Highlights of the Sporting Calendar

You've seen the Scottish Varsity but what else is on the St Andrews sporting calendar? Sport editor Seoras Lyall runs you through the best of the year ahead.

Photo: St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament

St Andrews has more than its fair share of events, with people taking any opportunity they can to go out. However, there is also plenty going on all year round on the sporting side of things. Wednesday afternoons are reserved for BUCS matches across all competing sports, while Sinners at the Union is something that really needs to be witnessed to be understood. While that Wednesday night is certainly unmissable, here are some other sporting events to take note of.

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

Returning to St Andrews in October, the Dunhill fills St Andrews with even more golfers than usual, and a whole lot more celebrities. The tournament itself is one of the highlights of the European Tour, but is also a pro-am. Last year saw the likes of Hugh Grant, Sir Ian Botham, and AP McCoy all in attendance. Entry is free for students, so it’s worth popping down to the Old Course. The event itself lasts four days, so there’s no telling who you may see on a night out.   

Jonny Wookey Memorial Game

For the vast majority of the year, there is only one kind of hockey in St Andrews and that’s field (well they play on AstroTurf not in a field, or whatever they call that horrendously sandy surface is that makes a slide tackle in football a nightmare). However, Ice Hockey does have its place in the spotlight, and that is the Jonny Wookey Memorial Game in Dundee against Edinburgh. An absolute go-to event, there is also an after party in the Dundee Union, which is possibly the only pleasant thing in the city. The match is played in memory of former St Andrews students Kieran McCann and Jonny Wookey, who tragically died in 2012.     

Cricket Beach Day

There aren’t many better things to do after the end of exams than a trip to the beach. Hence going down to Elie to watch the Men’s Cricket Club face the Ship Inn is idyllic. With burgers, chips, and booze all available, relax by the seaside as you watch probably the most unique sporting event on this list. Enjoy the usually good weather, the wonderful Ship Inn, and marvel at the spectacle. Besides, exams are over by then so you have no excuses not to come.

Best of the Rest

While there are events all year around, it would be criminal not to mention the rugby sevens and the charity polo tournament. The former is part of a wider alumni week where generations clash, with the rugby the headline event. An after party follows that sees most people up all night, or certainly those who live in Melville. Meanwhile the polo tournament is the kind of event that should be fully embraced if you want to go, with sport often not the centre of attention. Nonetheless, it is a cracking day out and an opportunity to see a truly novel sport.


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