In Progress
Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress



Some sports whose names you may not know

  • Hang-gliding: sport where people launch themselves in the air by means of an apparatus in the shape of triangle.
  • (Ten-pin) bowling: sport where a person rolls a ball at bowling pins in an alley.
  • Fencing: sport where two people, wearing a particular mask, use a special sword for defense and attack.
  • Showjumping: riding a horse and jumping obstacles.
  • Windsurfing: riding a surfboard with a flexible sail mounted on top.
  • Snowboarding: sport where people use a board to glide snow.
  • Scuba diving: go underwater wearing a particular swimsuit, mask and using oxygen.
  • Snooker / Pool / Billiards: games played with a smooth stick and some balls on a table.
  • Motor racing: sport where people compete driving motor vehicles really fast.
  • Archery: using bow and arrow to reach a target.

Equipment – what you hold in your hand

  • Racket (squash / tennis / badminton): instrument made of wood or metal with a handle used in squash / tennis / badminton.
  • Club (golf): stick used to a ball in games such as golf.
  • Dart (darts): slender, pointed object used in darts.
  • Darts: game where you throw darts at a target (dartboard).
  • Bow (archery): a tool used to shoot arrow.
  • Archery: sport where you use bows and arrows.
  • Bat (cricket / table tennis / baseball): a cudgel, stick or club used in games such as cricket / table tennis / baseball.
  • Stick (hockey / field hockey): a term used to refer to a stick used in games such as ice hockey / field hockey.
  • Cue (snooker / pool / billiards): a long, narrow stick used to strike the balls in games such a snooker / pool / billiards.
  • Paddle (canoeing): oar people use to move and steer a canoe or small boat.
  • Oar (rowing): a long pole with a wide blade at one end used for rowing.
  • Rod / line (fishing): a stick used for fishing.


  • Discus: sport where a discus is thrown.
  • Javelin: sport where the javelin is thrown for distance.
  • High jump: sport where people compete in jumping for height over a crossbar.
  • Long jump: competition where athletes compete in jumping a distance from a running start.
  • Gymnastics: competitive sport where athletes show their strength and ability using special equipment.
  • Pole vault: sport where a long pole is used to leap over a high crossbar.
  • Sprinter: fast over short distances (She’s a great sprinter).
  • Long-distance runner: athlete who covers long distances.
  • Marathon: long-distance race.

Competition in sport

  • To set a new record: do something to a greatest degree; to achieve a result no one has ever achieved before (She set a new Olympic record last year).
  • To hold the record: to have achieved the best result in a particular sport (He holds the record for the 100 metres breaststroke).
  • To be qualified for something: achieved the necessary standard for something.
  • To get knocked out in something: to be excluded from something, generally a competition (England qualified for the World Cup but got knocked out in the third round).
  • Made it to / reached (the semi-final): to get to a particular stage (Our team made it to / reached the semi-final but then we were beaten).
  • Competitive: strong desire to win and be better than other people.
  • Trophy: a cup or other object that shows someone has won.
  • Spectators: people who are present at a sporting event to watch it.
  • Referee: arbiter; who makes judgement.

People who do particular sports

  • -er can be used for many sports (footballer, swimmer ).
  • Player is often necessary (tennis player, squash player).
  • Some names instead must be learnt separately (eg canoeist, mountaineer, jockey, archer, gymnast).

Language tips

  • In British English, the noun sport is used in the plural when it describes another noun (eg equipment, facilities, club).

The shop sells sports equipment (NOT sport equipment).

  • In American English, you will hear the singular sport before another noun.

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