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Modern sports started in the British Isles and spread throughout the world. Initially, they were amateurised and modernized from elsewhere, though this later changed. The English also helped popularise sports that originated elsewhere, such as tennis. They also exported raw materials from the UK and transformed them into finished goods. Rugby is probably the second-most popular sport in England and Wales, but its popularity has waned as the game has moved from the countryside to the city.
Ice hockey, which originated in Canada, has an extensive history in the UK. Most cities and towns have their own ice rinks, so competitions are often well attended, and the biggest teams regularly draw thousands of fans. It is considered the largest winter sport and the fastest-growing indoor sport in the UK. There is also a ten-team professional league, the Elite Ice Hockey League, which includes Scottish, English, Northern Irish and Welsh teams. Many former NHL players have played in the elite league during lockout seasons.
Football is one of Britain's most popular team sports, but other sports have made their mark as well. Its national team, the England team, competes at the World Championship every four years. Other sports, such as tennis, golf, and darts, are also popular with audiences and are highly popular among the elderly. And for those who prefer not to participate in professional sports, there are many amateur sports to get involved in.
The English dominate the sports industry in the United Kingdom. The BBC and ITV dominate the media landscape in the United Kingdom. Both offer high quality coverage and cheap publicity to attract audiences, so they are often the go-to sources for sports fans. In terms of television, the Premier League is one of the world's top five football leagues, while the Wimbledon tournament is the most important tennis tournament. Snooker and golf players also consider the United Kingdom home, and are proud to represent their country.
Men's sports have traditionally been strong in Britain, but the women have begun to close the gap. In the winter months, the Elite League has grown to over thirty teams. With the help of the Parkrun scheme, more people are participating in the sport than ever before. Whether it is soccer, cricket, or baseball, the British have great taste in athletics. There are even a lot of international sporting events to watch and follow in the UK.
The British also have a rich tradition of sailing. Sailing is the largest inland sport in the UK, but it is not widely popular in the rest of the world. The RYA has a long history in sailing, and there are hundreds of different clubs in the United Kingdom. Sailors from all over the world compete in this sport, and many of them travel to the United Kingdom to compete in tournaments. This is why the RYA is the governing body of sailing in the United Kingdom.