In terms of sporting prowess two terms are synonymous with Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; Newcastle United FC at St James’ Park and international athletics at the Gateshead International Stadium, which is a major venue on the international athletics scene and the home of the English Institute of Sport. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne also supports the full range of sporting clubs and recreational facilities expected of a modern large city. Below are some of the major features it offers.
Football – To use its correct name association football (also known as soccer and simply ‘footie’ to some) is not a game or even a merely a sport on Tyneside - but a passion! Support for the Premier league Newcastle United FC (also called the Magpies because of their distinctive black and white striped kit) is fervent and unwavering. Given the recent form of the team in the last few years, outsiders to Newcastle might well find this difficult to understand, but, such is the seriousness and passion with which the team is supported by the ‘Geordies’. Mention any of these names; Jackie Milburn, Malcolm MacDonald (aka SuperMac) or Paul Gascoigne to a Magpies’ fan and you’ll see their eyes glaze over with emotion. There are of course a host of other football clubs and leagues in and around Newcastle. More notable teams include; Gateshead who play in the Northern Premier League and Wallsend in the Northern Football Alliance Premier division.
Athletics – although being across the river Tyne in Gateshead the Gateshead International Stadium is a major sporting venue in the area. Its main function is being home to the Gateshead Harriers Athletics club. However, it is better known as a venue for international standard athletics meetings and events and has hosted the European cup twice in 1989 and 2000. The English Institute of Sport is developing athletic talent in the area with a particular focus on the 2012 Olympics.
Cricket – although Northumberland is not in the English cricket county championship the city does have a thriving cricket club. Newcastle CC play in the North East Premier League Division 1.
Two sports in Newcastle play their home fixtures at the Metroradio Arena Newcastle, these are: Ice Hockey – the Newcastle Vipers who play in the British Elite ice hockey league are one of the top 10 clubs in the country. Basketball – the Newcastle Eagles play in the British Basketball League Championship and are also one of the top ten clubs in the country.
Tennis – Apart from a David Lloyd Tennis Centre, this sport is not very well served by the city. Whilst there are plenty of municipal tennis courts, high quality tennis events are few and far between. Currently not even the highly suitable Metroradio Arena Newcastle has a professional tennis competition on the horizon.
Golf – whilst municipal golf courses and driving ranges in Newcastle are rather sparse, there are some excellent, and well priced, private clubs in the area. Although up in the north of Northumberland, Saley Hall being probably the best well known. In the past this quite young course has hosted European PGA tour competitions and is a world class golfing venue. The City of Newcastle Golf Club also has an excellent reputation for its quality and the friendly welcome you’ll get. The club was founded in 1891 and moved to its present location off the A1 near Gosforth, in 1907, the course was designed by the legendary Harry Vardon. Green fees are around £25.
Swimming – information about municipal swimming pools can be obtained from the city council’s website. Unfortunately, the City of Newcastle does not have a full length pool, but it does have a City of Newcastle Amateur Swimming Club, which has helped to nurture some swimmers of international standards.
Rugby – whilst there is not currently a Rugby League club in Newcastle, it does have a well known Rugby Union club. Newcastle Falcons currently play in the RFU (English Rugby Football Union) Premiership. Their ground is in Kingston Park, a suburb of the city. Their most famous player must surely be Jonny Wilkinson who kicked the winning ‘drop-goal’ for England in the dying moments of the 2003 world cup. Rob Andrew, Director of Rugby, was also recently appointed ‘Elite Rugby Director’ to the English RFU. Other local rugby union clubs include; Gateshead Fell, Blaydon, Winlaton, Ryton, North Shields and Percy Park.
Runners – if you enjoy running, or are at the more serious end of jogging, the annual Great North Run might well tempt you. The half-marathon (13.1 miles/21 kilometres) course runs from Spital Tongues in Newcastle to South Shields and is one of the biggest events in the world road running calendar.
Information about all sporting facilities available through the city council can be found through their Newcastle Leisure web-site.
You could also consider walking in one of the city’s parks or take a short bus ride or drive into the Northumberland countryside for a walk or bike ride. Sailing, wind-surfing, canoeing, diving and even Malibu board surfing are some of the water-sports available in and around Newcastle. Fishing is immensely popular in England and not only the River Tyne provides opportunities for the keen angler. A full list of venues is available through Visit Northumberland.
Article by Susan Ashby of Newcastle Singles . To read more articles like this or for dating in Newcastle visit http://www.newcastle-singles.co.uk"