In the Free State, rugby isn’t a sport, it’s a religion. Well almost, because wherever you go you’ll bump into rugby enthusiasts only too willing to tell you about their favourite team (the Cheetahs).
The Gariep Dam is the perfect place for watersports enthusiasts. There is sailing, powerboating, canoeing, skiing, angling – you name it!
The Nedbank Running Club (Bloemfontein branch) is located in the Bloemfontein Achilles Sports Centre – and the club organises running events throughout the year. Temporary members are welcome.
There are numerous open roads that offer superb cycling opportunities. Mountain biking is also popular in this part of the world. South Africa’s largest mountain bike race takes place in Parys every year during October.
The Free State is soccer-mad, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup accelerated the growth of this sport, particularly in the townships and rural areas, where soccer is king.
The golf course at the Bloemfontein Golf Club is over 100 years old and is extremely popular with those visiting the city. There is also a par-71 course located on the Clarens Golf and Trout Estate, while the Oppenheimer Golf Course in Welkom is another popular option.
Caledoonspoort and Fouriesburg are popular hiking destinations (here you can enjoy San rock art and throw in a bit of fossil hunting for good measure). The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is another excellent spot for hiking.
Catch the Free State Knights in Bloemfontein. Action cricket is another popular past-time and there are various action cricket arenas in and around the major urban centres.
If you enjoy adventure sports then why not go abseiling or rock climbing in and around the Vredefort Dome near Parys?
The Free State is the land of wide-open spaces, so horse riding is a popular past-time. A real highlight is watching large herds of game from horseback in the eastern highlands. Multi-day horse safaris are on offer.