Yay Team!

The story of Cana­dian sports

Kayak (Canada) - - CON­TENTS - The Grey Cup, awarded every year to the best team in the Cana­dian Foot­ball League

Canada’s favourite sports go back a long way CURL­ING >>>

In 1759, Scot­tish sol­diers melted some can­non­balls to make curl­ing “stones” for a match in Que­bec City. Formed in 1807, the Mon­treal Curl­ing Club was the first of its kind out­side Scot­land. More than 710,000 Cana­di­ans curl every year, which might just make it our coun­try’s most pop­u­lar or­ga­nized sport.


The first Cana­dian cricket clubs formed in Toronto in 1827 and St. John’s in 1828 af­ter Bri­tish sol­diers brought it with them. Canada beat the U.S. in 1844 in the world’s first in­ter­na­tional cricket match. In 1867, Sir John A. Macdon­ald de­clared cricket Canada’s first na­tional sport.


Canada’s of­fi­cial sum­mer sport comes from a com­mon First Na­tions game known by the Anishi­naabe as bagaa’atowe, and as tewaarathon by the Kanien’kehá:ka. (French priests named it lacrosse in the 1630s.) Games were of­ten used to train war­riors, and could in­volve hun­dreds of play­ers on a field as long as a kilo­me­tre. NonIndige­nous peo­ple picked up on the fast, ex­cit­ing sport in the mid-1800s. Wil­liam Beers, a Mon­treal den­tist, wrote down rules for the first time in Septem­ber, 1860.


More com­monly called foot­ball in its early life, soc­cer was con­sid­ered un­la­dy­like from the first days of or­ga­nized play in the 1870s un­til well into the 1950s. In 1904, the Cana­dian men’s team won gold in its first-ever Olympics.


Dr. James Nai­smith of Al­monte, Ont., needed a new game that could be played in­doors by the gym class he was teach­ing in Mas­sachusetts in 1891. So he nailed a peach bas­ket to a pole about three me­tres off the ground, and bas­ket­ball was born. On Nov. 1, 1946, the New York Knicker­bock­ers and the Toronto Huskies played the first game of what would be­come the NBA, then the Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, in Toronto.


Many peo­ple — well, many Cana­di­ans — in­sist that the first ever game of base­ball was played in Beachville, Ont., in 1838, seven years be­fore the first recorded game in the U.S. The sport grew out of the English game of rounders, which has posts in­stead of bases, and whose play­ers use their bare hands.


It was Cana­di­ans who in­tro­duced Amer­i­cans to this sport when play­ers from Mon­treal’s McGill Univer­sity played a vari­a­tion of rugby against Har­vard Univer­sity in 1874. The games de­vel­oped a bit dif­fer­ently, with Cana­di­ans still play­ing on a big­ger field under our own rules. The big­gest prize in Cana­dian foot­ball, the Grey Cup, was do­nated by Earl Grey, the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral, in 1909.


Lots of places in Canada claim to be the birth­place of hockey, but we don’t know for sure where or how it started. The first or­ga­nized game took place in Mon­treal in 1875. The name for the sport prob­a­bly came from ho­quet, the French word for a shep­herd’s tall, hooked stick. Hockey is Canada’s of­fi­cial win­ter sport. The Na­tional Hockey League cel­e­brates its 100th an­niver­sary in 2017. The NHL was founded on Nov. 26, 1917, and the first of­fi­cial games were played on Dec. 19.

GOLF >>>

Scot­tish im­mi­grants brought golf with them to Canada in the 1800s. Al­though the first golf clubs sprang up in Que­bec and On­tario, the first 18-hole course didn’t ar­rive un­til 1893 in Vic­to­ria, B.C.


Al­though it was in­tro­duced in east­ern Canada first, rugby re­ally took off in Van­cou­ver, partly due to the milder weather. The first or­ga­nized game hap­pened in Mon­treal in 1865 be­tween Bri­tish mil­i­tary men and stu­dents from McGill Univer­sity.


Al­though ten­nis has been played in Europe for more than 500 years, it didn’t be­come pop­u­lar in Canada un­til the mid-1800s. The Cana­dian Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion formed in 1890 and held the first na­tional cham­pi­onships in Toronto the same year.

Star Cana­dian crick­eter Amar­bir Singh “Jimmy” Han­sra

1869 Cana­dian lacrosse cham­pi­ons from the Mo­hawk com­mu­nity of Kah­nawake, Que.

Curl­ing teams in Win­nipeg in 1906

On­tario’s Galt Foot­ball Club, formed around 1881, won the 1904 Olympic tour­na­ment

Play­ers from the 1887 Toronto Base­ball Club.

Dr. James Nai­smith

Saskatchewan’s Hay­ley Wick­en­heiser is one of the great­est play­ers ever in women’s hockey

Goalie Pa­trick Roy hoists the Stan­ley Cup af­ter the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens’ vic­tory in 1986. The Cana­di­ens have won the cup 24 times, more than any other team.

The amaz­ing Mau­rice “The Rocket” Richard played for the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens in the 1940s and 1950s.

Golf­ing in the 1950s

Mem­bers of the Ot­tawa Lawn Ten­nis Club in 1898

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