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A history of British sport

Tuesday 6th May 2014
Submitted by Charlotte Hodgman

The British, it’s often said, have a particular genius for inventing sports and games. Considering how many of these sports and games turn out to have evolved elsewhere in the world too, this may or may not be true. However, we can be certain about one thing: the British invented modern sports in all their money-drenched and over-hyped glory. To put that another way, you can trace a direct line from Britons setting down recognised rules for horse racing, boxing and cricket through to football’s World Cup, the Indian Premier League and the modern Olympic Games.

“Although most countries have variations of folk tradition sports, which can range from hitting a ball with a bat through to mob forms of football through to maypole dancing – traditions that are very rooted in rural, agricultural lifestyles – Britain was the first place to develop what we would see today as codified, organised and commercialised sports,” says Tony Collins of De Montfort University in Leicester.

It’s a story that begins in earnest in the 18th century. “The reason why Britain developed these sports was it was the first nation to become an industrial, capitalist economy where people had disposable income,” comments Collins. “There was the wealth to generate both an interest in sports and also markets for sports.”

From the off then, money was central to sport’s growth. It’s no coincidence that this was also an era when, especially in a south-east growing prosperous as the centre of empire, the theatre grew in popularity and newspapers began to flourish. Beginning with the aristocracy, Britons were discovering the joys of leisure time.

This meant games played for high stakes and gambling. Cricket matches with prize money of 1,000 guineas weren’t unheard of. Predating today’s ‘in-game’ wagers, on-site bookies would even offer odds on individual batsman’s scores.

If this doesn’t tally with the familiar idea of stolid chaps playing up, playing up and playing the game, that’s because the idea of the noble amateur dates from the 19th century. This was a reinvention of sport linked to the growth of muscular Christianity and expressed in Thomas Hughes’s Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857), a novel set in Rugby School that pushed “the moral and the educative lessons that sport could teach”.

However, the idea of the amateur was always problematical. Cricketer WG Grace is reputed sometimes to have refused to walk when given out, perhaps in part because he was conscious that his generous ‘expenses’ made him better paid as an amateur than professional cricketers and that his role was to draw a crowd. As for why Grace hypocritically preferred expenses to a match fee, it’s because amateurs were gentlemen but professionals were lower class.

The 19th century was also an era when mass spectator sport began to take off. The 1895 split between rugby union and rugby league, for example, wasn’t, as it’s often portrayed, just about clubs such as Widnes and Warrington wanting to pay their players. It also came about because northern clubs wanted rule changes to make rugby more attractive to Saturday spectators who were increasingly deserting for association football – the Football League, at first made up of teams based in the north of England and the Midlands, was founded in 1888.

Fast forward to today and what Tony Collins calls the “arc of the amateur era” has most definitely ended. You could even argue that popular spectator sports, unashamedly professional and rich with the munificent sums paid by television, have returned to their 18th‑century roots. As for a figure such as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, it doesn’t seem wholly unreasonable to see him as a spiritual successor to louche aristocrats looking for amusement.

And yet sport is never just about rich individuals. In Britain, as sport has become a national obsession, it’s also become tied up with national well-being and identity. Hungary’s 6-3 rout of England at Wembley in 1953 had as much of an impact on the national sporting psyche as the 1956 Suez Crisis did on British politics.

“It was a tremendous shock to the system because it seemed to place a question mark over British superiority,” says Collins. “It’s not an accident that a lot of those kinds of doubts came to the fore in the 1950s when there’s lots of soul-searching and discussion about the role of Britain as its empire starts to disintegrate.”

The dance between sport and the state of the nation continues. Leaving aside for a moment the problem of conflating English and British sport, what price a future historian contrasting England’s victory at the 2003 Rugby World Cup,  when Clive Woodward’s strategy-fixated coaching methods seemed rooted in the management thinking of a then buoyant City of London, with the team’s dismal, undisciplined performance at the post-crash 2011 World Cup.

 

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Stunning Serbia remains one of Europe’s best-kept tourism secrets

Mar 11, 2014 08:00
By Martin Newman

http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/europe-short-haul/stunning-serbia-remains-one-europes-3227101#ixzz32zwJhA9q
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

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The minibus ground to a halt at the top of a steeply treacherous incline. „The driver won’t go any further,“ our guide Djina told us, turning in her seat. „It’s on foot from here.“

Somewhere in the valley deep below us was the Pustinja Monastery, with its 17th-century chapel.

Hidden from view to anyone driving in Serbia’s western mountains and barely signposted, it is as close to the definition of “sanctuary” as you can find.

We clambered several hundred yards down the stony dirt track until we reached a flat area by the river, in which stood a group of buildings surrounded by a wall. A large wooden gate with a hefty iron knocker blocked us from passing.

In the pristine silence I lifted the great clump of metal and slammed it down thrice.

The sound resonated like a gong through the valley.

Birds shrieked and leapt skyward, the undergrowth clamoured with startled critters and from behind a wall a small, angry nun in a beekeeper’s outfit burst forth directing a rake and a shrill stream of wild invective at me.

Apparently, the door was unlocked.

“Sorry,” I said. Then remembering the Serbian, with a smile: “Izvinite!”

The stooped old woman spat in ­annoyance and shook the rake one more time before returning to her hives.

Built in 1622 on the ruins of an 11th-century monastery, the chapel, with its Byzantine-inspired frescoes, is typical of the many Unesco cultural sites and unspoilt natural beauty spots in Serbia that have remained largely hidden from Western tourists.

A nation disrupted by war throughout centuries of existence, it is one that has rebuilt and readjusted to conflict time and again.

But while grappling with the post-communist, ethnically divided break-up of Yugoslavia, economic deprivation and exclusion from the EU, Serbia’s many assets have been largely overlooked.

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http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/europe-short-haul/stunning-serbia-remains-one-europes-3227101#ixzz32zvwFfrF
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Sentence transformation exercises-key

1 The temperature has dropped, but it is still warm outside. (Although)
Although the temperature has dropped, it is still warm outside.

2 As long as it doesn’t rain, the party will be held outdoors.
SHOULD
If it should rain, the party will be held inside the house.

3 When Emma did the exercises, she could relax and enjoy herself more easily.
Doing exercises made it much easier for Emma to relax and enjoy herself.
4 Jane felt ill, but insisted on going to work.
DESPITE
Despite feeling ill,Jane insisted on going to work

Poseta Američkoj ambasadi

U sklopu programa saradnje sa školama danas su gosti Ambasade SAD bili učenici i profesori Treće beogradske gimnazije. Imali su priliku da sa američkim diplomatama otvoreno razgovaraju o obrazovanju, kulturnoj i ekonomskoj saradnji, ljudskim pravima, i značaju USAID Serbia podrške u Srbiji. Najaktivniji učenici su bili nagrađeni knjigama američkih autora.

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Gerund/Infinitive Forms

Taken from http ://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/part_3.htm

In addition to simple gerund and infinitive forms, there are progressive gerund and infinitive forms, passive gerund and infinitive forms and perfect gerund and infinitive forms as well as combinations of these forms. Progressive forms are used to emphasize that an action is taking place now. Passive forms are used to emphasize that the subject of the sentence is being acted upon. Perfect gerund and infinitive forms are used to emphasize completion in both the past and the future. Study the examples below to help understand these concepts. To learn more about progressiveness, the passive voice and the perfect aspect, complete the Englishpage.com Verb Tense Tutorial.

GERUND FORMS INFINITIVE FORMS
SIMPLE The teacher enjoys teaching. The teacher wants to teach.
PROGRESSIVE Mr. Smith is really enjoying teaching his class.
Looks the same as simple form above.
Mr. Smith would like to be teaching his class.
PASSIVE The students enjoy being taught. The students want to be taught.
PERFECT The retired teacher recalled having taught. The teacher was expecting to have taught that already.
PASSIVE + PROGRESSIVE The students are enjoying being taught by such an exciting new teacher.
Looks the same as the passive form above.
The students would like to be being taught by Mr Smith.
PASSIVE + PERFECT The older students recalled having been taught that already. The students were expecting to have been taught that by now.

Učenici u radionici Britanskog Saveta:Urbani život gradova Velike Britanije

Ovako nam je bilo na radionici Britanskog saveta Urbani život gradova Velike Britanije na Sajmu knjiga. Tema je bila Grad i kreativnost, a učenici II razreda su malo izašli iz škole da pričaju engleski, nauče nešto novo, crtaju i budu kreativni. Kažu da su se lepo zabavili. Uvek je dobro malo“ izaći iz kutije“…IMG_3649 IMG_3658 IMG_3663 IMG_3664 IMG_3667