Ever wanted to try your hand at something a little different to the norm? Does your New Year’s resolution include trying new things or getting fit? If so then the answer could lie in your local pool. Aside from the normal open swim, toddler sessions and lessons that you expect to see on the timetable, many pools have time booked out for independent sessions that come in to use the space. These sessions can be anything from physiotherapy to some of the obscure watersports listed below. Have a look and see if anything takes your fancy, then give your local pool a ring to see if it’s an option in your area.
Underwater hockey, also known as Octopush, was invented in Southsea in the 1950s and is now played all over the world. Players have to wear a snorkel, and they have a small stick with which to try and propel a puck across the floor on the base of the pool into the opponent’s goal. The real difficulty of the game though, is the amount of time you spend underwater not breathing while playing and judging when to dive down for a tackle or an offensive move.
Probably the most well known of these sports is aqua aerobics, which is exactly as it sounds, an aerobics class, but done in the pool. For those new to swimming and watersports this is a great way in as it follows a familiar format and doesn’t involve any swimming. If you want to try this all you need is yourself and a swimming costume or tankini. There are some great ones in George's tankini range so there is really no excuse for not giving this one a go.
Unlike polo on horseback, waterpolo is not a sport for the elite, and anyone who can swim can get involved. The game itself is a lot like handball, but with swimming and treading water rather than running and standing still. There are six players plus one goal keeper on each team and the sport is included in the Olympic games.
The latest fitness craze to take the UK by storm is Zumba, and those who attend the classes swear by the rhythm and energy of the exercise. A hybrid of this is Aqua Zumba, which involves similar moves and the same energetic music, but all done in the pool. The benefit of moving in water is that your muscles have to work against the resistance of the water. You won’t get as big movements but your body will work harder so it does more good. Unfortunately this means it hurts a bit more the morning after too.
Trying a new sport is never a bad thing, and trying something a bit unusual is a good way to expand your horizons. Watersport does wonders for your fitness, both aerobic and anaerobic so there are plenty of reasons to try – you never know, you might be on the next England Octopush squad!