Subject Material

Sports as a Mirror of National and Cultural Identity

Published: 27.10.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
  • Embed
  • Easy Reader
  • Listen
  • Print
Irish rugby fan

What/whom do you prefer? Man U or Spurs? Vålerenga or Brann? Golf or tennis? Rugby or polo? Cross-country or downhill? If there is one thing we can take for granted, it is that our preferences will vary. How are these preferences established and why are sports an important part of our identity?

Look at the picture of this rugby fan. What do you think is his national identity? What does his expression reveal about how the match turned out?

Sport in Scotland

For Scots, sports are an important part of their national and cultural identity. Through sports they underline the fact that under no circumstances are they English.

Listen to the information about sports in Scotland. Note down the various sports which are mentioned. Which sports are typically Scottish and are there any regional variations in the types of sports played?

Sport in Scotland
Forfatter: Johnnie Pearson


After listening to the recording "Sport in Scotland", try the multiple choice assignment in the link collection.


Based on the interview "Sport in Scotland", write a fictional interview about sports with someone from England. You could record it or make an audio file.


Sport in Scotland vs. England

If you compare the two interviews (the one about sports in Scotland and yours about sports in England), why and how do they differ? How do sports become a part of our national and cultural identity?

Sport in Australia

Make a Poster

This is a brief outline of how cricket has emerged as the national sport in Australia.

"Since colonial times, sporting successes have assisted the emerging nation of Australia to establish its identity. Contests between the colonies and Britain were considered to be tests of the new settlers, and their British counterparts admired the physical ability of the colonists. The Australian colonies demonstrated their maturity through their successes in sport, particularly cricket. The first ‘Test’ match was played in 1877, before the nation of Australia was formed at Federation in 1901. Sir Donald Bradman’s extraordinary batting ability lifted the spirits of Australia during the tough times of the 1930s Depression era. Cricket continues to be a source of fierce rivalry between Australia and Britain, particularly during test matches for the coveted Ashes trophy." Sport in Australia 

Use the website provided  Sport in Australia and describe by means of a physical or digital poster how sports have influenced the national and cultural identity of Australians. In groups you could focus on cricket, "Aussie"  football, rugby, sea surfing or indigenous boxing. Your poster should include the following:  

  • Description of the sport
  • Its historical background
  • How this sport has contributed to a national Australian identity and promoted the development of a cultural identity
  • Famous athletes
  • Your conclusion and sources

Remember that the poster should be eye-catching and illuminating.