Sport over the holidays: A guide to the festive sporting calendar

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As first term draws to its conclusion and students prepare to return home for the winter, the inevitable holiday boredom is bound to follow. Doing nothing but sitting on the couch watching re-runs of TV shows and ignoring piles of coursework is a staple of the student holiday lifestyle, but here at SCAN sport we’ve assembled a list of sporting spectacles to keep the boredom at bay!

Football – Football is the reliable ever-constant for sports fans, even when the domestic leagues finish, International football is there to provide a dosage of sporting goodness throughout the summer. With the Premier league in full flow however, there are plenty of tasty fixtures to get your teeth into over winter, here’s a few we selected especially:

23rd December: Arsenal vs Chelsea

26th December: Manchester City vs Liverpool

29th December: Newcastle vs Arsenal (&) Liverpool vs Chelsea

1st January: Manchester United vs Tottenham

Whilst football runs all through winter and into the new year, it is the festive period of fixtures that will determine which teams have the mettle to withstand the hardest part of the season. Chelsea and Liverpool in particular are presented with a run of very difficult games, but all challenging teams must negotiate the run-up to the January window relatively unscathed if they are to be victorious come May.

Cricket – It may seem odd that the most weather dependent of sports will be played in the winter, but all keen sports fans will recognise that the Ashes are almost upon us. Obviously played in the searing Australian summer, our victorious cricket team will once again lock horns with their bitter rivals in an attempt to retain that famous little urn. The series will commence on the 21st  November (week 7) and run potentially all the way through Christmas until the 7th January, giving all sports fan some very late night entertainment through the holidays.

21st-25th November: First Test – Brisbane

5-9th December: Second Test – Adelaide

13-17th December: Third Test – Perth

26th-30th December: Fourth Test- Melbourne

3rd-7th January: Fifth Test: Sydney

Boxing – For anybody looking for something a bit different for late night entertainment, there is plenty of festive boxing bouts that are sure to be closely fought, competitive contests. Sky in particular offer some fascinating matches taking place over the holidays; a double header on the first of December sees the aptly named Adonis Stevenson fight Brit Tony Bellew for the WBC light-heavyweight title. That fight is to be followed by Sergey Kovalev’s match against Ismayl Sillakh for the WBO title in the same weight division.

Darts – Whilst other sports ease off or even stop during the winter, Christmas time sees the biggest event in darts come to the fore. The World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace is not only the pinnacle of the sport for the competitors, but the crowds also. Packed out every night, the atmosphere inside “Ally Pally” is nothing short of electric for everyone from first time competitors to 16 time world champion Phil “The Power” Taylor.

The tournament runs from the 13th December all the way until new year’s day and will see all the world’s elite darts players compete for top honours. “The Power” will be looking to retain his title and make it number 17, but further competition from the likes of James Wade, Raymond Van Barneveld and Michael Van Gerwen will see him pushed all the way, meaning it is sure to be compelling live sport.

Golf – For those who are looking to use their holidays to relax and enjoy some leisurely television, the numerous golf tournaments taking place over the coming months could be the perfect viewing.

The 12th December sees the start of both the Nelson Mandela Championship, and the Thailand Golf Championship which will run for four days until the 15th. The Royal Trophy is the next to tee off, running from the 20th December until the 23rd and will provide a relaxing build up to the excitement of Christmas Eve. Last but not least sees the Hyundi Tournament of Champions event take place from the 3rd January to the 5th, ensuring this winter will be packed with top-quality sport.