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SPORTS IN BARBADOS

Looking For Sporting Action? This is what's available in Barbados.

Bar­ba­dos’ make up, with the rough Atlantic Ocean to the east and the gen­tle Caribbean Sea to the west, means that where the two meet you will find con­sis­tent medium sized waves. These con­di­tions are just right for boo­gie board­ing and body surf­ing. This ideal area trav­els along the south and south-east and where there is a host of invit­ing beaches and secluded spots to choose from.

Water sport facil­i­ties and rentals are avail­able at a num­ber of hotels and resorts. If your hotel is not one, how­ever, don’t be alarmed. There are many water sports shops located around the island where you can rent or pur­chase gear. If this is your first time, take a few lessons before rid­ing the waves.

You cannot go anywhere in Barbados, or even the Caribbean for that matter, and not feel the passion we have for Cricket! Barbados has always had a renowned reputation for producing stellar cricketers, and Bajan cricketers have always made up a large contingent of the West Indies Cricket Team.

You are likely to spot and enjoy a game of cricket anywhere across the island. The Kensington Oval, Queens Park and the Three W’s Oval are frequently home to international one day’s and test matches, as well as local friendlies, while playing fields, beaches, pastures and back yards host the games of the average enthusiastic cricket fans and players.  The only requirements for this fantastic spectator sport are a beer, a friend and a cricket hat…

The game is predominately played on the grounds of the recently renovated (2007) Kensington Oval, also known as "The Mecca of Local Cricket".  The Oval has seen its fair share of illustrious cricket matches, with some of its highlights dating as far back as 1930 when a West Indian, Clifford Roach, made the first Test Century on its pitch. Also in 1895, it was the first West Indian ground to host an English touring team. Other more recent highlights for Kensington Oval include being the venue for the World Twenty20 finals in 2010 and the Cricket World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2007 (the main reason for its drastic upgrade to a world-class venue).

A statue in the likeness of Sir Garfield Sobers, stands guard at the entry of this stadium. This Barbadian cricket legend is known as one of the finest cricketers of all time and he is also recognized as a National Hero in Barbados. Barbados is also well known for its many high calibre of cricketers, with some of the more famous names being George Challenor, Joel Garner, Seymore Nurse, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Conrad Hunte, Malcolm Marshall, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Charlie Griffith and Frank Worrell. To read on these and other famous Barbadian cricketers click here.

For many Barbadians and visitors, the concept of “bowling in Barbados” conjures up thoughts of Kensington Oval and the West Indies Cricket team; however don’t break out the conch shells and the Banks beers just yet! In this single instance, we are referring to bowling alleys, pins and bowling balls right here on our shores!

If you are a lover of this sport, then head over to Casa Grande in Christ Church for an evening of 10 Pin bowling fun that the whole family can enjoy.  In addition to the 8 bowling lanes, the facility also boasts restaurants, bars, karaoke, bumper cars, a go kart racing circuit, video arcade, games room, one armed bandits and an airport hotel.

Barbados has a history of successful competitors in the area of cycling as well as a number of excellent bike routes and tracks. When the weather becomes unbearable in northern hemispheres, Barbados is a great getaway for cycling enthusiasts. Barbados’ wonderful climate, at temperatures of 28 degrees Celsius, allows for an excellent year round cycling destination.

Join a group and get riding along the amazingly beautiful landscape. Climb the steep hills on the eastern side of the island, peddling high above the east coast. Take in the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and witness the surf breaking.  Cruise along roads framed by lush, tropical vegetation and historic buildings. Whether you want to challenge yourself or enjoy a smooth relaxing ride, you can do it in Barbados.

Barbados has some of the best diving in the Caribbean, with warm waters, few currents and clear waters. These crystal clear waters hold many hidden treasures and gems, revealed only to those willing to go for the adventure. The allure of diving off Barbados is often irresistible, with stunning reefs and sunken ships teeming with colorful marine life including several beautiful species of fish and a number of “tame” sea turtles.

Sunny weather in Barbados is the only excuse some individuals need to head to the golf course - professional, intermediate and novice alike.  During the year many golfing enthusiasts flock to the shores to participate in tournaments, which take place around the island.  It's no wonder… as Barbados has been described as a premier golfing destination, and said to have several of the Caribbean’s top world class golf courses and a different golfing location for every day of the week. Notably Barbados has hosted the World Golf Championship World Cup in 2006 held at the Sandy Lane Country Club.

Hik­ing in Bar­ba­dos has become more and more pop­u­lar over the years. Per­sons see it a great form of exer­cise, while social­iz­ing and learn­ing about Bar­ba­dos. Hike Bar­ba­dos, the main hik­ing group on the island, takes you to var­i­ous hid­den and sur­pris­ingly inter­est­ing areas such as cane fields, gul­lies and his­toric com­mu­ni­ties, to explore the ins and outs of Bar­ba­dos. These hikes are planned by the Bar­ba­dos National Trust and though you are not required to pay, any donation would go towards the work of pre­serv­ing Bar­ba­dos’ her­itage. The route changes weekly, con­tin­u­ously offer­ing hik­ers a new area to explore. There are dif­fer­ent groups which cater to the var­i­ous desires and fit­ness lev­els, allow­ing persons from the casual walker to the fit­ness buff the oppor­tu­nity to enjoy this expe­ri­ence. Make sure you dress appro­pri­ately and walk with a bot­tle of water to stay hydrated.

Times:

All morning hikes start at 6:00 a.m.
Afternoon hikes (Stop 'n' Stare only) start at 3:30 p.m.
The Moonlight Walks start at 5:30 p.m (A flashlight is recommended for these walks).

Walk Descriptions: (All hikes last approximately 3 hours)
"Stop 'n' Stare" - group walks for 5-6 miles
"Here 'n' There" - group walks 8-10 miles
"Grin 'n' Bear" - group walks 12-14 miles.

The Sandy Lane Gold Cup is synonymous with horse racing in Bar­ba­dos - an event where persons get to see their favourite horse go for the gold and risk tak­ers put their money where their mouth is. It is full of fun and loads of excitement and con­sid­ered by Bar­ba­di­ans, to be a fam­ily fun day. Members, from the youngest to the oldest, deck out in their best, as though they too are on show. But horse rac­ing in Bar­ba­dos is not lim­ited to that one day. Planned by the Bar­ba­dos Turf Club, horse rac­ing can be enjoyed weekly. It is, for some, as blood pump­ing a sport as the ones on display at the Olympics. Every Sat­ur­day, you can head down to the Garri­son Savan­nah, place your bets and wit­ness the horses on show. See you at the races!

The hybrid sport of kitesurfing has quickly become one of the most popular extreme sports to reach Barbados’ shores. Combining aspects of windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics, thrill seekers are offered the opportunity to showcase their skills. With its optimum conditions and stunning beaches, it is no question why Barbados has quickly become a top pick for kitesurfing vacationers. Barbados is considered a kitesurfer’s paradise. Make it your next vacation destination.

The first weekend in December marks the Run Barbados festival. A Fun Mile, a 5k, a 10k, a Half-Marathon, and a Marathon make up this event. Since its inception in 1983, many world renowned competitors have participated in this charitable event. The Run Barbados festival is open for persons of all fitness levels - from the highly competitive individual, down to the stroller. While many are in it for the competition, some see it is the opportunity to get the blood pumping while interacting with friends.

Barbados boasts of a number of top-class, full-sized golf courses, but for those who prefer a more fun filled, scaled down version of the game, there are also several miniature golf courses. For a fraction of the cost and loads more fun, mini golf is an ideal family outing. It is wholesome outdoor fun, enjoyed by both children and adults alike.

Another new and invig­o­rat­ing water­sport in Bar­ba­dos is stand up pad­dling. It com­bines aspects of surf­ing and kayak­ing for a refresh­ing expe­ri­ence. Coast along the waters with sun caress­ing your body. Bar­ba­dos’ calm west coast waters are per­fect for begin­ners while the east coast’s rougher seas cre­ate a thrill for the expe­ri­enced wave catch­ers. Learn to pad­dle board with the assis­tance of one of the many instruc­tors across the island or head straight to a water-sports shop and rent your gear.

Ever wished you could fly? Here is your oppor­tu­nity. Soar high in the sky, admir­ing the lush green land­scape, the white, sandy beaches and the ocean blue, har­nessed in the safety of your para­chute. Para­sail or paraglide over the beau­ti­ful seascape, sus­pended hun­dreds of feet in the air. Imag­ine that you are a bird, look­ing down over every­thing and every­one, feel­ing your adren­a­line pump­ing. More infor­ma­tion on paraglid­ing and para­sail­ing can be obtained from the Bar­ba­dos Paraglid­ing Asso­ci­a­tion and var­i­ous water-sports shops across the island. Beware though, this is not for the acro­pho­bic nor the weak-hearted.

Inter­na­tion­ally acclaimed, Bar­ba­dos’ polo grounds are of the high­est stan­dard, which has allowed the sport to grow pop­u­lar in the island. Enthusiasts, both local and vis­i­tors, attend polo reg­u­larly to sup­port their pre­ferred teams. Bar­ba­dos is reg­u­larly vis­ited by inter­na­tional teams, an influx which has made polo one of the lead­ers in sports tourism. The large crowds and high inter­est in this sport, have led to the devel­op­ment of sev­eral new polo fields, with a pos­si­bil­ity for more in the future. Come and enjoy this fan­tas­tic sport in Barbados.

Road ten­nis is the exhil­a­rat­ing game com­bin­ing ele­ments from lawn ten­nis and table ten­nis. Road ten­nis, indige­nous to Bar­ba­dos, was orig­i­nally referred to as “poor man’s ten­nis”, only requir­ing an 8 inch net, a ten­nis ball, wooden pad­dles and a 21ft by 10ft flat surface; that is the road. The 1930s saw the dawn of this new sport, which has been evolv­ing ever since. It has become one of the more pop­u­lar pas­times on the island, lead­ing to inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion by a num­ber of ten­nis fanatics.

Bar­ba­dos’ lovely weather, calm seas and view of the gor­geous land­scape make sail­ing off Bar­ba­dos incred­i­ble. Char­ter a small or large cata­ma­ran. Cruise along the west coast tak­ing in the panorama. Enjoy a day on the relax­ing Caribbean Sea or spend a night tak­ing in the stars and the beau­ti­fully lit coast. Whether it be fun with friends or a roman­tic cruise for two, the option is yours.

If it is a sail­ing com­pe­ti­tion that you are in search of, that too is avail­able in Bar­ba­dos. There are annual regat­tas just of these shores. Rang­ing from big boat to dinghy rac­ing, the Bar­ba­dos Sail­ing Asso­ci­a­tion and the Bar­ba­dos Yacht Club offer an excit­ing race show for enthu­si­asts. With activ­ity year round, you are sure to find some­thing excit­ing going on in Barbados involving sailing.

Bar­ba­dos’ under­wa­ter expe­ri­ence is com­pa­ra­ble to the best in the world. The nat­ural marine life and cre­ated by the numer­ous shipwrecks are fas­ci­nat­ing. These form the excel­lent div­ing sites which Bar­ba­dos boasts. Folk­stone, one of these sites, is home to the 360-foot Greek freighter Stavronikita, one of the most remark­able ship­wrecks in the Caribbean. Carlisle Bay, another home to shipwrecks, is con­sid­ered a good begin­ner dive site due to its easy access from shore. The warm, clear waters and excel­lent vis­i­bil­ity make div­ing off Bar­ba­dos a year round activ­ity. Therefore, for a great scuba div­ing hol­i­day, visit one of the many dive oper­a­tors in Barbados.

With up to 70 feet of vis­i­bil­ity in its waters, Bar­ba­dos has con­di­tions per­fect for snor­kel­ing. The diver­sity of trop­i­cal fish, colourful coral and numer­ous wreck­ages cre­ate pris­matic under­wa­ter scenery. Expe­ri­ence the bril­liant snor­kel­ing quest which Bar­ba­dos has to offer. Swim with the tur­tles in the calm waters of the west coast with the assis­tance of any one of the dive oper­a­tors on the island. Begin­ner or advanced, an adven­ture awaits you.

A surfer’s par­adise is what awaits you in Bar­ba­dos with the Atlantic Ocean fring­ing the east coast. Trav­el­ling a great dis­tance to get here, the unin­ter­rupted waters of this vast ocean are then per­mit­ted to unleash pow­er­ful waves on this side of the island. However, this does not imply that the only surf­ing spots are on the east. The coral reefs sur­round­ing Bar­ba­dos cre­ate sat­is­fac­tory breaks all around.

Home to inter­na­tion­ally acclaimed surf pros, Bar­ba­dos’ Soup Bowl is well known across the world for its excel­lent waves. Here, wave junkies can enjoy the annual Inde­pen­dence Surf Festival dur­ing the month of Novem­ber. Stay­ing in the east or south east of the island is recommended for vis­i­tors focused on rid­ing the waves. Removed from the hive of activ­ity, you can find your seren­ity and be one with the ocean.

Visit Bar­ba­dos for a fan­tas­tic surf­ing vacation!

Ten­nis is an exhil­a­rat­ing game played all across the island of Barbados. In 2011, Bar­ba­dos hosted “Ten­nis Pon De Rock” observ­ing play­ers like Venus Williams, Vic­to­ria Azarenka and other big names in the sport. You too can enjoy this sport here, com­pet­i­tively or just for fun. With numer­ous hotels offer­ing ten­nis avail­able to guests, you can eas­ily find your­self out on the court. If, per chance, your hotel does not have these ameni­ties, you can pay for a day pass at most of the facil­i­ties that offer tennis across the island.

Pop­u­lar the world over, wave run­ners are per­fect for the explo­ration of Bar­ba­dos’ mag­nif­i­cent waters. Hire a jet ski, as they are more com­monly known, from one of the many oper­a­tors across the island's shores and you could be skim­ming across the clear blue water. Rent a jet ski for 30 min­utes or more and feel the wind blow­ing through your hair. Be care­ful while oper­at­ing how­ever, as you will not be the only per­son or ves­sel in these waters.

The even wind and per­fect waves make Bar­ba­dos one of the best wave wind­surf­ing spots in the world. The warm waters of the south offer persons, from begin­ners to experts, opti­mal con­di­tions for wind­surfing. The period of Novem­ber to June is con­sid­ered the best for a wind­surf­ing vaca­tion because of the con­stant, mod­er­ate wind speed.

While the waves are not com­pa­ra­ble to those of Hawaii, they are still pow­er­ful enough to be enjoyed by pro­fes­sion­als in the sport. These slower, less pow­er­ful waves also mean they can also be enjoyed by begin­ners. Sil­ver Sands is the most pop­u­lar spot to wind­surf in Bar­ba­dos. Here, you can find board rentals and spare parts on the beach nearby.

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Article © GoBarbados
Photo #1 originally from upcric.com
Photo #2 originally from premierattractions.bb
Photo #3 originally from barbadosturfclub.org
Photo #4 originally from proroadtennis.com
Photo #5 originally from sportingbarbados.com
Photo #6 © GoBarbados

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