A minha Lista de blogues

domingo, 23 de outubro de 2011

"Mens Sana in Corpore Sano"

A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body

Physical exercise and sport are the keys for a healthy lifestyle. It’s not for nothing that health experts recommend sport as a way to improve the quality of life. More and more people also practise sports as a way of achieving a psychological well being to face the stress of modern life. It gives them a greater feeling of self-esteem. By playing sports, you also feel full of energy and reduce the risk of becoming overweight.

There are many old connections between sports and school in Britain. Some sports like football, cricket and rugby were played in the 19th century in various ways in different schools, sometimes like a rivalry between older and younger boys. Their transformation into modern sports resulted from the influence of the new industrial middle classes who sent their sons to the public schools to be educated with the aristocracy; they turned games into a form of collective discipline: playing with courage and helping your team. In those days technique and skill were supposed to be less important than character. Fair play was an unwritten rule requiring not only the respect for the rules of the game but also for all the players involved, especially the rival team.

Some traditions in sports

The Calcutta Cup

England and Scotland compete for the Calcutta Cup. It used to belong to the Calcutta Rugby Club, which stopped playing in 1877. The club took all its money out of the bank and used it to make the cup, which they sent to England. It is a beautiful cup with snakes for handles and an elephant on the top.

Twickenham Stadium is the largest rugby union stadium in the United Kingdom. It is often referred to as the home of English rugby.

When D. Manuel II of Portugal was in exile, in England, he lived in Fulwell Park, Twickenham.

Wembley stadium

Wembley opened in 2007 and was built on the site of the previous 1923 stadium. It is England´s national football stadium and the FA (Football Association) Cup Final is held here.
*Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most admired managers with the longest service in the history of football. He was appointed manager at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, on 6th November 1986.
David Beckham and Wayne Rooney are nowadays the most famous British players. In the 2004 European Championship, hosted by Portugal both played for England against the Portuguese national team and were defeated in a dramatic quarter finals.
Some of the best Portuguese players have strong connections with the English football: Eusébio became known worldwide after playing the 1966 World Cup in England, when he was considered the best player; Cristiano Ronaldo also won international recognition after his transference from Sporting to Manchester United, where presently Nani, another Portuguese player is one of the stars of the same team.
José Mourinho, our “special one” manager was in charge of the London club, Chelsea, from 2004 till 2007.The club coached by him set a new record of 64 consecutive home league matches without defeat. He also won the 2005 and 2006 Premier League Cup and the 2007 FA Cup.

*On 8 May 2013, Alex Ferguson announced his retirement as manager of Manchester United. During his 26 years at the club he won 38 trophies.

It is very popular in Britain, played mainly in the summer. With the consolidation of the British Empire in the 19th century it became a popular sport in countries like India, Pakistan and South Africa.

This game has had an impact on popular culture and some expressions related to it are used in the English language:

“It would have been easy to cheat, but it wouldn´t have been cricket” (fair).
“He is on a sticky wicket” (difficult situation)

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Everything at Wimbledon is very traditional: the courts are grass, the dress code is very strict for competitors who can only wear white, and there is a total absence of sponsor advertising around the courts.

The Derby

 Although it is often mentioned when important football matches take place, it has nothing to do with football. The Derby(dar-bi) is the most prestigious horse race in Britain, which takes place in Epsom.
Gericault. The Epsom Derby

The Royal Ascot

The Ascot Racecourse is also a horse race closely associated with the British Royal Family and every year the Royal Ascot is attended by the Queen. There are strict dress codes: women must wear a hat and men a grey or black morning dress with a top hat.

The Boat Race

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a competition between teams ( of eight rowers and a cox  who steers the boat) from the two oldest universities in England and takes place every year in late March or early April on the river Thames.
Both Oxford and Cambridge use blue as their colour (Oxford – dark blue; Cambridge-light blue). When a student represents one of these universities we say that he “has won a blue”.


The Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland,  is the oldest golf course in the world.
This small city became the centre of the news for the media when Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011 because they both attended the University of St Andrews, the 3rd oldest in the UK, almost 600 years old.

The topic “Sports” is in the 8th grade syllabus of English as a foreign language.
The students are going to research on this topic and present their work to the class. I´m looking forward to listening to them.


Wilson, Ken,and Peter Tite. Project GB. Sport. London: Mary Glasgow publications Ltd, 1978

http://images.search yahoo.com

1 comentário:

  1. A very thorough and interesting discussion on English sports! However, given the prominence of some English speakers in Madeira, I think that perhaps a brief presentation on the legendary Volleyball traditions of Jaime Moniz college would be appropriate.