Question about British federation
I have a question perhaps to our British posters. In football aka soccer, England, Scotland and Wales all have their separate teams playing. However, in figure skating, it's "British" team. How does it get determined which sports get a "British" team and which get English, Scottish and Welsh? Also, since it's "Great Britain" as opposed to "United Kingdom" - does it mean that Northern Ireland does/ could have its own federation?
Last edited by dorispulaski; 06-16-2010 at 08:51 AM.
Northern Ireland does indeed compete as a separate nation in football just as Scotland and Wales do.
Originally Posted by Ptichka
I once asked an English friend about this and he looked at me like i was crazy. But the only answer he gave was that it was tradition.
I am pretty sure that it is the same in rugby but don't know if/why it is different in skating.
Last edited by janetfan; 06-16-2010 at 08:48 AM.
Oh, I know N. Ireland has its own football team. It's just that N. Ireland is a part of United Kingdom, but not a part of Great Britain (correct me if I'm wrong here). So, given that figure skating team represents "Great Britain", it would stand to reason that N. Ireland would have its own.
Interesting question. The official name of the association, listed as GBR in ISU membership lists, is "National Ice Skating Association of UK LTD" (abbreviated NISA). According to their web site
they have 6 regional centers, each supported by several local skating clubs. These are all in England (including one in Cornwall) -- none in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
The Kerrs, however, list their home club as Murrayfield in Edinburgh (I think they are training in the U.S. now?)
By the way, Ireland was just admitted this year as a member of the ISU.
Hmmm....do the Kerr's represent Scotland, or England, the UK, etc?
Originally Posted by Mathman
I never thought about it before......
OK, just found this - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166 - that explains that it's standard for "GBR" to refer to the whole of UK.
Oh, man, this question really takes me back. When I first went to the U.K. for grad school, I used the word "English" and was nearly lynched. (I was in Wales at the time.) Now I almost never use the word "English" except to refer to the language.
I had never thought of that question, Ptichka, but it's so intriguing: skating doesn't break the separate entities apart, but football (soccer) does. I also didn't realize that Northern Ireland had its own football team. I'm learning a lot more sports literacy on this forum!
By the way, when I was there, Scotland was allowed to coin its own money. I don't know how it is now, but you might get a pound note with "Bank of Scotland" on it. (It was legal tender all over the U.K., I think, but one didn't see it that much down in Sassenach territory--that's what the Scots called the English.) I don't think Wales or Northern Ireland had that privilege. Don't know how it is now that Wales and Scotland both have their own parliaments as well as having members in the overall British government. On the other hand, though Scots Gaelic wasn't spoken all that commonly, Welsh was spoken widely enough that they had--and I hope still have--their own television station.
I don't know where Stephen Cousins hails from--I've read that he's Irish--but his accent always sounds Welsh to me. Of the major British skaters who preceded him, Torvill and Dean, Curry, and Robin Cousins all came from England proper, and I can't think of any from the other sections of the U.K., except for the Kerrs as Janetfan mentioned. (I believe the Kerrs represent the U.K.; I don't remember a Scottish delegation at Vancouver, and at Worlds I think I've heard them described as British. I could be wrong.)
Last edited by Olympia; 06-16-2010 at 01:41 PM.
Cousins is Welsh (good call on the accent). His parents still have a house there, though they also spend half a year in Canada. I believe he splits his time now between Canada and Russia where Berezhnaya lives with their two children - Trysten (note the Welsh spelling!) and Sophia.
Figure Skating it's definitely "British" federation (meaning UK actually as it includes N. Ireland). Though you bring up an interesting point - at Olympics it's the "British" team whereas for football/soccer it's individual constituent countries.
Jenna McCorkell is originally from Northern Ireland.
The only idea I had about this interesting situation is that, compared to Football, Figure Skating is largely an "Olympics" sport, while Football is more of a professional sport ala American Football. Because of that, Figure Skating and their federation may more closely follow their IOC, so would remain GBR, just as it is in the Olympics. But, again, that's just a thought. Haha.
I am not so sure.....
Originally Posted by pista04
Is Olympic qualifying different for various sports in the UK?
Here is an article about Scotland's refusal to take part in the 2012 Olympic football competition if it means giving up their Natl identity as an independent footballing nation.
What about other sports?
Let the fun begin!
I don't suppose the Scots could work out some sort of "unified team" arrangement with Britain? Even the two Koreas managed to federate, so to speak, for a few Olympic cycles.
If they don't, their flag is going to be cute: they'll march in under the Saltire, or St. Andrew's Cross. It's one of the X's, the white one, from the Union Jack, on a blue field. They'll arrive in the stadium somewhere ahead of Slovakia and Slovenia. Well, I'll cheer for them. I have a soft spot for Celtic lands.
The image of Ian Charleson playing Eric Liddell, the Flying Scot, in Chariots of Fire suddenly comes to mind...maybe the Scottish Olympic team can use the theme from that film as their marching song.
Oh, my personal favorite is the Welsh flag, of course The only one that rivals it is the Bhutan one.
I'm with you, Ptichka! I actually have a little Welsh flag in my room. Didn't Bhutan once have a flag with points on it instead of a squared-off shape? I loved that one, too. Canada's flag, with the maple leaf, is another favorite of mine.
Originally Posted by Ptichka
Scotland also has a flag with a lion on it, but that's not an official national flag apparently. Too bad. It's some kind of royal flag, for use only "by officers who represent the Sovereign," such as the Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland.
Personally, I think that if Scotland fields its own Olympic team, the Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland should march in the opening ceremonies so that the delegation could carry the flag with the lion on it. A lion rampant, gules (red), on a field of gold.
Maybe then the Kerrs would come out of retirement and compete at Sochi.
^supposed to look like a blade!
Yeah we have our own money here (Northern Ireland). We have quite a few banks all with there own notes. You'll see Northern Bank, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, First Trust etc. It's legal tender but you do get funny looks if you try to use it in England sometimes.
Originally Posted by Olympia
The Kerrs are both British and Scotish but not English!
Jenna McCorkell is Northern Irish. So are Neill Wilson and Matthew Davies- the mens champions of a few years back.