Every country has their own national sport, and sports that they prefer, it reflects their identity as a people. The essence of a warrior still remains in us all, but now we turn away from the path of the sword and challenge our peers and ourselves with competition that does not call for the blood of your rival. That is what sport is, the transition of a warrior from savagery to being civilized without losing the fire that burn within.

New Zealand has not lost that fire, and here are the five major sports that keep the fire burning. 

1.) Rugby Union

It is the national sport of New Zealand, most associating it with their national identity. The sport is quite similar to American Football, but without the padding. It is a full contact sport which requires strength, speed, stamina, and strategy to win where your goal is to get the ball to the opponent’s territory. Though the sport is quite hazardous, players have little to no protective paddings, some injuries includes broken bones, and in some cases torn ears which is why the ear is one of the few body parts protected during the game. Currently New Zealand is ranked number one in the rugby world, its team also holds the best record of any national team.

2.) Cricket

New Zealand’s summer sport, cricket is not as widely followed in the provincial matches unlike rugby, but the international matches has a huge following in the country.  A popular sport, played by numerous countries, New Zealand is well known in the cricket world and is considered to have one of the best teams in the world.

3.) Netball

Though primarily a sport more popular with women, it is regarded in high-profile in the country due to its national team which is in the forefront of the sport in the world.  The sport is derived from an early form of basketball, so there are similarities to playing it, though it is not really the same. To know more watch a game sometime and see how the wonderful sport enjoyed by many is played.

4.) Rugby League

I didn’t make a typo; this is quite different from Rugby Union. Though I am not completely familiar with the difference myself, the rules between the two are quite different. To my understanding, Rugby League has shed a few rules that Rugby union retained. The sport is considered to be semi-professional in NZ, but don’t let that make you think any less of the game. It is a pretty awesome sport where the strong thrives!

5.) Football

Everybody plays football, and the New Zealand team is so good at it that they have qualified for the FIFA world cup twice, once in 1982 and recently in 2010. Football has become very popular with the younger generation that currently it is the 3rd most popular sport in the country.

Humanity’s love for competition lives on through sport, changing the hero warriors of the past into the Hero Athletes we now revere.