Though we ostensibly first decide to get involved in the world of sport as a means of improving our health in a manner that isn’t a complete slog (who actually enjoys going to the gym?), there can be other benefits of getting involved in the world of sport. Many sports can actually be catalysts for a thriving and extensive social life. Team sports for example, will help you to build a definite bond with your team mates, as well as a sense of pride and leadership and sports such as Tennis and Golf, will require you to join a club full of like-minded individuals.
Though cycling could very well be seen as a solitary pursuit, there are many cycling clubs across the country who organise trips to some of the United Kingdom’s most challenging bike trails. You’ll need a fair amount of expensive gear in order to make the most out of this particular hobby, but if you visit SportPursuit.com you’ll find a range of quality, branded equipment for surprisingly reasonable prices.
How many times have you heard in passing one ‘important’ businessman casually ask another if they “Fancy a round of golf at the weekend?” You could snort derisively at the very notion of the sport, but there’s a reason it’s such a popular sport amongst the high-flying elite. It’s a relaxed environment in which to talk business, so logic dictates that it should also be a perfect location in which to have a good conversation with friends or maybe meet some new ones. You’ll also need to join a club in order to play, and golf clubs are generally hives of activity with their own social circles and communities. It’s an expensive hobby granted, but one which could seriously enrich your life.
As with golf, unless you live in a mansion (or are really committed to the sport) you’ll probably need to join a club in order to play regularly. This in itself means that it’s a social sport almost by default. Most tennis clubs will also operate a ‘league’ table, so that all players will at some point interact with one-another on the court, and if they’ve interacted on the court, they are far more likely to socialise off the court.
You might very well turn your nose down at ‘ramblers’, with their huge coats, massive boots and compasses, but when was the last time you saw a lone rambler? Joining a walking club and going on long walks with other people can not only be a great source of stress relief, but it can offer a great excuse to get in touch with nature and take in some incredible sights and natural wonders. A good hike is also a perfect opportunity to have a conversation without the distractions of everyday life.
The most British of all pastimes, cricket is a game that generally lasts for hours and there’s usually a break for lunch or ‘tea’, which will give players a perfect chance to get to know one another. Many cricket clubs will also have their own ‘pavilion’ or even pub, where players can gather for a drink (or 5) after a game whatever the outcome. There’s also the option of joining a cricket team and travelling all over the country, meeting and bonding with fellow players.
As this is a sport that requires a great deal of tutelage, which means you’ll have a wonderful excuse to get to know people as you all learn to scuba dive together. Every novice diver will be assigned a ‘dive buddy’, who will look out for you as you learn and vice-versa. Diving clubs themselves are also incredibly sociable organisations that often arrange diving field trips together and even holidays abroad so they can go diving overseas.
Most martial arts bring together people from all social and economic backgrounds, all abilities and all ages. There is great interaction between members and there are competitions that take practitioners around the country together, competing against both each other and fighters from other clubs.
The ultimate team sport for any British sports fan. Simply put two people together who have a shared interest in football and they could quite feasibly talk for hours, maybe even days, without changing the subject. You don’t even need to play football to be a part of its world either. Being a fan of a particular team is tantamount (in some circles) to following a religion. All you have to do is look at the vast crowds that stream into the nations football stadiums on a weekly basis and you’ll see just how powerful a social experience a football match can be.
Billy Henry is a sports lover who has met most of his best friends though shared sporting hobbies. He is the member of both his local tennis and golf clubs.