You may not have realised this when you joined Nottingham Trent, but the city is absolutely brimmed with sport! If you can’t get enough of sporting action, want to explore new sports that you haven’t before or if you’ve got a day to kill but nothing to do, Notts has you covered! Two football teams, rugby, cricket, tennis and much more await you! Here is a brief rundown of the main attractions to Nottingham’s sporting side, with a few obscure ideas to keep your mind open.
Nottingham Forest is a club steeped in history, winning the likes of a top division title, two FA Cups and four League Cups, but the back-to-back European triumphs, won under legendary manager Brian Clough, represent the highlight of their 154 years of existence.
Forest, who play at the City Ground, located in West Bridgford, will be battling it out for a promotion spot in the Championship this season with the aim of a long-awaited return to the Premier League. As Championship games come thick and fast, there is plenty opportunity to make it down there and witness the atmosphere for yourself and support their campaign to reach the top of English football once again.
Notts County had a season to forget last year as they were relegated from the football league for the first time in their history, losing their famed title of the world’s oldest football league team, as the Magpies get their first taste of Non-League football.
Meadow Lane, located on the opposite side to the river as the City Ground, is a great stadium to attend with affordable seats and a good atmosphere, (sit at the Kop end to really get a feel of the crowd!). Even though they will play in the National League, it doesn’t necessarily mean the football will be lower quality as the team, who gave Juventus their famed black and white stripes, aim to bounce back to league football on their first attempt.
Due to England winning the Cricket World Cup, (we finally brought something home!) you might have been struck by cricket fever. Nottingham houses the famous ground Trent Bridge, that hosts England regularly, along with Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, one of 18 first-class county cricket clubs in England and Wales!
Cricket is the perfect summer sport and as the football season draws to a close, the cricket season begins so don’t worry about getting left short before the end of the uni year! Grab a couple of your mates, crack open a cold one and enjoy the cricket in the sun to take your mind off those impending exams!
If football and cricket doesn’t float your boat, then don’t worry! Grab your mates, hop on a bus down to West Bridgford, (apparently everything sporting related is located in and around the area,) and watch some rugby!
Watch Nottingham Rugby Football Club, who relocated from Meadow Lane to Lady Bay in 2015, play in the Greene King IPA Championship and give them extra support as they try to climb the table and improve from their seventh-place finish last season.
Not a lot of people watch ice hockey and they really should! End to end action, violent tackles and great atmospheres, what’s not to like! Here in Nottingham, we have the Nottingham Panthers who play at the Motorpoint Arena (they do other things than just Ariana Grande concerts) which is in walking distance to the NTU City campus!
The Panthers will be trying to improve on last season’s performances after only finishing third in the elite league, 22 points off first placed Belfast Giants and second placed Cardiff Devils so the more support they receive as they try to reach the summit of the table, the better!
Be sure to also keep in mind the fierce match of Trent Army against Uni of, as the city finds out which university rains supreme on the ice!
Now you might have no idea what roller derby is but hear me out. The sport is very fast paced and quite violent! Two teams battle it out to score points as a designated player from each side attempts to overtake the opposition while the opposition tries the same thing, meaning that both teams must attack and defend simultaneously.
Nottingham and Mansfield are the home of three roller derby teams and games take place a lot of the time at NTU’s Clifton campus, so it is extremely accessible. The sport has become a way for the LGBT community to come together and compete in a healthy environment and it represents a fun day out!
You may not have known this, but Nottingham hosts a warm-up tennis competition in the lead up to Wimbledon. The Nature Valley Open is a week-long competition that hosts both women’s (WTA) and men’s (ATP) tournaments with big players such as Dan Evans, Johanna Konta and current women’s number one Ashleigh Barty all competing in the past!
Hosted at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, opposite the Uni of campus, the grass tournament recently introduced hawk-eye to proceedings so you can now see players win, (or lose) points by a matter of inches, and it’s all just one tram ride away!
By Cristian Bratu
Photo credit: pmenzel86 via Flickr