Short of things to do in 2016? Want to give yourself a challenge?

How about watching a different sport each day, all around the world.

That's what Welshman Kieren "Beefy" Blake, a cricketer, and his Kiwi musician mate Rob Bryers are doing. They had just been at the world darts championships in London when Blake spoke to Radio Sport from Helsinki, the next stop on a world tour expected to involve more than 220 flights and 48 countries.

The pair were bound for the Irish rugby derby between Ulster and Munster. They have already witnessed events ranging from the scary Sydney-Hobart yacht race, to artistic cycling in Malaysia.


The darts was still on Blake's mind though.

"The darts last night was unbelievable. The people were swinging from the rafters, the atmosphere in Ally Pally [Alexandra Palace] was phenomenal," the 41-year-old Blake said.

"We've seen 62 sports so far. You would get fatigued and bored doing this and seeing the same type of people but we are seeing different cultures and people involved. Once we get our story across, people are genuinely intrigued."

Blake moved to Melbourne in 1996, where he met Bryers, 35, a "former musician turned comedian/writer" according to a website. He initially moved there with the Auckland band Revolver.

The odyssey, which started in October with speedway in Melbourne, aims to include mainstream sports such as the Olympics, and a lot of little-known ones such as bog-snorkelling in Wales, and the Irish Christmas tree-throwing championships.

"It took three years to come up with the list and schedule ... and the schedule changes still," said Blake.

"We were meant to go to a sledge/toboggan thing in Germany but because it is so mild in Europe there is no snow so it was cancelled and we are going to Ireland instead."

It is not just the sport itself which surprises. The atmosphere at a handball final between Denmark and Sweden was stunning.

"It was totally from left field. They are arch rivals and 15,000 Danes were in the stadium, and about 50 Swedes," said Blake.

"For an hour and a half, the Danish crowd did not stop, it was totally parochial. Every time Sweden got the ball, they booed. The atmosphere was phenomenal. It made the hair stand up on the back of your neck."

New sports are never in short supply as word spreads about their venture. They receive regular emails about sports such as segway polo and an ice hockey game called ringette played with a bladeless stick and a ring instead of a puck.

They are always on the move, and flexible. Realising that the West Indies might be no match for Australia, Blake and Bryers abandoned a Boxing Day cricket plan and headed to the first test between the Aussies and New Zealand in Brisbane instead. This introduced the only sour note - Blake claimed all sports had been very supportive "bar Cricket Australia".

Funding is another issue, and naming rights sponsorship is on offer.

Blake said: "We were in Dubai for the world air games which had model aircraft combat ... a very, very strange sport you didn't even think existed. We bring exposure to all these things that you've never seen on TV."