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Scot no loyalties: Glasgow and Aberdeen rank top cities to skip anniversary with a partner to watch sports

34.2 million Brits admit to ditching work and responsibilities for sporting events.

Scot no loyalties: Glasgow and Aberdeen rank top cities to skip anniversary with a partner to watch sports

Article Source: Topgolf Glasgow
Last Updated: 19 April 2024 17:10

A whopping 34.2 million1 Brits (51%) have ducked out of a day’s work or other responsibilities to watch or attend a sporting event, with a staggering 3% of people admitting to missing the birth of their child – equating to 2 million2 of the UK population, according to new research.

The study, commissioned by gamified golfing experience Topgolf UK, examined British attitudes towards major sporting events ahead of the Masters Tournament, looking at what people had already missed, and what they would be willing to, just to watch or attend.

If missing a child’s birth isn’t bad enough, a further 4% of Brits also confessed to skipping a key childhood event, such as parents evening or sports day.

And when it comes to Glasgow residents, 5% have even admitted to missing an anniversary with a partner to watch sports, ranking as the number two city in the UK willing to do so, only behind fellow Scottish city Aberdeen (6%). Both rank over double the UK average (2%).

Men have been found to be significantly likelier to call in sick at work for the day (16%) to watch a sporting event – over double the number of females (7%).

When quizzed on which event have made Brits shirk their responsibilities the most, watching a one-off football game (32%) seems to be the most popular choice, with the football World Cup (27%), closely following in second. And whether you are from the green or blue side, people from Glasgow seemingly value club football far more than the wider UK, with over half (53%) polled admitting to shirking a responsibility to watch the footy.

Over half (52%) of Brits who have admitted to bunking off for sport in the past are seemingly great at sneaking around, with the shiftiest area for getting away with watching sport being revealed as Sheffield (66% of people), closely followed by Newcastle and Oxford (both 65%).

And for those caught red handed, actions and the consequences varied massively, with the majority resulting in a confrontational argument with the person spotting their wrongdoing (12%). Shockingly, in some workplace cases a new job was on the cards, with 3% of people admitting to quitting on the spot, and a further 1% being fired. One-in-20 (5%) tried to get even with the individual catching them red handed as a result of being exposed.

Some Brits yet to play hooky haven’t ruled out doing so in the future, naming that of the football World Cup (16%) once again as the sporting event that they might do it for. Employers, take note ahead of the summer! This was followed by a one-off football match to watch their club play (9%), and a Formula One Grand Prix (8%).

As Augusta rapidly approaches later this week, a massive 4 million3 (6%) would feign a ‘sick day’ off work to watch the season’s first Golfing major. Breaking the data down further, 14% simply wouldn’t bother with housework, a family meal (10%), or religious services (7%), and instead opt to sit back, relax and wait to find out who this year’s Green Jacket winner will be.

Michael Angelides, Senior Director of International Marketing at Topgolf UK, said: “With a jam-packed sporting calendar ahead this summer, starting with next week’s Masters Tournament, we thought it was the perfect time to examine how Brits fit sporting events around their everyday tasks… and it turns out many don’t!

“Whilst we don’t recommend people shirking their responsibilities, all four Topgolf UK venues will be showing the tournament in full on our big screens from Thursday right through to Sunday 14th April. Simply head down to and enjoy it with your friends and family at our venues in Glasgow, Watford, Chigwell or Surrey. Just be sure to let your bosses know it could be a late night, especially if Tiger Woods pulls off the unthinkable!”


Walk-ins available at all Topgolf UK venues to watch the Masters Tournament in their bar/restaurant areas available from Thursday, right through to Sunday. To book a bay at Topgolf, visit topgolf.com/uk/plan-a-visit/

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