Visit Southern Wales

Visit Southern Wales Blog

Archive for tag: Sports

The Christmas Pudding Run

This is the village of Merthyr Mawr near Bridgend.  It's an idyllic little settlement, as picturesque as they come, with an outstanding collection of thatched cottages positioned around an old village green.

Despite being a relatively small village, there's plenty of interesting places to visit.  The 'Dipping Bridge' was built in the 15th century, the holes in the sides allowed farmers to push their sheep into the River Ogmore for a seasonal dip!

Just down the lane lie the remains of Candleston Castle, once a 15th century fortified mansion house, whilst nearby Ogmore Castle is probably the most picturesque castle in Wales.

Just beyond the castle is one of the biggest sand dune systems in Europe.  It once stretched for miles, right around Swansea Bay and some of the dunes are as big as small mountains.  The dunes are an important wildlife habitat and site of scientific interest, which shelters a rich variety of plants. Parts of the Hollywood blockbuster 'Lawrence of Arabia' were filmed here.

Every year, just before Christmas, hundreds of amateur athletes descend on the village for the annual Christmas Pudding Run.

The race is a challenging multi-terrain, six mile run that winds its way through the sand dune system.  The route starts with an ascent of the highest single sand dune in Europe - the fearsome Big Dipper. 

But it doesn't end there, the race then continues with even more climbs, over rough moorland and through several streams before eventually the runners get to the finish line.

And the prize for completing this gruelling course……a Christmas pudding of course!

Wales Open Golf

Continuing to build on the success of hosting the 2010 Ryder Cup, the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport will find itself back in the golfing spotlight this week as it hosts the 2014 Wales Open.

First held in 2000 the tournament is now firmly established on the European Tour and attracts some of the biggest names in golf.  This year's competitors include Lee Westwood, Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn.

More information is available on the website

Seniors Open Comes to Porthcawl

Event - Seniors Open Golf
Location - Royal Porthcawl Golf Club
Date - 24-27 July 2014
For more information visit the website

The biggest sporting event of the year in South East Wales is rapidly approaching.  Golf's senior British Open is coming to the Royal Porthcawl golf course, meaning that Wales is set to host a major championship for the first time.

Some of the sport's legendary figures are due to take part including Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie.  They'll all be competing to follow in the footsteps of 2013 champion, Mark Wiebe, and claim first prize in what promises to be an exciting weekend of top golf action.

For more information on the tournament, including how to secure tickets, please visit the website.

The Mash Up

Event - Bridgend Mash Up 2014
Location - Bridgend Town Centre

Date - 17 May 2014
Further Details -

The Mash Up essentially mixes (or "mashes") traditional athletics in the streets with contemporary urban street culture.  There are some things that you would expect in a town centre (such as skateboarding, parkour, street dance and even BMX) and there are other things that you would not - pole vaulting, high jump competitions, street sprinting.

'The Mash' is a collision between the contemporary and the traditional, between watching and doing. It's urban, it's sporty and different.

Take a look at what happened in previous a Mash Up

Cardiff welcomes FIM British Speedway Grand Prix

Event - FIM British Speedway GP 2013
Location - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Date -1st June 2013
Millennium Stadium Website
Speedway Grand Prix Website

The Millennium Stadium will once again come alive to the roar of motorbike engines as the FIM British Speedway GP races into the capital city.

The world's top riders including the UK's own Tai Woffinden will fight it out to be number one in this exciting, adrenaline fuelled event for the whole family.

For those that have never been to speedway the rules are simple. Four riders keep turning left over four laps of an oval track with each race lasting less than a minute.

Seems simple enough. Except that the riders race 500cc, single geared machines with no breaks!

Hold on tight

Porthcawl Plays Host to Top Golf Tournament

Royal PorthcawlEvent - Speedy Services Wales Senior Open
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 14 - 16 June 2013


The Speedy Services Wales Senior Open will move to a new date on the European Senior Tour schedule, when it returns to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club from June 14 - 16, 2013 for the first time since 2010.

Englishman Barry Lane captured the 2012 title when the event was played at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club on the August Bank Holiday weekend, with the former Ryder Cup player holding off the challenge of compatriot Philip Golding.

Royal Porthcawl had previously hosted the event in 2009 and 2010, before the tournament returned to the Senior Tour schedule this season after a year's absence with Speedy Services as the new title sponsor.

The new June date - with the final round due to be played on Father's Day - marks the 12th edition of the Speedy Services Wales Senior Open, which was first played in 2001.

Royal Porthcawl welcomes the tournament as a precursor to hosting The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex in 2014 - the first Major Championship to be played in Wales - with both events part of The Ryder Cup legacy following the staging of golf's premier team competition at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010. 

The Speedy Services Wales Senior Open will once again have a prize fund of £250,000, and is expected to attract some of the leading Senior Tour players. Previous champions have included Bill Longmuir (2003), Carl Mason (2005, 2007), José Rivero (2006), Peter Mitchell (2008) and John Bland (2010).

Millennium Magic

It's that time of year again.

The eyes of Wales will this weekend be focused on Cardiff as the Six Nations rugby tournament kicks off.

Wales will be looking to repeat their heroics of last year when they won all five of their games to secure their 3rd Grand Slam in seven years.  

There'll be a tremendous atmosphere up and down Wales as the country comes to a stop to watch the game and the streets of Cardiff will be full of rugby fans enjoying the city's legendary match day atmosphere.  There is nowhere in the world better to be than Cardiff on the day of a big match. 

Wales' fixtures in this year's championship are below:

Saturday 2 February - Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Saturday 9 February - France v Wales, Stade de France, Paris
Saturday 23 February - Italy v Wales, Stadio Olympico, Rome
Saturday 9 March - Scotland v Wales, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday 16 March - Wales v England, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Olympics comes to Cardiff

City Hall Olympic RingsThere is now less than a week to go until the Cardiff Olympics kick off.  (Okay, I know they're really the London Olympics but as the first action is here we'll claim them as our own).

The action starts at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday 25 July with a game of women's football between Britain and New Zealand followed straight after by Cameroon taking on Brazil.  There's action on the pitch throughout the games with a further 9 games set to take place.

But it's not just at the Millennium Stadium where you can get in the Olympic spirit with other events taking place throughout the city to celebrate the occasion. 

London 2012 Olympic Festival

Various Locations

21 June - 9 September 2012


Cardiff joins other cities in a 12-week London 2012 Olympic Festival programme which will run from 21 June to 9 September. Various events, activities and performances will be held throughout the city at venues such as Wales Millennium Centre, St Fagans: National History Museum, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, among others. For more information, please go to the Website and use the search facility for find an event nearest to you.

Painting the Flame

The Cardiff Story

24 June - 28 July 2012

The 'Painting the Flame' Exhibtion will include new portraits of Welsh Olympians and Paralympians 

Following the Flame Exhibition
Sport Wales National Centre
17 July - 10 August 2012


A major new exhibiition, Following The Flame is part of the Wales wide project - Power of the Flame - funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK. The exhibition will take place between 17th July and 10th August.

Millennium Centre
20 - 21 July 2012
Wales Millennium Centre and Valleys Kids are pleased to present Torchbearers, a rollercoaster epic saga told by the people of the South African townships and the South Wales valleys in a cross-cultural performance mixing drama, music, circus and dance.

It tells the story of a young Welsh actor and an African dancer who in 1964 are given the chance of living the dream when they win parts in the film Zulu. As the two young people are drawn closer to each other they find themselves falling in love, but their lives are ripped apart by the apartheid system and they never see each other again until fate plays its hand forty years later.

Tour de Caerphilly

Event - Tour of Britain, Stage 6, Welshpool to Caerphilly
Location - Caerphilly
Date - 14 September 2012

With the Tour de France currently winding its way through the French countryside, it's probably a good time to look ahead to our version of it.

The Tour of Britain is run over 8 stages between 9 - 16 September, but it is stage 6 that is of most interest to us.

Friday 14 September sees the riders tackle the route from Welshpool to Caerphilly.  The same stage last year was won by then world champion Thor Hushovd of Norway.  One significant difference to last year's route is that the riders will undertake two climbs of the fearsome Caerphilly mountain in the closing stages as opposed to just the once last year.  After the second climb the route takes the riders back into town for the finish in the shadows of the castle.

Speedway Grand Prix returns to the Millennium Stadium

SpeedwayEvent - FIM British Speedway Grand Prix
Location - Millennium Stadium
Date - 25 August 2012

Now a fixture on Cardiff's enviable list of major sporting events, the FIM British Speedway Grand Prix returns to the capital this summer.  Held at the Millennium Stadium since 2001 the Grand Prix sees some of the world's best speedway riders go head to head.

Marvel as four riders at a time, tear around the stadium's 278 meter long track four times aiming to be the one to cross the line first.  What's all the more surprising (for speedway novices like me) is that these bikes only have one gear and more alarmingly no brakes.  Hold on tight!!!