From Khan v Brook to the Manchester Marathon, here’s our round-up of the biggest events happening this year
YOU can’t talk about sport in Manchester without talking about City and United. But, wise move or not, we’ve decided to bypass the dramas of the Premier League in favour of taking a wider look at what’s happening in the city and Greater Manchester region in 2022.
And there’s plenty going on: from the Great Manchester Run to the Tour de Manc with events for spectating, competing, or just dipping your toes into something new. And while we’re not covering MUFC or MCFC, we’ve got our eye on their women’s teams, plus the women’s Euros which are coming up in July. This is Manchester after all; we had to get football into the conversation somewhere.
Know of an event that needs to be on this list? Email us or comment below. Also, check back for updates - we’ll add to this round-up as more events are announced.
WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE: MANCHESTER CITY V ARSENAL | THE ACADEMY STADIUM | 23 JANUARY
With the Women’s Super League well under way and local lasses Man City set to face the Gunners on 23 Jan, this fixture is definitely one to add to your things to do list for the New Year. One of the biggest games for the Man City Women’s team thus far, Arsenal are set to visit the Academy Stadium as part of the FA Women's Super League tournament with tickets starting at just £4 for under-16s.
The last face-off between the City and Arsenal sides ended with a 5-0 victory for the London squad back in September 2021, so the women in blue will be striving to show their opponents what they’re made of on their home turf. Full TV information for the game is yet to be announced, but tickets are selling out fast.
HYROX WORLD SERIES OF FITNESS | MANCHESTER CENTRAL CONVENTION CENTRE | 29 JANUARY
Making its Manchester debut this year, HYROX is Europe’s largest fitness racing competition. If like us, you struggle to hide your competitive streak in HIIT classes (no woman nor man shall hold a forearm plank longer than I!) and treat circuit training at the leisure centre like an Olympic decathlon final, you’re gonna love this.
HYROX combines track running with familiar exercises such as sled pulls, rowing and burpees, in an eight-round race that’s doable yet challenging. It’s designed to be accessible to regular gym-goers while also offering a real test of stamina and speed for pro-athletes.
Go as a spectator or take part. You can enter as an individual (£69), a pair (£119), or a team (£40pp). Winners have the chance to get a worldwide seeding and a place in the annual World Series of Fitness in Las Vegas. See you there. (GMEX not Vegas - we’re just watching.)
WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE: MANCHESTER CITY V MANCHESTER UNITED | THE ACADEMY STADIUM | 13 FEBRUARY
It’s a Manchester derby day for women’s football as Manchester City Women take on Manchester United Women at City’s Academy Stadium. The last time the two teams clashed was in the Continental Cup at United’s Leigh Sports Village when the home team secured a 2-1 win.
The first leg of the Women’s Super League back in October saw a thrilling 2-all draw, despite City being reduced to ten players from an early red card for Georgia Stanway. While United are currently above City in the league, this is expected to be a closely-fought match, cheered on by big hometown crowds. (Over one million people watched the first leg of the derby on BBC One in October). Adult tickets for the match start from £10. TV information isn’t yet available.
AMIR KHAN V KELL BROOK | AO ARENA | 19 FEBRUARY
The grudge match that’s been five years in the making. British boxing rivals Amir Khan and Kell Brook will finally go head to head at Manchester Arena in February. While both fighters are past their heyday, the animosity between the two should guarantee a spirited fight - with the hometown crowd getting behind Khan.
Said Khan at the press conference: “Inside, you've lost the fight already. Honestly, I can see inside you and you've lost the fight.”
Said Brook: "I'm going to retire you. I'm going to knock you spark out!”
Let’s have it! Tickets sold out within a day but you can watch the tear-up on Sky Sports.
REBALANCE WELLBEING FESTIVAL | WHITWORTH LOCKE | 20 MARCH
If you love the idea of a healing retreat but haven’t the time or resources to decamp yourself to a mountain top in Crete for a week, this could be a more realistic alternative. It’s a one-day festival at the Whitworth Locke aparthotel in the city centre including workshops, classes, stalls, taster sessions and talks.
Take part in activities such as reiki, gong baths, a chakra workshop, an EFT workshop, yoga flow, and meditation. Plus you can restock on supplies at an artisan market featuring specialist vegan products, crystals, gifts and holistic products. It’s curated by The Ki Retreat - a holistic centre in Eccles run by reiki master Kirsty Lomas. Tickets including all workshops and healing sessions are £49.10.
THERME MANCHESTER MARATHON | OLD TRAFFORD | 3 APRIL
You’ll need to be quick to bag one of the few remaining places for the Therme Manchester Marathon, which is now back in its traditional spring slot. Alternatively, you can run for one of their official charities (minimum fundraising amount is £400) and get double the feel-good endorphins on the day.
The Manchester Marathon is now the fourth biggest in Europe, thanks in part to the beautiful sights of our fine city that you see on route, and in part, because it’s flat. With no long, energy-sapping inclines, it’s good for first-timers and those looking to achieve a PB. The time to beat from last year was 2:18:26 for the men’s race, and 2:40:17 for the women’s.
TOUR DE MANC | BOWLEE COMMUNITY PARK | 1 MAY
It might not reach the altitudes of the Alpe d'Huez or end with a flyover of the Champ-Elysees, but Manchester’s version of the Tour de France is not short of excitement. The four routes take in all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester and include closed-road sections and tough hills such as the short yet steep Werneth Low, and Grains Bar near Uppermill, which featured in the Tour de Britain.
The routes range from the 50km Quarter Manc for new cyclists to the epic 200km, time-limited Mad Manc for the seriously committed rider. The organisers stress that "it’s not a race" (the leading peloton may disagree) and that prizes are awarded for grit and determination as well as speed. Entry is £38 plus booking fee - and the best bit is - profits go to charities including the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
EUROPEAN TAEKWONDO CHAMPIONSHIPS | MANCHESTER REGIONAL ARENA | 19-22 MAY
If the taekwondo action at Tokyo 2020 had you gripped with its spinning head kicks and split-second reactions, here’s your chance to see the top names battle it out in real life. The European Taekwondo Championships 2022 is a four-day event that will see the stars of the medal-winning British Olympic team compete alongside over 400 athletes from over 40 European nations. Highlights to look out for include British silver medal winners Lauren Williams and Bradly Sinden, and para silver winner Beth Munro.
It’s taking place at the home of British Taekwondo, the Manchester Regional Arena on the Etihad Campus. Tickets start from £5 for children and £7.50 for adults.
GREAT MANCHESTER RUN | MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE | 22 MAY
With the option of a 10k and a half marathon, this closed-roads event brings in over 15,000 runners each year. You start and finish in the city centre before heading out to Salford Quays and Old Trafford and back, with the half marathon taking in the Etihad Campus as well.
This event is known for its party atmosphere with 24 "experience zones" along the route including tunes from DJ Clint Boon, performances from The Halle, and all manner of bubbles, cheering buses, disco lights, and selfie-ops to keep your spirits soaring (even when your legs are threatening industrial action and the finish line is still 3km away). Entry is £42/£49 and there are various opportunities to fundraise for charities.
UEFA WOMEN’S EUROS 2022 | VARIOUS | 6-17 JULY
Greater Manchester will play a starring role in hosting the Women’s Euros next summer, with eight matches set to take place in the region. The opening game will see the England Lionesses seek to out-play Austria once more at Old Trafford on 6 July. Then six of the group matches plus a quarter-final will be played at Manchester City Academy Stadium (home to Manchester City Women) and Leigh Sports Village (home to Manchester United Women).
With tickets starting from just £10, it’s your chance to see world-class football action live without emptying your bank account. It’s also a great platform to show the world how much football means to Mancunians - let’s make sure our stands are the fullest and loudest of the tournament.
A record number of football fans have snapped up the tickets released to ballot so far. A further ticket release will take place in mid-February.
MANCHESTER MIND BODY SPIRIT WELLBEING AND YOGA FESTIVAL 2022 | BOWLER’S EXHIBITION CENTRE, STRETFORD | 24 SEPTEMBER
Shop for witchy wares, have your runes read, journey into your past life, and align those pesky, wayward chakras while you’re at it. This festival promises 120 stands of holistic healing and the like, plus workshops, inspirational talks, a yoga and dance zone, and vegetarian and vegan food.
It’s perfectly timed at the start of autumn for those of us who like to embrace our pagan sides in the darker half of the year. We’ll be there to stock up on candles, crystals, and positive vibes to power us through the winter ahead.
MANCHESTER HALF MARATHON 2022 | OLD TRAFFORD | 9 OCTOBER
While the Manchester Marathon is back in its usual spring spot, the half is sticking with an autumn date, possibly to give runners longer to recover if they’re also doing the Great Manchester Run in April.
This closed-roads race takes you on a flat, crowd-lined tour of the southern suburbs, starting at Old Trafford and heading out as far as Timperley before winding its way back through Baguley, Sale and Chorlton.
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP FINALS| MANCHESTER CENTRAL AND OLD TRAFFORD | 18-19 NOVEMBER
This year will see the rescheduled 2021 Rugby League World Cup take place and Manchester will be at the heart of the action, capping the competition off with all three (men's, women's and wheelchair) finals held here over the space of 24 hours.
Manchester Central will host the wheelchair final whilst Old Trafford will be the location of the men's and women's doubleheader the following day. Tickets for all fixtures are available now and the tournament will also be screened live on the BBC.
Read next: At last: Gary Neville's St Michael's scheme starts in January
Read again: All three Rugby League World Cup 2021 finals in Manchester
Don't miss out
Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email.