Australians think of themselves as a great sporting nation, with some of the best swimmers, footy players and hockey stars.
Sport has been around since the ancient world and often had links with rituals, warfare and entertainment. Cave paintings in France drawn over 15, 300 years ago depict sprinting and wrestling. Egyptian drawings show evidence of swimming and archery being practiced over 10,000 years ago. The Olympic Games originated in Greece in 776 BCE and evolved to include other countries and a huge array of games. Sport has been played throughout human history - knights jousted, Mayans played a ball game called Pitz and gymnastics was popular in ancient China.
Enjoy some of the most weird and wonderful sports across the world.
In Sweden they shrink an equestrian jumping course and replace horses with fluffy, floppy eared bunnies. Kaninhoppning (rabbit hopping) originated in Sweden in the late 1970’s. Trainers guide their rabbits on a leash over a series of obstacles. The rabbit who makes the least amount of errors and completes the course in the shortest time is the winner. The highest rabbit jump ever recorded was 39 inches.
To welcome the holy month of Ramadan a very different game of soccer is played in Indonesia. Instead of a soccer ball, a coconut is soaked in kerosene and set on fire. Players then coat themselves in salt and non-flammable spices and kick the flaming coconut with their bare feet. The pre-game rituals are incredibly important with a month of fasting and prayers in which players train their spirits to be impervious to flames. Known as Sepak Bola Api.
Japan’s Bo-Taoshi 'Pole topping' is similar to capture the flag…but the flag I on a giant pole surrounded by 75 players charged with defending it. The defenders are only half of one team. The other half is waging war on the opposing team’s pole trying to knock it to a 30 degree angle to the ground. With both teams attacking and defending simultaneously, the race is to see who’s pole gets toppled first.
Combine elements of volleyball, football and gymnastics, add music and a trampoline and you have Spain’s Bossaball. Two teams of four players battle it out on an inflatable court with a large net inbetween. Similar to Volleyball teams must get the ball into the other opponents side to score points. Players can use volleyball or football touches to get the ball over the net. The 'attacker' is the player situated on the trampoline and their role is to get height to get the ball over (and show off their gymnastic skills to the crowd).
Reserve these sporting titles and collect from your local library:
- 101 sports not to try by Adam Russ
- 100 essential things you didn’t know you didn’t know about sport by John D. Barrow
- 50 water adventures to do before you die by Lia Ditton
- Bear Gryll’s great outdoor adventures by Bear Grylls
- Guinness World Records 2021
- Around the world in 80 days: my world record breaking adventure by Mark Beaumont
Browse for sporting eMagazines:
- Inside Sport
- Legends of Sport
To get started using free eMagazines, download the RBDigital app, select Sunshine Coast Libraries and enter your member number and password.
Stream these movies on Beamafilm:
- Being Evel: Millions know the man, but few know his story. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Daniel Junge and actor/producer Johnny Knoxville take a candid look at American daredevil and icon Robert ‘Evel’ Knievel, while also reflecting on our voracious public appetite for heroes and spectacle.
- Desert Runners: Follow a diverse cast of non-professional runners as they attempt to complete an ultramarathon race series. Their dramatic journey takes them across the World's most picturesque yet brutal landscapes, pushing their bodies and minds through a myriad of obstacles. This spectacular documentary delves into the mindset of ultra-athletes, and the complex ways in which human beings deal with both heartbreak and triumph.
- Man on a wire: A maverick, a dreamer, an artist: Philippe Petit is all of these things and more. On a slightly windy day in the summer of 1974, a lone figure appeared high above the heads of the people of Manhattan, balancing perfectly on a high wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. For almost an hour, the performer danced on the wire, ignoring the pleas from police to get down, simply rejoicing in his artistic expression.
- Free to run: From the streets of New York to the trails of the Swiss Alps, from Sao Paolo to Paris, Peking or Sydney, men and women, champions or regular people… millions run every year. And yet, just 50 years ago, this activity was reserved uniquely for men and confined to stadiums with strict, backward and sexist rules. This documentary tells the fabulous saga of running – a marginal, militant act that has become a universal passion.
- Ping Pong: Eight players with 703 years between them compete in the World over 80s Table Tennis Championships in Inner Mongolia. Terry (81) having been given a week to live, gets in sight of winning gold.. Australian legend Dorothy deLow is 100, and finds herself a mega celebrity in this rarefied world and Texan Lisa Modlich, a new-comer at 85 years old, is determined to do whatever it takes to win her first gold.
- From Volcano boarding to Zorbing check out 20 unmissable extreme sports (and where to try them).
- Want to find more sports? Visit the Encyclopedia of Sports for a listing of every sport from around the world.
- Find all the record breaking news on the Record of the Day Podcast by Guinness World Records or take the weekly #GWRchallenge.
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