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Top 10 sporting events to watch in 2018

Top 10 sporting events to watch in 2018

The festive holidays are one that we all relish but often we find the time off disappears before we know it. In fact, Christmas turkeys, crackers and glorious mulled wine seem a distant fading memory right now.

But as Christmas departs a new year begins and with that fresh optimism is born. (could it really be England’s year?)

With us now already a week into 2018, it’s time to look forward and see what the sporting calendar has in store for us. It promises to be a jam-packed 12 months!

Here are my Top 10 events for the year to come:

  • Winter Olympics & Paralympics, Pyeongchang 9th – 25th February & 9th – 18th March

Any event which includes a sport where four athletes race from the top of a mountain to the bottom as fast as they can is a winner in my book. Of course, Ski – Cross is just one of many exhilarating sports the Winter Olympics has on offer. Even the staunchest traditionist would struggle not to get excited at the prospect of an athlete hurling themselves downhill on what is effectively a dinner tray at up to 80 mph.

  • Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia 4th – 15th April

After a month of snow-related sports, you might be in need of some sun. So from South Korea, we move our attention to the Gold Coast. The 21st Commonwealth Games and what a fabulous location for them indeed. Will England’s male sprinters stand up and put on another gold winning performance like they did last year at the World Championships in London whilst representing Team GB? Can anyone get near Adam Peaty in the 100m Breaststroke? Heptathlete Katarina Johnson – Thompson competes in her first games and will be aiming for a podium finish.

  • The Masters, Augusta National, Georgia 5th – 8th April

You’ll have to be on your A-Game to make sure you don’t miss out on any sport in an action-packed April. Although the picturesque sight of the 13th at Augusta will be enough to convince you that you really don’t need that seven hours of sleep you had previously promised yourself…

  • FA Cup Final, Wembley 19th May

Always one of the standout weekends in the sporting calendar, the history of the Cup speaks for itself. This year there’s a twist. With the Royal Wedding scheduled for the same date, HRH Prince William will be relieved that his beloved Aston Villa were knocked out in the 3rd round of the competition.

  • FIFA World Cup, Russia 14th June – 15th July

The groups have been drawn, the fixture dates have been released, football’s biggest competition is starting to feel very close. Can Gareth Southgate’s men find the blend between attacking football and winning games that England fans so desperately crave?

  • Wimbledon 2nd – 15th July

Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Wimbledon is certainly one of the classiest events in the sporting calendar. An event steeped in rich history and traditions. Homemade strawberries and cream accompanied with a Pimm’s is mandatory of course, but would you want it any other way?

Time will tell if Murray Mount will get to see their namesake at this year’s tournament but in Johanna Konta the Brits have a new fan favourite to get behind.


  • Women’s Hockey World Cup, London 21st July – 5th August

Not only is it the first time the women’s World Cup has been hosted in the UK, it’s also expected to be the biggest hockey event ever in the UK. The English team are currently ranked 2nd in the World behind the Netherlands. Can they build on the success from the Commonwealth Games earlier in the year perhaps?

  • T20 Blast Finals Day, Edgbaston 15th September

Three games of cricket sandwiched into one day. Finals Day guarantees to deliver roller-coaster finishes, monster hits, fancy dress and a good old sing along. You won’t be left disappointed.

  •  Ryder Cup, Le Golf National, Paris 28th – 30th September

A sport which is well known for its individual competitiveness, but when Europe take on the USA all bets are off. There is always a twist and a turn during a Ryder Cup weekend. Who can forget the Miracle at Medinah in 2012?

  • ICC Women’s World Twenty20, West Indies 3rd – 24th November

Can they do the double? With the World Cup ODI trophy in the bag from last year, England will be looking to return home from the West Indies with the World Twenty20 trophy too. In the meantime, let’s reminisce about one of the best sporting moments of 2017.

A major Day for Jason at Whistling Straits

He may have just won the US PGA Championship and become golf’s newest major champion, but things have not always been plain sailing for Jason Day.

Day’s difficult childhood has been well documented. The Australian was born in Beaudesert, a small town in the southeast corner of Queensland. His family lived in poverty and he only took up the game of golf when his dad found a three-wood at the rubbish dump when Day was three years old. Day lost his father, Alvin, to cancer when he was just 11 and, as a result, his family began to fall apart. His sister ran away from home and 12 year-old Jason became reliant on alcohol. By his own admission, he went off the rails.

Not the typical upbringing for someone trying to forge a reputation as a golfer, which perhaps makes his story even more special.

Jason Day The PHA Group PR

‘Image courtesy of Keith Allison on Flickr’

Jason Day’s talent has never been questioned. He turned pro in 2006 aged 18 and four years later became the youngest Australian to win on the PGA Tour. But Day really made his mark in 2011 at the Masters, where he was tied for the lead a number of times on the final day before finishing runner-up, two shots behind Charl Schwartzel. Proving to be one of the most consistent players on tour, Day forged a perhaps unfortunate reputation as one of the sport’s ‘nearly-men’.

The Australian finished as runner-up at the Masters and US Open in 2011 and at the US Open again in 2013. He was in contention at the US Open in June, but suffered from vertigo throughout, having to lie down on the course a number of times during the competition. Despite that condition, Day battled on. He had a share of the lead heading into the final round but faded to finish in ninth. At The Open in July, Day missed out on the playoff by one shot – his sixth top-four finish in a major, without a win. At that point, fans and media began to question whether he would ever win one.

At Whistling Straits on Sunday, Day took a three-shot lead going into the last hole with Jordan Spieth in his shadow. He couldn’t fail to win this one, could he? When Day’s third shot landed next to the pin it was job done. He realised his achievement of finally becoming a major champion and fought back the tears to tap home his winning putt. It was clear from the embrace with his caddie just how much both he and the win meant to him.


Image Jason and Ellie Day

Image Jason and Ellie Day

Day credits a lot of his success to his mentor, coach and caddie Colin Swatton. It was Swatton who picked Jason up and played father-figure after Alvin’s untimely death. Swatton was a coach at the Hills International Golf Academy and installed discipline back into Jason’s life. Speaking after his win on Sunday night, a tearful Day said: “He’s taken me from a kid that was getting into fights at home, getting drunk at 12 and not heading in the right direction to a major champion. He means the world to me. I love him to death.”

Finishing with a record score of 20 under par, Day had his wife, Ellie, and son, Dash, waiting for him at the 18th green. Renowned on tour as a devout family-man, Day picked up his son and was on his way to hand in his scorecard when Dash asked: “Can we go home now?” – Not yet Dash, not yet. Seemingly unaware of the magnitude of his dad’s achievement, Dash kept himself occupied throughout the presentation ceremony by playing around in the bunkers.

From a small town in southeast Queensland, Jason Day will now go down in history as a golfing great. It was incredibly moving to watch him celebrate with his family as well as his caddie, Colin Swatton. Day is a player who insists on overcoming any challenge thrown at him. I’m sure there are more majors to come for Day, who will no longer be known as golf’s ‘nearly-man’ but, instead, a major champion.