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UK’s most dangerous sporting activities

Brits are a nation of sports lovers.  Whether it is watching a game of football on the TV or participating in one of the hundreds of different games played across the nation every Saturday and Sunday, we are addicted to the excitement of a great match.

Although most games are incident free, personal injuries can occur and sometimes these can be serious.  So which sports are the most likely to cause trauma?  Here is a list of the top five sporting activities most likely to see you visiting the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital.


Figures released by the Department of Education in 2010 showed that 37% of British schools now offer Cheerleading as part of their physical education curriculum.  Although some may perceive this sport as fluffy, competitive cheerleading is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

It is also highly skilled and very dangerous.  According to research from the United States, 66% of catastrophic sporting injuries (meaning injuries resulting in permanent disabilities or medical issues) amongst females are caused by cheerleading, making it by far the most dangerous sport for women.


In 2010 the Edinburgh University’s Centre for International Public Health Policy, released findings of a study concerning 193 rugby matches at five schools between January and April 2009.  The matches resulted in 37 injuries, of which 20 were seen at A&E and one resulted in an overnight stay in hospital for a spinal injury.  One of the study’s authors, Professor Allyson Pollock, called for the banning of high tackles and scrums in rugby played at junior level because of the high risk of injury.

At premiership level, in the 2008/09 season, 769 match injuries were reported, which is an average of two injuries per club per match.

The most common type of injury sustained in rugby is concussion.  In 2012, research from the United States found that former National Football League (NFL) players had higher incidences of early onset dementia. The link between later cognitive problems and multiple-concussions was inconclusive. However, genetics and sub-concussive injuries may play a part in the onset of cerebral problems.  In November 2013 the British Rugby Football Union set up a working group to examine the link between multiple concussions and dementia to further investigate the issue.

Motorbike Racing

The Isle of Man TT race has claimed 240 lives in its 106 history.  It is without a doubt the most dangerous race on the planet.

Motorbike racing is a very injury prone sport, because let’s face it, if you hit the ground at 200mph the chances of you receiving a serious injury is high and there is very little you can do to prevent it.  However, many participants say the extreme danger is just part of the thrill.


This may surprise you but cycling is one the most dangerous sports you can participate in.  Each year thousands of cyclists are injured on British roads and in 2012 over one hundred cyclists lost their lives.  You can read about how cyclists can stay safe on the road here.

Cave Diving

Officially the most dangerous sport in the world cave diving is considered so risky that many articles have been written examining the psychological effects of this incredibly dangerous activity.

One of the reasons this sport is so perilous is that even years of experience can count for nothing if you find yourself in difficulties.  In dark, enclosed spaces a person’s vulnerability to panic, anxiety and disorientation is amplified to an extreme degree and it becomes very easy to make disastrous mistakes. There is no light, limited oxygen and your exit route can be cut off in an instant.  This is not a sport for the faint of heart.

If you have been involved in a sporting injury, you may be able to make a claim. To take the first step, call Injury Lawyers 4U on 0800 221 8888 today, or fill in this form to arrange a call-back.