Like me, you’ve probably resigned yourself to at least another lockdown or two for winter, so it’s just as well we’ve stoked the fire, upgraded our smart TV game and settled in for what could be the longest winter in the history of humankind.
Melbourne’s winter just keeps getting nastier every day, similar to the fortunes of our favourite clubs to hate, Richmond and Collingwood - who have managed to spend more time in the ‘news’ part of the paper than in the sports section where they belong. That won’t change for the next six months, but we’ll be glued to the outcome.
Over in NRL land things have changed as well: NSW surprised everyone with monster wins, ending a decade of Origin dominance by the Maroons. But then things are still the same as always, with only Covid standing between Craig Bellamy and another Storm title at season’s end.
The month is already memorable for Ash Barty’s minting as Wimbledon champion, but remember there’s more to come: the Tour de France, the Bledisloe Cup and a pretty small thing called the Paralympics and Olympics.
It is a virtual saturation of world-class sport and pretty handy for these lockdowns situations. If that isn’t enough sport, we must also point out that July 24 is the opening day of the South Australian Judo Winter Championships at Lights Community and Sports Centre in Port Adelaide.
Members are reminded that there will be a NewGen training on the day as well, which might seem a bit much for some but not these guys. Good luck Judo masters. May the Force be with you.
- NRL season still in play
- Cycling, Tour de France 26 June - 18 July
- Wimbledon Tennis 28 June - 11 July
- Quarter finals for euro soccer commence 2-3 July, Semis 6-7 July and finals 11 July
- Rugby Union: test match Australia v France 7 July
- Cricket: Twenty20 series G2 West Indies v Australia 11 July
- UFC / MMA: UFC 264 Main Card, Conor McGregor v Dustin Poirier 11 July
- Rugby Union: Test Match, Australia v France 13 July
- League: State of Origin, G3, New South Wales Origin v Queensland 14 July
- Golf: The Open Championship Round 15 - 18 July
- Rugby Union: Test Match, Australia v France 17 July
- Baseball Victoria State Winter Championships 17-18 July through to 7-8 August
- Golf: The Evian Championship 22 - 25 July
- Olympic and Paralympic Games 23 July - 8 August
- Cross Country Winter Series begins, 24 July, Qld
- JudoSA Winter Championships, Adelaide, 24 July
- Run Melbourne July 25
- Basketball: NBA Draft 30 July
When you see the slimmish sporting offerings for August you either replay everything from July, or disappear like Leo the Lion back into the cave for longer sleep-ins and midday lattes.
But then you remember the AFL and NRL are shaping up their finals series and all the guaranteed dramas with that, there’s still the afterglow of the Olympics and Paralympics filling up our social media feeds, and most of us believe winter is almost over and time to seriously think about getting some exercise.
For inspiration, please tune into the series of marathons and cross country championships across Australia this month. Here you will find people of all ages having an absolute crack. Happy, smiling people working up a sweat and giving life the greatest of fist pumps.
Inspired? Me either. Join me instead in watching the Bledisloe Cup and see if we can use group mental telepathy to bring back the 1990s when John Eales and George Gregan dominated the sport and needed shipping containers to bring home their silverware and bounty. Otherwise it will be a week of bragging from your favourite Kiwi mates in the office.
On the local front, check out some world-class skills at the Australian Hockey Championships in Cairns, the TriSA Duathlon series in Adelaide, or tune in for the Dancesport Winter Festival - pretty much the biggest event of the winter for these kiddos - also in Queensland.
- Rugby Union: Bledisloe Cup, New Zealand v Australia 7 August
- Australian Hockey Championships, Cairns begins 7 August
- Dancesport Winter Festival, Qld, 7 August
- TriSA Duathlon Series Round 2, Adelaide, 8 August
- Winter Series #1, Rowing South Australia, 8 August
- Cycling: Vuelta a Espana 14 August - 5 September, Perth
- Netball: Super Netball Minor Semi-Final 15 August
- Australian Half Marathon Championships 15 August, Qld
- Australian Masters Cross Country Championships 21 August, SA
- Golf: Women's British Open 19 - 22 August
- Australian Cross Country Championships & Australian Cross Country Relay Championships 21-22 Aug 21-22, SA
- Rugby Union: Rugby Championship, Australia v New Zealand 21 August
- 2021 MST Winter Championships – 2021 MSA Swim Series #7, 21 August
- Rugby Union: Rugby Championship, New Zealand v Australia 28 August
- Tennis: US Open 30 Aug
And just like that it’s September, the sweetest month of all. The sun feels stronger, and that magical season of finals gets underway.
All over the sporting landscape, mums and dads are considering whether they need the puffer jacket on the sideline anymore as they cheer on kids playing finals everywhere, in all codes, and with bigger rewards than a McDonald’s Happy Meal.
All the big winter codes reach their crescendo in September, as well as locally. Footy finals are played, league champions are decided, netballers, baseballers, athletes - it’s the season for silverware.
Over in the South Pacific, there is also an event of serious magnitude taking place this month, The Billabong Pro at Teahupoo.
The event this year includes re-introduces women surfing one of the most dangerous wave passes in the world and scene of some of the most historic moments in surfing.
Teahupoo forces a surfer to throw themselves over a dangerous ledge, and make an enormous, gaping tube ride to reach the safety of the channel - with sharp coral only a few feet beneath the surface. The beatings are next level.
Tune in just for the carnage.
- Australian Rules: AFL Elimination Final 2 September
- Surfing: WSL Finals 9 september
- League: NRL Qualifying Final 10 September
- Rugby Union: Shute Shield Grand Final 11 September
- League: NRL Elimination Final 11 - 12 September
- Rugby Union: Rugby Championship, South Africa v Australia 11 September
- League: NRL Semi-Final 17- 18 September
- Rugby Union: Rugby Championship, Australia v South Africa 18 september
- Rugby Union: World Cup Women 18 September - 16 October
- Cricket: Women's ODI Series, G1, Australia v India 19 September
- Australian Road Running Championships 19 Sep, Qld
- Cricket: Women's ODI Series, G2, Australia v India 22 September
- Cricket: Women's ODI Series, G3, Australia v India 24 September
- League: NRL Preliminary Final 24 - 25 September
- Australian Rules: AFL Grand Final 25 september
- Rugby Union: Rugby Championship, Australia v Argentina 25 September
- Cricket: Women's Test Match, D1, 1st Test, Australia v India 30 September