Sporting Culture of New Zealand

Sporting Culture of New ZealandNew Zealand is well known for having a strong sporting culture, with many of the most popular national sports deriving from the country’s British colonial heritage. Rugby, soccer, netball and cricket are the most popular sports, but the South Pacific islands also have a growing reputation for enjoying extreme sports such as bungee jumping and snowboarding.

The All Blacks

Without a doubt though, it is the sport of Rugby Union which dominates the national sporting culture psyche. New Zealand’s national rugby team is known as the All Blacks and they are currently ranked as the number one side in the world. Indeed, the most recent World Cup event was held in New Zealand, which goes some way to illustrating exactly how popular the sport is in the country. The 2011 final saw the All Blacks beat France 8-7 in a closely fought match, and the entire country celebrated as their team were crowned as world champions on home soil.

The sporting culture of New Zealand dictates that the All Blacks must perform a traditional Maori Hakka before every international rugby match, to challenge and intimidate the opposing team. This is an impressive sight to see, and is often successful in intimidating opposition players. International players such as Dan Carter and Jonah Lomu are regarded as national heroes within New Zealand thanks to their sporting prowess on the pitch.

Extreme Sports

Whilst traditional sports such as soccer and cricket are very popular in New Zealand, the Kiwis also enjoy experiencing massive adrenaline rushes. Bungee jumping was first invented in the country, and many tourists and backpackers travel to the country intent on giving this sport a go in the land of its birth. Zorbing is also an extreme sport which originated in New Zealand, and involves rolling down a hill at very high speeds whilst you’re inside a giant orb which is generally made of transparent plastic.

All in all, New Zealand has a very competitive sporting culture and no matter what the sport, it is guaranteed that they will always want to win.

Pic: Delphimages – Fotolia