The playful kangaroos and the magnificent Sydney Opera House are some of the things that you first thing of when you hear the word Australia. But did you know that Australia and Australians are known to be very fond of sports and sporting competitions? It has two cities which hosted the Olympics twice, Melbourne and Sydney, and it has a number of its own local professional sporting leagues, most notably in cricket and football, and also in baseball and basketball. It even has its own version of football called the Australian Rules Football or, simply, Australian football, which is hosted by their own Australian Football League! In fact, a huge number of Australians, across all age brackets, are actively engaged in at least one sport – with cricket being one of the more popular sports with the highest number of active players.
The City of Melbourne has been recently named as the world’s sporting capital – highlighting how the spirit of sports flourishes throughout the country. It houses the Melbourne Cricket Ground, also known as simply “the G”, which is the largest sports stadium in the country. It is also one of the oldest – having been constructed in 1853. This icon is even listed on the Australian National Heritage List and it has hosted a variety of local and international competitions.
With the attention that the country gives sports, it goes without saying that a number of Australians themselves are huge sports fans. It is not uncommon to see jam-packed arenas during large sporting events and to hear crowds shouting at the top of their lungs for their favourite teams. For the longest time, the trending fan attendance in major sporting events have been steadily increasing and now stands at an all-time high. Sports bars and pubs have also become more commonplace where strangers and friends alike can share their enthusiasm over the sport and cheer on their teams over food and drinks.
One thing which perhaps has led to the solid increase in the number of live spectators and Australian fans is the media coverage of the various sporting events in the country. Live feeds directly delivered to the audience certainly raises attention and awareness of different sports as well as building excitement and hype.
Given the emphasis on sports in the country, it is not surprising to note that Australia has also been very active in the international sports scene. Its national cricket and rugby teams are one of the most successful in the world. Australia has competed in all the Cricket World Cups ever held and has won the championship 5 times. It also has joined in all Rugby League World Cups, winning the whole tournament in a record-breaking fashion of 10 times. Their national basketball and football teams have also appeared in a number of international competitions.
Their national teams have also performed well in the Olympics and have placed in the top 10 in the medal standings since 1992. In the recently concluded Rio Olympics, Australia landed in the top 10 in the medal standings with a total of 29 medals won. Australians won 10 medals in swimming alone. Australia also sends athletes to the Paralympics so as to allow differently-abled individuals to be given the chance to compete in their own chosen sport. This highlights the dedication of Australian athletes and the support they get from their country and fellowmen.
Aside from competing in these international competitions, Australia has also hosted a number of them, most notably the Olympic held in Melbourne and in Sydney. It has also hosted the several iterations of the Cricket World Cup and the Rugby World Cup.
Capping the Day
To those engaged in sports, it is already a fulfilling feeling to be able to do your best and enjoy your match. It is often already enough to show the love for the sport by giving your best in every game. After months of arduous work and training, nothing beats the satisfaction that comes from giving your all in a particular event, regardless of the outcome. True sportsmanship is indeed not about winning and beating your opponent, but about going in with 100% effort and graciously accepting the results, knowing that you gave your all.
But of course, tokens and other modes of recognition would never go unappreciated. Although not always necessary, being recognized for the efforts put into the training and performance in a match is a welcome bonus. In the fun spirit of the game and to acknowledge the participants, prizes and awards are almost often given to competitors in athletic meets. Aside from the trophies and medals awarded to the winners, it is a common practice to also give a commemorative gift to the participants as remembrance and appreciation for their participation. These gifts can range from personalised jerseys and other sportswear to other items such as bags, jackets, and other merchandise. Sometimes, the winning ball is also given to the champions of the event. One very interesting and unique gift idea that will surely be appreciated by the recipient is their own personalised wine bottle. With an exclusive label featuring the player himself, and a pleasant wine to boot, it will surely be something that will be appreciated and remembered by the players.