Cheering on top-division football club Hannover 96 at the HDI arena is guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The atmosphere is just as electric when ice hockey stars such as the Hannover Scorpions and Hannover Indians take to the ice, or TSV Hannover-Burgdorf tear up the handball court. More thrills and top-class performances await fans of water polo, basketball, rugby and hockey. And April sees the start of the horse racing season at Hannover's Neue Bult, one of the most modern racecourses in Germany. Hannover is perfect for hosting top-class sporting events, as demonstrated in spectacular fashion by events such as the HAJ Hannover marathon and the German Classics, an international indoor equestrian tournament.
Hannover's can also rightly claim to be in the top league when it comes to participation: the city has around 750 sports clubs with more than 100,000 members, and 80 per cent of the city's inhabitants do at least one hour's sporting activity every week. This is made possible thanks to the city's sports clubs, parks and training centres, fitness studios, climbing centres and public sports facilities – not to mention Lake Maschsee and Eilenriede Forest. Popular mass-participation events include the Velo Challenge Hannover cycle road race, the triathlon events at Lake Maschsee and in the 'water city' of Limmer, and a series of 'skate by night' events for inline skaters.
Golf enthusiasts will find a number of clubs in the Hannover region where they can drive, pitch and putt on fairways and greens in beautiful scenery, while those who prefer to test their limits should head over to the high ropes course in Springe: a treetop course of wire ropes at heights of up to 20 metres. The SeaTree climbing and adventure park by Lake Steinhude has courses with different levels of difficulty so that the entire family can enjoy a day of climbing fun!