Sport is a big part of Northern Ireland’s culture. With so many homegrown legends from golfing greats and rugby warriors to racing ‘kings of the road’, it’s fast become a key location for many international sporting events. This year alone, Northern Ireland is playing host to international events such as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship and the Women’s Rugby World Cup amongst many more local events and tournaments.
Rachel Quigg, Tourism Northern Ireland’s Destination PR Officer said “Whether you’re a football, rugby or cycling fan, you’ll find plenty of sport filled events to entertain this year in Northern Ireland.
So why not get on your bike, tee off at a world-renowned golf course, or step into your running shoes and be a part of something amazing in this epic sporting year.”
Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of some top sporting events taking place this year in Northern Ireland that you can be a part of, be that as a spectator or participant.
Tandragee 100 National Motorcycle Road Races, Co. Armagh
21 April – 22 April
A truly thrilling event, the Tandragee 100 has been voted the fourth ‘Best Road Racing Course’ in the world and also been called a ‘mini TT’ by top riders with its mix of flat out bursts and fast sweeping bends.
Organisers have confirmed that legendary TV personality and racer, Guy Martin, will compete in both the Open and the Around a Pound Tandragee 100 Feature races. With more great names to be announced, this is one road race you won’t want to miss.
Vauxhall International North West 200, Co. Antrim & Derry~Londonderry
7 May – 13 May
The International North West 200 attracts the finest line-up of road racers of any race on the planet, drawing thousands of visitors to the superfast 8.9 mile circuit linking the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine.
There will also be a host of supporting events throughout the Race Week Festival including a Vintage and Classic Car run, Meet the Riders event, Outdoor Concert, fireworks and much more.
Gran Fondo, Belfast
3 June – 4 June
The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland weekend is fast becoming one of the must-ride sportives in the UK and Ireland. The Giro d’Italia trophy, Trofeo Senza Fine will be on site at the Giro Expo in Belfast and will be available for riders and fans to get their photos taken with this iconic sports trophy alongside cycling themed activities. For those who are new to cycling and looking for a personal challenge to help boost fitness, the 58km route is for you, whereas the Mournes Route (175km) passes over mountains and hills steeped in Irish history offering views some of Northern Ireland highest mountain peaks to the loughs and seas is ideal for veteran riders. Register your place now at www.granfondogiroditaliani.com.
Belfast Parkland International Golf Tournament, Belfast
3 July – 5 July
A unique parkland tournament, Belfast Parkland came about when some of the most prestigious golf courses in the Belfast area came together to promote the wider city’s splendid golf offering. Take the opportunity to be part of history and play the inaugural tournament this summer, featuring Malone Golf Club, Royal Belfast and Shandon Park. Tournament entries must be registered by Friday 30 June at www.BelfastParklandInternational.com.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, Portstewart, Derry~Londonderry
6 July – 9 July
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation, is returning once again to Northern Ireland this summer, with the Causeway Coastal Route providing a picturesque canvas for the July tournament at Portstewart Golf Club.
Past winners Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry will be joining host Rory McIlroy, and with more player announcements imminent, this year’s tournament is shaping up to be one of the best yet. Don’t miss out on seeing golfing elite this summer in Northern Ireland, get your tickets now at www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com/tickets.
Foyle Cup, Derry~Londonderry & Co. Tyrone
17 July – 22 July
The Foyle Cup is one of Ireland and indeed Europe’s premier youth tournaments and is widely recognised as a tournament that launches the careers of young players aspiring to sign professional contracts. Originally launched in 1992, it has grown into a six-day festival of football catering for all ages. Matches are spaced out across the day, allowing spectators to watch up to 3 games every day. www.foylecup.com
Super Cup NI, various locations
23 July – 28 July
In 2017, Super Cup NI will be celebrating its 35th anniversary as one of the world’s best youth football tournaments as teams from across the world descent on Northern Ireland for this renowned competition. Past competitors in the tournament when it was formally known as The Milk Cup have included David Beckham, Gary Neville and Peter Crouch to name a few.
The matches are played at various venues across the Causeway Coast area with the finals taking place at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday 28th July, with tickets available from www.supercupni.com
2017 UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship, various locations
8 August – 20 August
For the first time ever, The Irish Football Association is hosting the Women’s Under-19 Championship in Northern Ireland.
Eight national teams, including host Northern Ireland, will participate in the prestigious 16-day tournamentshowcasing Northern Ireland at its best, including our football, our facilities, our culture, our history, our fans and our unconditional love of the game on a national scale. Get your tickets now and cheer your team on from the side lines at Ticketmaster.
Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017, Belfast
9 August – 26 August
Following pool stage matches in Dublin, the 8th Women’s Rugby World Cup will make its way to the city of Belfast for play-off rounds at Kingspan Stadium and Queen’s University, before culminating in a grand finale on Saturday 26 August at the impressive Kingspan Stadium, home of Ulster Rugby. Tickets cost from as little as £10 for children and £15 for adults and are available now on Ticketmaster. Can Ireland bring the trophy home?
Northern Ireland Open, Co. Antrim
10 August – 13 August
The Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle is one of Northern Ireland’s top annual professional golf tournaments and is part of the European Challenge Tour’s international schedule. The tournament regularly attracts strong players such as Michael Hoey, Peter Lawrie and Gareth Maybin to the course’s stunning fairways. Away from the fairways, tournament week will be buzzing with activity, especially at the dedicated food festival, housed within the NI Open Village, serving up a range of Northern Ireland’s culinary delights.
The tournament is free for spectators and tickets can be secured by registering online at www.niopen.golf
Ulster Rally, Derry~Londonderry
18 August – 19 August
Running for over forty years, the Ulster Rally is one of a select number of events included in the prestigious MSA British Rally and TROA Tarmac Rally Championships as well as the European Celtic Cup and the Northern Ireland Championship.
This prestigious sporting event is returning once again to the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry and this year will feature an exciting set of revised stages including the introduction of the Re-Grouping halts in Strabane town centre, giving spectators the opportunity to get up close to the competitors. www.ulsterrally.com
Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, Co. Antrim
The Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive is a unique road cycling event based on the iconic North Coast of Ireland offering an unforgettable cycling experience through some of the most breath-taking landscapes on the island. Regularly attracting over 1,000 participants, this non-competitive event winds through the magical Glens of Antrim with three routes to choose from. Further details and entry fee will be available closer to the event atwww.giantscausewaycoastsportive.com
For more information on upcoming sporting events in Northern Ireland, visitwww.discovernorthernireland.com
*Dates and information correct at time of print and subject to change.