Sport in Algeria, Stay Active, Culture

Soccer is the most popular sport in Algeria. Both children and adults regularly play soccer for amusement in the streets and parks. Algeria qualified to participate in the World Cup championships in 1982 and 1986 and won Africa's Continental Championship in 1990. Algeria also has national volleyball and handball teams that have won international championships.

The Algerians have also done very well in track and field until now. In 1999 they came third at the African Games. Although traditional Algerian culture does not encourage woman to take part in competitive sports, Algeria has produced a woman champion in track and field, Hassiba Boulmerka. She became Algerians first Olympic gold medalist in 1992 when she won the 1500-meter race in 3 minutes 55.30 seconds. Noureddine Morceli is one of Algeria’s top male track-and-field champions who won a gold medal in 1996 for the 1500-meter race.

Apart from the official sports, men also get together in coffee shops regularly to play chess, checkers, cards, dominos and other games just for recreation. Women also join them from time to time but they are more likely to socialize at home. Algerians are very hospitable. There is a popular saying that is often used by the Algerians and Berbers: “when you come to our house it is we who are the guests, for this is your house.

Algerians also take part in some other interesting sports and recreational activities. Men often go to the public baths or “hammams” to relax and enjoy a warm steam bath and a massage. In the desert regions, sports like horse racing, camel racing and camel dancing are very popular. Although Algeria is generally thought of as a very hot country, it is still possible to ski at the ski resorts in the Algerian mountains.

There are also numerous resorts on the coast of Algeria near Algiers, Oran and Annaba, where people can enjoy all sorts of water sports and swimming. So take advantage of this colorful country and enjoy some great recreational fun while you are here.

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