This coming summer will see the biggest event of them all – The FIFA World Cup, which is being hosted by South Africa. This will be by far the largest sports event ever to take place on the African continent, and promises to be a spectacular tournament. The opening game will take place in Johannesburg on June 11th and will feature the hosts taking on Mexico. Some 32 nations will compete over the following month through the group stage, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final itself to be crowned World Champions on July 11th. Spain and Brazil are the current favourites, but there are plenty of other genuine contenders to claim the trophy.
The first major tournament of this sporting season will be the US Masters, which as always takes place in Augusta, Georgia. This year the big focus will obviously be on Tiger Woods’ return to golfing action after his personal troubles that came to light very publicly on Thanksgiving last year. What price a Tiger win in his first event back? The Masters is my favourite golf tournament of the year and Augusta is a beautiful course. Getting to go there in person one year is definitely on my To Do list.
And then there is what is often referred to as the Great British Summer of Sport, featuring such events as The Boat Race, The Grand National, the London Marathon, the FA Cup Final, the Derby, Wimbledon, the British Open and the British Grand Prix.
Here are some of the important dates to note:
|The Boat Race||The Thames, London||April 3|
|US Masters||Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia||April 8 - 11|
|Grand National||Aintree, Liverpool||April 10|
|London Marathon||London||April 25|
|FA Cup Final||Wembley Stadium, London||May 15|
|Football League Play-Off Finals||Wembley Stadium, London||May 22, 29, 30|
|The Derby||Epsom Downs, Surrey||June 5|
|FIFA World Cup||South Africa||June 11 - July 11|
|Royal Ascot||Ascot, Berkshire||June 15 – 19|
|Wimbledon||Wimbledon, London||June 21 - July 4|
|British Grand Prix||Silverstone, Northamptonshire||July 11|
|British Open||St Andrews, Scotland||July 15 - 18|
|England Test Cricket Series||England||July 29 - August 30|
And then finally, and I accept this is way after the summer will have ended, there will be the Ryder Cup. This year it will be played at Celtic Manor in South Wales from October 1st to 3rd, and the Europeans will be out to avenge the heavy defeat that they suffered at Valhalla back in 2008. The captains this year will be Corey Pavin and Colin Montgomerie and I am sure the competition will be as white-hot as usual.
I just can’t wait