Sports and recreation help us keep our minds and bodies stronger for everyday life and can improve quality of life. You may not yet realize that you don’t have to be an Olympian to try a new sport and have fun while playing it. Life is about creating memorable experiences. Sport can benefit you physically and mentally and help you be entertained, stay healthy, happy and perhaps quench your thirst for competition. You may not even realize how fun certain sports can be until you try them. I took the liberty of working for you to find those fun and different sports that could entertain you, challenge you or make you happy… For Your Life™.
Before we start, let’s classify “What is a sport?”
According to the Oxford dictionary, a sport is: an activity involving physical effort and skill in which an individual or team competes with another or others for entertainment.
As a side note, effort is a relative term. I would ask you, “Does golf, tennis, or frog hopping cause strain?” You can make your own decision, but no matter how you feel about whether something is a sport or not, the key is “entertainment”. Sport has long been a means of entertaining both athlete and spectator. To keep it fun, let’s explore 15 sports that could be fun, new, different and challenging that you might not see on ESPN tonight. I’ve listed these sports in order from easy entry point to more difficult and expensive entry point, so hopefully there’s something for every budget and/or an option to hire the equipment for going out and playing.
In this exciting sport, all you need is a playground and a few friends. You run around and chase other people to tag them. Once you mark them, you get a point. You can play up to a certain number of points or you can save time. Yes, you can even play “groundies”. (Groundies is when you play on a playground but the ground is out of bounds and you can’t touch it). You can play it with adults, children or total strangers.
For ages 21+…maybe not the wiser but definitely for faster runners. You need minimal equipment and a track. It’s simple: drink a whole beer, take a spin and repeat four times. Don’t vomit, or you’ll be disqualified. It’s a fun event, but be warned, people did it in just over four minutes. You must be quick.
There are plenty of options to choose from indoors or outdoors. Of American ninja warrior at Spartan less competitive but just as fun bubble race, muddy dashWhere black light race, you can have a fun family experience and you might get addicted to trying more than one. The culture and camaraderie of these races is great. On a budget, you can create an obstacle course in your backyard with an egg on a spoon race, burlap sack, wheelbarrow, or three-legged race in a yard.
This fun way to play can be recreational or competitive. People of all ages can pick up a bow and arrow and shoot indoors or outdoors. The precision and practice used when shooting arrows at a target can teach safety, competition, and hand-eye coordination that can be applied to other sports. If you want to explore fun summer camp ideas, there are even places to find kids’ camps with archery included.
It’s not as easy as it looks, but it’s way more fun than you might think. It will make you think, run, laugh, work with others and sweat. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, elated and asking, “Can we play again next week?” There are leagues all over the Front Range, and they often play at local parks. Talk to your neighbours, sometimes you will find one playing. It’s kind of a fun underground network that’s clean and awesome, except when you’re playing on muddy terrain.
Simple, functional and complementary to climbers. This fun activity includes balance, moving meditation and can build core strength and concentration. With an easy installation of a piece of strap between two strong points, you can be up and playing in no time. You might get addicted and want to start practicing tricks and bouncing. The “not-so-mainstream” sport even made it into the Super Bowl halftime show alongside Madonna in 2012. If Madonna approves, I hope you do too.
You’ll usually need a gym membership here. You can usually borrow racquets and balls from the club or get equipment inexpensively from a sporting goods store or garage sale. It’s a fast-paced game that was big in the 80s. Racquetball courts are dying out, but if you can find one, it’s great fun to play. It will make you sweat if you really want to play hard but wear goggles. An extra credit point here goes to the people who play volleyball on the racquetball courts, another good reason to keep these courts.
This game takes on a life of its own everywhere. It combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Pickleball is a fun, social sport that’s easy to learn and easy on your joints.
It’s not a super high heart rate game, but it will work on mental acuity and fun physical fitness at the same time. You can find local pickup games at parks, recreation centers, and even pickleball-specific facilities. There are also plenty of tennis courts marked for pickleball these days.
Rugby is not always for the faint of heart but often for the adventurous. You will have to travel often to play this one, as the games can be very widespread. It can also be a bit more expensive due to post-game parties, socializing, travel, and injury repairs. It can be a challenging game but also a lot of fun. Both men and women can play, and it’s a huge hit around the world.
It’s a great way to get a lot of people in a boat to see what’s going on. Spoiler: it’s going fast. It’s a great upper body workout, and almost anyone will enjoy the workout, the water, and the cool breeze. The people are fun and the races are exciting to watch and participate in. There’s a large dragon boat community on Lake Sloan in Denver, and you can even upgrade to world-level racing if you want. It’s cheap to try and there are plenty of community boats and clubs you can get involved with. Dues may vary by club, but the link above has some great resources to explore.
A bit simpler than dragon boat racing, rowing takes place on tranquil lakes early in the morning in very expensive boats. You usually have to join a club to access the boats and you have to invest your early morning hours in rowing, like very early. You can row alone or with others, but it’s peaceful and well worth the early morning wake-up call. Another great cardio and upper body workout, and a bit more of a workout than dragon boat racing.
It may not be as unique as others, as many have done it at camp, on vacation, or elsewhere. They are challenging and fun, but can be quite expensive to invest in a boat or board, so hire one and see if you like it first. It’s such a great way to get out on one of the local reservoirs or lakes, look at the mountains, and catch up on your balance, core, upper body, and coordination. You can even find stand-up paddleboard yoga if you want a real challenge.
This is where we get really expensive. You need a boat, a lake, a few people, gas, gear and more. There are clubs all over Colorado and you can contact them to try slalom, wakeboarding, wakesurfing, demo skiing, and more. Just like rowing, if you want to ski you have to get up early for the shimmering water. It’s great fun in the sun.
Yes, it’s a real sport, it can have great entertainment value. Don’t hit it until you try it. We all want to mow our lawns faster, so we can get on with our day. Let’s all learn from these folks and open our minds to how you can race just about anything. If you’re serious about this one, please message me and let me know how it goes. Sounds like a lot of fun. Read the rules on their webpage, looks like they are pretty serious, but it looks cool.
Several places have popped up over the years where you can shop indoors. There is also a competitive circuit where people race outdoors nationwide across the country. It’s another expensive sport if you dive into the competitive class, but for the recreational class you can get away with it by renting a cart from one of the local racing facilities. Lots of fun and speed. Check Gateway Park Amusement Center in North Boulder.
Whatever you choose from the list above, another hobby or sport for this summer, regularly challenge your brain and body in new ways. Exercise, new activities and sports are proven to improve brain function, memory, fitness, longevity and quality of life. What are some ways you can have fun with sports this summer and beyond? Entertainment in sports is the key, not just hard work and victory. Keep it fun, and you’ll keep going.
Finally, if you happen to find slacklining, archery, lawnmower racing, or creating and competing in a new “weird” sport, please let me know, I’d love to check them out, share the ideas with others or play them. Share your experiences on [email protected].