The variety of sports that can be practiced in Gran Canaria is closely linked to the mildness of the island's climate. The absence of extreme temperature variations makes it possible to practice practically any type of outdoor sport during any time of the year. It is for this reason that the island has become a winter training centre for many European sports clubs in recent years. These clubs come to Gran Canaria for a few weeks, especially during the winter months, to train their elite players and athletes, in order to get them into shape for their big competitions. Furthermore, many important regional, national and international sports events are held in various parts of the island throughout the year.
The island of Gran Canaria has a long tradition of spectator sports, such as soccer, basketball and motor rallies, in addition to autochthonous sports, such as Canarian wrestling, juego del palo (lit. pole game), and lateen sailing. It is said that sports is part and parcel of the Canarian character.
And for those who want to combine their vacations with sports activities, there are hotels that present specific sports activities or which have contracts with sports centres for certain services, including golf, tennis, paddling, sailing and windsurfing. The more adventurous types are catered for by professional centres that are specialised in the latest and more risky sports, such as gliding, paragliding, solo rock climbing, hang gliding, the island being the ideal place for practising these sports, by virtue of the presence of the trade winds and the special mountainous features of the terrain.