Sports in Egypt :
To study life in ancient Egypt one only needs to look at the depictions on the walls of the pyramids and the temples of the country. A variety of sporting activities and athletics were part of ancient Egyptian lifestyle. Wrestling, archery, and throwing the javelin seem to have been favorites. Navigating the Nile made the ancient Egyptians expert rowers.
Rowing competitions seem to have been as common as ball games. Bats fashioned out of palm leaves or carved wood are discernible in the pyramid etchings. Records say that Pharaohs such as Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV were not only patrons but also skilled sportsmen themselves. Riding and running were common events in the sporting events and marathons held in ancient Egypt. These sporting festivals, such as the Heb Sed Festival, were held in the desert amidst much fanfare. Unlike ancient Romans, the Egyptians practiced “peaceful” sports aimed at enhancing their fitness and athletic prowess and at providing entertainment.
Contemporary Egypt has not let down the sporting tradition of the country. Football remains ever popular with a strong fan following. The Egyptian nation team, the Pharaohs, has won the Africa Cup of Nations seven times including consecutive wins in the years 1957 and 1959, and 2006, 2008, and 2010. Al-Ahly, Zamalek, Ittihad, Tersana, Al-Mokawloon al-Arab, Ismaily, and Al-Masry are local football clubs in Egypt and the traditional rivalry between Al-Ahly and Zamalek draws a lot of passion when the Egyptian Clasico is played. Ashraf Quasem, Hossam Hassan, Taher Abouzaid, Hassan Shehata, Hazem Emam, Gamal Abdel Hamid, and Gamal Abdel Hamid are among the internationally renowned footballers from Egypt. The Cairo International Stadium, the Borg El Arab Stadium, the Mubarak International Stadium, the Alexandria Stadium, and the Sekka El Hadeed Stadium are among the premier football venues in Egypt.
With Egypt’s active participation in the Summer Olympics since 1912, weightlifting, boxing, wrestling, and swimming have received considerable encouragement. Egypt has, however, boycotted the Olympics for political reasons, on several occasions. Other sports such as basketball and volleyball also find a fan following in the country. The Egyptian basketball team won the African championship in 1983. Judo and Tae Kwon Do are martial arts that are promoted in the country.
Handball, squash, and tennis are other sports that are played in Egypt. Egypt won the African Handball Nationals Championship five times and held the second slot five times. Players such as Amr Shabana and Ahmed Barada have made a name in the world of squash.
MapsofWorld Trivia: After the recent political turmoil, Egypt saw the semblance of normalcy on February 27, 2011, with a Zamalek win against Ulinzi Stars, the Kenyan team, at the African Champions League. This match was the first official football match since the revolution leading to President Mubarak’s resignation and was held at the Military Academy Stadium in Cairo.
Ancient Egypt Sports :
The scenes depicted on the walls of pyramids and temples excavated in Egypt bear a testimony to the fact that ancient Egyptian people were very much involved in sports activities.
According to the inscriptions, most of the Ancient Egyptians played wrestling, weight lifting, swimming, fishing, rowing, athletics, long jump, shooting, boxing, handball, javelin throw and a host of other sport activities. Apart from these, marathons were quite common among the Ancient Egyptian sporting activities. The rules followed in the modern day sports are also mainly based on the ones practiced by the Ancient Egyptians.
In the modern times, football and beach handball are the most lovable sports of the Egyptians and people are fast gaining interest in them. Many are even participating in international games like Olympics in these sport events.
Tennis in Egypt :
Tennis in Egypt has seen a rather slow progress, but the enthusiasm towards the game is pretty high. Egypt has been participating in tennis tournaments for long.
The Egyptian Tennis federation has been the chief nation body that has been training and organizing the Egyptian tennis players for national and international level tennis matches. Egyptian tennis participation has been rather limited. The Davis cup and the Fed cup are the only two international tennis tournaments in which Egypt has played any significant game.
The Egypt Davis Cup Team of 1986 is well remembered for their match against Malta, where it secured an easy victory by 5-0 score. In spite of this marvelous win, the Egyptian tennis team could not live up to the expectations in the quarter final round against Bulgaria. Bulgaria won by 3 points but Egypt made its stamina felt at the international level. Egypt was playing with the European zone. The Davis cup is meant only for men and so the women tennis players of Egypt were not a part of this tournament.
Tennis in Egypt can reach better heights with better coaches and funding. There is no doubt in the fact that the Egyptian tennis players are very industrious. More exposure and practice is required for them to make the Egyptian Tennis Federation proud of its players.
Football in Egypt
Football in Egypt dates back to the ancient periods, which is clearly depicted in the wall paintings found on the museums and Egyptian pyramids of the past. Even in the olden days, ball games were very popular with the Egyptians as seen in most of the paintings. In the present times, the game of football has become a national craze with Egyptians.
The Egyptian Premier League for the 2006 / 2007 season has 16 teams. The two most popular football clubs of Egypt include Zamalek and Ahly. Other popular clubs are Itihad, al-Mokawlooan al-Arab, Masri and Isma ili among others. Some of the popular Egyptian footballers include Ahmed Fathi, Ahmed Hassan, Beshir El Tabei, Hossam Ghaly, Ahmed Mido Hossam, Amir Azmy, Wael Reyad and many others.
Beach Handball in Egypt :
Beach handball in Egypt is gaining popularity very fast with more and more people developing an increasing interest in this game. Beach handball in Egypt has gained fame in the past few decades when Egypt made its presence felt on the international scenario.
Beach handball is actually an improved version of handball games and is generally enjoyed on the beaches. Some people believe that the original game of handball had originated in Egypt during the 11th century. The modern version however, came into existence in the late 19th century. Beach handball has more or less the same rules as normal handball. The only difference being the fact that beach handball is played on a sand court and each team has four players.
Beach handball in Egypt is played by both men and women team. There is a national handball team of Egypt of both men and women players. International beach handball events are now being organized by the International Handball Federation and Egyptian handball teams are taking an active participation in them. The first Beach Handball World Championship was held in 2004 at El Ghouna Beach in which 17 teams representing 12 nations participated in the event. Egypt had won the first position in the 2004 championship and the 4th position at the 2006 beach handball world championship.
Speedball in Egypt :
Speedball in Egypt is one of the most enjoyable outdoor games and the game was actually born in Egypt. In the 1960’s, a tennis coach by the name of Mr. Lofty invented this game.
Speedball is much like tennis, the only difference being the number of rackets used per player and the shape of the ball.
How to Play Speedball ?
The bats are operated in four different variations, right hand, left hand, two rackets backhand and two rackets in the forehand. It can be played solo, doubles (four) and one to one. The game was originally meant to be just a warm up game prior to the practice of tennis. The ball used for playing speedball is of oval shape. It is intentionally made so in order to make the ball acquire very high speed when struck. The ball, unlike in tennis is also tied to a nylon string and this way it can rotate about a spool to which the cord is tied.
Speedball is now played throughout the world, especially in countries such as United States of America, France, Japan, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. Speedball in Egypt is played at both domestic and international level. Though in the recent times, the speedball players of Egypt have not proved much, there is a lot of potential in the players.
Egypt in Olympics :
Egypt in Olympics refer to the performance of various Egyptian players at the international event of Olympic games. The performance of Egypt in Olympics has always been quite remarkable ever since Egypt made its debut in Olympic Games of Antwerp, Belgium in the year 1920. Egyptian players have participated in the Olympic Games of 1928, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Sport has always enjoyed a special position in the history of Egypt and Egyptians have always shown a deep interest in Olympic Games. Egypt has won the maximum number of gold, silver and bronze medals in weightlifting, diving, boxing, diving, wrestling-Greco Roman and Taekwondo. Some of the famous Egyptian sportsmen who have won these medals at the Olympic Games include Ibrahim Shams, Eid Othman, Karam Gaber, Wacib Ibrahim, Tamer Bayoumi, Mohamed El Sayed, Abdel Al Rachad, Farid Semeka and Mohamed Aly among many others. El Sayed Noussair was the first person to win a gold medal in the event of weightlifting at the Olympic Games of Amsterdam, 1928. The last time, Egypt won a bronze medal at the Olympic games in the 2004 Athens Olympics in the event of Taekwondo.
Sports Festivals in Egypt :
Sports Festivals in Egypt include many types of games including outdoors and indoors. The various sports, which are appreciated in Egypt, include games such as golf, football, speedball, tennis, fishing and the likes. The Egypt sports festivals include Global sports festival in Egypt. The Egyptians are very enthusiastic about sports. Though they are yet to prove their stamina at international level, there participation in sports has been very consistent. Several of the international sports championships have been held in Egypt more than once. The stadiums in Egypt are well developed for international level games to be played.
The African Cup of Nations has been held four times in Egypt, the first time in 1959, followed by the 1974 tournament, then in 1986 and the last time in 2006.
The Pan Arab games had been held twice; once in 1953 and again in 1965. Also, the All Africa Games 1991, the Fiba Africa Championship 2003, the FIFA U-17 World Championship and the Euro Basket 1949, World Judo Championships 2005, the 1999 World Men’s handball Championship and the 1951 Mediterranean Games were held in Egypt. The Sports Festivals in Egypt have been greeted by the citizens of the country with much enthusiasm and interest.