Mozambicans are passionate about their sports; with a strong emphasis on football and to a lesser extent on other sports. There are plenty of opportunities for leisure and recreation, but since these can be quite expensive at times, you will find that most Mozambicans are not able to participate. As with most other facets of this beautiful country, the lack of infrastructure combined with the poverty levels have had a profound effect on the development of sports and recreation across the country.
As a result, many of the more popular sports are those that don’t require a lot of money to play.
Football, sometimes known as soccer due to Portuguese influence, is extremely popular in Mozambique as it is in other African countries. You will often come across children and adults having informal play whenever possible, especially on weekends. The structure of club football is not as good as in other countries due to infrastructure issues, but there are still professional clubs. There is a lot of exchange between Portugal and Mozambique in terms of football, with players and teams from each country playing against each other regularly.
Track and field is a sport that is not well practiced, given the relative ease of getting involved. Mozambique sometimes strikes above its weight in this area of the sport, having won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, proving it can compete at the highest level.
Unlike most other southern African countries, basketball is a very popular sport in Mozambique. Despite being internationally recognized since 1978, the Mozambican national team has yet to win a notable championship. This has of course not dampened enthusiasm for the sport and it is still quite widespread.
The martial arts sport of Capoeira is starting to take off in Mozambique, with popularity growing at a rapid rate.
Stadiums and sports facilities in Mozambique are scarce, and some world-class facilities have recently been built with foreign investment. Outlying areas usually have little or no facilities, while football clubs seem to attract all investment. The newest and best stadium is the Estadio do Zimpeto which was opened in 2011 and can accommodate up to 42,000 people. Although it is billed as a multi-purpose stadium, it is almost exclusively used for football matches.
The types of recreation available in Mozambique are generally all of the physical, outdoor variety. The most popular hobbies include:
Fishing: With a significant coastline, Mozambique is well known for fishing. It takes the form of both subsistence and recreational fishing. The country is well known for big game fishing and is largely unspoiled, making it a favorite with local and international visitors.
Water Sports: Any type of sport involving water, be it sailing, diving or even just swimming, is very popular due to the hot weather and the water.
Sandboarding: Being a fairly easy sport to learn and not always needing a lot of equipment, sandboarding is a relatively new hobby that is starting to become very popular.