Recent article from Bespoke Valencia …
In Valencia, as you would expect, the city has a thriving football, basketball and tennis scenes, plus great golf courses, regional and Spanish sports such as Padel (like mini-tennis but better), Pilota (basically Squash with your hand) and killing bulls (sorry, cheap shot). However, what you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see thriving in the city is Cricket, Gaelic Football and Rugby.
With a relatively small expat community in Valencia compared to Madrid, Barcelona and areas along the coast south from the city, these sports are quite new to the area, in particular Cricket. Only founded in 2012, Levante CC share their home with the city’s baseball teams at the VCG in the Turia, the riverbed park. Although 2015 is only their 3rd season in the Spanish league, the club have a 2nd division title to their name and now have first, second and midweek sides that play from the March to early November each year. The climate in Valencia is a world away from the UK which allows cricket to be played all year round. In their three years of existence, Levante CC boast never to have called off a match due to bad weather!
The club came to life in 2012 with the visit of a London based side making the trip Valencia to play the newly formed Levante CC. Since this time, the club have come a very long way and as well as their league exploits, welcome touring sides from the UK and across Europe to play both one day matches and the shorter T20 format which they are also able to do under floodlights, a setting that many UK sides don’t have the opportunity to play back home. With the club consisting of players from across the world (New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Italy, UK and one Spaniard), although a popular sport across Spain in general, it is mostly the expats that push the game forward but with Levante CC and many other sides in the country driving the sport.
Another sport that has been a success story brought to the city by expats is Galeic Football. Sant Vincent GAA from Valencia was created in 2007 and compete in the Iberian and European Championships. Although the majority of players are Irish, the exciting format, contact and skill required appeals to locals and as a result the club now has mens, womens and youth teams.
As Iberian Champions in 2011, the club has developed quickly and Sant Vincent GAA has established itself with great facilities with their home now in the newly built Rugby City. The Valencia leg of the Iberian tournament is always exceptionally well organised as they play host to teams across Spain.
Finally Rugby. This sport, although in some areas of northern Spain has been played seriously for many years, it has seen growth in Valencia to a level where the city has a more than 5 large clubs who offer both adult and children’s rugby. With some expats joining these clubs, they are very much run by and attract the native community as the sport continues to grow and produce a very decent standard of Rugby. With the surrounding areas of the city also producing quality Rugby, the sport is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and investment into facilities also helping the cause.
Do you belong to a Cricket, GAA or Rugby club in the UK or elsewhere in Europe that would like to visit Valencia to play against the cities local sides and experience the hospitality on offer as well. For opportunities for both adult and youth sides, please contact us by email to [email protected]
Bespoke Valencia !!!