Over the past decade or more there has been a notable growth of interest in the study of sport, racism and ethnicity . This essay has similar interest. The main goal of this essay is to bring closer the issues of ethnicity and the politics of identity in British sport. In this essay, I am going to introduce the history of immigrants to Britain and Development of Sport in Britain in order to bring closer the high influence of different cultures on British culture, and of course on British sport. I will also discuss some issues related to race and ethnicity that are present in sport.
History of Immigrants to Britain dates back to the pre-historic times, but I am more interested in the period from late 19th throughout 20th century until present day, because the intensity of immigration was at its highest point during this period. Let’s go back to the beginning. The Romans were the first nation that brought their tradition and culture to the Britain, followed by Saxons, Angles, Scots, Vikings, Normans and many more. All these nations greatly influenced Britain and its culture. But not until the 19th century did they brought sports with their cultures. Most influential immigrations in this sense were those of British colonies around the world, mainly from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya and Caribbean. Many of these immigrants came to work and provide for their families but they stayed and formed minority communities, because they refused to be assimilated into the British society. Whilst to this their progeny were born in Britain and lived according to both their native culture and British as well. Due to this mixture of cultures, Britain gained new traditions but sports as well.
Children of immigrants or direct immigrants themselves are also well represented in athletics and other sporting events. In the last Beijing Olympics the following children of recent immigrants represented UK. Harry Aikines-Aryeety, Larry Achike, Emma Ania, Michael Bingham, Martyn Bernard, Sarah Claxton, Natasha Denvers and many more.
Development of Sport in Britain
Development of modern British sport begun in mid-17th century. After The gambling act in 1664, there were new games created just for interest. First team game was created in early-16th century, it was called cricket. Cricket became the oldest professional team sport its popularity grew very fast. By the end of the century, it had become an organized activity being played for high stakes and it is believed that the first professionals appeared in the years following the Restoration in 1660. It was well established in many parts of Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Within a few years it had become a feature of leisure time at a significant number of schools, and a sure sign of the wide acceptance of any game, and it had become popular enough among young men to earn the disapproval of local magistrates. During 19th and 20th century, cricket became popular in several nations of...