Hate sport – Think again
5 New Sports You Can Take Up in Bristol this Summer?
Sport at school was grim wasn’t it?
All the popular kids being picked first leaving you as “I suppose we’ll have to take you” as you were picked last. Having your face smashed into the mud as the school bully and rugby captain flattened you AGAIN or having to wear the world’s most unflattering tabard with GK on the front when you dreamt of wearing GS or GA.
Did you think that sport had passed you by? Then think again because there are great new sports out there that you can take part in, and they are fun, and inclusive you get to meet new friends and you get a beer after, what’s not to like. Here are our top five sports you can play and where to play them in Bristol over the next few months.
- Ultimate Frisbee
Can you throw a Frisbee? Can you catch? Then your half way to being an Ultimate Frisbee player. Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport where the object is to pass the Frisbee to a teammate in the end-zone.
It was invented by hippies in 1960’s California (where else) and one of the founding principles was that players could be trusted without interference from “The Man” or referees as most sports would call them. This ethos still stands. The game trusts the player to call their own fouls and most games still don’t have a referee. Bristol has always been a hotbed of Ultimate and there are two Ultimate teams to join; The Disco Biscuits and Bristol Ultimate, they are both very friendly and will make beginners very welcome. If you enjoy throwing a Frisbee on The Downs why not get in touch.
- Roller Derby
Remember James Caan in the original Rollerball? Well Roller Derby is nothing like that. The 1970’s was the golden age of Roller Derby but recently it has made a comeback mostly thanks to “Whip It”, the 2009 movie and a realisation that it is fun and physical but mostly fun.
Yes there is physical contact and yes it can get hairy out there but hey how often do you get the chance to crash into someone on purpose. Bristol Roller Derby are our home team “Go BRD” and they hold drop in sessions every Thursday evening at Ashton Park School. You need to be over 16 (with parental consent) and have your own kit but other than that give it a go.
Did you hate cross country at school? Me too. Does the thought of pounding the streets jogging bring you out in a cold sweat? Yup Moi aussi. Like a beer? Of course. Then hashing could be for you.
Hashing started in Malaysia in the 1920’s and was designed as a chance for ex-pats to exercise after the excesses of the weekend. Hashing is a running club with a difference. Firstly it is strictly non-competitive. You run at your pace and the FRB’s (ask me for an explanation) have to wait for you.
Secondly the drinking is as important as the running. The run starts and finishes at a pub, and everyone socialises afterwards. Thirdly it is a different route each week. It is based on the hare and hounds idea. A hare sets a trail and the hashers have to a) find it and b) follow it. Bristol has two hash house harriers clubs; Bristol Hash and Bristol Greyhounds, from experience I know they are very welcoming and if I could offer one piece of advice it would be – don’t drive on your first hash!!
- Cornish Pilot Gig Rowing
These days competitive rowing is a bit high tech, all carbon fibre this and carbon fibre that. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just row a proper boat? Well you can. Cornish Pilot Gig rowing is just that, rowing a proper boat in open water.
Yes it is competitive but in a good way, and Bristol Pilot Gig Rowing Club is very inclusive and actively looking for new recruits, even offering 3 taster sessions for newbies. If you get into it, there are regattas all over the country for you to take part in, and I gather from a friend who is keen on this sport the parties at these regattas are legendary especially in Cork.
The Hipsters choice. A chance to legitimately wear a baseball cap. Let’s get the misconception out of the way first. Softball does not use a soft ball, it is bloody hard!
Bristol is a hotbed of Softball and there are two leagues. The Bristol Softball Association and the Clifton Softball League. Bristol has the biggest league outside of London and there are opportunities to join teams whatever your standard, whether you are a complete novice or whether you played for your Frat House when you spent a year at the University of Illinois. The emphasis is on taking part and having a good time.
As you can see sport is not all sadistic sports masters, mud, and bullying. Sport is inclusive fun and a great way of meeting new friends. So why not try one, what’s the worst that can happen?