Sports have always played a major part of Belizean culture . While
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.
Belize first participated in the Olympic Games in 1968
British Honduras .
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 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 .
* 1 Athletics
* 3 Boxing
* 4 Canoeing
* 6 Cycling
* 7 Football
* 9 Tennis
* 10 References
* 11 External links
Track and Field in
Belize is run by its Amateur Athletics
Association. The main facility for track and field events in
Marion Jones Sports Complex (previously known as the National
Stadium) on Princess Margaret Drive in
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 is governed by the
Basketball Federation (BBF),
basketball's highest classification is semi-professional; the league
(known as the
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 has held regional championships in the
Caribbean (1998) and
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
Colorado State and played for several NBA teams, most
Utah Jazz ; Miguel hails from
UCLA and briefly tried out
New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets in the 1980s.
Boxing gained a niche in
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.
The local association sponsors a number of races per year, including
La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge , a 180-mile, four-day canoe
race on the
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 is mainly played in the
Belize Rural area, where local
villages sponsor cricket teams. The national tournament is held in the
Belize District from January to May. Belize's national cricket team
played in Division Three of the ICC Americas Championship Bracket in
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.
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