We've all heard that an apple a day keeps the dentist away. Well, fruit isn't the only thing that is good for us. For years, psychologists have said there are health benefits that come with rooting for your favourite sports teams, and at Rewards4, we were delighted to be able to support 433,000 of our sports-loving members to enjoy those benefits in 2022.
Whether you are a football, rugby, or cricket fan, a golfer, or a racegoer, there is an undeniable excitement of seeing your team, favourite player, or a backed horse claiming victory. Sport can have us on the edge of our seats and is responsible for many a bitten nail, but we wouldn't swap it for the world!
The excitement of being in the stands and part of those winning moments is good for us; it's stress relieving, self-esteem boosting, and above all else, sport allows us to be part of a community, not just as a spectator watching our favourite team but as a Rewards4 member too.
The highlight of your week, your weekend treat, whatever you call it, is something we look forward to, that time to be lost in the emotion of the game or race and provide a temporary escape from the worries of work or home life.
It is our instinct to rejoice in the collective joy of success, whether from the excitement of cheering our horse to the finishing post, celebrating the most fantastic try, or the unbearable anticipation of a penalty shoot-out. Being part of the action enables us to create positive memories and forge deep connections together.
However, it's not all fairy tales; for those who followed the Six Nations or the World Cup, you'll agree that being a sports fan has its ups and downs, but sport (like life) is all about overcoming obstacles. If the underdogs can go on to win or climb out of the relegation zone, this instils confidence that we, too, can rise to real-life challenges.
Much can change in our lives, but sport is our constant; it is the light at the end of our tunnel, and as the country bounced back from lockdown, the pent-up demand to get back watching live sport was measurable. In racing alone, our members purchased over 1.6 million tickets to the races between mid-2021 and the end of 2022.
We are undoubtedly a nation of sports lovers, and the fan base post-Covid continues to boom. In 2022, UK sport was enjoyed by 76.2m fans, surpassing the previous record of 75.1m in 2019*
In fact, did you know the UK is the only country whose attendance at sports events is greater than its population? Wow!
Regardless of whether your team wins or loses, watching sports is empowering. As children, we are inspired by our heroes like Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, and as adults, it leaves us feeling energised and motivated to exercise. Not to mention the little workout we got by leaping out of our seats as our team scored, and when they did, we basked in the reflective glory as if our cheer got the ball across the line.
At its core, sport is about teamwork and when the match is over and we return home we do so in the knowledge that we are part of a community with a shared identity and sense of loyalty, and it is this feeling that keeps us coming back to cheer on our teams come rain or shine.
As Rewards4 members, we celebrate this, and that's why we are committed to working with our sports partners to reward fans for their loyalty. Together we can create more unforgettable experiences and opportunities for fans to enjoy the sport they love and if we can do so having helped them save some money in the process, then so much the better.