Wednesday, 3 October 2007

American sports in the UK!

Over the next month the UK is going to be invaded by the biggest sporting teams America has to offer. Last weekend NHL (National Hockey League) kicked off their season with the first ever competitive season fixtures ever played in the UK now this month sees the turn of the NFL (National Football League) and the NBA (National Basketball Association) to show the UK audiences what their sports are all about.

We have had American Football, Ice Hockey and Basketball leagues here in the UK for sometime now with many British teams competing but this month is a huge opportunity for the UK based teams and leagues to get the press coverage and publicity they need to really develop the sports in the UK.

In the UK Football, Rugby and Cricket are always going to be the top team sports but hopefully this month will see young people wanting to try their hand at these new sports and you never know we might uncover some untapped talent in the process.

Although existing for years here in the UK these American sports only have a small following compared to the likes of Premiership Football and their US counterparts. Many people that play these sports in the UK actually have to pay for the pleasure of playing and have to clock up miles crisscrossing the country in order to get to games whilst still holding down full time jobs or full time education.

I personally think this is going to be a great thing for the UK as we need to get young people in to sport and the more opportunities there are and the more different are available to them the more likely they are going to be able to find a sport to play which they enjoy.

The big NFL, NHL and NBA games here in the UK all sold out very quickly so it shows you that there is great demand for these sports and a great following of them here in the UK. I know these big American leagues are all planning on making their trips to the UK an annual event which can only be good for these sports in the UK. It’s not going to happen overnight and I don’t think they will get the following that our style of football gets over here but with continued development these sports can become widely played by young people in the UK.

It is just important that we get out of the mindset of thinking of them as American sports and really just think about them as sports the same as any other as I know when people use the word American it can put some people off. Just because they originate from America it doesn’t mean they are not or can’t be global sports.

Hopefully these big organisations can do for American sports in the UK what David Beckham is doing for football (soccer) in America.

Have your say on american sports in our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

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