Belizeans are well-known for their laid back and lackadaisical attitude. However, if you scrape back the surface, you’ll find proud and passionate people who are devoted to their sports. While Belize may not be one of the main competitors in the international arena, Belizeans still love watching and playing their favourite sports. Here are some of the most popular sports in Belize:
1. Football (Soccer)
Not only is soccer one of the most popular sports in Belize, but it’s actually one of the most popular sports in the world. Belizeans play soccer as often as they can, and they don’t need a soccer field to enjoy this sport either. Instead, you can often find Belizeans playing and enjoying a game of soccer on the white sandy beaches.
Soccer, like most sports in Belize, is an amateur sport, where the players’ reward is an honour for themselves or their town. If Belizean players have international skills and want to make money from this sport, then they have to find a foreign club to play for.
Belizeans take the game of soccer really seriously. Not only do they attend matches where they participate in side-line activities such as cheering at chanting, but they also like to watch live sports like soccer. In fact, they love nothing more than watching their favourite teams and players play.
Basketball has to be the second most popular sport in Belize after football. The BBA (Belize Basketball Association) is the national governing body for the sport.
Almost all neighbourhoods in Belize have a basketball court. This allows Belizeans to start their interest in the sport at a young age. However, while basketball is a popular sport in Belize, it isn’t extremely competitive.
3. Horse Racing
Horse racing is great fun in Belize. While the Grand National and Kentucky Derby it is not, Belize loves a little bit of horse racing. With its barefoot drunk jockeys, no back guards, no helmets, a festival atmosphere, and roaring spectators, what’s not to like?
4. Bicycle Riding
There are thousands of bicycle enthusiasts living in Belize. Cycling races are held throughout the year in this beautiful country. The majority of races take place between San Ignacio and Belize City. This is a 144-mile round road trip race that no sensible person would consider on a hot day in the tropics.
5. Canoe Racing
Before roads were built in Belize, the ancient Maya used streams and rivers as highways. Trade, commerce, communication, and exploration were all done by canoes. Today, people still enjoy canoeing down the streams and rivers of Belize. So, it may come as no surprise that canoe racing has become a popular sport in Belize. In fact, spectators will travel for miles to watch a canoe race. The “Boom to Belcan” race is one of the most popular canoe races in Belize. It begins in the Village of Burrell Boom and finishes downtown.
Although Believe has never been a sports superpower, sports are extremely important in the Belizean culture. From soccer and basketball to cycling and tennis, there are lots of popular games in Belize. Not only that, but Belize (originally known as British Honduras) has also participated in the Olympic games since 1968. Sadly, they are yet to win a medal, but this doesn’t stop them from taking sports very seriously.