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The History of Sport

When it comes to sport, it’s super-easy to forget how much has changed over the last 400 years.

Here’s a quick potted history for professionals and amateurs alike.

1600’s – 1700’s: This time saw folk games flourish under Tudor rule, with the rise of Puritanism stopping official play (and stamping down on most of the fun involved). This continued into the next century where things were all going to change.

1700’s – 1800’s: During this century, the industrial revolution had people working hard and struggle to enjoy their leisure time. While Sunday was a day of rest, the birth of the weekend saw the rise of organised sport and creating rules for games.

1800’s – 1900’s: Sport was once again at the centre of changes in society. This saw wealthy business blokes fear ‘loutish’ behaviour and look down on sport for its ‘lack of morality’. These were the same folks who were quickly quids-in when they started backing large events such as cricket, horse racing, boxing, and more.

1900’s -2000’s: The time saw extreme change with certain sports latching onto England’s new class structure. However, two world wars ended up cementing sports as part of the national identity – establishing physical education in schools in 1955 and becoming a key money-maker for the UK and countries throughout the world.