A gerund is a verb that acts like a noun. When -ing is added to a verb, it becomes a word that describes a person, place, or thing. In the case of sports, a gerund is used to describe the activity.
A gerund is used for sports or activities that people do individually. Sometimes people compete against each other to see who is the fastest or the best, but most people do these sports for fun. Gerunds are not used for team sports or ball sports (basketball, hockey, tennis etc.), or some unique activities (gymnastics, martial arts, yoga, etc.).
Like all gerunds, sports can be used as the subject and object of a sentence, as well as the object of a preposition:
Surfing is very relaxing.
I love to go skiing.
Teenage boys spend a lot of time skateboarding.
She’s not very good at rollerblading. She falls down a lot.
What’s the difference?
I like/love skiing. = I like the activity
I like/love to ski. = I like to do the activity
Since a gerund is formed by adding –ing to the base form of the verb, all of these activities also have a verb form:
The verbs like, love, hate, and try can be followed by both a gerund or an infinitive (to + verb):
I hate/don’t like skiing.
I hate/don’t like to ski.
Have you tried skiing?
Have you tried to ride your bike?
The verbs enjoy, dislike, and go can only be followed by a gerund:
I enjoy skiing.
I enjoy to ski.
I dislike skiing.
I dislike to ski.
My friend and I are going hiking this weekend. Do you want to come?
My friend and I are going to hiking this weekend.