At Insure4Sport, we don’t just cover sports you’ve heard of like football, boxing and karate; we also offer insurance on a number of weird and wonderful sports and fitness classes enjoyed by thousands of people across the UK. Here are some of the most unusual classes that we cover:
Aerial Hoop Dancing
You might think that dancing with a metal hoop suspended in the air is the preserve of Cirque du Soleil, but it’s now become a popular fitness class. Participants of aerial hoop dancing learn to create elegant movements and shapes on the hoop while using core muscles for balance. Also known as Lyra, the fitness benefits of this sport are an all-over body workout that focusses on the abs, triceps, core, back and legs.
Want to see it in action? Check this clip out.
It may come as a surprise to many, but chess is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as a sport and has even applied for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. This ancient Indian game was included in the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games and YouGov research in 2012 indicated that around 70% of adults have played or still play chess.
In the UK, chess is not recognised as a sport, however it’s a hotly debated topic. The London Chess Conference believes it qualifies for a number of reasons; for example, they argue it is competitive and requires mental fitness – itself a product of physical fitness.
Incorporating moves from the burlesque style of dancing, popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, burlesque fit involves engaging your core muscles and plenty of cardio. Described as a ‘fun and sassy’ workout, it can help to improve general fitness levels, plus keep you toned and flexible.
Some classes use props such as feather boas, chairs and hats. Sessions are designed to give you a cardio workout, raise confidence levels and make participants feel sexy.
Have a look at this video to find out more:
Indian Club Swinging
Indian Club Swinging is an exercise regime that uses wooden clubs of various weights and sizes that resemble bowling pins. Clubs of all weights are swung around by the participants in a way that improves co-ordination, flexibility and fitness. Believed to have started over 2,000 years ago in Persia, the practice became popular in England in the 19th century.
This form of exercise was used by everyone from army cadets to well-heeled women throughout the Victorian era. The sport even became a gymnastic discipline in the 1904 and 1932 Olympics. In its modern day incarnation, Indian clubs are seeing a revival, particularly in CrossFit classes, while solo Indian club classes are starting to spring up across the country.
Don’t get too excited! This is not training with a kangaroo, but instead exercising with your baby in a kangaroo style pouch. This cardio workout helps new mums regain their fitness without having to find a babysitter. This exercise class was named after Kanga, the mother kangaroo from Winnie the Pooh.
Kanga training is no longer just a cardio and aerobic workout you can take in the gym or village hall; it has now morphed into nordickanga (Nordic walking with your baby) and ReaktivKanga (walking in the great outdoors with your baby with hand weights).
Octopush is essentially underwater hockey. Created in the 1950s by two sub-aqua divers who were bored of swimming up and down in lanes, Octopush is played with a mask, snorkel, fins, a puck and a small stick. The idea of the game, as with traditional hockey, is to get the puck into the opposing team’s goal.
For a more detailed explanation of what Octopush is, watch this video.
Nordic walking uses poles to engage the upper body as well as the legs whilst walking. Not to be confused with hiking, the walker uses the poles in a specific way to increase the use of muscles in the upper body. This can be done anywhere, with the added benefit of being outside. It’s said that Nordic walking burns up to 46% more calories than ordinary walking.
Despite its name, it was invented in Finland as a way of training for cross-country skiing in the summer. Hikers have long used poles to help them on tough hiking trails, but in 1997, a company called Excel developed the first Nordic walking poles and popularised the term.
Similar to cricket, stoolball is a team sport where two teams aim to score the most runs. There are two shoulder-height wickets standing fourteen metres apart and the bat resembles a table tennis bat. The hard ball is bowled underarm for the batter to hit before they run. Believed to be the origin of baseball and perhaps even cricket, stoolball is mentioned in Shakespeare’s play ‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’.
Mainly played by girls and women, stoolball is played throughout the UK, though most teams are based in the South of England. If you fancy getting involved with stoolball, go to Stoolball England’s website.
Also known as just ‘Ultimate’, ultimate frisbee is a non-contact team sport where the players seek to score points by throwing a frisbee to a teammate over the opposing team’s goal line. The sport began in the USA in the 1960s and has since spread all over the world. It now has its own professional league called Major League Ultimate. Popularity is growing rapidly in the UK, with many schools and universities playing. If you want to join an ultimate frisbee club, take a look at UKUltimate.com.
Want to see what Ultimate entails? Take a look at this video.
If you are a coach or fitness instructor for an unusual sport, speak to Insure4Sport today and find your perfect specialist sports insurance. Get a quote!