Christmas Gift Guide for Sports Lovers

We are now firmly entrenched in November. Halloween has gone, Bonfire Night is now a distant memory, so we can now firmly turn our thoughts to the most wonderful time of the year, at least in my eyes. Yes, Christmas is now just over a month away, and for some, this might mean that the panic is starting to set in. Because, although some people are very easy to buy a gift for, others can lead to many sleepless nights.

I have been writing a series of posts giving pointers to gift ideas that may be a little different from the norm. This post is some ideas for gifts for sports lovers. This can be an idea for something for those who partake in sports, or those who just enjoy it from the comfort of the stands, or even just get a thrill from watching it on their TV. There is just a football in this post – look out for a full football gift guide coming very soon, but there are other ideas that may just tick the box this Christmas.

A gift for a golf lover

Golf is one of the most popular sports and there are a range of gifts for the golf lover. A really popular and practical choice is a golf sweater. These come in a range of designs, from thin knits using Merino wool, to thicker, more winter friendly designs of lambswool. There are a range of patterns to suit all tastes, or you can opt for a plain version. If you know someone who truly loves their golf, this could be the perfect gift idea.

 

A Gift For a Darts Fan

Now, this could be something obvious, like a dartboard, or a set of personalised darts. But Christmas is the time of major darts tournament, with both the PDC and BDO hosting huge tournaments at the Ally Pally (Alexander Palace) and the Lakeside respectively. Tickets to watch these events could be a much appreciated gift  that is welcomed far more than chocolates or aftershave yet again.

Football…

Season tickets for your favourite teams can be very expensive, but many teams will sell a half season ticket as a Christmas gift idea, obviously this is much more affordable and you still get to see the rest of the season. This might be a good idea for someone who has only ju

st got into football and so may not have thought of getting a season ticket before.

 

If you are interested in woman’s football, the team is currently playing a series of qualifiers for the World Cup. Tickets are so much cheaper than for the National Men’s game, and in every likelihood the game will be better and more exciting. A family ticket could be a great idea for a Christmas gift to a sports loving family.

There are many more Christmas gift ideas that have a sporting theme. These range from novelty socks and slippers, rugby ball shaped washbags, replica retro football shirts and even aftershave that gives you the chance to smell like Beckham and Ronaldo. Whatever you give, the chances are that you will put a smile on someone’s face this December 25th.

Celebrity Riding Fans

Horse Riding is often described as the Sport of Kings, but these days it could also be as truthfully described as the sport of the glamorous celebrity. The list of well known names who enjoy carrying horse treats in their pockets in their spare time is both long and surprising.

I’ve compiled a list of just some of the celebrities who take the opportunity to ride in their downtime.

Madonna

Top of any list of celebrity riding fans has to be the queen of pop herself, Madonna. We all know that Madonna had a very ‘English phase’ during her marriage to film director Guy Ritchie, where, as well as drinking tea, talking with a cut glass accent and wearing a nifty line in tea dresses, Madonna developed a passion for horses that continues to this day (she currently owns two.)

I can’t help thinking that the fashion maverick just loved the look of jodphurs and a riding hat (and we all know she’s been partial to a whip at times), but the fact that she actually trained, and with none other than William Fox Pitt clearly indicates that the one time Material Girl has clearly been bitten by the riding bug.

Mary Kate Olsen

These days she is better known for her fashion designing skills along with her sister Ashley for her label ‘The Row’, but Mary Kate is actually an accomplished horsewoman who has competed, most famously at the Hampton Classic Show. From a fashionista point of view, can you imagine how stylish The Row riding apparel would be. I think Mary Kate could be onto a real winner with that.

Bella Hadid

It sort of seems apt that the coltish, beautiful Bella Hadid is another lady with a passion for being in the saddle. The lovely supermodel is said to aspire to ride in an Olympic Games, well, there’s certainly still time to get the practice in before Tokyo 2020.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga became a fan of horse after she was presented with one by her record company. She is now the proud owner of a stallion called…wait for it…Trigger. (How Original!) Gaga is one person I would totally love to see on a horse, can you imagine the fun she would have with equestrian gear, and has for the boots….

Jordan/Katie Price

No roundup of celebrity horse riding fans can be complete without some mention of Jordan/Katie Price, or whatever she happens to be calling herself this week. Katie is a lover of dressage (couldn’t you guess that a woman obsessed with pink would also love the idea of dancing horses) and is actually, all joking aside, an accomplished horsewoman who is very passionate about horse sports, also playing polo. She also happens to have her own equestrian clothing line, KP equestrian, which, has you can probably imagine, is very pink, very tongue in cheek and a whole lot of fun. After all, who could resist a ‘50 shades of hay’ t-shirt…

Are you a fan of horses, have you ever tried horse riding?

Creating a mini Wembley Stadium in your Garden

Ask any young football fan what their ultimate dream is, and, chances are they will mention scoring the winning goal in a World Cup final with the match held at Wembley Stadium. But although the chance of becoming a modern day Geoff Hurst is pretty slim, that doesn’t mean that all those budding Ronaldo’s and Messi’s should give up on their dreams altogether.

If you can’t get to Wembley, then maybe Wembley should come to you. Any garden has the capacity to become your very own Wembley Stadium, after all it only needs four sides and corners, and garden fences and walls already give the feeling of a stadium. These days, rather than using jumpers for goalposts, you can actually buy a pretty good set of goalposts, and maybe even two. The good news is that the latest range of pop up football goals are easy enough to erect by just one person in double quick time, and, because they are pop up, they are actually easy to move and transport around. Many sets will easily fit into a car boot, so they can be transported to the park, beach or any open play space. They can also be packed away and stored if you decide you want to use your garden space for a different purpose, taking up very little room in your garden shed or storage space. Once you want to use the goal again, the process is simple – no need for assembly or tools.

It is always a good idea to get your kids playing outside, rather than stuck in front of a games console, and pop up goals are a great way to encourage sport and exercise through actually playing football for real; rather than just playing it on Fifa 17. With goals coming in a range of sizes, these will work for children of all age ranges, and gardens of all sizes. The goals are also a great option for mini sports teams and junior football leagues as they are both transportable and affordable – if you practice on a park with no permanent goals, these are a reliable and practical idea.

If you are considering turning your garden into your very own Wembley Stadium, I can definitely recommend the Samba goals. We got a set of these for my son Joe’s last birthday. These are easy to erect yet have thick posts that are sturdy enough for those shots that hit the bar or post (my lad has won the crossbar challenge on more than one occasion and the goal is still standing.) If you are still unsure, Stadia Sports have a great phone or email service where you can put all your questions to an expert in order to ensure you get the right goals for your child, helping them to achieve their own sporting goals in the process.

With the football season just about to begin for thousands of junior football league teams, and now in full flow for the Premier League and EFL, now is the right time to invest in your own set of workable goals.