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Olympic Inspiration
Summer game sports you can watch in NH

08/11/16
By Dave Long dlong@hippopress.com



 Love what you’re seeing on the Olympics and want to catch some live action? Here are a few sports that you can find locally.

 
Archery: There are a surprising number of archery schools and clubs in the Granite State. As for big competitions, you just missed the New Hampshire Bowmen’s annual State Field Archery Championship in Dunbarton on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7. Check their Facebook page for a schedule of future events. 
Beach Volleyball: If you are a wannabe player or just want to watch the action, look to Spike University Volleyball, which trains and teaches young players with aspirations of playing on the collegiate level. They also hold tournaments, and their big one — the High School and College Superbowl Beach Volleyball Tournament — is happening Saturday, Aug. 20, at Hampton Beach from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more info see facebook.com/SpikeUBeachVolleyball.
Cycling: Mountain Bike: The mother of all bicycle mountain climbs goes off Saturday, Aug. 20, when 500-plus riders will cycle 7.6 miles straight uphill to the top of Mount Washington in the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. Spectators can grab a spot anywhere along the course to see individual riders, tandem teams and even people on unicycles go by — though they should know it’s chilly in August at the top, where almost all in photos from last year at the finish line can be seen wearing winter parkas. See more details at mwarbh.org. 
Equestrian: For folks who actually know what halter, showmanship, lead line, walk-trot, adult walk-trot and breed classes are or want to learn, there are many places locally to do so. Prime spectator spots are state fairs, which have shows in a variety of classes at several times throughout the day. Most locally, there is the Hopkinton State Fair happening Friday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, and the Deerfield Fair from Thursday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 2. For those who want all equines all day, there are several shows coming up for the New Hampshire Hunter Jumper Association (see nhhja.com), and the Silver Heels Riding Club Open Show is happening Sunday, Sept. 11, in Fremont (silverheelsonline.com). You can also search equinesite.com for more New Hampshire shows.
Golf: It’s not hard to find a golf course where you can watch a match since there are over 90 courses in New Hampshire. Many courses have club championships in August, though they generally don’t draw spectator crowds. One that does is the New Hampshire State Amateur Championship, but since it was held last month you’re going to have to wait till mid-July 2017 to see that. In the meantime there are two New Hampshire Golf Association events to check out this fall: the Senior Match Play Championship at the Country Club of New Hampshire in Sutton from Aug. 29 through Aug. 31 and the Mid-Amateur Championship at Lake Sunapee Country Club Sept. 21 through Oct. 1. Complete details are at nhgolfassociation.org. 
Gymnastics: The highest level and just about the only place to find gymnastics in the Granite State is at UNH, and it’s just the women’s program. It was a highly competitive 16-10 team a year ago. Though the 2017 schedule is not out, the season ahead begins in early January and runs through the end of March. There is no set day for meets, but there are generally a healthy number of Saturday meets in the schedule in Durham and there are nearby road meets at Boston University, Brown and other schools around New England. Find details at unhwildcats.com.
Indoor Volleyball: If you want to see volleyball in action you can head to almost any high school or college near you for women’s action, and the boys play in the spring. Hollis-Brookline is the reigning Division I girls high school champ. Schedules are not on the site just yet, but the place to find every high school schedule and results in the state is NHIAA. org. There are no set days for the UNH women either, but the home season kicks off on Monday, Aug. 29, at the U beginning at 7 p.m.  
Soccer: They call it football at the Olympics, as devotees of the sport know. It’s one of the easiest Olympics sports to find locally as almost every local high school and college has teams. If you want to see it at its top level locally and nationally, check out SNHU and Franklin Pierce. The SNHU men won the most recent national championship among the teams when they won their second national title in 2014, while FPU won in 2007. Neither can match the FPU women, though, who won five national titles in six years between 1994 and 1999. Suffice it to say the annual games between the rival schools are worth the price of admission. While the home season for SNHU begins on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 1:30 p.m. against Bloomfield, most games at Larkin Field are under the lights at 7 p.m. And if you want to make it a point to see the annual FPU-SNHU battle, the women play on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. in Manchester, while for the men it’s Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. in Rindge. Full schedules for all SNHU fall sports are at snhupenmen.com.
Triathlon: If you want a sport to make you tired just watching it, the triathlon is for you. They’re held all through the year around the state. The soonest to see one in these parts without driving too far comes at the Contoocook Carry Triathlon on Sept. 10 and consists of a 2-mile run, 5-mile paddle with portage and 14-mile bike ride. It starts at Hopkinton High School, and spectators and new participants are welcome.





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