If you're a sports fan, the Christmas period is as delicious a prospect as roast turkey followed by a sofa snooze.

There is no end of live football (including Leicester City versus the mighty Reds at 7.45pm on Saturday - what's that all about?!), Ashes cricket (a Christmas Day night treat for the insomniacs), more live football on Boxing Day (if you've woken up from your late night watching cricket), countless live Premiership rugby matches, the World Darts Championships and probably a televisual sprinkling of almost any other pursuit you can think of.

However, as a journalist passionate about local sport, allow me to give you a few good reasons why you should get out and watch something, well, local.

Firstly, in this dying age of social interaction, what better way than to pass on your festive regards than to join the throng at a local match?

We can all be warm, fed and drowsy at home in front of the fire, but is sport not about being invigorated? If you can no longer be invigorated by playing, surely the next best thing is to smell, hear and taste it?

Sport on television is beautifully sanitised these days. Even the pundits are beautiful - Jamie Redknapp, Thierry Henry, Jermaine Jenas et al are no doubt hired for their allure, as well as their insight.

TV sport is an unmistakably sexy package.

The Ashes coverage has more presenters than competent English cricketers, all dressed impeccably and sporting a wide range of hair-enhancing products.

And just in case the watching men feel like they are missing out, the darts circus continues to wheel out attractive, smiling women to accompany the stars of the show as they waddle (sorry, walk) on stage.

Unlike Redknapp and Henry though, the women don't have a speaking part. Extras at the feast.

All of this glamour is, of course, a far cry from watching local sport.

Out in the field, your feet become blocks of ice and there's always a very real danger that you could slip over on the pitch side mud (if you're lucky enough to get that close to the action).

Deep Heat, bits of sock tape strewn across the pitch, water bottles, inadequate First Aid kits, substitutes chatting to spectators, spectators venting at the referee, players venting at the referee, managers venting at the referee - you don't sample any of these things from your sofa (apart from the last two).

You need to be at the coalface. If you're cold with three layers, hat and gloves on, imagine how a rugby full back feels when he hasn't touched the ball for 20 minutes.

Enjoy the physical and verbal exchanges between a fleet-of-foot striker and a clumpy defender, or relish the 12-body melee of a ruck, at the bottom of which giant men paw each other like jousting grizzly bears.

After an hour and a half of cheering your team and chiding the opponents, the welcome warmth of the bar or car is something to cherish. Something that you will never experience if you refuse to leave the magnetic, soporific glory of your sofa.

So take your pick from these Christmas crackers (other matches are available):


SWPL Premier: Falmouth Town v Godolphin, Helston Ath v Plymouth Parkway (3pm)

Combination League: Penryn Ath v Falmouth Town Res (2.30pm)

Boxing Day

SWPL Premier: Falmouth Town v Helston Athletic (11am)

SWPL Division 1 West: Porthleven v Wendron Utd (2.30pm)

Combination League: Helston Res v Porthleven Res (2.30pm)

Rugby friendly: Penryn v Falmouth (2.30pm)

Saturday, December 30

SWPL Division 1 West: Wendron Utd v Illogan (2.30pm)

Cornwall Cup rugby (quarter-final): Falmouth v Wadebridge (2.30pm)