A snapshot of Suffolk’s history of sporting excellence 

Suffolk has a longstanding history of producing some of the finest sports teams, athletes & sportspeople in the country: 


Newmarket is widely renowned as the home of British horseracing, housing two first class racecourses, the Rowley Mile and the July Course, both of which host some of the finest Flat racing on the planet, including nine Group 1 contests. The town is also internationally recognised as providing some of the finest thoroughbred horse training facilities in the world, with miles of training runs across the Suffolk countryside and state of the art stables & facilities to train first class horses, jockeys and industry leading associated professions 

Karen Pickering

Karen Pickering

Karen Pickering may have been born on the south-coast, but she moved to Ipswich in her teens and has made it her home ever since. Karen won 35 major championship medals and 38 national titles, represented Team GB at 4 Olympic games and broke 2 world records during her 20 year career. During her career Karen could regularly be seen training in the Competition Pools at Crown Pools in Ipswich, which is still a hot bed for competitive swimmers to this day & regularly hosts meets.

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town won the FA Cup in 1978 & UEFA Cup in 1981. Managed by two sinonomes names in football management, Sir Alf Ramsey between 1955 & 1963, only leaving the club to manage England and 3 years later he would lead the nation to World Cup victory. Bobby Robson managed Ipswich between 1969 & 1982, again only leaving due to the lure of managing his country, whilst he didn’t win a trophy during his tenure as manager of England, they experienced success only for the ‘hand of god’ in Mexico 86 and semi-final penalty shootout loss at Italia 90. 

Ipswich Town
Suffolk Sport Michael Reid

Michael ReidKing of the Channel

Michael ReidKing of the Channel learned his passion for long-distance swimming in Brighton, moving to Suffolk in the 1970’s and making it his home & training ground, but did make plenty of return journeys to the south-coast to complete the channel swim 33 times, setting 17 world records in the process and holding the title of ‘King of the Channel’ on 3 separate occasions. Michael wasn’t only dominating long-distance swimming in the UK, he won accolades in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, USA and Egypt to name a few.  

Ipswich Witches

Ipswich Witches speedway team, based at Foxhall Stadium on the outskirts of Ipswich. The team were championship winners in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s, with nationally recognised names amongst riding for Ipswich like John Louise, Billy Sanders, John Cook and Richard Knight all contributing many points over the years, helping Ipswich enjoy continual success & a long reign in the upper echelons of the sport. The team have not reached such highs in recent years, but things are looking up, with the team finishing 2nd in the SGB Premiership last year, and unfortunately losing the play-off semi final to Belle Vue Aces, who went on to win the play-off final. 

Ipswich Witches
Suffolk Sport Women  Tour

The Women’s Tour and Men’s Tour of Britain

The Women’s Tour and Men’s Tour of Britain has visited the county for 12 stages of the premier national cycling race in the recent past, including 6 Grand Depart’s. A testament to the superb cycling roads that the county is blessed with, exemplified by the country’s leading cycle races regularly visiting the county. In 2014 the world’s premier race, the Tour de France skirted along the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border on stage 3, the final stage of the races UK leg before returning to France for the remaining 18 days of racing. 

Women’s Tour 

  • 2015 grand depart (Bury St Edmunds to Aldeburgh)
  • 2016 grand depart (Southwold to Norwich)
  • 2018 grand depart (Framlingham to Southwold)
  • 2019 grand depart (Beccles to Stowmarket)
  • 2021 finale (Haverhill to Felixstowe)
  • 2022 Grand Depart (Colchester to Bury St Edmunds),  

Men’s Tour of Britain 

  • 2010 stage six (Kings Lynn to Gt Yarmouth) & stage seven (Bury St Edmunds to Colchester)
  • 2011 stage seven (Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham)
  • 2012 stage one (Ipswich to Royal Norfolk Showground)
  • 2015 stage seven (Fakenham to Ipswich)
  • 2017 sixth stage (Newmarket to Aldeburgh) 

Thank you for reading

Sam Richardson
Team OnVenture

Discover OnVenture

Speak to the team at OnVenture about booking an active weekend break in Suffolk. There is plenty to choose from, from road and off-road cycling to running, hiking, walking, swimming, and triathlon themed adventures. Plus, we also offer specialist coaching camps, so if you are training for that special event, get in touch.

Call: 01473 355 035