Throughout the history of mankind, sports, whether competitive or not, have always played a major role in bringing people together. The very idea of ‘sportsmanship’ is about fairness and openness, which is why including a local sports event in your travels isn’t only about sheer good fun and excitement, but also about better understanding of, or even participating in other cultures. So whether it’s the Women-only Colorado Classic of cycling, or the tribal sports events during the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, pencil in some excitement in your next travels with local sports festivals.
Water sports festivals
As holidays are often equated with water-related fun, including a water sports festival in your travel plans might be a logical thing to do. The Dive Fest in Barbados might be for you if you like going under water, or the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival if you prefer high energy action. But if you don’t want to get your feet wet, then sit back and enjoy the action as a spectator – from the fun-filled Cambodia Water Festival and the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in India, to Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight which is the longest sailing regatta in the world.
Sports festivals games
The Olympic Games are arguably the ultimate sporting event on the planet, but if you want to experience lower-key and more local but not less interesting versions of it, then pick up one of the other, regional sports games in the world. The action-packed Naadam Festival Mongolia sees men and women competing in archery, wrestling and horse races, while the biennial World Nomad Games feature similar events in what is dubbed the Olympics for nomads.
Unusual sports festivals
For more unusual sports events, why not participate in the Olney Pancake Race in England, or head to Mongolia for their admittedly more spectacular Camel Festival and Winter Golden Eagle Festival.