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Folders  |  Sport in Lisbon
Sport in Lisbon
Yann Paviot
Sport in Lisbon

Sport in Lisbon


To the question « what represents sport in Lisbon ? », every self-respecting lisbonite will reply with another, and much more important one : « Are you Benfiquiste or Sportinguiste ? »  Indeed, before engaging into the least significant sport issue in Portugal, it is wise advisable to choose your position in the matter of the biggest popular rivalry in the country : whether you are a fun of one of the two major soccer clubs, both based in Lisbon, yet representing completly different values. Benfica, the best known abroad and the most celebrated at home, is the people’s club. Sporting is certainly more elitist, high-brow, of good descent.

Once the choice is made and announced, you can venture with clear consciousness into all the other sports made possible by the exceptional climate of the region. In Portugal, as in all the Western European countries, practice of sports, as part of the healthy lifestyle is becoming more popular. People engage in leisure activities which are good for their health, social life and family.
But in spite of this trend, the country is still lagging behind ; indeed, only 57 % of the Portuguese claim that they practice sports one or more times a month, which is on average 30% less than in France, Germany or the United Kingdom. These numbers can be explained more by the lack of time and financial means than by the lack of motivation. Only 5% of the annual budget is devoted to this budget heading, comparing to 12% in France. The king of sport is soccer, which cannibalizes all the media audiences. This sport accounts for 31% of all the registered athletes in the country.

But Portugal is recognized in other disciplines as well; in roller hockey, boasting one of best teams in the world ; in surfing and boogie board having a few European champions ; finally, in long distance race,  with very good marathon runners and triathletes. Apart from these elite sports, you will easily find facilities to practice handball, volleyball, rugby, basketball and many others.

The geography of Lisbon will allow you to practice many water sports such as surfing, sailing and diving. Of course, don’t forget the beach sports, (visit Caparica, Carcavelos and Gincho beaches) which, in addition to improving your suntan, will allow you to develop your skills in flying a kite, beach volley, beach rugby and beach soccer. Finally, being next to the Monsanto (a park within 5 minutes of Lisbon), as well as to the Sintra and Arrabida forests, allows you either engage in the sport activity most widespread in this country, i.e. hiking; or, if you love big thrills, to have fun by riding mountain bike.
It has to be mentioned that Portugal is one of the few European countries that have not yet regulated in any way the practice of the mechanical sports. Fans of the 4X4 and motorcycles, you will have a blast! Other places in the greater Lisbon area, all with a free access, will allow you to participate in your favorite sports: the national stadium, the university stadium, the docks of Belem, the gardens of Estrela and Belem, as well as the bike path along the estuary of Tagus, or along the ocean, between Cascais and Gincho.

This inventory would not be complete if we did not mention Golf and Tennis. There are nearly 30 golf clubs surrounding the capital, suitable for all levels of skills and finances, from the basic practice to the 36 holes. Best known are the Quinta da Marinha, Penha Longa and Aroeira. (On this website you will find a list of golf clubs). As for tennis, more than 15,000 registered players practiced the sport in 2005 (list of tennis locations is also available on the website). And lastly, if the open air does not appeal to you, there are plenty of sport clubs at your disposal. Quite luxurious and well-equipped, they offer broad range of individual and group activities.

Although there is a great and eclectic variety of sports in Lisbon, the media pays attention only to soccer. By subscribing to the Sport TV 1 and 2 www.sporttv.pt, you will receive broadcasts of the entire  daily programs of the first league with its 16 Portuguese clubs; reported, if you missed something, by the two large national daily sport newspapers: the red-titled, pro-Benfica Bola, and the green-titled, pro-Sporting Record, both covering all the soccer events along with a few lines devoted to the Portuguese performances in other Sports. However, the media is not everything, far from it. Take advantage of being in Lisbon and go see a match with Benfica, because, even if you are not yet a fan of the ball, the spectacle is going to change it. On the other hand, you will also have an opportunity to attend the Portuguese Grand Prix in September and the Estoril Open in April.

Finally, don’t miss the traditional touradas ( bull fights on horse, without killing the bull ) or the October equestrian gathering in Golega. Unfortunately, it is hardly possible in this country to practice high altitude and mountain sports ( ski, alpinism or climbing ); badminton, and the North American sports ( baseball and American football ).
In conclusion, Lisbon combines all the conditions necessary for practicing variety of outdoor sports, leisurely or intensely, with family or with friends. Now it is up to you.


More information:

To find information on sport:

The Ministry of Sport
INE.pt : statistics (not always up to date and not always complete)


Total registered players in 2005: 449,543

Handball             30,760
Athletcs            10,760
Auto Racing     3,100
Basketball         17,694
Cycling             4,210
Pigeon Racing   17,777
Soccer             131,835
Gymnastics     13,535
Golf                 15,852
Judo                 11,588
Karate             14,070
Swimming         7,284
Figure Skating    9,976
Sport Fishing      3,757
Rugby                 2,543
Tenis                 14,175
Table Tenis          3,975
Shooting             5,057
Sailing                2,664
Voleibol             27,740
Others              101,191


Places where to see matches :  Rugby: Irish Pubs


Stores: 

Large specialized chains:  

Decathlon:  10 stores.  Large multi-sport stores in the city’s periphery.  www.decathlon.pt

Sport Zone:  50 stores.  Small  multi-sport stores can be found practically in all the commercial centers of Portugal.  

Amos:  Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco, Amoreiras Shopping lj 4002, 1070 Lisboa 213 828 360

Department stores:  - El Corte Ingles:  : Avenida António A Aguiar 31, 1069-413 Lisboa  213 711 700 www.elcorteingles.pt


Specialized stores:  -

Athlete’s Foot:  Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco Shopping lj 1082/3 1070 Lisboa 213 858 907

Courir: in the commercial center of Loures www.courir.com -
the Professional golf shop- ???

Econauta: close to the Benfica stadium, specializes in the mountain and water sports.  They also organize events.  R João F Branco 34-B, 1500-359 Lisboa 217 276 339 www.econauta.com frederico@econauta.com

Nevada Bob: golf store on the Cascais line .  Avenida Nice 10 2765-259 Estoril 214 675 366

Mega Aventura: specializes in VTT and road bicycles.  Rua Ferreira Borges

Ericeira surfing shop: specialize in surfing and body boards.  Rua Prudêncio F. Trindade 21, 2655-344 Ericeira 261 869 475  

Casco Antigo: offers diving equipment and diving courses.  Margem Sul between Almada and Setubal.  Casco Antigo

Estrada Nacional 10, km 17 2830 Coina 212107979 www.cascoantigo.com

Foot Locker: store specializing in sports footwear. Rua Carmo 39, 1200-093 Lisboa 213 210 720


Stores specializing by brands:

Adidas: manufacturer and official supplier of equipment for Benfica.  Avenida D. João II 1.17.03,12º, 1998-026 Lisboa 210 424 400 / 707 200 367 www.adidas.com -

Nike:  Quinta Pinheiro Edifício Tejo-16-piso 3, Alfragide 2720 Amadora 214 169 700 www.nike.com. The outlet:  Estrada Nacional 3 Shopping lj 68 2580-491 Carregado 263 853 738

Timberland :  213 82 76 65 loja nº2044,2045 Av. Duarte Pacheco Amoreiras Shopping Center  1070-103 Lisboa



The clubs:  


You can join one of the two following types of sport clubs :

Municipal clubs:

information can be found in the city halls.

Pros : large diversity of basic and team sports, price, convenient locations.
Cons:  quality of training, insurance (often it does not exist)


Private clubs: 


Pros: quality of the facilities and equipment, quality of training and variety of the classes, guarantee the club has insurance.
Cons: price


The sport events to discover:  

Go to see Benfica: for the ambiance and the stadium itself.

A thing to do with a family is to cross the bridge of 25 Avril during the Meia Marathon.  Taking place often in the month of March, the marathon is a big event for professional and well-trained non-professional runners.  It departs on the other side of the bridge.  Everybody is welcome to participate in this big party with its great ambiance: balloons, music, performances.

The Volta a Portugal
The Portuguese Grand Prix
The Estoril Open

More traditional events:

Bullfights: calendar of the touradas www.toirosecavalos.com  
Equestrian Competitions in Queluz (Lusitanian horses) :  
Celebration of the Lusitanian horse in Golega:
Feira Nacional do Cavalo honors Lusitanian horses : demonstration of carriages, competition and crafts fair.  
Feira of S. Martinho in Golegã  from 2nd  to the 4th  and from  7th  to the 11th of  November, 2007.  249 979 050 camara.golega@mail.telepac.pt www.cm-golega.pt

  
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