Sport in Bristol
Bristol has a number of notable professional sports teams and a large number of active amateur sports clubs. There are also large numbers of participants in individual sports. Bristol City F.C. and Bristol Rovers F.C. are the professional football teams representing the city. Gloucestershire County Cricket Club has its headquarters in the city and Bristol Rugby has represented the city at the highest level in Rugby Union.
Bristol City Council operates a number of sports centres and swimming pools. The city has hosted the 2001 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and stage finishes and starts of the Tour of Britain cycle race. Facilities in Bristol were used as training camps for the 2012 London Olympics.
- 1 Team sports
- 2 Individual sports
- 3 Sports Venues
- 4 Multi-sport and international events
- 5 Bristol sportsmen and women
- 6 See also
- 7 References
American Football team Bristol Aztecs are in the premier division of BAFA National Leagues. There are also two University American Football sides: The Bristol Barracuda from the University of Bristol and the UWE Bullets from UWE which both play in the BUAFL.
Australian Rules Football
A BARFL Australian Rules Football side, the Bristol Dockers, launched in 1990 used to compete in the Southern England region, but now compete in the London Social Division and are still going strong. The Dockers have strong links with Western Gaels Gaelic Football Club who are based in Bristol with a lot of players togging out for both sides.
Baseball team the Bristol Badgers play in the British Baseball Federation's Mens AAA South league. The team was founded in 2006 and is based at Failand, Bristol. Having won their division in 2011, the Badgers are looking to repeat their success in 2012. If you are interested in playing or attending a game please visit their website www.bristolbaseball.co.uk.
There is a growing and now thriving basketball community in Bristol with a host of men's and women's local league sides playing in the West of England League. In addition to these the city is home to the English Basketball League clubs Bristol Storm Basketball Club based at the City Academy in the centre of Bristol, and in South Gloucestershire the Bristol Academy Basketball Club based at the South Gloucestershire and Stroud College WISE campus.
Bristol hosts first-class cricket side, Gloucestershire C.C.C. for which W.G. Grace famously played. Bristol was host to the 2007 Indoor Cricket World Cup, the first time the event has been held in England. The club's Country Cricket Ground has also hosted twelve One Day International matches, up until May 2009. Somerset County Cricket Club played some of their games at the Imperial Tobacco Ground in South Bristol until 1966.
Bristol City was founded in 1897, when Bristol South End turned professional and changed its name to Bristol City. In 1900 the club merged with local rivals Bedminster, who had been founded as Southville in 1887. The side joined the Football League in 1901 and were the only non-London League side south of Birmingham until 1920. Their first game in the Football League was against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on 7 September 1901. City won 2–0. City play in the Football League Championship at Ashton Gate stadium. The current club anthem is Bounce around the ground.
Bristol Rovers was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F.C., and were known as Eastville Rovers and Bristol Eastville Rovers before finally changing its name to Bristol Rovers in 1898. They were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have never dropped out of it since. Rovers play in Football League One at the Memorial Stadium. Until 1986 they played at Eastville in Bristol, but then they moved to Bath City's ground at Twerton Park, only returning to Bristol in 1996 to ground-share with Bristol Rugby at the Memorial Stadium. "Goodnight, Irene" is the long standing club anthem.
There are a number of non-League teams including Brislington F.C., Bristol Manor Farm F.C., Longwell Green Sports F.C., Mangotsfield United F.C., Hengrove Athletic F.C., Shirehampton, DRG Stapleton, Henbury Old Boys, Roman Glass St George F.C., Sea Mills Park, and Totterdown POB. There are also a large number of teams in the Bristol and Suburban Association Football League, Bristol Premier Combination, Bristol and District League, and the Bristol Downs Football League.
Bristol Academy Women's Football Club, based at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. "Bristol Academy Womens Football Club". www.bristolacademywfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2009. </ref> Bristol City Women's F.C. Bristol City Women's Football Club was founded in 1990, but dissolved in 2008, with many of the players joining AFC TeamBath Ladies.
Gaelic football and Hurling used be well represented in Bristol during the mid century, currently two football teams have survived; St Nicholas' (St Nick's) & Western Gaels, who play in the Gloucester league. There are also surrounding teams in Cardiff, Plymouth and Gloucester. Western Gaels, who train and play their games at Avonmouth Old Boys Rugby Club, have very close ties with the local Australian rules team; the Bristol Dockers. Do to the similarity of both games players find it easier to adopt to the others code.
Bristol has only one Handball club due to the sports low popularity in the country. Handball is mainly played in European and Scandinavian countries and has yet to gain a larger fanbase in the UK. Bristol Handball Club are the sole club and are based at The City Academy Bristol, though they play their "home" games at the Princess Royal Sports Complex in Wellington, Somerset due to lack of facilities in Bristol.
The Bristol Pitbulls are a professional ice hockey founded in June 2009, playing in the English National Ice Hockey League, division 2. They are based at the John Nike Ice Rink in Frogmore Street, Bristol.
Korfball is a fast paced mixed gender team sport, with similarities to netball and basketball. A team consists of eight players; four females and four males. Bristol City Korfball Club, a friendly and welcoming club were founded in 1990 and are the oldest club in the South West area. Bristol City are founding members of the South West Korfball League and enter two teams into this league every year (SWKA Div1 & SWKA Div 2). As well as one team into the Oxford, Wales and West Regional League 1.
Bristol city are currently Winners of the Oxford, Wales and West Regional League, as well as winners of SWKA Div1 and runners up of SWKA DIv 2.
Bristol Thunder are the most recent additions to the Bristol and South West Korfball scene. They have a team in South West 1, with largely experienced players having recently graduated from Bristol University and a team in South West 2, with mostly new players getting their first taste of the wonders and fun that Korfball can bring. For more information visit www.bristolthunder.co.uk
Or for South West Korfball in general www.swka.org
Bristol is home to professional rugby union club Bristol Rugby, who play in the second level of the English rugby union system; the Greene King IPA Championship. Clifton RFC and Dings Crusaders both compete at the fourth level in National League 2 South while Old Redcliffians compete in National Division Three South which is a fifth level league.
Speedway racing was staged, with breaks, at the Knowle Stadium from 1928 to 1960, when it was closed and the site redeveloped. The sport briefly returned to the city in the 1970s when the Bristol Bulldogs raced at Eastville Stadium.
There is an annual half marathon held around the city centre, and in 2001 the city hosted the 10th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. There are many active clubs including Westbury Harriers, and Great Western Runners.
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Since 1993, the city council has also organised an annual charity bicycling event, Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride, which attracts around 4,000 participants. Stages of the Tour of Britain, under its previous names of the Milk Race and the PruTour have finished and started in Bristol.
There are several golfclubs: The Bristol Golf Club (2000), Bristol and Clifton Golf Club (1891), Filton Golf Club. Golf (1909), Long Ashton Golf Club (1893), Shirehampton Park Golf Club (1904), Stockwood Vale Golf Club.
There are two motor racing clubs in Bristol; Bristol Motor Club and Bristol Pegasus Motor Club. Bristol Motor Club was formed in 1911 and was responsible for the inception of racing at nearby Castle Combe Circuit in 1950 as well as creating the discipline of AutoSolo, which is now the fastest growing motorsport discipline in the country. Both clubs run a variety of events; sprints, hillclimbs, a classic trial, a sporting trial, AutoSolo and navigational events.
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Bristol has six municipal swimming pools (Easton, Henbury, Horfield, Jubilee, Bristol South and Hengrove. Hengrove is a 50-metre pool), as well as the Bristol University union pool. There is also the Filton Dolphin swimming pool, and just outside Bristol are swimming pools at Kingswood, Longwell Green, Keynsham and Backwell.
Bristol also has eight swimming clubs, Bishopsworth, Bristol Central, Bristol Henleaze, Bristol North, Bristol Penguins, Portway, Bristol Masters, and Bristol Hengrove Masters. The two Masters clubs only accept swimmers over the age of eighteen; the other clubs start around age 5 – 6. All do competitive swimming; the six non-masters clubs also take part in team-based competitions in various swimming leagues around Bristol and the South West. Bristol Central also has sections for water polo and synchronised swimming. There are also two limited-entry clubs offering higher-level training: City of Bristol Swimming Club, with links to Bishopsworth and Bristol Central (as well as Keynsham and Backwell, swimming clubs outside Bristol), and United Bristol Swimming Club, with links to the University of Bristol, University of the West of England, Bristol Henleaze, Bristol North, Bristol Penguins and Portway.
Finally, with Henleaze Swimming Club, there is an open-water club based at Henleaze Lake. Henleaze Swimming Club also has an angling section for its lake users.
Tennis and Squash
Ashton Gate stadium
Home of Bristol City F.C. and has hosted Rugby World Cup games and major Bristol Rugby fixtures. Bristol City plan to develop a new stadium at Ashton Vale to be ready by the 2011–12 season.
The Memorial Stadium, also commonly known by its previous name of The Memorial Ground, is dedicated to the memory of the rugby union players of the city killed during World War I. It is currently the home ground of Bristol Rovers FC & Bristol Rugby Club
The County Cricket Ground, (also known as Nevil Road), is home to the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and has also hosted one day Internationals.
Hosts several rowing races, including the Varsity Match (UWE, Bristol v Bristol University) and Combined Bristol Rowing Clubs Regatta. A number of local sailing club regattas are also held throughout the season.
Bristol City Council sports centres
City of Bristol Gymnastics Centre is a lottery funded facility in Hartcliffe. Whitchurch Sports Centre has a running track, badminton, bowls, squash – often hosts professional boxing. St. Paul's Community Sports Academy is a Sports Centre in St Pauls. South Bristol Sports Centre, a sports centre in Knowle in the south of the city.
Multi-sport and international events
10th IAAF World Half Marathon championships
The 10th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships were hosted by the city in 2001 on a course through the city centre and alongside the Floating Harbour and the Portway, Bristol. Paula Radcliffe retained her World Half Marathon title in a time of 1hr 06mins 47secs, 4 seconds outside the world record. Haile Gebrselassie won the men's race in a time of 60min 03sec.
London 2012 Olympics
The University of the West of England's (UWE) Centre for Sport and Bristol University have been chosen as training venues for the Kenyan Olympic team for the 2012 London Olympics. UWE will also host a training camp for the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
England 2018 Football World Cup bid
In July 2009, Bristol launched a bid be a host city of England is successful for its bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The bid would centre on the new stadium to be built by Bristol City F.C. at Ashton Vale. In December 2009, the Football Association announced that Bristol would be one of the host cities in the bid which was ultimately unsuccessful.
Bristol sportsmen and women
- John Atyeo – Bristol City footballer
- Glenn Catley – boxer
- Tom Cribb – 19th century bare-knuckle boxer
- Robin Cousins – competitive figure skater
- Jo Durie – leading tennis player
- Joe Fry – racing driver
- W. G. Grace – leading cricketer
- Lee Haskins – flyweight boxer
- Ian Holloway – Bristol Rovers player and football manager
- Gary Mabbutt – England and Bristol Rovers Footballer
- Arthur Milton – England cricketer and footballer
- Billy Wedlock – England and Bristol City footballer
- Judd Trump – Snooker player and Bristol City fan
- Jenny Jones (Snowboarder) - British snowboarder; winner of the bronze medal at the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, in Women's slopestyle
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- Bamford, Roger (30 September 2003). Bristol Bulldogs Speedway: Bristol Bulldogs Speedway. NPI Media Group. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7524-2865-9.
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- "UWE Boat Club". UWESU. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
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- "Welcome to Westbury Park Tennis Club". www.westburyparktennisclub.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
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- "Whitchurch Athletics Track". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "Indoor cricket, football, netball and beach volleyball". Action Indoor Sports. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
- "Bristol City Council: Sports facilities: St. Paul's Community Sports Academy". www.bristol.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
- "South Bristol Sports Centre". South Bristol Sports Centre. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
- "10th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships – Bristol 2001 the Official Web Site". IAAF. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- Davies, Nick (7 October 2001). "Radcliffe retains title and goes close to world best". IAAF. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- Downes, Steven (7 October 2001). "Haile Gebrselassie lives up to Half Marathon Challenge". IAAF. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "Durban backs Bristol World Cup bid" (fee required). Bristol Evening Post, archived at Nexis. Bristol United Press. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "Olympic camp" (fee required). Western Daily Press, archived at Nexis. Bristol United Press. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "The official site for Bristol's World Cup 2018 host city bid". Bristol2018.net. Retrieved 17 July 2009.