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The Info List - Sport In Belize



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Sports have always played a major part of Belizean culture . While Belize
Belize
has never been an international sporting power, the nation's athletes have taken their discipline seriously. Sports in the country is plagued by a lack of finance and sporting facilities, and little emphasis on sports as an integral part of national culture and pride. Nevertheless, sports continue to unify Belizeans on and off the field.

Belize's National Sports Council oversees sports Belize, while the Olympic Committee oversees the country's Olympic Games delegations. Athletes from Belize
Belize
first participated in the Olympic Games in 1968 while representing British Honduras
British Honduras
.

Association football
Association football
is the main spectator sport for Belizeans, but softball , basketball , volleyball , cricket , rugby , netball as well as track and field are popular. Belize
Belize
also is well known for snorkeling and diving . Many sports engaged in by foreign visitors are related to water .

In 1995 the new National Stadium was opened in Belize City
Belize City
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Athletics * 2 Basketball
Basketball
* 3 Boxing * 4 Canoeing * 5 Cricket
Cricket
* 6 Cycling * 7 Football * 8 Softball
Softball
* 9 Tennis * 10 References * 11 External links

ATHLETICS

Track and Field in Belize
Belize
is run by its Amateur Athletics Association. The main facility for track and field events in Belize
Belize
is the Marion Jones Sports Complex (previously known as the National Stadium) on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City
Belize City
and named after the famous track and field star of Belizean descent . Plans have been made to renovate the track and move

the stadium to an indoor one.

BASKETBALL

Basketball
Basketball
is governed by the Belize
Belize
Basketball
Basketball
Federation (BBF), basketball's highest classification is semi-professional; the league (known as the Belize
Belize
Basketball
Basketball
Association (BBA) was established in 1992). Matches are frequently held at the junior, senior amateur, high and primary school levels, and even the Mini tournament for little kids and Over-35 tournaments for retired players. There is a basketball court of some sort in every neighborhood and children can be seen practicing regularly.

Belize
Belize
has held regional championships in the Caribbean
Caribbean
(1998) and Central America
Central America
(2001) but has not been to the Olympics. A number of Belizeans, such as Nigel Miguel , Milt Palacio , Kenton Paulino and Charles Burgess , play or have played basketball at the college and NBA level in the United States. Paulino led the University of Texas
University of Texas
to the 2005 Elite Eight; Burgess played for Texas Tech . Palacio graduated from Colorado State
Colorado State
and played for several NBA teams, most recently the Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
; Miguel hails from UCLA
UCLA
and briefly tried out for the New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets
in the 1980s.

BOXING

Boxing gained a niche in Belize
Belize
in the 1930s, when weekend fight cards generally packed the premier boxing arena in Belize, Birds' Isle. Prominent Belizean boxers include lightweight Ludwig Lightburn and welterweight Fitzroy Guisseppi (originally of Trinidad and Jamaica). Boxera like Carlton Bowers, Samuel (Red Boy) Flowers, Roy (Shorty) Clark. Beginning in the mid-1980s, boxing largely died out, and now only occasional amateur cards are held.

CANOEING

The local association sponsors a number of races per year, including the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge , a 180-mile, four-day canoe race on the Belize River
Belize River
that starts in San Ignacio and ends in Belize City . The race occurs annually on Baron Bliss Day. The race promotes environmental awareness, while at the same time creates an intense competition for seasoned and amateur athletes alike.

CRICKET

Cricket
Cricket
is mainly played in the Belize
Belize
Rural area, where local villages sponsor cricket teams. The national tournament is held in the Belize
Belize
District from January to May. Belize's national cricket team played in Division Three of the ICC Americas Championship Bracket in 2008.

CYCLING

Cycling is popular in Central America, and it has a large following in Belize. Frequent races across the country exist.

Cycling takes place year round on the nation's highways. It is mainly amateur, but Belizeans have been placed well regionally. The most famous race is the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic , held during the Easter weekend since 1928. Other famous races include the KREM New Years\' Day Cycling Classic sponsored by KREM Radio , the National Road Championship, the Labor Day Classic and the World AIDS Day Classic held in honor of Alpheus Williams, former champion and victim of that disease.

FOOTBALL

Further information: Belize national football team
Belize national football team

Football is currently the main spectator sport in Belize, and it is widely covered by news industry.

Football has roots reaching back to mid century in amateur competitions, mostly held in