With restrictions for lockdown easing, there has never been a better opportunity to get outside and pick up a new sport.
Whether you’re socialising with friends, getting in shape or having some much needed me-time, these sports are definitely worth a shot. Rackets at the ready…
1. Padel tennis
Padel tennis is one of the fastest-growing sports across Europe due to how easy it is to pick up and get started. There are four players split into two teams standing on opposite sides of a net (like tennis), however the court is relatively small and is covered by large glass walls on all four sides. Players have short, wide rackets made from fibreglass or carbon and the ball is just a standard tennis ball. To win a point you either play a winning shot like in tennis, or you make your opponent hit it out of the court or into the net (also like tennis). Similarly to squash, the ball can also be played off the glass walls which can create some extraordinary points when you are good enough. Anyone can give it a go, and it’s great fun to play with family and friends, so definitely worth a try!
An oldie but a goodie, badminton is the ultimate summer game. There are very few rules, and once you get a feel for the racket and shuttlecock (the cone-shaped ‘ball’ you play with), it is really enjoyable to play. All it requires is a small patch of grass, a net or rope, some rackets and a shuttlecock, making it very easy to set up. The game involves players rallying over a fairly high net with a shuttlecock with the aim being to either play a winner against your opponent or for them to either hit the net or out. Tall people: this is the sport for you. The taller you are, the more you can hit downwards on the shuttlecock, making it close to impossible for your opponents to return. But be quick on your feet; a well-placed drop shot could catch you off-guard and cause you to lose the point. This is definitely the most relaxed and chilled sport to play – ideal for sunny weather and a barbecue.
Kayaking is one of those sports that may have not been much fun when you went on a school trip and were shouted at for splashing your mates, but when you do it your own way can be one of the most calming solitary sports to do. Going out far into the ocean with only yourself and a small boat may seem a bit daunting, but it is one of those things that can really free you from the stresses of life. It’s also great for cardio and strength training and is the perfect alternative to running if you’re bored of jogging round the same routes or your knees are starting to ache. Going a few metres in a boat is surprisingly hard work and can have you struggling for breath in a matter of minutes. So what are you waiting for? Find your nearest river or beach and get out there.
What sports are you looking forward to trying or re-starting now lockdown is over? Get in touch @studenthutuk and join our panel to let us know your thoughts - you’ll receive a £10 Amazon voucher just for signing up.