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Basel’s sporting Christmas celebration

By Martin Pütter

For Brits, but also for Australians, Christmas and sports are inseparable. Football matches on Boxing Day are a much loved tradition in England and Scotland, and lovers of horse-racing flock to Kempton Park Racecourse near London to watch the King George VI Chase (and place a bet as well, of course). And in Australia it is tradition for a cricket test match to start on Boxing Day – and this year Australia are playing for the Ashes (correction, they have already regained them).

And the Swiss have been affected by this Christmas sporting bug – the Boxing Day ski-jumping event in St. Moritz, last held in 2005, will be held again once the jump has been rebuilt. And it is on Boxing Day that the oldest international Ice-hockey tournament is to start, the Spengler Cup in Davos – with many ice-hockey fans from Basel travelling to Davos for those five days.

Basel itself may wait until Christmas is officially over, but the city has its big sports event as well: From 27 to 29 December an international tournament at St. Jakobs-Halle will allow spectators to watch world class women’s volleyball. And an empty wallet after all that shopping for Christmas prezzies is no obstacle – thanks to the tournament sponsor the entry is free. And this year the organisers have reason to celebrate – it is the 25th time the tournament is taking place. This year’s participants are Banana Boat Praia Clube (Brazil, with three current players of the Brazilian national team), Schweriner SC (German champions 2013), Racing Club de Cannes (French champions 2013), Volero Zürich (Swiss champions 2013), Dinamo Krasnodar (4th in the 2013 Russian championship) and Team Suisse (a selection of Switzerland’s best women volleyball players).

Further information (in German only) is available via the organiser’s website, TopVolley.

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