No one is sure precisely when sports prizes began, but it is certain the Ancient Greeks were among the first to hand out prizes for those who won sporting events. Maybe they didn’t hand out beautifully crafted sports medals, but the winners at the Ancient Olympic Games did receive items that were valuable in their day such as horses or bronze tripods. Prizes seemed to be important to the Greeks as the word “athlete” is derived from the Greek word, “atholon” meaning prize. Eventually, the Greeks made crowns out of leaves for successful athletes. They weren’t worth a lot of money, but they did provide notoriety and told everyone the athlete was a winner. This possibly provided some financial support and other reward in their home towns.
Some of the earliest trophy cups originated as early as the 18th and 19th centuries. Also, many of the non-cup trophies were recorded as early as the 16th and 17th centuries. The 10 oldest sports trophies contained on this list are still being awarded today.
10. The Stanley Cup.
This award was created in 1892 and first awarded to the winning team in 1893. The country of origin in Canada and it is still awarded for the hockey championship at the end of the season.
9. The Ashes Urn.
Created for the sport of cricket, the Ashes Urn originated in Sunbury, Australia. It was designed and made between 1882 ad 1883 and was awarded the first time in either the latter parts of 1882 or the early months of 1883. An interesting fact about this award is that the small terracotta urn supposedly has the ashes of a cricket ball inside.
8. The Calcutta Cup.
First created in 1878, then awarded in 1879, the Calcutta Cup is the trophy for the sport of rugby. It originated in Kalkata, Inda, hence the name. The Calcutta Cup tournament hosts England and Scotland rugby teams and the winner receives the coveted trophy.
7. The Wimbledon Trophies.
The first Wimbledon trophies were bestowed in 1877. The winner of the men’s doubles began getting the coveted tennis trophy in 1884. Women’s singles began receiving the trophy in 1886, followed by the men’s singles in 1887. Mixed doubles didn’t begin receiving the award until 1902. The origin of the Wimbledon trophies is Wimbledon, London, England.
6. The Scottish Cup Trophy.
Scotland is the origin of the Scottish Cup and it was created and awarded in 1874 for the sport of soccer (or football). Traditionally, the Scottish Cup is the second oldest competition in the history of soccer (football). But according to Guinness World Records, the Scottish Cup is the oldest football trophy.
5. The Claret Jug.
This golf championship trophy was created in 1872 and first awarded in 1873. It originated in Edinburgh, Scotland and used to be called Golf Champion Trophy. The first Open occurred in 1860, but instead of a trophy, the winner received a Challenge Belt.
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4. America’s Cup.
The trophy for winning the Yacht Sailing Match Race is the America’s Cup. It was created in 1848 and first awarded in 1851. Its origin is Isle of Wight, England, even though it bears the name “America’s Cup.” It is considered the oldest trophy in international sport.
3. The Royal Musselburgh Old Club Cup.
The “Old Cup” originated in Scotland. It was created in 1774 and awarded that same year for the sport of golf. In addition to being one of the oldest sports trophies in the world, the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club remains one of the oldest golf societies also.
2. The Scorton Silver Arrow.
No one knows for sure when the Scorton Silver Arrow was created, but the first year it was awarded is believed to be 1673. It originated in Scorton, Yorkshire, England and is presented for the sport of archery. Even though no one knows for sure when the initial trophy was presented, the first along with a silver brooch and a pouch containing silver coins were awarded at the very first Antient Silver Arrow Competition in 1673. This competition is believed to the be the oldest recorded sport event in the world.
1. The Carlisle Bells.
Originating in Carlisle, Cumbria, England, the Carlisle Bells was first awarded in 1599 for thoroughbred horse racing. The bells were given to the winner of the first race in 1599 and even though the trophy is believed to be larger, the bells are the only part that remains. For many years, the bells were lost too, but they were found in the 19th century and have been used as the trophy for the race ever since.