Newcastle is a city that lives for its sport. So if you’re a student new to Tyneside and you’re sports mad, it’s highly unlikely that you will be short for sports events to watch – in between your studies of course!
The first stop on your tour of Newcastle’s best sporting attractions should no doubt be St James’ Park (also known as the Sports Direct Arena), home of Premier League football giants, Newcastle United. More than 50,000 fans cram into the ground every other week to watch Steve McClaren’s men battle to cement their place in the top tier of English football. It’s been an up-and-down few years for the Toon Army but if you love your footy then go and follow the Magpies and watch some of the world’s best players come to town in the process.
Newcastle University is just around the corner from St James’ Park, with plenty of student housing Newcastle United fans would be totally jealous of, within a stone’s throw of the action!
Moving on from a round ball to an oval ball and Newcastle is home to a Premiership rugby outfit too. The Newcastle Falcons can be found at Kingston Park. They are the only professional rugby club in the north-east and proudly boast the likes of Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood as former home-grown stars to have developed from their academy.
Whether it’s a boozy evening at the Twenty20 or a rather more sedate County Championship match, Durham Cricket Club are one of the giants of English county cricket at present. Based just down the road at Chester-le-Street’s Riverside Ground, Durham are three-time County Championship winners and regularly have some of the best overseas talent within their ranks. In the summer months the Riverside Ground is known to have hosted Test match cricket with the Ashes coming to Durham back in 2013.
Finally, one of the most heart-warming Newcastle sporting events of the calendar year is the Great North Run. The largest half-marathon in the world, with more than 54,000 participants, it has been going since 1981 and more than 30 years on it attracts some of the world’s best athletes, as well as budding amateurs who raise tens of thousands of pounds for charity. Starting from the edge of Newcastle city centre, the run finishes along the seafront at South Shields. It’s a fantastic atmosphere and a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t be a couch potato with your uni pals – forget watching Jeff Stelling and Soccer Saturday and go and watch some live sport for yourselves!