This sporting life: See it all in Sydney

By Jay Chabon

Australia’s a great sporting nation, and Sydney the perfect arena for the biggest and best contests.

Whether you’re a spectator watching the professionals at play, or an active amateur keen to participate, it’s all here.

From matches played in mega stadiums, to battles by the beaches, fun runs and leisurely bike rides, the world descends on Sydney for the biggest and best events.

Here’s what’s coming in February and March.

Above: Crowd shot from Rugby 7s.
Above: Crowd shot from Rugby 7s. Image: Courtesy of Australian Rugby Union.

Rugby 7s

OK, so there’s the rugby.

And this adapted form of the traditional 80-minute, 15-a-side game is fast and furious: we’re talking seven-a-side playing two seven-minute halves (yes, that’s why it’s called “rugby sevens”), the quicker, shorter format promising lots of points and plenty of matches for the fans.

But what we can’t wait for is the all the off-field antics and action – fan festivals, beer tents, dressing up in outrageous costumes, and family areas.

Bring it on!

Above: Hoodoo Gurus will be playing on the Sunday.
Above: Hoodoo Gurus will be playing on the Sunday.

The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series stops off in Sydney from February 6 to 7 at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park.

Above: NRL.
Above: NRL at ANZ stadium, Olympic Park.

More footy fever

With all codes up and running during February and March there’s no shortage of footy for fanatics.

The NRL comes to ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park on March 12 (Rabbitohs vs Knights) and March 18 (Bulldogs vs Eels) before the “Easter footy fest” – it’s the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs head-to-head on Good Friday (March 25) and the “battle of the west” (Tigers vs Eels) on Easter Monday (March 28).

If the round ball game is more your thing, catch Sydney FC in action in the A-League against Perth Glory (February 13) and the local derby against Western Sydney Wanderers FC (February 20) at Allianz Stadium, Moore Park.

Or get into the AFL action, cheering on the mighty red and white Sydney Swans as they take on Collingwood at ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park on March 26.

Above: Netball.
Above: ANZ championship pre-season tournament. Image: Courtesy David Callow – Netball Australia.


The world’s best netballers go head-to-head for three action-packed days of international competition at Sydney Olympic Park.

It’s one half of the ANZ Championship Pre-Season tournament (don’t worry, they haven’t lost the other bit – it’s being played in New Zealand).

The NSW Swifts, Melbourne Vixens, West Coast Fever, Central Pulse and Mainland Tactix battle it out from March 18 to 20, each team contesting six matches.

Above: Surfing.
Above: Julian Wilson surfing.

Surf and skate

Sporting elite take on super-cool pipelines and death-defying bowls at our two favourite Sydney beaches – Manly and Bondi – for two of surfing and skateboarding’s biggest events.

The Australian Open of Surfing (February 27 to March 6) brings the World Surf League-sanctioned men’s and women’s pro events, plus a grom challenge for juniors, to Manly.

Plus there’s a whole festival of events for fans celebrating not just surfing but skating and music too.

Above: Bowlarama at Bondi beach.
Above: Tony Hawk at Bowl a Rama 2015.

Satisfy your appetite for all things skate from February 20 to 21 with international professional bowl skating event Bondi BOWL-A-RAMA.

Watch the world’s best skaters (yes, that includes Tony Hawk) defy gravity and wow the crowd.

Plus there’s a weekend-long party going on too.

Above: Sun Run.
Above: The Sun Run on the Northern beaches.

Run and swim

Take a plunge for charity and test your endurance in the famous Sydney Morning Herald Cole Classic swim (February 7) at Manly Beach.

There’s one, two and five kilometre ocean routes.

The wearing of budgie smugglers is encouraged, but not essential!

Warm up the day before (February 6) with the Sun Run (7km, 10km, and wheelchair categories) past the beautiful northern beaches, starting at Dee Why and finishing in Manly.

Runners, joggers, wheelchairs, pram pushers and walkers are all encouraged to take up the challenge.

The weekend of community sport is for a good cause too, raising money for hundreds of charities, including Manly and Dee Why surf life saving clubs.

Above: Discovery ride.
Above: Discovery ride with Sydney Cycleways.

Pedal power

Sydney’s a cycle city, and as such there’s plenty of great places to pedal.

Sydney Cycleways will show you the best by bike on a guided ride through some of the city’s hippest suburbs including Erskineville, Waterloo and Redfern.

The next guided ride from Sydney Park to Central is on February 14.

Didn’t pack your bike? Don’t worry, bike hire is available.


What are your favourite Sydney sporting contests? Tell us in the comments section below.

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