Australia is a leading nation in the global arena of games and sports. In the recently concluded Rio Olympics, it secured 10th position in the medal tally with a total of 29 medals. It included 8 gold medals, 11 silver, and 10 bronze medals. Australia’s performance in the non-Olympic games such as Cricket or Surfing is also quite satisfactory over the decades. Here we are listing some of the most popular sports of Australia.
Some of the greatest swimmers of the world have emerged from Australia. Australia is an island continent. The long coastlines facilitated the Australians to engage in swimming from a very tender age. And this trend resulted in the spectacular performances of the Australian swimmers in the global stage. Some of the best known Australian swimmers of recent times are Ian Thorpe, Stephanie Rice, Boy Charlton, etc.
Cricket originated in the British isles in the 16th century. With the expansion of British colonialism, it became a globally renowned sport. Although it is currently not the part of the Olympic Games it is much popular in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia has produced a number of great cricketers. Donald Bradman, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Brett Lee are some of the most respected players from Australia. Australia has also won the Cricket world cup a number of times. Melbourne and Sydney have two of the best cricket stadiums in the world.
Rugby is very popular among the Australians. It is, too, a non-Olympic game. But the Australians have greatly excelled in this game. It is a team game. The players of each team tried to carry the Rugby ball over a certain line clearing the obstacles created by the players of the opponent team. The game demands high physical fitness and agility. Rugby is played in two different formats: the Rugby Union and the Rugby League. They have different set of rules and regulations. The Qantas Wallabies, the Wallaroos, the Qantas Men’s Sevens are some of the most popular professional Rugby teams in Australia.
Netball is much favorite among the Australian ladies. The sport was first played in the last years of 19th century. It is a team game spanning 60 minutes. Each of the team has seven members. The Australian teams compete with teams from New Zealand in the ANZ Championships which was started in 2008. The Australian national team is hailed by their fans as Diamond. A very popular netball team from Australia is Queensland Firebirds.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body of football which is the most popular outdoor game in Australia. Australia is a major power among the football playing nations in the Asia-Pacific region. It has also some spectacular performances in the global stage in different tournaments. The national level competition of the Australian clubs is known as A-league. The FFA is currently part of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Australian national team regularly participated in the AFC tournaments.