The 2016 sporting calendar: Part 1

With so many sporting events lined-up, the only worry you should have is that of your eyes turning square shaped from watching too much TV.


No matter what your favourite sport is, regardless of age or gender, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that 2015 brought us some exhilarating sporting events and memorable moments. However, 2016 is guaranteed to be even greater because we will be exposed to a couple of quadrennial events. From the 10th of June to the 10th of July, the main prize for the world’s most awarded continent in football (soccer) will be up for grabs. The bookies will have a hard time setting the odds with countries such as Belgium, Germany, Spain and France all chasing the European glory.


The much anticipated 2016 Olympics will be hosted in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, from the 5th of August to the 21st of August. The Olympics need no introduction and has proven itself over time as a true showcase  of the most talented and athletic teams and individuals. It has been rumoured that the fastest man on Earth, Usain Bolt is set to retire after the Rio Olympics. When Bolt was asked about the rumours he said: “My plan is just leading up to the Olympics right now, that is my focus. I start training next week so that will be my main focus because Olympic year, I’m just going to go into it, ready to go, and be focused. Me and my coach have been discussing when we’re going to retire so after the Olympics he says we shouldn’t say no or yes. After the Olympics we should decide whether we continue for one more year or not, so after we come to that.”


Sporting events to look out for for the first half of 2016:



Best footballer announced

On the 11th of January a monumental annual ceremony called the Ballon d’Or saw the Argentine wizard Lionel Messi named as the greatest footballer of the year for a record 5th time, surpassing his own record of 4 Ballon d’Or triumphs.


Australian Open (tennis) – 18 to 31 January

The Australian Open has started with a shock defeat to Rafael Nadal caused by the underrated Fernando Verdasco. This is the first major of the year, and Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams intend to continue their reign as the champions of the male and female Australian Open respectively.  



Super Bowl (American football)  to 7 February

Super Bowl has always been an event bigger than the sport itself. Super Bowl 50 will see Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Coldplay, One direction, Metallica or the record-breaking Adele performing at the halftime show. NFL’s single largest day will be hosted in Santa Clara at the Levi’s Stadium, which is said to be the greenest and most technologically advanced professional American football stadium in the United States of America.


UEFA Champions League football) – 16 February to 28 May

The Champions League returns on the 16th for the round of 16. There are some mouthwatering encounters lined up, such as: PSG vs Chelsea, Roma vs Real Madrid, Juventus vs Bayern Munich and Arsenal vs Barcelona. The 2015/16 final will be hosted at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, on the 28th of May.


RBS 6 Nations (rugby) – 6 February to 19 March

The annual Rugby Union event which is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will see England, France, Italy, Wales, and Scotland battle off Ireland for the 6 Nations crown. After the 2015 Rugby World Cup, I think it is fair to officially declare the Southern Hemisphere as the better half of the World when it comes to Rugby. The World Cup saw four nations from the Southern Hemisphere occupying all spots in the semi-finals. The RBS 6 Nations tournament is where you will be able to see the Northern Hemisphere’s best rugby nations on show. With the vast improvements of Ireland, and Scotland, the 6 Nations is bound to be an astonishing spectacle.



ICC World Twenty20 (cricket) – 8 March to 3 April

T20 cricket is almost always guaranteed to be more action packed than Test or ODI cricket as batsmen aim to get as many points in the maximum twenty over matches. This year it will be hosted in India. Sri Lanka (third in T20 rankings) won the 2015 ICC World Twenty20 Cup. The favourite national teams to win this year are: West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka, England and South Africa… if they don’t choke.



The Masters (Golf) – 7 April to 10 April

The Masters is one of four major championships which was won by the 22 year old Jordan Spieth last year, allowing him to flaunt the green jacket. The Masters is held at the same location every year (Augusta National Golf Club), which differentiates it from the other championships. The green jacket must be returned to the clubhouse a year after victory. It remains property of the winner, but it is stored at the clubhouse alongside previous winners’ jackets.



Barclays Premier League ends  (football) – 15 May

What currently seems to be a three horse race between Arsenal, Manchester City and surprise package Leicester City could potentially be decided on the final day of the League. We will just have to wait and see. This season has undoubtedly been the most competitive and unpredictable season we have ever witnessed, from reigning champions Chelsea who find themselves in the bottom half of the table, to Leicester City, a team which was fighting the relegation battle this time last season, finding itself tied on points with Arsenal at the helm.   


French Open, Roland Garros (tennis) – 22 May – 5 June

What makes the Roland Garros different is that it is played on clay. Rafael Nadal who is known as the king of clay will have to perform much better than at the Australian Open if he wants that name to stick, especially since failing to make the final in 2015. Stan Wawrinka shocked Novak Djokovic in the 2015 final to win his second Grand Slam singles title.   


Monaco GP, Monte Carlo (Formula 1) – 26 May to 29 May

No race or circuit of the Formula 1 Calendar can truly match the excellence, the glamour and the challenge of the Monaco Grand Prix (GP). From Casino Square to the world’s most famous hairpin, through the tunnel and past the luxurious yachts, Monte Carlo is a circuit of legendary corners seeped in history. Nico Rosberg seems to be the modern day driver who has mastered the Monaco Grand Prix, having won all Monaco GPs since 2013. His Mercedes partner who won the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship in 2015 has stated that he would like to win the Monaco Grand Prix, which immediately intensified the rivalry between the Mercedes teammates.



NBA Finals *Start of Finals series*  – 2 June

The playoffs will tip-off in April with the finals’ series starting on the 2nd of June. The world can expect more greatness from whichever teams make the final.  The NBA finals have always lived up to their slogan “Where amazing happens.” Expect no less this year. Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry will look at emulating his individual and team performance from last season. Having won the NBA finals with his team, and being named NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the 2014/2015 season. The 6’3” Shooting Guard will have to be at his very best to retain the title and shake off the likes of Lebron James.


Euro 2016 (football) – 10 June to 10 July

European’s elite will battle it out in Paris, France to be crowned the best nation in Europe. Who’s your money on?


Wimbledon (tennis) – 27 June to 10 July

Wimbledon is considered the biggest and most prestigious tennis tournament. It is also the oldest tennis tournament, with a winning prize money of £26,750,000  in 2015. In 2016, we will most likely witness the stars at their most competitive.  Novak Djokovic who is looking to extend his consecutive Wimbledon titles to three, got the better of Roger Federer in the past  two finals (2014 and 2015)


With all these sporting events lined-up, the only worry you should have is that of your eyes turning square shaped from watching too much TV.

Look out for the 2nd half of 2016 sporting calendar in a few months time.