Summer has seen a gradual lifting of restrictions that - for anyone who hasn’t been pinged - means a lot more freedom to enjoy life and a great summer of sport.
Indeed, a number of events cancelled last year have been entertaining us in 2021 instead, including the European Football Championships, and now the Olympics.
Cricket fans have also been able to supplement the usual fare on offer from England games and county matches with the new Hundred tournament, aimed at attracting a wider audience for the sport. The fact that every event is a double bill featuring a women’s match followed by a men’s game will help raise the profile of female players in particular.
All this means lots of sporting fun to watch, whether you made it to Wembley or Hampden, are going to the cricket or watching it all on TV.
For Olympic fans, the last week has certainly been about the TV, with even the local spectators not allowed to watch in Tokyo as the country battles the pandemic. Not only does that mean anyone with plans to fly out there to watch Team GB in action had to scrap them long ago, but the time zone difference also means a lot of late nights and early mornings.
Of course, you could start with a nice early breakfast, which may seem appropriate given that Japan is known as ‘the land of the rising sun’. But with much of the most exciting action so far taking place in the small hours, some very late nights or even all-nighters could be the best way.
Trying to do this without a bit of extra sustenance is not a great idea. So now could be a great time to get some extra snacks, drinks and other goodies in. Above all, a large purchase of some discount coffee could be very well timed indeed.
Although the Games is now well underway, it’s also worth remembering that there will be much more to come, as the Paralympics will follow from August 24th to September 5th.
There are certainly some good reasons to keep stocking up on these goodies as the summer progresses. The Hundred will continue until the final at Lord’s on August 21st, while supporters of more traditional cricket will be able to enjoy a five match series between England and India through August and into September, likely to be a thrilling encounter between two top sides.
If all that wasn’t enough, let’s not forget the new football season is starting. Fans will be able to go to matches this season, albeit subject to Covid / vaccination status, but there will also be plenty to see on the box, so whether viewing a live game or tuning into Match of the Day later in the evening, there will be much to be excited about soon.
Of course, all this sport on TV could be something of a saviour for families running out of exciting things to do during the school holidays. There may be a couple of weeks away to enjoy, but six weeks can be a long time, especially now the heatwave has given way to days of rain and storms, meaning it can be easy to run out of things to do indoors.
Inevitably, once this happens, it can be easy to get a bit bored, so it’s all the more important to find some entertainment. What’s more, it’s a lot more fun when you can add some sweet treats and nice drinks to go with it.
At the same time, anyone with kids will hope that all the sporting action rubs off on them and they find a bit of inspiration. This might just mean using dry and sunny days - hopefully there will be more of these to come - to get outside and play with bats and balls, or run, or take up one of the lower-profile sports that get their moment in the spotlight in the Olympics.
From where this inspiration might come remains to be seen. It could be that the gold medals already won in the swimming pool do the trick, or it might be the track cyclists who perform their usual trick of piling up the medals. Alternatively, the athletics might bring forth champion runners, jumpers and vaulters to get everyone excited and spur youngsters to dream of emulating them.
Whichever of these it is, there is no doubt it’s more exciting to see these events live than to watch the highlights the next morning when the result is already known. So stock up on the coffee and prepare for more late nights as British Olympians go for gold in Japan.