Why 2019 has been a fantastic year for sport in the UK
The UK is undoubtedly one of the best countries in the world for the sport lover in us all – whether it’s attending the cricket at Lords, the championship tennis at Wimbledon, Eurostaring to Paris to watch the French rugby team play at the Stade de France or simply soaking up the atmosphere at the pub watching the Champions League final with a group of friends.
It is definitely one of the things that held huge appeal for the UK to our resident Aussie Arron from the UK office. Here’s what he has to say on his sporting UK experience so far:
I have been lucky enough to have lived in the UK for nearly 10 years and in that time I have had the privilege to be able to attend so many amazing memorable sporting events, from the 2012 London Olympics, many of the Rugby World cup fixtures in 2015, through to countless football matches across the UK following Chelsea, the Socceroos and even the Three Lions – who can forget the amazing atmosphere at the 2018 World Cup?
2019 – what a year for sport!
2019 has been such a fantastic year for an Aussie living the dream in the UK with a very exciting year of sport (so far)……..
Being a Chelsea Football Club season ticket holder sees me and a few other MyOErs getting out to Stamford Bridge every other weekend (also heading over to Manchester and Liverpool for matches when we can). If you have never been to a football match in the UK (whether its a league one match or a premier league match) then I would highly recommend adding it to your UK bucket list. The atmosphere is nothing like the live sporting atmospheres back home. The singing and chanting starts much before the ref blows for kickoff. Some of the best moments are in the lead up to the game, along with mingling with the crowds on the streets and in the surrounding pubs. The atmosphere and team spirit coming off the tube and into Wembley stadium is an unmissable experience in itself.
One of the biggest events of 2019 so far has been the Cricket World Cup. Personally, I was lucky enough to go to 2 matches at the Oval, the first being the NZ V Bangladesh game (which was one of the most exciting pool games) and Australia vs Sri Lanka. The atmosphere was amazing at both with the beers flowing and the crowds singing without a break throughout the entire game.
The English ended up winning the world cup in EXTREMELY contentious circumstances, however, the name on the trophy stands.
The Wimbledon Championships are a must see event on the British calendar every year in London. Getting tickets (up until this year) was a challenging, very manual “old school” process. It involved sending a self addressed envelope to receive an application to then mail back with your application – but fortunately this all changes in 2020 to an online process. I was lucky enough to score two tickets to the Wimbledons Mens final (£220 each, however resale was over £4,500 each per ticket). As you may have seen, this ended up in the longest and one of the most epic Grand Slam finals (let alone Wimbledon finals) ever with Djokovic overcoming Federer in a 5 set thriller that lasted four hours and 57 minutes. It’s worth mentioning that if you have patience, then Wimbledon is one of the few major UK events where you can get your hands on premium tickets on the day of play itself – and yes, we have a good old-fashioned british queue to thank for that. Many of our MyOErs did just that with great success, so it’s worth definitely worth putting in the time to cross this ‘must do’ off your bucket list.
The best of the rest
I loved being at Twickenham for the London Rugby Sevens, and a big group of us attended the Premier League Darts at the O2 and spectated at the London marathon. A few different sporting events that I would have loved to have seen but missed out on so far this year was the F1 at Silverston, any of the six nations matches, and sadly couldn’t get to the Netball World cup in Liverpool which looked like an amazing finish with the Kiwis beating the 11 time champions Australia by just one goal in the very tense final moments.
So what have I got left for the second half of 2019?
I’m glad you asked. I am heading over to Budapest for the F1 at the start of August and then I will be at Lords for the Ashes later in August. In October I will be at Wembley stadium for the NFL (the NFL plays 4 season games in London a season) seeing the Houston Texans V Jacksonville Jags and of course I will be back at Stamford Bridge every other weekend to watch Chelsea in the EPL.
This is just a snapshot of all the sporting events that are on offer in the UK for the rest of the year. There are, of course, the 5 tests in the Ashes for the cricket, the ATP finals for the Tennis at London’s O2 in November, the Euro 2020 England football qualifying matches, the warm up rugby matches before the World Cup later in the year and where to even start with what is going on across Europe this year (or the planned pub trips for the rugby World Cup). In fact if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to grab my diary – I have some more tickets to buy!
The remarkable shared affection that the Aussies, Kiwis and Brits have for their sport, which has endured well over 150 years, is just one of the many reasons that the UK is currently home to more than 120,000 Australians, keen to live work and play there. Sport is a massive part of both our nation’s culture, not only for the love of the sports they play, but just as much for the love of the sports they watch – both in large numbers at the grounds or virtually in the pub with a group of mates. The massive expat community and lifestyle in the UK really is fantastic and you will constantly be meeting interesting, very like-minded people who are always up for doing something new, interesting and exciting (and very often sport-related!)
Tempted by the opportunity to live, work and play in the UK?
If you, or someone you know, is considering the move then we are running free information webinars live from London (next one on Tuesday 30th July) for free support and guidance on getting your UK visa and uncovering all aspects of working and living in the UK. Or you can get in touch with Arron directly to talk about life generally in the UK, getting a job in London, or even just to have a chat about the football and how you get to join in with us at the next fixtures.