The Sporting Traditions of Christmas

  • By Kirsty Ward

The Sporting Traditions of Christmas

For those who ‘do’ sport rather than spectate, the Christmas season can be tricky to navigate. Sticking to a training plan is hard enough in these dark winter months without having to dodge the temptations of abundant Christmas treats. That is without considering all those parties and the odd festive hangover! (Not that we at Adé Lang ever have any of those!)

For the not so athletic amongst us, Christmas is a great time of year to watch sport, and enjoy all that spectating entails. Rowing admittedly is not a winter spectator sport. These dark, dark days provide the groundwork for the regatta season to come. However, other sports provide great entertainment at this time of year. For basketball fans, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana has a unique way to anticipate the holiday season. The Trojans, the Taylor basketball team, has a tradition where spectators arrive at the game in fancy dress and remain silent until the Trojans score their tenth point.

When this is scored, Christmas arrives in Upland!- You know the excitement and jubilation of the game-winning field goal scored on your home turf  - that is what is like when the Trojans score their tenth point. The crowd goes wild and then all at once the spectators sing the carol, ‘Silent Night’ in unison. It's a tradition that was started in the mid-1990s by the then Trojans' Assistant Coach, Steve Brooks.  As he says, "[the tradition] has now taken on a life of its own."  See for yourselves (link here).

From what we hear, the Trojans' December game has become a must-attend event in the diaries of college students across the States.  What a way to start the holiday celebrations!!!

The U.S. is of course no stranger to big sporting events on Christmas Day. This, however, is not the case in the UK. Henry VIII, (yes the one who had six wives) banned all sport – except archery – from taking place on 25 December. Having seen what Henry VIII did to his subjects when displeased, no major sporting events have taken place on Christmas day ever since. Or so we thought… there are some brave souls who take a festive dip in the sea or lakes across the UK. From Scotland to Cornwall, people take the plunge in freezing waters and seemingly enjoy it. Why? Who knows but there is clearly something to playing chicken with the elements. People come back from more, year on year.

In the UK the 26 December, (a public holiday for everyone), is one of the biggest days of the year for sport. The sloth of Christmas Day is shrugged off as the sporting public descend on football and rugby matches, horse racing meets, and hunting with hounds to name but a few. These events have become a tradition to many people, and it is a chance to get outdoors and blow away the cobwebs of over indulgence.

Whether you are watching and/or taking part in sport this Christmas, Adé Lang wish you a very Happy Christmas and a healthy 2018! Oh and if you want to look elegant at your next match, you know where to find us!


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