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The Fascinating Sports of the Commonwealth

Golf, Scotland

We Scots may have to bear through some tough weather conditions, but that doesn’t mean we’re afraid of the outdoors. Although its ancient origins are unknown, the modern game of golf has its roots here in Scotland.

It started gaining popularity in the 15th century, and the first 18-hole course was established in St Andrews in 1764. We also hosted the world’s first international tournament that still exists today: The Open Championship. If golf is your one true love, then a visit to St Andrews, the home of golf, is par for the course.

Football, England

Nowadays, this tends to be a topic of hot debate, but it seems the English at least defined the first official rules of the modern game of football, or soccer as it’s known over the pond. In some form or another, the game’s history traces back more than two millennia, played in ancient Greece, China and Rome. Formal rules that the English introduced include ‘no tripping opponents’ and ‘no touching the ball with your hand’ (official descriptions likely differ).

Cricket, Australia

We know what you’re thinking, and yes, modern cricket was born in England, but the Aussie’s have certainly claimed it as their own. Australia has the most successful cricketing team in history, having won more ICC cricket tournaments than any other. They’ve also won more international Test and friendly matches than anybody else, and recorded their 1,000th win in international cricket in 2019. Howzat!

Hockey, Canada

You might have been able to guess this without being told. Yes, modern hockey was invented in Canada, specifically Windsor in Nova Scotia. At least that’s what 19th-century Nova Scotian politician Thomas Haliburton claimed. Those who dispute the claim reckon it was invented in Halifax or Dartmouth, which are both also in Nova Scotia. Whoever’s right, we can certainly say that modern ice hockey is a gift from Canada.

Bungee Jumping, New Zealand

New Zealand is an adventurer’s playground, making it no surprise that the sport of bungee jumping originated here. Well, what we can say for certain is that the first commercial bungee site was established in Queenstown, New Zealand by A.J Hackett (who remained anonymous at the time).

Believe it or not, this first commercial site didn’t come about until 1989. Now, over a million people across the globe have bungee jumped at various sites owned by Hackett. Check it out for yourself on one of the many adrenaline-fueled tours of New Zealand’s Southern Alps ran by AAT Kings.