Laid-back island life, azure waters and golden sands… these are just a few reasons why Barbados is an alluring island holiday destination. But did you know that throughout the year there are loads of top sporting events too? Whether you’re a prospective participant or a supportive spectator, Barbados knows how to put on a show!
November and December are both great months to visit the Caribbean. Luckily, Barbados has tons of sporting events during this period to keep visitors occupied. So, if it’s swimming or running that you’re interested in, you’ll find an event for you.
Barbados Open Water Festival (6th-10th November 2019)
This year marks the 8th annual Barbados Open Water Festival. Calling all swimmers and open water enthusiasts, this festival is all about friendly competition and challenging yourself. It encourages a diverse mix of competition. So, it doesn’t matter what age you are or what ability level you’re at, everyone is welcome!
The Barbados Open Water Festival doesn’t only attract local swimmers but people from across the globe too. Competitors ventured from South Africa, the UK, Brazil and Singapore last year in order to participate. There are four main races including 1.5k, 3.3k, 5k and 10k, starting at various spots across the island. However, there is also a ‘Just for Fun’ 1.5k swim for a little less serious competition. Tempted? Well, let us not forget to mention that the fun swim isn’t all just for fun, it’s for charity too! So, get involved and help raise money for Variety: The Children’s Charity – a charity aimed at helping sick, mentally and physically challenged children of Barbados and the eastern Caribbean.
If you’re interested in signing up to one or more of the events at the Barbados Open Water Festival, register here.
Barbados SUP Pro Am (9th-17th December)
For something slightly more exhilarating, head to the Barbados SUP Pro Am competition. What exactly is SUP? Stand-up paddleboarding! Similar to surfing, competitors stand on a board whilst using a paddle to push through the water.
Before you get started, it should be said that Barbados is a great place to learn how to SUP. There are many professionals who are qualified to teach the sport on the island. They will also include the board and paddle as well as a leash to keep the board strapped to your foot. Once you have those three things, you’re ready to go and start learning. Test your balance and strengthen your core as you traverse Barbados’ turquoise waters. On top of that, there are numerous activities to do whilst stand-up paddleboarding. There are turtle tours which provide you with the opportunity of snorkelling. Once you get off your board and into the water, you might see turtles as well as other marine life. Or you can get paddle fit instead! SUP is a great way of getting fit as a lot of your muscles are put to work. In Barbados, you can dedicate your SUP time to fitness by completing a range of techniques on your board in the water.
However, if you consider yourself quite the professional at SUP, it might be your time to shine in this year’s Pro Am event. SUP events sometimes consist of a range of races, including, buoyed races or surf conditions. The Barbados SUP Pro Am is a surf event, therefore, it will be aimed at those who have experience with surfing the waves on a paddleboard as well as experts at the sport.
Run Barbados Marathon (6th–8th December)
Marathon fanatics and lovers of running will be thrilled with this event! The Run Barbados Marathon offers an exciting experience with a variety of races and a delightful spirit. Running in Barbados is a breath-taking experience, in large part to the fantastic sights you get to see along the way. You’ll find yourself running along the streets of the island’s historic capital of Bridgetown (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site may we add).
So what races can you be a part of? Sign up for the Fun Mile Run, the 5k walk, 5k run, 10k run, half marathon or marathon. Rewards include commemorative medals and cash prizes for the top places. The Fun Mile Run also includes prizes for the most original costume, best dressed couple and best dressed group of five or more people. You can also treat yourself to an all you can eat pasta buffet after the race on Bay St. Esplanade.
Plus, everyone knows that the Bajans love a good party, so it goes without saying that there will be entertainment available throughout the day. The Fun Mile Run, 5k walk, 5k and 10k run will be accompanied by music from a live DJ as well as food and drink for spectators. So, if you know someone who is participating or you just fancy watching the run, Bay St. Esplanade will be keeping the crowds entertained.
If you’d love to compete at the Run Barbados Marathon, sign up here.
Rugby Barbados World 7s (13th-14th December)
Swap cricket for rugby 7s at Bridgetown’s Kensington Oval. Male and female teams comprising of past and present international players as well as Olympic players compete over the course of two days. Teams come to Barbados from all over the world including; the US, the UK, New Zealand and the rest of the Caribbean.
Aside from the competition, it is a time to get everyone together and admire the athleticism on display. Plus, in the Caribbean, sports events are always time for a celebration, so soak up the carnival atmosphere as you watch on. For a price of $10 per day or $1 for those under the age of 18, you can enjoy all that the Rugby Barbados World 7s has to offer.