We locals are a passionate bunch, and sport is akin to religion – in Launceston, the changing seasons are marked by sporting calendars…
Summer sees us celebrate a wide range of sporting activities – favourites include cricket (Ricky Ponting, George Bailey and the legendary David Boon all hail from here), tennis and cycling. It also seems Launceston and surrounds have become a breeding ground for pro cyclists – maybe it’s our idyllic country roads with plenty of hills to test both the legs and heart? Luminaries include Matt Goss and Richie Porte – in late 2014 Porte lured teammate and Tour de France Yellow Jersey winner Chris Froome down to compete in the Stan Siejka Classic, an annual criterium around closed streets in the centre of the City.
Winter sees Tassie Hawks footy fever take hold, and the City is festooned with the Brown and Gold. Aurora Stadium resonates with the roars of a passionate home crowd as the AFL gladiators do battle. Hawks members enjoy a great range of special offers with the Passport to Launceston, helping you get the most out of your Tasmanian experience.
Petrol-heads are also well catered for – Autumn sees up to 300 competitors hit the State’s roads in exhilarating fashion for Targa Tasmania – the world’s largest, longest and hardest tarmac rally event. Cheer as Porsches, Lamborghinis and all manner of exotic vehicles race past on public roads – reflecting the toughest classic races from Europe. Be sure not to miss the big V8 Supercars when they bring their travelling roadshow to Symmons Plains International Raceway, just 30km south of Launceston – the track comes alive with the hustle and roar of these powerful and technical machines and their highly skilled drivers.
For those amongst us who would rather participate than watch, there are many special events to chose from – whatever the season (or weather!). From the B&E Launceston Ten and Harcourt’s Women’s 5k fun runs, New Horizons Western Tiers Cycle Challenge and Sally’s Ride charity cycling events to Launceston Cataract Challenge and Icebreaker multisport events, Launceston hosts sporting events to test all-comers.