Lots of people in Britain enjoy watching and participating in sport. Watch the video to learn about sport in the UK and discover some of the world’s finest sporting venues and athletes.
Before you watch
Think about the following questions:
- Do you like sports?
- Do you prefer to watch or participate?
Now watch the video and complete the activities.
▶Task 1 - comprehension 1
Watch the video from the start until 04:40 minutes.
▶Task 2 - complete the sentences
Watch the video from 04:40 minutes to the end.
▶Task 3 - comprehension 2
Watch the whole video.
Britain is a sport-loving nation. It’s the birthplace of some of the world’s favourite sports including cricket, rugby and football, and it’s the home of some of the world’s most iconic sporting venues. From world-class football stadiums and Formula 1 circuits to the greatest arena of all, an Olympic village, Britain has it all.
This is Silverstone Circuit, one of the world’s most famous motor sport venues. Every year hundreds of thousands of fans come here to watch some of the most exciting motor racing events on the planet.
Over the last 60 years this circuit has changed with the times and its most recent development is a new pit and paddock called the Silverstone Wing.
Richard Phillips is the Managing Director of Silverstone. He oversees everything that takes place here.
Richard: So what would you say to someone who's never been to a race before?
Richard Phillips: I think you have got to come to Silverstone. We have the biggest and most knowledgeable crowd in the world, 320,000 people over the weekend of a Grand Prix. It's the biggest outdoor event in the country.
All the great British names have driven here: Nigel Mansell, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, and… me! I’ve always wanted to drive a Ferrari and what better place to do it than the home of British motor sport?
Racing instructor Chris Ward is going to give me a high-speed driving lesson.
Chris: So, right click into second. Just nice and steady to begin with. Let me just check we're all clear behind. Circuit's clear, so we're free to pull out onto the circuit. Squeeze the throttle, let's give it some power... Power, power, power! Down the left-hand side. Let the car rev a little bit more before you change gear. Into fifth. That's it. Keep the power going. And more power, and more power. What's it feel like being on the Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone?
Richard: It's a fantastic feeling, it really is.
Britain is mad about sport. From hockey to sailing, basketball to athletics, and grass court tennis is a national obsession. Rugby was invented here, as was cricket, and then exported round the world.
London is also home to a tribute to a footballing legend..
This is Bobby Moore, one of the all-time greatest footballers, and behind me is Wembley Stadium, one of the all-time greatest sporting venues… and I’m about to get a peek behind closed doors.
The stadium has recently undergone a huge makeover. It’s home to the England National Football Team and the FA Cup Final. Wembley also hosts other sports like American football and big music concerts.
And with 90,000 seats to choose from there’s plenty of room for all the fans.
This is where it all happens. The world’s finest football players have given us some of history's greatest sporting moments on this very pitch.
The stadium is one kilometre all the way round and above me stands a 133 metre tall steel arch which is also 315 metres across. It’s the longest single piece of roof section in the world and you can see it on the other side of London. It also moves to allow light and air onto the pitch.
This is the Press Conference Room. Up to 190 members of the media fill these seats after every game to ask the world's most famous football players the burning questions we all want to hear. Oh, it's my turn!
But there’s no time to stop, there’s sport everywhere in Great Britain.
I’ve come to Weymouth and Portland Bay where you’ll find some of the best natural sailing waters in the UK. During the Olympics this incredible coastline will host 10 exciting sailing events from dinghy racing to windsurfing. The area is a natural open-air venue, which means there are plenty of places to watch the sailing from – like here. This is the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and, thanks to the Olympics, it’s become a state-of-the-art facility for professional training, competitions and the local community… so everyone will benefit from the Olympics – even when it’s gone.
Peter Allam works for LOCOG, the Olympic Organisers.
Richard: Peter, why has this stretch of coastline been chosen for Olympic sailing?
Peter: One thing we can always rely on at Weymouth and Portland is the wind... and you can probably just hear it whistling in the background so we get good wind. We also have fantastic waters here to which we can set the race courses, the good sea conditions are favourable, and the shape of the bay and the harbour here, within Portland Harbour, gives us plenty of opportunity to sail whatever the conditions.
Richard: And you're an Olympian yourself.
Peter: I've been lucky. Twice, I've been to the Olympics. The first time was in 1984, the second time was in '92, and I was very fortunate in '84 to win a bronze medal, although we were favourites for the gold, I'm very happy to have come away with a medal.
Richard: So what makes this facility so state of the art?
Peter: The great thing about this academy is that it caters for all ability levels, from the elite athletes to the first-time sailor. It also has plenty of space. You need space for lots of boats and lots of people.
Richard: All this sea air and talk of sailing has given me an idea!
Snug! This is the Official Test Centre, next to the sailing academy. It offers something for everyone from professionals to beginners – like me. So, let’s see what this coastline has to offer.
Windsurfing instructor Tris Best is taking me out on the water.
Tris: That's it. Lovely job. And then hand over hand nice and gently when you're ready. No rush. Lovely job. And then just grab in the mast below the boom. Perfect! Well done.
Richard: Got it.
Tris. OK. Keep your knees nice and bent, back straight. That's how, nice and upright. Perfect. That's it. Perfect. Here we go. Too easy!
Oh, this is it! I'm getting there. Yes! A carve gybe! Oh, and a flare gybe! I'm all over it! Just flip a 180! Yes, that's a beautiful gust. Yeah, alright, OK, I admit it. I've got a little way to go when it comes to windsurfing... but Great Britain is so passionate about sport I think I'm going to try a few more of them. Now, where did I put my cricket bat?
- Think of a country you know well. What are the most popular sports?
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