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Seven Ages of Sport

How important is sport in your life? What significance does it have for your friends, family, and relatives. Which sporting personalities and what sporting events stick in your mind. Do you think that your attitude to sport will change as you get older? If so, why? Below are views from a number of Polish and British people, at various stages of their lives. Before reading what they said you might like to consider the questions above, and ask a classmate their opinion on them.

Iain, 8

"I'm a goalie! I play for our school team and we have to train quite a bit. A lot more than we used to. In the future though, I would like to be like Sir Alec Ferguson! We do a lot of sport at school. We play rounders, tennis and hockey. We go to a swimming pool twice a week, and in winter we go skiing. When I go home I turn the TV on and I watch my favourite sports like golf, hockey, cricket, rugby and, of course, Formula 1. But my dad doesn't like me watching so much television."

Marta, 9

"There are two sports I love doing - cycling and roller-blading. Sometimes I watch swimming, skating, or football on TV. What I remember best was the mountain bikes race near my home town. I'm spending more time now on sport than I was before, and my favourite sportsman is Ronaldo."

James, 12

"I like sport a lot. I suppose my favourite is snooker because I can practise at home on my own small table. I also play tennis, football, and rounders, and I go swimming. Oh, and in winter, skiing, Last winter we went to Switzerland. I love skiing! I watch a lot of sport on TV. The best one is Formula 1 but I also watch golf, darts and rugby. My sporting hero is Stephen Hendry, the current snooker world champion. It seems that each year I play more and more sport."

Stuart, 15

"Nowadays, I spend almost all of my free time on the golf course. Every day, I walk miles, but I don't get bored. It's such a great game and one day I would like to be like my hero Sergio Garcia. My best moment so far has been getting a hole in one at the eighth. Although golf is the most important sport for me now, I do enjoy other sports. Sometimes, when I have the chance, I meet up with my mates and we have a game of footie. Running helps me to keep in good form too."

Marta, 18

"I'm a real fan of Los Angeles Lakers. I used to train basketball playing four times a week. Now that I'm in the last form of my Secondary school I'm pretty busy with my studies so I just do it for recreation. I also run. The sports that I enjoy watching? Certainly basketball - NBA and Polish teams; also football and some major sporting events. I remember the last European women championships in basketball. The Polish team won. It was a great match and a great success for us."

Michał, 20

"I am very keen on water sports such as canoeing and sailing. I took a course in sailing last summer. I am a qualified yachtsman now and a member of the Polish Yachting Association. I still remember how difficult the course was. We had a lot of theory but what I enjoyed most was the sailing. The Mazurian lakes are just beautiful. In August this year I spent a memorable week canoeing along the Czarna Hańcza River. Camping outdoors, observing nature and relaxing - this is what I need after a busy school year in a polluted town."

Agnieszka, 23

"There are a lot of sports I'm interested in: badminton, sailing, horse riding, shooting and cross-country skiing. I don't watch television a lot, but if I have time I watch ski jumping. I walk a lot, I play badminton and do cross-country skiing . I've been studying in Finland for the last couple of years so I can't complain about a lack of snow."

Gary, 33

"Sport? I spend quite a bit of time watching rugby or football games. Mostly at home. I will never forget Man. United winning the Treble this year! Work and my two kids don't give me the chance to really do any sport properly. Sometimes, though, when I finish work, I go to a pub and enjoy a game of darts. You may be surprised but it's not such and easy thing to do! It requires a lot of concentration, good aim, steady hands and you need to be good at maths!"

Iza and Wojtek, in their thirties

"We do not usually do much sport. We are both quite busy working. Yet in the summer we try to cycle, swim, walk and canoe as much as we can." "I have just started going to a fitness club. Not just because it is trendy. I do not watch sports programmes at all." (Iza) "I used to play tennis in my high school. Now, I go cycling and play football in the summer. When I have time, I watch football on TV." (Wojtek)

Bernie, 42

"My job and research for my Ph.D. take up a lot of time but sport is something that I can't exclude from my every-day life. For quite a few years now I have taken part in the London marathon and a few years ago I ran 139 miles in 4 days to raise money for Age Concern, where I work. I also play football twice a week and regularly follow the games on TV. The most exciting memory I have is of the World Cup in 1966 when England won. Along with football I watch cricket, rugby, athletics, golf and boxing."

Paweł, in his forties

"I took up skiing a year ago. At first it was a little scary - I thought I was too old for that - but now I think it is a wonderful way of spending your winter holidays. I work pretty hard and cannot afford long holidays. I love short breaks. I escape from the hustle and bustle of a busy town and either go to the mountains hiking or go canoeing. No papers, no people and no mobile phones for a week and then I am ready to go back to my busy life again. My sports idol is Irena Szewińska who is now a member of the International Olympics Committee. I still remember what a great runner she was. It was very exciting to watch her. Those were wonderful days for Polish sports".

Marek, in his late forties

"I'm sorry to say that I don't devote as much time to sport as I used to. But there are still a few sports I'm rather good at, so of course I do them very keenly. My number one is scuba diving - at a really advanced level. I also sail, fish, hunt and do cross country skiing. I like watching athletics - international events. But most of all I enjoy watching documentary films that present sports and wildlife at the same time: divers, anglers, hunters or sailors in contact with nature. Now I haven't got my favourite sportsman, but when I was younger there were some idols in my life. As for the most memorable sporting event - it was Bob Beamon's long jump at the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968. He broke the record with 8,90 meters."

Douglas, 63; Barry, 61; Geoff, 67

"After the retirement we have much more time for ourselves so we spend most of it bowling. We all play for the same team, and are out on the greens two or three times a week. We also play a bit of golf and snooker, and all like to watch rugby union, football and cricket. So you won't be surprised to hear that our heroes are people like the cricketer Geoffrey Boycott, the rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio, and the great footballer Sir Stanley Matthews."

Franciszka, in her sixties

"As a retired PE teacher I can really say that sport has been my life. For 35 years it was my work too, but now that I am retired I actually have more time to do sport, especially running. I'm interested in lots of ball games, like basketball, handball, and volleyball. Athletics was my passion when I was younger, and I even won a silver medal in the national LZS championships. But the greatest memories I have are of the times when the kids I trained won medals in national meetings, like my students from Różanystok who won the Przegląd Sportowy Cup twice, or the little primary school from Supraśl who got second place in the national championships. My heroes though are Irena Szewińska and Waldemar Baszanowski."

Task 1.
Complete the following table with information from the interviews.



Sports played

Sports watched

Sporting heroes

Memorable sporting events

More or less sport now than before











































Task 2. Use the headings from the table above to carry out a sports survey

a) within your class or school

b) with parents, grandparents, relatives and friends

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