There are many people who are passionate about Melbourne sport or some would say that Melburnians are sport-mad.
Whether you are a sports fan or not, you cannot escape the sports fever and spirit of play that permeates and enlivens Melbourne throughout the year, particularly in the Football season.
Melbourne is without doubt the sports capital of Australia, with major internationals and national sporting events throughout the year and a staggering number of world-class sporting venues - the
Melbourne Cricket Ground
being the most famous Melbourne sporting icon.
It hosted the 1956 Summer Olympics , and in 2006 the Commonwealth Games.
The first major annual sporting event is the Australian Open, the international Melbourne tennis championships. This is also the first international tennis grand slam event of the year enjoying or battling the Melbourne summer.
Then you have the Australian Formula One Grand Prix Melbourne in March, which must be the only car race of that calibre held right near the heart of a city. More motor sport events are for V8 Supercars and World Superbikes at Phillip Island.
However, it is Australian Rules Football that dominates Melbourne sport throughout winter. The Australian Football League (AFL) is its main competition.
Throughout the season you find a large number of Melburnians supporting their AFL football team. You see them on the weekends dressed in their tribal team colours going to the game.
The AFL season concludes in a colourful city parade and the AFL Grand Final in September - undoubtedly the most celebrated Melbourne sporting event.
By then you are just in time to get ready for the horse racing Spring Racing Carnival, which culminates with the legendary Melbourne Cup race, where you can join in trying to pick Melbourne Cup winners.
And its not over yet! Next is the cricket with the Boxing Day Test, a one-day test match of the Australian cricket team against an international opposition at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
For those who enjoy being active, there is a myriad of recreational activities to be involved in. Cycling is a popular sport as well as means of transport, with a well developed bike path system throughout greater Melbourne, along the Yarra and creeks and the bay.
Rollerblading is also popular along the bay, and for Skateboarders and BMXers there are numerous great skate parks.
Melbourne also has some of the world's best golf courses, including the famous Sandbelt courses that host many international and Australian golf championships.
There are beaches along the bay for swimming, scuba diving, wind surfing, sailing and parasailing. Or you can go rowing or kayaking in the Yarra.
If you prefer surfing, there are great surfing beaches, including famous Bells beach about 1-2 hours out of Melbourne.
Great walks or jogs are to be had along the Yarra and creeks as well as in any of the numerous parks and gardens throughout Melbourne.
Sport and recreation are no doubt important passions of this great city.
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