Sports Events in Christchurch

  • At a 20/20 match against England at AMI Stadium.
    At a 20/20 match against England at AMI...
    by Kakapo2
  • Ready to roll....
    Ready to roll....
    by fishandchips
  • Sports & Outdoors
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Most Viewed Sports & Outdoors in Christchurch

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    City of Christchurch Marathon

    by fishandchips Updated Oct 11, 2005

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    Each year the City of Christchurch Marathon is run over a very fast, flat route through Christchurch. The run takes place on the first Saturday in October and includes a 10Km & Halk Marathon option. The course starts outside the Town Hall and winds its way around the Avon River toward New Brighton before crossing over a bridge at Avonside Rd and back into town, off toward the Airport and back again.

    Equipment: The run is in the middle of Winter so you will need to check the weather for a potentially chilly start. A thermal top may be in order if a cold Southerly is blowing otherwise is the usual shoes, socks & shorts.

    Meeting my running buddy at the finish line.
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    Scrum Down!

    by ATXtraveler Written Feb 29, 2008

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    For those of you who have met me, you will likely know that I played Rugby for 10+ years until my official retirement in 2007. Going to New Zealand in general made me so happy, but especially teary when I would walk through a park and see the touch lines and scrum machines.

    The pictures here show a scrum sled, which looks similar to a blocking sled in American football. As illustrated by Sarah, her father Gene and I, there is a proper technique to practicing your scrums. Gene and I are what are called "props" and Sarah in this case is a "hooker". This particular practice took place in North Hagley Park in Christchurch.

    If you would like to learn more about proper rugby technique, please schedule a flight to New Zealand, the home of the best rugby team ever to not win a World Cup*.

    *As of 2008

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    Full Contact Chess!

    by ATXtraveler Written Mar 1, 2008

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    In downtown Christchurch, directly in front of the church is actually a full sized chess board, designed with grey and darker grey tiles on the ground, and someone brings out full sized chess pieces every day. Although we watched the match for quite a while, they never got close enough to each other to actually tackle one another, so I can not be certain it actually was "full contact", but the gentleman playing the white team clearly had a protective helmet on for some reason.

    Equipment: The chess pieces are provided, but you may want to bring your helmet just in case!

    Christchurch Cathedral Square Chess
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    Jade Stadium

    by ATXtraveler Written Mar 2, 2008

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    For those of you who have ever followed World Rugby, I am sure the words Jade Stadium have come up on multiple occassions. Although it is now known as AMI stadium, this place is a wonderful place to watch rugby. It is the home to both the Canterbury Crusaders, a Super-14 team as well as Canterbury's provincial side. I had the opportunity to watch a match, and it was everything I expected! For entertainment value, I also wore the opposing team's colors to the match, yet everyone in the crowd was very accepting of the foreigner who was in the stands cheering against their team.

    Ticket prices vary based on the team playing, and ticket outlets are available at various locations around town.

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    Rugby for all

    by fishandchips Written Oct 14, 2005

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    Rugby is a sport played in NZ by all ages - starting from age 4 until the time that you can't run anymore. In a recent golden oldies tournament an Argetinian player was 93 so just goes to show that age is no barrier. That's my 5 year old niece in the photo racing off to score yet another try - she was player of the season in her team (4 to 6 year olds).

    Equipment: You'll need boots and flair to play our national game

    The future Black Fern?

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    Canterbury Provincial Rugby

    by ATXtraveler Written Mar 2, 2008

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    Christchurch is the home to the provincial rugby side (team) for Canterbury. Each Province in New Zealand fields an all-star team of the best rugby players in their province each year, and the top clubs form what is known as the Air New Zealand Cup Division. Typically, Canterbury is at or near the top of this competition, and alot of their best players go on to play for the Super 14 Canterbury Crusaders, or elsewhere in the world. Canterbury RFU wears black and red as their main colors.

    Canterbury plays their matches at AMI (formerly Jade) Stadium and the Provicinal test matches are normally held in July through September, just after national competition is over.

    It is definitely worthwhile to check out the schedule for your trip to ChCh, as this is one of the top sporting events to attend in the World.

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    Changing face of Lancaster Park

    by fishandchips Updated Feb 24, 2008

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    Lancaster Park has been the focal point of many big sporting occasions for more than 125 years. Everything from Rugby to Cricket to Athletics and League has been played here though it's Cricket and Rubgy that are the big events. This list actually includes Tennis, Swimming, Softball, Baseball, Trotting (horses), Football (Soccer to some of you), Marching and Hockey.

    The ground was opened in 1880 and named the next year after Benjamin Lancaster of Bournemouth England, whom previously owned the land. It has been the sene of many major events including Davis Cup Tennis, World Cup Cricket, World Cup Rugby and even a major religious rally in 1975 (JW's & end of the world stuff - all was ok the next day though).

    Currently the park is under reconstruction as part of planning for the 2011 Rugby World Cup so there is limited seating. The new stand will increase capacity to over 50K so lots of spots to sit and watch your favourite game.

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    Netball

    by fishandchips Written Oct 14, 2005

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    This another sport not too widely played around the world. It is very popular in NZ, Australia, the UK and the Carribean. In Christchurch the main place to play is at the Netball Courts on South Hagley park. Hundreds of girls and their supportive parents playing on chilly winters days. The photo is my niece - the great defender!

    Equipment: Court shoes are the only essential plus the right uniform.

    Prospective Silver Fern?
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    City Council Pools & Gyms

    by fishandchips Written Sep 21, 2006

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    There are three main Christchurch City Council sport complexs - those being QE2, Centennial and Pioneer.

    QE2 is in New Brighton and is the biggest of the complexs including a good gym and excellent swimming facility. Being the site of the 1974 Commonwealth Games it has many other facilities including a running track.

    Centennial is located in the centre of Christchurch on Armagh St and has a 25 metre pool plus a small gym. It's a handy place to use if you are staying in the middle of Christchurch.

    Pioneer is my local place and it has a 25 metre lane pool, wave pool, gym, squash courts and a nice cafe for an after workout coffee. Pioneer also runs many yoga & pilates etc classes.

    Opening hours vary at each place with most being open until 9pm in Summer for pool use and up to 7pm for the gyms.

    Check out the CCC Leisure Centre Website for full info on prices and opening times.

    Equipment: If you haven't brought it with you then you can hire everything you need for swimming. Wear what you feel most comfortable in the gym - there is very little lycra in these places so a very relaxed atmosphere.

    Pioneer Entrance Pioneer Outside
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    Petanque

    by fishandchips Updated Mar 10, 2008

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    This French game is alive and well in the middle of Christchurch. At the old RSA Bowling Club Petanque is now played on the old bowling green converted into the required shingle pit of a Petanque rink. It's similar to bowls in that you are trying to get your ball as close to the cochonnet (a small wodden ball) as possible. It's a lot of fun, especially after a couple of beers, and can be played by anyone who can throw a small metal ball. Petanque is apparently similar to Bocce which has its roots in an ancient Roman game.

    Cost is negotiable with an annual fee of $60 though the club will allow casual games if arranged in advance. Check out their website for more info and contact phone numbers.

    Equipment: You don't really need anything as your local club has all of the necessary bits and pieces. At the RSABC all of the gear is there.

    The rink and clubrooms
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    Horse races

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    New Zealanders love horse racing and betting on horses. There are two big race courses in Christchurch with races year-round. The biggest harness and gallops races take place during Cup and Show Week in November, and those are really fun days out. Read more about this on my tips about Local Customs.

    Harness (and greyhound) races take place in Addington, gallops in Riccarton.

    Race schedule for Addington on www.themet.co.nz

    More info:
    http://www.addingtoneventscentre.co.nz/Race%20Events
    http://www.riccartonpark.co.nz/cjc/racing.htm
    http://www.nzracing.co.nz/Goracing/Calendar.aspx

    Equipment: Watching the horse races does not mean that you have to show up in your best and fanciest clothes and - women - spectacular hats. You can even bring a blanket to sit on the lawn and a big chilly bin with food and drinks and have a nice picknick. Of course, you can purchase hotdogs and champagne on the racecourses as well. In good weather conditions do not forget sun cream and/or umbrellas.

    Cheers! Having fun at the Riccarton racecourse. Horse races are always happenings for the people.
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    Serious CC and Downhill MTB on Bowenvale Tracks

    by Kakapo2 Written May 17, 2007

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    If you are seriously into mountainbiking the Port Hills are a great place for you. I have seen some MTB'ers crash (and myself while running LOL) and I would not dare to use many of the tracks. This is a good indicator that they are not really good for beginners but suited for experienced bikers.

    The tracks are very rocky, some very narrow, just wide enough for a bike tyre, but there are also easier parts which lead over wooden overbridges and rattling metal cattle stops. The bad thing is that if you crash you fall hard nearly always, as there are only few soft grass verges on the volcanic rock surface.

    On the shared access tracks that lead up to the Port Hills from Bowenvale Avenue I have seen a lot of bikers in serious downhill gear, and I could also see some difficult and steep tracks which I would only walk LOL

    Access and the way back to the carpark might be a bit annoying for bikers as there are many gates which slow them down. At some gates they even have to lift the bikes over the gates. But this security measure is in place to make trampers (hikers) survive their walks on the shared access track ;-)

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    Indoor Swimming Pools in Christchurch

    by Kakapo2 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Several people have asked me for indoor swimming pools in Christchurch, so let me post a selection here.

    The best pool is at QEII (Queen Elizabeth II) Park, between Burwood (Travis Wetland) and New Brighton. It even has an Olympic 50m pool, and other nice waterlands.

    The other City Council swimming pools are at the Pioneer and Centennial Leisure Centres, the latter even in the city centre but a bit hidden in Armagh Street, and Jellie Park, and Wharenui Sports Centre.

    Directions to Centennial Leisure Centre:
    Coming from Cathedral Square walk up Colombo Street north, turn right into Armagh Street, the Leisure Centre is after some metres on the left. You also reach it via Oxford Terrace. There is a carpark (parking fee).

    The other pools can be reached by bus.

    The addresses:

    QEII Park, 171 Travis Road, New Brighton, ph. (03) 941 6849
    Pioneer Leisure Centre, 75 Lyttelton St, Spreydon, ph. (03) 941 6851
    Jellie Park Aqualand, 295 Ilam Rd, Fendalton, ph. (03) 941 6856
    Wharenui Sports Centre, Corner Matipo & Elizabeth Streets, Riccarton, ph. (03) 348 6488
    Centennial Leisure Centre, Armagh St, City Centre, ph. (03) 941 6853

    Swimming in the Olympic pool of QEII Park.
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    Play Handball

    by Kakapo2 Updated Feb 9, 2007

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    Handball is a very European sport which has its roots in Germany and Scandinavia - and it has nothing to do with throwing a ball against a wall... ;-)

    A team consists of 12 players. 6 court players and one goalkeeper are on court at the same time. It is mostly played indoors, on a basketball-sized court with two goals, the same size as for indoor football (soccer). But now also beach-handball is becoming popular - there was a tournament on Sumner beach on 27 January 2007.

    There is a semi-circle in front of the goals, at a distance of 6 metres from the goal. This is the goal area, and apart from the goal-keepers no player is allowed to step into it. But the players can fly into the area and shoot while being in the air. If a team is in defense the players are taking position along this semi-circle. After bad fouls of the defenders the attacking team is awarded a seven metre penalty, for less brutal actions they get a free-throw from the interrupted 9-metre-line.

    Of course, there are a lot more rules, but for a start this is enough explanation. If you want to play handball in Christchurch you can get the best coach you can imagine: Morten Hust Petersen, from Denmark, is the national coach of the New Zealand Handball Federation (NZHF) and the coach of the Canterbury University team which has its training sessions from February to November at the Wharenui Sports Centre (cnr Matipo & Elizabeth Streets) on Mondays from 7pm. The club president, Eric Mouhica, is a former French top player and also president of the NZHF, and member of the national team.

    If you live in or near Christchurch and want to give it a go, have a look at the club website and contact Eric. Also students and exchange pupils who play handball in their home countries are welcome. I think cricket players would be very talented for handball with their throwing skills. Just the ball is a lot bigger... ;-) And there is no batsman in the way but a goalkeeper. Just give it a go!

    You can read more about rules and clubs etc. on the NZHF website.

    Equipment: For the start normal sports gear like for jogging is good.

    Handball scene at a tournament in Christchurch. Peter Ising flying through the air. Coach Morten Hust Petersen, president Eric Mouhica

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    Hire a Bike at McLean's Forest Park

    by Kakapo2 Written Apr 14, 2007

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    Lately (April 2007) I have noticed that they now hire bicycles at McLean's Forest Park which we really enjoy a lot for cycling and jogging. This is a great opportunity for cycling a bit out of the city, as tourists normally do not travel with their bikes unless they explore the country on their bikes.

    There are a lot of brand new bikes for hire, also for children, and the owners hope that they will soon get a license for selling food, so you can have a coffee there after the activity.

    For details about the forest park near the international airport please check my detailed description in my list of "Off the Beaten Path" tips.

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    • Cycling

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