Inspired By The Olympics? Here’s 3 Ways To Try A New Sport!
If you’re anything like me, the recent Olympics encouraged two rather contradictory things. First, to not move from the sofa for twelve hours unless it was to get snacks or pee, and secondly, to actually try out one of the sports that you’ve just spent four hours watching and suddenly know all the rules of – surely I’m not the only new diving expert? I’m going to go ahead and assume you’ve got the first down to a fine art, so what do you do if you want to get into a new sport and haven’t a clue how to start?
1. Look for the national association website of the sport and join one of their clubs.
Every sport has an overall governing body, both to regulate and to encourage participation. For example if you wanted to get into badminton and live in England there’s Badminton England or if you’re in the US it’s easier to look by state for an organisation. Often they’ll have a list of sports clubs on their site so that you can find the one closest to you and get involved. They’re usually friendly to complete beginners, but if you’re not sure, just ring up and ask!
2. Ask your friends.
…assuming you still have some left after ignoring their calls for two weeks solid, of course. Your friends will have their own hobbies that they might not be sharing with you, so just put a shout out on Facebook to see if anyone already plays the sport that you want to pick up. Or if not, just ask someone to play with you, buy cheap equipment, and hit your local park to play. It’ll get you having fun out in the fresh air, and a hobby with a friend could become a special thing you do together.
3. Check out your school or university teams.
If your university is anything like mine, then they have a team or club for absolutely any sport that you can think of, up to and including Ultimate Frisbee and Quidditch. Search on Facebook with the name of the sport and your school, and a team will probably pop up. Don’t be afraid to join and talk to members before turning up for real. Of course, if there isn’t a club, you can always start one up yourself!
Whilst watching the Olympics, I found my passion for badminton was completely reignited. I loved playing it in Physical Education classes in school, but for some reason I never took it any further. All the rules came flooding back and I was completely gripped by the matches, well, apart from during the ‘trying to lose’ controversy. Since then I’ve joined a local badminton club in the town next to mine, and have contacted my university’s badminton club. I’ve found that I’m still in love with the sport, and I don’t see myself giving it up anytime soon. It’s keeping me fit, giving me something to look forward to every week and mostly I’ve noticed that interacting with more people and gaining more friends has given me a massive confidence boost too! So go on, give it a try, you have nothing to lose!
Written by Abigail ‘Chazza’ Chalrinho