If you end up taking a TEFL course or teaching abroad in Argentina, you will be in need of things to do during your free time!
While you will find that Argentina is filled with plenty of beautiful sights and an abundance rich history, it is also fast becoming a powerhouse in the international sports arena. Argentina offers a wide range of global sports available for you to watch and play!
Local Argentines and foreigners from all over partake in the sports culture as a leisure activity as well as for exercise.
Whether you are visiting on a short holiday or you plan to become a member of the ever-growing foreign teacher population here, you can spend some of your free time enjoying these popular sports in Argentina.
5 most popular sports practiced in Argentina:
1. Football (Soccer)
Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Argentina. Iconic players such as Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona are hailed as football Gods by locals.
The Argentina men’s national team, (along with Brazil and France), is the only team in the world to have won the most important international triplet: The World Cup, The Confederations Cup, and the Olympic Gold Medal.
For many people, football in Argentina is a way of life. You can see them playing it almost everywhere you go, whether you go to a stadium or are simply walking down the street.
If you choose to teach abroad in Argentina, you will have plenty of opportunities to befriend locals by playing some football with them during your free hours!
El rugby, as it is known in Argentina, is a sport which has garnered a massive following over the years which has resulted in widespread love for the game. Argentine rugby has grown from being a virtually unknown sport to a formidable force in the global sporting arena.
Los Pumas (nickname for the national men’s team) have solidified their presence internationally by participating in the Rugby World Cup and the highly competitive Rugby Championship against some of the best rugby teams in the world.
There are multiple rugby organizations across Argentina, so whether you are here for a short-term stay while you complete your TEFL course or you are teaching abroad in Argentina for the long-term, you should be able to find a game to join or watch pretty much anywhere you go.
Historically, basketball in Argentina was nothing more than a low-pressure alternative to soccer and rugby, a sport with not much interest from the locals. But surprisingly, at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the Argentine basketball team, led by then San Antonio Spurs star Emanuel Ginóbili, won a gold medal. The Argentine basketball team was also the first to defeat a United States national team with a full squad of NBA players at the 2002 FIBA World Championship.
With these unexpected results came more curiosity and interest in the sport as many young people across the country began playing it. Many new basketball courts have sprung up all over Buenos Aires and in the nearby provinces in the last two decades, so it is played all over the country now.
Tennis in Argentina has a long and successful history full of trophies and medals. The sport has been played in Argentina since the 19th century, but it has always been viewed as a game exclusively for the middle and upper classes of society – until recently.
This sport saw a boom in the 2000’s, when many Argentine players became well-known by winning Grand Slam titles and even the World Team Cup in 2002. The sport has evolved and is now practiced by many regardless of age and social status.
That being said, if you enjoy tennis and you plan to teach abroad in Argentina, you will be able to practice and find matches easily!
5. Pato (Also called juego del pato)
Pato, which is the national sport of Argentina, is a sport which combines elements from polo and basketball and is played on horseback. The name ‘Pato’ literally translates to ‘duck’ in Spanish – originally, a duck was sewn into a leather bag and used as a ball. But do not worry, thankfully long gone are the days of using ducks. Today’s game is far more sophisticated, and it is played both competitively and by amateurs, usually on weekends.
Learning how to play Pato while you’re living in Argentina will help you make local friends and it is an enjoyable pastime!
Traveling to and teaching in Argentina
Whether you decide to visit Argentina for a short stay while doing an in-class TEFL course or you decide on a longer term stay and get a teaching job here, you are sure to experience at least a few of the most popular sports in Argentina along the way.
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