Are you an armchair sports fanatic?

With a winter chill in the air, many of us are moving into hibernation mode and staying indoors a little more to enjoy our sport in comfort on the sofa. Fortunately there is a wealth of first rate international sporting events coming up to keep us entertained while we rug up indoors. Here is a summary so that you can plan your viewing times and catch all the action.

Tour de France
There is something mesmerising about watching this spectacular cycling event, which combines intense competition with breathtaking backdrops of French countryside. The race began on 4 July and culminates with the epic Paris finish on 26 July. If you don’t have the stamina for weeks of late night viewing, then the pick of the stages to watch are the daunting hill climbs of the Alps (17 – 20 July).

The coverage excellent on SBS including live action of every stage starting generally at 10pm nightly and highlight packages are shown at 7am every morning and 5.30pm every night. Full viewing schedule can be found here and the official Le Tour site is worth a look for deeper analysis of the route, the riders and the history of the event.

The Ashes Cricket
Fireworks are about to hit as the ultimate rivalry in team sports begins with Australia taking on England in the Ashes series in England. The second test commenced on 16th July and England are reigning victorious. The remaining three tests begin on 29 July, 6 August and 20 August respectively. England will be desperate to save face after the five test whitewash they suffered in the last series, while we Aussies will be looking to reassert dominance with our trademark aggression.

Full coverage is available free to air on Channel Nine’s GEM station. The first ball is bowled at 8pm (AEST), with close of play scheduled for 3am.

British Open Golf
The grand old game returns to its spiritual home of St Andrews, Scotland for the 144th British Open - one of the four grand slam events of the golf calendar. Catch the final round live on Sunday 19 July on Fox Sports, starting at 8pm. Event information, history and player profiles can be found here.

World Swimming Championships
The 2015 FINA World Championships will be held in Kazan, Russia from 24 July – 9 August. This is the key swimming event leading up to the Rio Olympics next year and will feature Australia’s brightest swimming talent, led by our three defending World Champions; Cate Campbell, James Magnussen and Christian Sprenger.

Channel 7 has secured free to air and pay TV rights. Viewing schedules have not yet been announced, but keep an eye on this website in the lead up to the event.

Women’s Netball World Cup
Netball is fast becoming a compelling spectator sport with its intense competition, supreme athleticism and the sheer speed of the game. The world cup is the pinnacle event for the cream of the sport and this year the world’s top 16 netball nations will compete in Sydney from 7 to 16 August.

Reflecting the increasing popularity of the sport, broadcast rights have been snapped up by both free to air and pay TV. All the Australian Diamonds games, including the potential semi-final and final, will be covered on Channel Ten or its sister Channel One. Australia’s games are on August 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 14. Semi-finals are played on August 15 and the finals on August 16. Look at this guide for game times.

The final grand slam Golf event for the year is the US PGA tournament on 13 – 16 Sunday August at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin. Coverage will be live on Fox Sports and broadcast times can be located here  close to the event dates. All the event background info can be found here.

World Athletics Championships (TBA)
The iconic Birds Nest Stadium Beijing was made famous in the 2008 Olympic Games and will now be the central venue for this year’s IAAF Athletics World Championships from 22 – 30 August this year. It’s the third largest sporting event in the world, involving athletes from up to 212 nations competing for 47 gold medals. Australia is well represented in a broad range of events in what will be a strong indicator for our athletics fortunes at next year’s Rio Olympics.

Television broadcasting details are yet to be announced. For news and information on the championships visit this site.

US Open Tennis
The final tennis grand slam event for the year, the US Open, will take place at Flushing Meadow, New York on August 31 – September 13. Australia has a growing contingent of players qualifying for the majors and games can be watched on Fox Sports (schedule to be advised). To get more information on the event click here.

What sporting events do you most look forward to every year? Join the conversation below…