UK sporting events to look forward to after lockdown

Sports stadium London UK

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The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to so much over the last year, from the everyday pleasures of eating out at restaurants and heading to the pub with friends, to the bigger thrills of attending concerts, festivals and large sporting events.

The sports industry was one of many casualties of the COVID lockdown, with countless live sports – from the Royal Ascot races to the Rugby Autumn Internationals – being canceled throughout 2020.

Now finally, as we head further into 2021, the end is (somewhat) in sight… Shops, hairdressers and pub gardens are open once again as of this week, with the promise of even more freedom just on the horizon. As long as we maintain to some social distancing and safety measures of course.

So what does this mean for the UK sports industry which relies on its large crowds of supporters?

Which big sporting events will be able to go ahead in 2021 once again? And how?

Below are several of the biggest events in the UK sporting calendar that will still go ahead in 2021 and what COVID-safety precautions they have in place…

 

Royal Ascot

Dates: 15th June – 19th June.

Royal Ascot UK

Photo credit: @rawiss vis Unsplash

Royal Ascot is a world-renowned horse racing event that takes place at Ascot Racecourse just outside of London each year. The 5-day event is one of the most important in the British sporting and social calander.

The prestigious event sees spectators dress in their most sophisticated and fashionable attire to enjoy the unparalleled racing, exquisite fine dining and, of course, a glass of Pimms or two. Synonymous with elegance and high society, Royal Ascot is even attended by the royal family themselves.

COVID safety:

As Royal Ascot 2021 is scheduled to take place before the final rule changes on 21st June, the event will still run but with a limited spectator capacity of between 4,000 and 10,000 people.

The Village, Windsor and Heath Enclosures will not open this year, only the Royal Enclosure and Queen Anne Enclosure. Hospitality is open but bookings can only be for a maximum of six people.

Ascot Racecourse has done all they can to make their sporting facility as COVID-safe as possible, with health screenings, social distancing protocols, signage and floor markings, the installation of hand hygiene stations and enhanced cleaning regimes.

 

 

Wimbledon

Dates: 28th June – 11th July.

Wimbledon Tennis London

Photo credit: @shep979 via Unsplash

The Championships, Wimbledon – commonly known simply as Wimbledon – is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and one of the most prestigious events in the worldwide sporting calendar.

The event is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon and includes five main events; Gentlemen’s Singles, Ladies’ Singles, Gentlemen’s Doubles, Ladies’ Doubles and Mixed Doubles.

Running for almost 150 years now, Wimbledon has developed many important traditions. These include the all-white dress code for all competitors, drinking Pimms cocktails, eating strawberries and cream, and the famous Wimbledon Queue.

COVID safety:

Wimbledon will go ahead in 2021, however, decisions regarding guest capacity are being left until as late as possible in order to stay in line with government guidelines at the time. Being an outdoor venue, the Championships themselves will remain largely the same as usual.

To maintain social distancing, unfortunately there will not be a Queue or Ticket Resale this year. All tickets need to be purchased in advance when they are made available in early June.

Hospitality will also still be running, so if you’d rather have a little more space to yourselves you can treat your party to a private suite or dining area (group numbers limited).

Wimbledon has also put a number of infection control measures in effect to protect players, employees and guests.

 

 

F1 British Grand Prix

Dates: 16th July – 18th July.

The British Grand Prix is one of the biggest and fastest sporting events in the UK. The event is a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship and takes place at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire – the home of British motorsport.

The British Grand Prix is much more than just the main race which takes place on Sunday. It’s an entire exciting weekend festival with practice and qualifying sessions, support races, food, world-class live music, special events and more.

COVID safety:

While not 100% guaranteed yet, Silverstone’s managing director has stated that there’s a good chance that the F1 British Grand Prix will take place this summer with a full crowd. With its spacious grandstands and ample outdoor space, the event should be able to go ahead as normal.

For a more private experience, you can also book a hospitality package that lets you access a private lounge area with great views of the track, live entertainment, gourmet food and wine and plenty more.

However, there is still the possibility of vaccine passports and/or negative COVID tests being needed by all attendees – something which will be confirmed nearer the event.

 

 

England Rugby Autumn Internationals

Dates: 6th Nov, 13th Nov & 20th Nov.

The England Rugby Autumn Internationals are part of a series of end-of-year rugby union tests that sees countries from the Northern Hemisphere host those from the Southern Hemisphere.

These international games are an important part of the rugby union calendar and help to prepare the teams for the all-important Six Nations the following year.

In Autumn 2021, England’s senior men’s side will play three Autumn Internationals at Twickenham Stadium against South Africa, Australia and a yet TBC emerging nation.

COVID safety:

The England Rugby Autumn Internationals are still planned to go ahead as normal this year. Being over 6 months away, the capacity of the games will depend on the COVID restrictions in place at the time.

At the moment, only hospitality tickets are available to book. You can pre-book your Autumn Internationals Hospitality through the RFU and official sales agent Keith Prowse.

With official hospitality, you’ll get guaranteed seats, plus access to one of the luxury private suites with a fully loaded bar, delicious food, live entertainment and other perks including meet and greets and Q&As with the England players and former rugby legends (depending on which package you pick).

 

*This post was written as a sponsored collaboration with Keith Prowse.

 

What UK sporting events are you looking forward to attending again this year?

 


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Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the south west. She has a masters degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works as a freelance travel writer, digital marketer and VA, splitting her life between London and travelling the world.

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