Vilnius is a Lithuanian sport centre where various national sport federations can be found. There are lots of sport clubs in Vilnius.
Basketball is the most favorite sport which is also known as the second religion of Lithuania. So it might sound like a joke but it is not for any Lithuanian. In addition this, Lithuanians are crazy about this sport but are not absolutely mad. Well known basketballers have grown in Lithuania; they are known not even in Lithuania but also around the world: Arvydas Sabonis, Sarunas Marciulionis, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Linas Kleiza and many others who play in international basketball leagues.
Vilnius has lots of indoor and outdoor pitches where locals will be able to teach you enthusiastically secrets of basketball. Vilnius also has basketball schools where children are taught by famous coaches. City has three basketball clubs that play in Lithuanian Basketball League. Those clubs are:
- Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuanian Morning) – plays in Lithuanian Basketball League, Baltic Basketball League, VTB United League and ULEB Euroleague. This club was founded in 1997. This club is multifold champion of Lithuanian Basketball League and Baltic Basketball League, „Lietuvos Rytas“ has become champion of ULEB League and Lithuanian Basketball federation several times.
- Vilniaus Perlas (Vilnius Pearl) – plays in Lithuanian Basketball League and Baltic Basketball League. Lithuanian club was founded in 2003, as Vilnius „Lietuvos Rytas“ doublers team, where plays perspective Lithuanian Youth.
- Vilniaus Sakalai (Vilnius Eagles) – plays in Lithuanian Basketball League and Baltic Basketball League. Team was established in 1994.
Football, handball, tennis, track-and-field athletics, auto sport are also popular sports in Lithuania. Vilnius has a numerous amounts of places where these trainings are performed. Vilnius is also popular for its annual events such as:
- Neris Regatta (Neries regata) - annual massive regatta down the Neris River. The regatta is arranged on the third Saturday of May. Neris River becomes a place where hundreds various swimming vehicles: canoes, academe boat, rafts and the strangest self made floating vehicles.
- Vilnius Challenge – annual competition of stamina and cleverness that are also organized in Vilnius, also known as multi-sport event. This competition is not even for sportsmen but also for everyone willing to compete themselves. Competition is between two person teams, every team can choose one of the following traces: till 8 (about 60km) or 4 hours (about 20km) length. Competitors must defeat bicycles, rowing, mountaineering and orienteering traces and obstacles.
- Velomarathon – annual bicycle marathon which is organized in Vilnius centre. Competition is for various age and strength bicyclers. Bicyclers Amateurs can compete in trace of 24 kilometers, most persevering bicyclers – 80 kilometers trace, youngest - 2.4 kilometers trace. Velomarathon was recognized as the best sport event in Lithuania in 2010.
- International Vilnius Marathon – traditional annual running competition in Vilnius city. International Vilnius Marathon is prepared on the second Saturday of September. Runners can take place in sport events such as marathon, half marathon and mini marathon. The beginning of Vilnius marathon was in 2001. Originally it has started as local competition but now it is well-known and massive annual event in Vilnius. Marathon events last two days in Vilnius city. First day is dedicated to various relays: pupils, companies, roller-skates slalom, running with heeled shoes. Second day is the marathon‘s day.