Running Forward Goes A Long Way Backwards!

Did you know that running is one of the oldest competitive sports? It dates way back to 632 BC to the Tailteann Games in Ireland. The first official Olympic running event was in 776 BC. Not only is it an historical competitive event, it's also a fun...and fast...way to get from one place to another!

Skipping Rope Gets Off To A Jumping Start

As far back as the Egyptians and aborigines of Australia in the early 1600's, people used to take vines and flexible bamboo that they found in the jungles and started 'jumping' with them as a form of play. The activity has evolved since then and new materials like actual rope are now used instead of vines and bamboo. It is considered a great way to exercise and is even a competitive sport! 

Shoes On Wheels

Who would ever think of putting wheels on shoes? John Joseph Merlin, that's who! John was a Belgian who created the first 'roller skate' in 1735. He brought his original design to a party in London to show his friends and, unfortunately, crashed into a mirror! In 1819, Monsieur Petitbled officially patented the roller-skate that we know today.

Those Sneaky Sneakers

The first sneakers were designed in the 1870's as a shoe that could be worn playing athletic activities. The soles (or bottom of the shoes) were made of rubber to make it easier to run, jump, and move around while landing on the ground softly. They literally got the name 'sneakers' because the rubber soles were a lot quieter than typical shoes, so it was like the person that was wearing them could 'sneak' around without anyone hearing them. So, go put on your sneakers and get active. Maybe nobody will even know!

Skateboards Or Land Surfboards?

Skateboards were invented in the late 1940s, or early 1950s, when surfers in California needed something to do on days when the water was flat and they couldn't surf. They wanted to do something that was similar to surfing, so they created what was originally called 'sidewalk surfing' by putting a miniature 'surfboard' on wheels. Eventually they gave it the name 'skateboarding' and the sport hasn't stopped rolling since!

Being Physically Fit Can Make You Mentally Smarter

That's right! Being physically active on a daily basis increases your energy, helps you focus better, puts you in a good mood, and improves memory. All of these positive effects help your brain to function better and increases your ability to learn new things. So, every time you exercise you are not only getting physically fit, you are actually getting smarter without even knowing it!

How The Ball Got Rolling

Can you believe that the first time a ball was ever used to play a sport goes back more than 3500 years ago? It's difficult to determine exactly what country actually 'got the ball rolling' because it seems almost every country began playing sports around the same time. The original balls were typically made out of leather filled with feathers. Today, balls for sports are made from a variety of materials including leather, rubber, and synthetics. You know what we say about that? "Play ball!"

Tennis Anyone?

Did you know that the original sport of tennis actually started without a racket? The first volley between players was in northern France way back in the 12th century and was called 'jeu de paume' ("game of the palm"). As you can tell by the name, it was played by hitting a ball back and forth with the palm of your hand. The first official tennis racket wasn't invented until 1874 when Major Walter C. Wingfield from London designed the first model. You can still play a similar game with just your hand, but that's called handball. Either way, serve it up!

What's A Frisbee?

Do you like pie? Well, if you were born in the 1870's, you would have also been able to play a game with your empty plate after! A man named William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, CT in 1871 and when the staff were finished with the tins the pies were baked in, they would toss them around. They would yell 'frisbie' after the owner's last name to let people know one was on the way. When the Wham-O Toy Company started making these 'flying discs' as one of their retail products in 1957, they changed the spelling to 'Frisbee' for trademark reasons. No Frisbee in the house? Just ask your mom to bake a pie!

How Did The Wiffle Ball Get It's Name?

The game of Wiffle Ball was invented in 1953 in Fairfield, CT by a man named David N. Mullany when he realized that there was a need for a ball that would not fly as far as a baseball or softball when there was limited space to play in. He also wanted to create a ball that was easy to throw a curve with. When he came up with the idea of a plastic ball with holes, pitchers were soon striking out batters left and right. In other words, the batters were 'whiffing'. That's how the ball got it's name! 

Youngest Pro Golfer Ever!

When you think of professional golfers you probably think of adults, right? Well, for the most part, that's true. However, the youngest player to play in a professional golf tournament was only 11 years old! His name was Don Dunkelberger and he competed in the 1937 Chicago Open. And, there have been quite a few 14 year olds that have made the cut as a pro, too. The youngest to actually win a tournament was 18 year old Charles Kocsis in the 1931 Michigan Open. So, start swinging now. You might be able to break the record!