Upcoming sporting events: The 50th Anniversary South East Asian Games in Laos, club football in both the Europa League and 2009 Club World Cup, Hawaiian surfing championships, and a spot of horseracing and the famous Dakar Rally to ring in the New Year.
Rugby: IRB Sevens World Series
George, South Africa
The second of eight tournaments in the International Rugby Board's 2009/10 series takes place in South Africa, with representation from 16 countries in a seven-a-side version of Rugby Union rules, featuring shorter game lengths, fast-paced play, and teams that will play several matches over the course of a matchday.
Equestrian: Salon du Cheval
The internationally respected annual Salon du Cheval incorporates the International Vaulting Masters on December 4 and 5, horse and cart racing in The Paris'Cup Driving Competition on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6, the GUCCI Masters and the Rolex IJRC Top 10 showjumping championships December 10-13, and of course the multi-disciplinary Grand Prix Magazine Track throughout the duration of the Salon.
Athletics: Southeast Asian Games
The SEA 50 years of the SEA Games, which traces its ancestry back to the 1959 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, taking on its current name in 1977. As such, the Vientiane event is the 25th of its kind, and athletes represent 11 Asian countries in 28 disciplines which are a mixture of former and current Olympic sports along with others such as muay thai kickboxing, golf, pétanque, and shuttlecock kicking.
Soccer: FIFA Club World Cup
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Six continental champions join the UAE's league champion in competing for a chunk of the $16.5million (€11.1m) prize fund. New Zealand's Auckland City have already beaten Al-Ahli and will need to get past Atlante of Mexico on Saturday December 12 in order to have a crack at European champions FC Barcelona in Wednesday 16th's semifinal. On the other side of the tournament, Argentinian side Estudiantes will face either Tout Puissant Mazembe of the DR Congo or South Korea's Pohang Steelers on Tuesday 15, and all contestants are eyeing a place in the final on Saturday December 19.
Surfing: Billabong Pipeline Masters
Banzai Beach, Hawaii
The last competitive event in the 2009 ASP World Tour is also the decider in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, three concurrent surfing Hawaiian tournaments. Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson battle for wave riding legend Kelly Slater's World Tour title, while 21-year old Australian Stephanie 'Happy' Gilmore is the current women's champ.
Soccer: UEFA Europa League Group Stage final round
Top teams from around Europe make a final throw of the dice in the last group stage games in a bid to qualify for the knockout stages that start on February 18. Group B is entirely undecided, with Valencia, Lille and Genoa all with a glimpse of glory, whilst the fate of other teams is still unsure - big names such as Fulham, FC Twente, Sparta Prague, Panathinaikos, Dinamo Zagreb and Valencia all require favourable results to escape unscathed.
Horseracing: New Year's Day Meeting
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Racing takes place from 12.25pm to 3.55pm at this annual New Year's Day meeting in Gloustershire, western England, with both racecourse restaurant and bar on hand to aid in shaking the cobwebs from any New Years Eve celebratory ramifications still lingering in body and mind.
Motor racing: 32nd Dakar Rally
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The 9,000km race for both cars and motorbikes starts in Buenos Aires on New Year's Day, winding its way around Argentina and into Chile, across the dry Atacama desert before finishing back in the capital over a fortnight later.