Whoah, hear that? That’s the sound of real people at real stadiums playing real sport. Now that COVID seems under control (everything crossed), mums and dads all over Australia will be rejoicing the return to community sport, as their beloved offspring put all that post-lockdown energy into action.
All over the nation, footy boots are getting a bit of a tidy-up, mobile phones are put down, fingernails are trimmed and the familiar blast of car horns around grounds and cries from anguished fans are returning to our lives.
Sports everywhere are coming out of hibernation too, including a list below of what’s happening in April. The standouts? For me, the return of the AFL and the NRL. How good it will be for Australians to return to the big stadiums and support their teams, with all the state-run leagues kicking off as well. Love your footy? You’ll get that beautiful fix for the next few months.
It’s not just footy-lovers salivating for the month of April. During the middle of the month the F1 season begins in China, our swimmers hit the pool for the Australian Championships, the Stawell Gift will be run as well as a suite of athletics events throughout the country.
Here’s a taste of what’s to come.
1: Opening round SANFL Statewide Super League
1: Opening round WAFL premiership season
1: Money In Sport Conference, Brisbane, Qld
2: Opening round Tasmanian State League, Tas
3: Powerchair Football Championship, SA
3: 2021 Powercor Stawell Gift – Little Athletics Handicaps
5: US Masters golf, Augusta, Georgia, US
5: Australian Age Swimming Championships, Gold Coast, Qld
9: Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai, China
10: BHP Premiership Opening Round, QLD
10: Hastings Deering Colts Opening Round, QLD
10: Australian Junior Basketball Championships, Werribee, Vic
10: Sports Sedans Victorian State Title, Nyora Raceway, Vic
11: Exercise & Sports Science Australia Conference, Adelaide SA
14: Australian Swimming Championships, Gold Coast, Qld
16: Tag20 ANZAC Cup, Goulburn NSW
21: UniSport Nationals Athletics, Sydney Olympic Park NSW
21: Opening round Victorian Netball Series
23: Coles Australian Little Athletics Championships, Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park Vic
25: AFL Anzac Day Match, MCG
You love your iconic events, right! May is littered with historic sporting events, like the good ol’ Kentucky Derby and the French Open, the FA Cup final, the Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals, along with F1, the World Aquatic Championships, the Arafura Games … it’s a busy, busy month.
But my favourite is the opening round of the Suncorp Super Netball Series. I grew up with four netball-playing sisters, and the start of netball season was always the most exciting week in our home, new uniforms, sneakers, hair ribbons and endless commentary of the rules, umpiring, and the smallest detail of each game regaled every Wednesday night over dinner. Netball is a magnificent game for all humans. Tune in and watch this great series if you can, its action packed.
Without trying to inject Royal Family news into this article, we have to mention Prince Harry’s Invictus Games starting on June 29. What a legend he is for starting them and for recognising the incredible sacrifice made by armed forces personnel the world over.
1: Kentucky Derby, Louisville, Kentucky, US
1: Round one Suncorp Super Netball series
3: World Combat Games, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
7: Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain
7: US PGA Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, SC
8: Australian Senior League Baseball Championship, Lismore, NSW
8: Super Rugby AU Grand Final, TBC
13: World Aquatic Championships, Fukuoka, Japan
14: Arafura Games, Darwin, Australia
14: World Masters Games (Summer), Kansai, Japan
15: FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London
16: Australian Junior Baseball Championships, West Beach, SA
21: Ice Hockey IIHF World Championship Riga, Latvia
21: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco
23: Tennis French Open, Paris, France
25: Australian Intermediate Baseball League Championship, Mildura, VIC
26: UEFA Europa League Final, Stadion Energa Gdańsk, Poland
29: UEFA Champions League Final, Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Turkey
29: Invictus Games, The Hague, The Netherlands
29: 10: BHP Premiership Opening Round, Semi Finals
As we drift into the cruel bite of winter here in Australia, it might be great to know what sport there is available for the couch captive. Thanks for asking, because Wimbledon, the Tour de France and Euro 2021 headline a variety of international sports.
All the usual suspects will be halfway through their seasons; the AFL and NRL should have clear flag-favourites, F1 visits Canada and is usually where the first cracks of team unrest begin to show in the F1 teams, which translates to excellent viewing.
Junior footy and netball will march into the teeth of Winter as they have done for decades as parents arm themselves with thermos’ full of coffee and puffer jackets highly zipped. The familiar cries of, ‘baaaaalll’, ‘forwaaaaard’ and ‘contaaaact!!’ will have returned with such familiarity that we’ll have forgotten we were ever locked down after all.
9: Game 1 AMPOL State Of Origin, MCG, VIC
11: Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada
11: UEFA Euro 2021
11: 47th Copa América, Argentina, Colombia
12: 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
12: Australian Swimming Trials, SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre, SA
15: Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse, UK
17: US Open Championship golf, San Diego, California, USA
25: Formula 1 French Grand Prix, Le Castellet, France
26: Tour de France
27: Game 2 AMPOL State Of Origin, Suncorp Stadium, QLD
TBC: Ice Hockey Stanley Cup finals | NBA Finals |African Cup of Nations, Cameroon
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