German occupiers. Polygoon and Profilti had to work together with the German film rental office Tobis. From January 1, 1941 the newsreels were therefore called Tobis News. Until the fall of 1944 newsreels under this name were produced alternately by Polygoon and Profilti. 1942

Source: http://bit.ly/2fyMxNi


Cricket is generally seen as an English sport. However, there are indications that the sport might have a Flemish origin. The earliest definite reference to cricket being played in England is in evidence given at a 1598 court case which mentions that ‘creckett’ was played on common land in Guildford, Surrey, around 1550. And whilst English is most commonly thought of as the languages that gave us the original word for ‘cricket’, there is also evidence to suggest that French, Flemish and Dutch words are responsible.

In the 18th century, the game underwent major development and became the national sport of England. In 1707, cricket was so prominent in London that large crowds flocked to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury. The single wicket form of the sport attracted huge crowds and wagers to match.

Opzienbarende cricketmatch

Newsreels in which Dutch subjects of a certain week are presented.

The Netherlands wins the cricket match against Australia on the field of the Haagse Cricket Club. With the Dutch team captain Peter van Arkel, Pierhagen, Ernst Vriens, Trijzelaar, Piet Marseille, Pim van der Vegt, Wallie van Weelde and Rudi Onstein and O'Neill, Cowper and Conolly from Australia.

Source: http://bit.ly/2ezybtE


There are depictions of fist-fighting as far back as the third millennium BC, and boxing was accepted by the ancient Greeks as an Olympic sport as early as 688 BC. The sport later resurfaced in England during the early 16th century in the form of bare-knuckle boxing sometimes referred to as ‘prizefighting’. Boxing as we recognise it today has its roots in the 18th century, gaining popularity first in Great Britain and later in the United States. In 2004, ESPN ranked boxing as the most difficult sport in the world.


Rugby developed from a version of football played at Rugby School in the United Kingdom. The crucial different to football is that a player can pick up the ball and run with it. Two distinct branches of the sport have evolved: rugby league and rugby union. Traditionally, the two rugbys have been seen as divided along class lines, with union associated more with the middle class, and league with the working class. One the most prominent differences between the two sports today is that rugby league has a system of limited tackles whereas rugby union does not. Also, rugby union has retained the prevalent use of scrums.

The major rugby union tournament in Europe today is the Six Nations Championships, which occurs in February/March each year, and sees England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales competing for the title of ‘European Champions’.


The oldest known skis were found in Russia and are thought to date from 6300 BC.

Alpine ski racing as an organised sport commenced in both America and Australia. The first recreational ski club was formed in 1861 at Kiandra, Australia, where the first documented international downhill carnival was also held.

Skiing can be grouped into two general categories: Nordic and Alpine. Nordic skiing, the older of the two disciplines, originated in Scandinavia and uses free-heel bindings that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Types of Nordic skiing include cross-country, ski jumping and Telemark. Alpine skiing (more often called ‘downhill skiing’), originated in the European Alps, and is characterised by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot.

Victoire à ski sur l'Eiger

Air Glacier
Cours de ski
Descente à ski
Préparation de l'équipement et montée sur la face Nord-Ouest de l'Eiger
Présentation de Sylvain Saudan
Technique et figure à ski, équipement, programme d'entraînement

Source: http://bit.ly/2fAqEfb