Still not enough sport for you? Get stuck into these captivating documentaries…
Sports fever is upon us once again as major sporting codes around the world begin to resume play. For many, the huge void that the hiatus left in our lives was in desperate need of a quick fill.
Thankfully, some of Australia’s favourite streaming services – Netflix to Stan, Amazon Prime and even SBS On Demand – answered our pleas and are providing some utterly scintillating documentaries. While crowdless games and shorter seasons have dampened some of our spirits, these timeless documentaries will reinvigorate your passion for the sports you love and have you marvel at the talent of those who play.
From basketball to cycling, these are the 10 best sports documentaries to watch today.
The Last Dance
Available on Netflix, The Last Dance follows the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s – the most dominant team in all of NBA history – and their search to solidify their legacy against criticism. While the story of the Bulls as a whole is captivating and emotionally engaging, there is no denying that this is really a documentary about Michael Jordan especially with the countless behind the scenes footage that sheds light on Jordan’s intensity and his personal vendettas that motivated him to be the best is what makes this truly fascinating. Regardless, this is a must-watch for every basketball fan!
The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team
Test cricket is polarising. Either sending people into a yawning frenzy or spoken of as if only gods themselves could play such a gracious game. This documentary is staunchly for the latter and follows the Australian Men’s Cricket Team, historically the most successful test nation, through their lowest ever point – following the ball-tampering scandal of 2018.
The Test is beautifully demonstrative of how the players represent Australia and how they make sure to care to uphold the values we hold dear as a nation.
All or Nothing: Manchester City
Sporting fans often feel left in the dark with the inner workings of their beloved English Premier League clubs with all the media training and positive spins players present in interviews.The global phenomenon of the EPL is no different. This mini-series is as unfiltered as it gets and shows the no holds barred approach that Manchester City F.C. coach, Pep Guardiola, uses to get the most out of his talented roster of soccer players.
The Final Quarter
The Final Quarter examines the unceremonious departure of Adam Goodes from the AFL – one of the most decorated players to ever play the game. Marred by blatant racism and media scrutiny, Goodes’ final years of his career speak an uncomfortable truth about Australian sport.
Cheerleading has never fully captured the hearts and attention of the Australian people, but after this documentary, that might all change. Ready to stream on Netflix, Cheer follows the athletes at Navarro College in their preparation for the National Cheerleader Championships in Daytona, these kids are a portrait of tenacity.
The director manages to elicit a certain vulnerability from these ambitious cheerleaders, and their reactions to personal struggles make for a compelling watch.
A life-affirming documentary that drives home the importance of community, acceptance and happiness that sport can bring. Available on SBS On Demand, Murderball follows the game of wheelchair rugby (known as murderball) which has developed into an international spectacle, and those who play at the top level are truly inspirational.If you hadn’t heard of it before, or even if you had, make sure to add this one to your must-watch list
Allen Iverson was one of the most controversial players to ever set foot on an NBA court but is now universally one of the biggest and most loved icons in the game. The Netflix documentary focuses on how Iverson overcame personal hardships to change the way the game was played both on and off the court.
Last Chance U
This Netflix documentary trades in the classic explorations of career peaks and utter domination for journeys of redemption, failure and personal growth. Young stars see East Mississippi Community College as their last shot at their dream of playing in the NFL, and you’ll find yourself rooting for each small success that comes the way of these student-athletes.
Everyone knows the unparalleled champion and boxing marvel Muhammed Ali, but who’s the best person to ask what he was like? His rivals of course! Every surviving boxer to have the courage to step into the ring with Ali is interviewed to speak about the sheer force that he was once he put on his gloves. And, better yet, this sport documentary is available to watch now on Netflix!
Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story
Who doesn’t love a scandal? One of the biggest falls from grace in all of sporting history, the Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story documentary features a candid account of the truth behind Lance Armstrong’s drug allegations. Relying on recounts from those closest to the man in the centre of the cycling controversy, this is an absolute jaw-dropper.