Whatever your sporting passion may be, there‘s something for everyone this summer as Britain flocks to courts, stadiums and race tracks around the country.
Sport may be tribal, but there is no denying it has the power to unite a nation. Whatever game sets your pulse racing, Britain is well stocked for sport this summer. And in the spirit of all beautiful games – not just football – we’ve stuck together a calendar to help you enjoy a perfect Summer of Sport.
The undisputed king of summer sport, Wimbledon remains the unparalleled tennis meet of the world. Step into the shimmering, strawberries and cream-laden pantheon of elite players – Federer, Williams, Nadal to name a few – and marvel at the athleticism and skill of the game’s greats. Andy Murray is hoping to play in the doubles but Brits can still root for plenty others, including Kyle Edmund, Johanna Konta and Katie Boulter.
America’s favourite pastime is pitching up on British shores later this month, with two of the sport’s biggest names facing off at the London Stadium. The Boston Red Soxs and the New York Yankees will renew their rivalry on this side of the Atlantic as part of the London Series; the first time Major League Baseball has been hosted in Europe.
There is no bigger day on the calendar for petrolheads than the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Each year the iconic track welcomes thousands of spectators over three days, all desperate to see some of the world’s best drivers rattling around the 3.6-mile circuit. Although home favourite Lewis Hamilton is currently top of this season’s pile, plenty could change ahead of the British race, which follows fixtures in France and Austria.
The world of boxing was stunned earlier this month when British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua lost his undefeated record and belts to underdog Andy Ruiz Jnr. The shock result has only served to heighten our appetite for a good showdown, and fans can expect to get their fill when Daniel Dubois faces off against Nathan Gorman at the O2. The bitter rivals, both unbeaten, will clash for the vacant British heavyweight title next month, and the war of words is heating up, with Dubois branding his opponent “a big slobby looking fighter”.
Women’s Football World Cup
Led by Phil Neville, the England Women’s football team is hoping to go one step further than their male counterparts and reach a World Cup final this summer. The popularity of the women’s game has never been higher, and despite being fourth favorites behind USA, France and Germany to lift the trophy, the Lionesses are more than capable of replicating the type of performances that filled the nation with pride last summer.
Until 7 July
The Land of the Rising Sun will host this year’s Rugby World Cup, and after Japan’s heroics at the 2017 instalment of the competition, anticipation is reaching fever pitch. Under the stewardship of now England boss Eddie Jones, minnows Japan stunned giants South Africa to capture the hearts of rugby fans worldwide. And now the team is hoping to ride the wave of what is sure to be an energetic home crowd as they host the game’s global showpiece. England, meanwhile, will be looking to avenge their Six Nations disappointment after finishing second in the standings behind Grand Slam winners Wales. But with Jones at the helm, the Red and Whites boast an inside knowledge of what to expect come September.
20 September until 2 November
Contested every four years, the 2019 edition of the Netball World Cup will be held at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena. England finished with a bronze medal in the 2015 competition, and will be desperate to dethrone reigning champs Australia on home soil. The 2015 final at Sydney’s Allphones Arena was attended by 16,752 people, a world record for any netball game, highlighting its growing popularity.
The stunning Marquess course at Woburn Golf Club will be the setting for the Women’s British Open in August, making it a perfect day out for London’s golf enthusiasts. Reigning champion Georgia Hall is back once again to defend her title, but will need to stave of the challenge of Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie to claim back-to-back triumphs.
Those with a need for speed require no introduction to Le Mans. The 24-hour rally is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, and is considered one of the most prestigious automobile events in history. The ultimate feat of speed and stamina for both car and driver sees motorists get behind the wheel around the clock, staving off fatigue and mechanical failure to test themselves against the best of the best. Of the 60 teams that entered last year’s race, just 41 made the chequered flag. Expect tears, trashed tyres and blowouts as drivers put the pedal to the metal.
A few matches may have succumbed to England’s infamous summer rains, but the Cricket World Cup is in full flow. At the time of writing England are in good shape to qualify for the knockout rounds, despite a surprise loss to old rivals Pakistan. There are few boozers in the City that aren’t streaming every over live as it happens, so the only thing standing between you and a feat of cricket action is the weather forecast – howzat?
Until 14 July
One of the great sporting rivalries returns for its latest chapter in August, and it looks set to be another corker. England versus Australia is never a dull moment in any sport, but the cricket holds a special type of rivalry that has seen plenty of sparks down the years. The Aussies are current holders of the famous urn, but England will be going hell for leather to tear the trophy from the tourists when they touch down here next month. If you are planning to be there in person, pack plenty of sun cream (and a brolly, just in case), and get familiar with the song sheet as the Barmy Army does love a good singalong.
If Tiger Woods’ recent revival at the Masters wasn’t enough to warm the heart and reignite the neutral’s passion for golf, then nothing will. Tiger’s redemption is part of the reason why The Open’s historic return to Northern Ireland is so eagerly awaited. The course hasn’t been used for an Open for nearly seven decades, and even the world’s best players will find the going tough as they compete for the coveted Claret Jug. Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, and Tiger himself are among the big names in the field, but only one can come out on top – stay tuned.