Last week, I talked about a new year being all about untapped
potential. But I wonder if 2013 could be considered a bit of
a sporting anti-climax after the frenzy caused by the Rugby
World Cup in 2011, and celebrations associated with the
London Olympics in 2012.
As sports fans, critics and consumers, what do we have to
look forward to in 2013?For athletes who did all they could
to peak for the Olympics, 2013 may be a time to recover from
injuries, rebuild their fitness base, work on technical
issues and catch up with friends and family who they've
neglected leading up to 2012.
Some All Blacks also continue to take sabbatical and rest
their weary bodies and minds after the emotional and physical
intensity of the World Cup and a long Super Rugby season.
Athletes and teams that don't fall under the rugby or Olympic
banner are likely relieved they'll get some of the limelight
and may even have a chance of winning the Halberg Awards. Of
course, there are the annual big events associated with golf
and tennis, and our ''national'' sports of netball and rugby.
The Silver Ferns will be aiming to defend the Constellation
Cup, and the All Blacks have 13 international matches to play
in 2013 (unlucky for some?), including games against World
Cup finalist France, which will want redemption after the
narrow loss in 2011.
Talking of redemption, organisers of the Tour de France event
will be hoping no doping scandals arise in the wake of the
Lance Armstrong debacle, while rugby league fans will be
looking forward to the Kiwis defending their title at their
So far, these sports are predominantly male, and 2013 may be
the year for women's teams to shine, even if no-one is
looking at, listening to or watching women's sport.
The New Zealand women's cricket team will be playing at the
World Cup, hosted in India, and will want to knock over the
English team as payback for a narrow loss in 2009.
This year will also be the last time the Sevens World Cup
takes place, and the second time women's teams will be
included in the event. The New Zealand women lost to
Australia the last time they faced off at this tournament,
and with the Olympics in their sights, both teams will want
to prove they have what it takes to win gold in Rio.
The Ice Fernz have their division 2, group A world ice hockey
championships to prepare for in April, which surprisingly is
on home soil (home ice?), where they'll be playing against
teams from Italy, Hungary, Australia, Slovenia and Poland.
Sports that want to prove to High Performance Sport New
Zealand that they deserve funding will also see 2013 as a
crucial time, and as one of the sports to be put on the
chopping block, swimming will have to deliver some personal
bests at the world championships in Dubai to swim back into
the Crown's good books.
And last but not least, for field hockey fanatics at both the
junior and senior levels, there are the Junior Games and the
Golden Oldies festival in Hawaii to look forward to. Hmmm . .
. Hawaii. What a great place for a sports event. I wonder if
I'd be eligible to play Golden Oldies in hockey. Suddenly,
2013 doesn't seem like such a dud of a sports year, after
all. Now where did I put that hockey stick?