There may not be an Olympics or a World Cup taking place, but 2015 is nonetheless shaping up to be another exciting year for sporting events.
The horse racing calendar for 2015 is full to brimming and many of the main races are yet to be run. The Grand National, held annually, is one of the highest profile sporting events in the UK and attracts huge interest, even from the more casual observer. The Grand National 2015 is scheduled for Aintree Race Course, near Liverpool, where it is held every year as part of a wider festival of National Hunt racing, beginning on a Thursday and culminating in the Grand National race itself on the Saturday afternoon. As well as the thrill of the racing, the festival offers a whole host of entertainment options, with bars and restaurants on course and the famous Ladies Day on the Friday. There is terrestrial television and radio coverage of the Grand National, but why not make a day of it and visit the course itself?
Other high-profile horse races in 2015 include Royal Ascot in June and Glorious Goodwood the following month. The famous St Leger meeting is scheduled for Doncaster Racecourse in the first half of September, and for those with time off over the Christmas period, the Welsh National will be run on 27th December.
Away from horse racing, there are many other sporting events scheduled for the UK in 2015. The football season will culminate in May with the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. The Final is always noteworthy for the stirring rendition of the Christian hymn “Abide with Me” before kick-off, something that is sure to raise a few goose bumps.
The Rugby World Cup is coming to England in September and October, and the home side will be hoping to draw on its passionate home support as it looks to repeat its success of 2003, when England last lifted the Webb Ellis Cup. Rugby fans will be travelling the length and breadth of the country for the duration of the tournament, but with games being played regionally in such locations as Exeter, Leicester and Newcastle, there is an opportunity for the more casual fan to experience the thrill of the Rugby World Cup.
For cycling fans, a highlight of 2015 will be the Tour de Yorkshire in May, a three-day road cycling race that is building on the success of 2014, when the first two stages of the famous Tour de France came to the Yorkshire Dales.
Most of us know a sporting enthusiast or fan, but even if you have only a casual interest in sport, attending a sporting event either in your local area or further afield represents a great day out. Bring the family or go with your friends and you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy yourself while strengthening the bonds of family or friendship in the process.
If you a sports fan, or even a casual follower, it is clear that there is no shortage of events to mark in your sporting calendar as 2015 unfolds.