SACO Sports: Top UK cities for sports lovers
With Wimbledon just passing and football season about to kick off, we’ve been thinking about how incredible the UK is for hosting and supporting world-class sporting events throughout the year. When one season is coming to an end, another season begins, providing us with constant entertainment and never-ending admiration. The UK is massively underrated and overlooked when it comes sports, but we’re here to tell you about the best UK cities for sport lovers and why.
Before the article begins we would like to say a special thank you to Sport England. Their commitment and focus to launching different campaigns that inspire and support all athletes is truly inspirational. This includes campaigns like ‘This Girl Can,’ ‘Backing the Best’ and ‘Why Disability Sport Matters,’ increasing UK sport participation massively.
In 1st place…
Manchester has been crowned the sporting capital of the UK according to both Gloucestershire and Bath universities. The region’s connection to football has obviously played a massive part in this claim to fame, but it’s not the entire reason. Manchester has remarkably produced 80 out of the 542 athletes that represented the UK in the 2016 Olympics. But a great sporting city has to perform well in all categories, not just in talent. This includes transportation links and venues – both of which Manchester has proudly taken care of for their athletes. The main sports in Manchester are football, athletics, swimming and cycling, with renowned stadiums like Old Trafford and Etihad, Manchester Aquatics Centre and the National Cycling Centre. Not only do they bring so much tourism to the area, they also provide schemes to make sure younger and older people can take full advantage of them. For example, if you’re under 16 or over 60 you can enjoy free swimming all day, every day. Perfect, thank you Manchester.
No surprises here but London has made it onto our list after hosting the 2012 Olympics so graciously. Hosting the Olympics brought London a lot of visitors, along with high volunteering rates, enhanced staff morale, increased rate of sport participation and raised awareness for disability in sports. For us, these are the key factors that place the city second in the UK. Although London hosts a lot of events, we’ve chosen to stay mainstream and also mention the other obvious reason as to why we’ve ranked London in second place - Wimbledon. An iconic British event, attracting people from all over the world to wear all white and support the favourite to win or upcoming unknown, creating one of the best atmospheres to ever be experienced. A massive credit to London and the city certainly has the vision to make itself the most physically active city in the world (#MostActiveCity). Aerobics, American football, angling, archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boccia, bowls, boxing, canoeing, cricket, cycling, dance, darts, disc golf, tennis, swimming, volleyball, the list goes on and on! Countless opportunities to find and get involved with something you really love and enjoy. Hats off to you London!
Glasgow has ranked third in our list of top UK cities for sport lovers, the most obvious reason being their Glasgow Support Sport scheme. Public tennis courts, indoor football, free swimming programs, summer holiday camps, coaching, volunteering, funding, equality in sport awareness and free activities in every local park! The shear effort the city of Glasgow has put in to support the youth, the parents, the elderly and the restricted is greatly appreciated but the community and definitely makes it worth a mention. One of the main reasons Glasgow is focusing so much on sport is due to their Olympic successes - Katherine Grainger, Alison Sheppard, Gregor Tait and of course, world number one Andy Murray. It’s no surprise they want to keep the success of producing athletes alive. Keep it up, Glasgow.
And finally in 4th…
Bristol, the home of Bristol Rovers and Bristol City, one of the biggest UK rivals (sorry city fans but, up the gas!). Luckily, it hasn’t done anything but good for Bristol within the sporting sector, driving participation and support levels through the roof, especially in football. Outdoor and indoor football pitches, tennis courts, swimming pools and netball courts, Bristol has made sure that you have enough facilities to embrace the sport you’re involved in, regardless of the weather. Bristol is one of the main cities to also pursue and promote ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, constantly bringing in workshops, talk stands and free giveaways to school and universities. For this, we have placed it forth. Bristol has two universities, The University of Bristol and The University of the West of England, and both universities thoroughly promote ‘This Girl Can’ campaign by setting up free or extremely cheap sporting programs to encourage university students to participate in sports, whether its coaching or learning - please note, this campaign is not just for woman despite the name, it’s for people who feel too ‘embarrassed’ or ‘insecure’ to participate in sports. It’s an important message that needs to be embraced more and we are very grateful how hard Bristol is trying to do so.