Gardening is a Sport Right?

To all you Hockey Fans out there – Happy Hockey Season!

No this post isn’t about the NHL and NHLPA deal that was reached earlier today, but it is about sports…….sort of.

Over the years my boys and I have had numerous animated discussions regarding what does, and does not, constitute a sport. Both my sons speak from a position of expertise on this, since one is a sports broadcaster and the other played every possible team sport in junior high and high school.

The repartee might go something like this:

Round One

Me: “Boxing shouldn’t be a legal sport.”

Them: “What? Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest athletes ever! And pugilism is the oldest sport in the world.”

Me: “Yeah I know, but there’s something wrong with a sport that requires contenders to knock their opponent out. Doesn’t that mean render him unconscious?”

Youngest Son: “Mom remember my best friend used to be an amateur boxer – he won most of his matches y’know. He wants me to start boxing too and I’m considering it. It’s an awesome fitness regime.” (Okay he probably didn’t use words like ‘fitness regime’)

Me: “Yes I know your friend was a fine young boxer, but please don’t you start boxing – you’ve already had one too many concussions.”

Oldest Son: “Mom’s right about that Bro.”

My youngest son’s friend no longer boxes because he doesn’t want to take any more blows to the head. My son quit playing football and rugby because he didn’t want to sustain any more head injuries. Thank you Lord.

Round Two

Them: “Horse racing and show jumping aren’t real sports.”

Me: “Say what? They most certainly are. Ever watched the Kentucky Derby or Grand Prix show jumping?”

Them: “Yeah but Mom the horse does all the work and the rider just sits there.”

Me: “As one who did plenty of show jumping when I was younger, I can assure you the rider is half the talent on the horse/rider team. I’ll admit the horse is the superior athlete of the two, but riders are still athletes. Riding takes real core strength. Riders have – and there’s no delicate way to put this – really tight toned buttocks, as well as strong quads and inner thighs, firm calves, strong abs………”

Them (grimacing): “Okay enough – don’t need to hear my Mom talk about buttocks.”

I suspect since seeing the movie ‘Secretariat’, they might admit that riding is indeed a sport.

Round Three

This one just the other day with my husband:

Me: “Do you think I could sell the idea of a Gardening Talk Show to our local Sports Radio station. I could call it Not Another Gardening Show”

Him: “No I don’t think so.”

Me: “Why not? If they have poker tournaments on Sports TV, why not a gardening show on Sports Radio.”

Him: “Poker is a sport.”

Me: “No it’s not. And if it is, then gardening should be considered a sport too – it requires way more physical exertion.” (We can both attest to this – so can our backs, knees, hands and wrists. And I bet if you talked to an ER doctor they’d tell you they’ve seen some nasty gardening wounds.)

Him: “I know but it’s still not a sport.”

Me: “Why not?”

Him: “Because it’s not competitive.”

Me: “Oh but it is – there are major gardening competitions all over the world.”

The conversation ends here – he’s still not buying it.

My husband isn’t particularly competitive, at least not when it comes to gardening. He’s in charge of the vegetable garden and the lawn, but he’s not one of those ‘Lawn Ranger’ guys riding around on his John Deere mower (though I bet he would if he had one). And while he grows a mean tomato, he isn’t into growing ridiculously large squash or pumpkin, just so he can say ‘mine’s bigger’. I guess it’s understandable then, that he doesn’t think of gardening as a sport.

According to Wikipedia: ‘Sport is all forms of competitive physical activity which,[1] through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and provide entertainment to participants.’

Sounds like gardening to me.

The SportAccord, International Sports Federations Council recognizes 5 categories of sport

  • Primarily physical – football, hockey, lacrosse, bodybuilding, etc.
  • Primarily mind – chess, bridge
  • Primarily motorised – motorcycling, powerboating
  • Primarily coordination – archery, billiards, darts
  • Primarily animal-supported – equestrian sports, sled-dog sports

I like to divide the sport of Gardening into 5 categories too:

  • Primarily physical – digging, raking, pruning, planting
  • Primarily mind – remembering botanical names and where you planted those bulbs last fall
  • Primarily motorised – riding mowers, electric hedge trimmers
  • Primarily coordination – gardening and chewing gum simultaneously
  • Primarily animal-supported – birdwatching, chasing Mr. Rabbit (if you have a dog he might do this for you), running from wasps (this can look like a weird spastic dance), swatting mosquitoes

So folks if gardening isn’t a sport I don’t know what is.

Play safe,
© Sue Gaviller and Not Another Gardening Blog 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sue Gaviller and Not Another Gardening Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 comments on “Gardening is a Sport Right?

  1. Katrina says:

    My thinking is that if you can smoke and drink while playing it, then it’s not a sport. A game perhaps, but not a sport.

    • Sue Gaviller says:

      Good point Katrina!

      So that means Poker – not a sport. Gardening – is a sport, cause who smokes and drinks while gardening? Cigarettes and gas-powered tools – bad combination, as is alcohol and pruning equipment!

      After I’m done in the garden though, a glass of wine or a cold brew on the patio is most rewarding.

      Thanks for reading,


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s