5 New Sports to Try in 2017

Traditionally for many, the dawn of a new year has been associated with getting fit and healthy, and burning off those Christmas calories. So for those who tried and have yet to succeed, it is all about trying something new and we’ve compiled this list of five sports. Some that you may have never considered, others you may not have heard of – but all are a must try for 2017.

By Sam Wilkins

Courtesy of CUSU.org

Gaelic football is one of Europe’s biggest upcoming sports. Sky Sports have made a deal with the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) last month to show 20 live games per season, with the sport’s attendances on the rise.

Gaelic football itself is a very intense sport and requires high levels of energy to play. It is a full contact sport, with shoulder to shoulder contact being permitted. Games consist of two 30 minute halves and points can be scored through either putting the ball past the goalkeeper into the goal or putting the ball over the bar in a similar way to rugby. 

Just minutes from the city centre, Roger Casements GAA has been around since 1956 and is the only Gaelic football club within the city of Coventry. The club, who play in the Warwickshire Master league, have both a men’s and a women’s team. The club can be contacted through the email: http://www.rogercasements.co.uk/contact/

Coventry University also have Gaelic football societies for both men and women, so any students willing to get involved will be able to join through the university. It costs £35 for a membership, which can be bought through the university’s website: https://www.cusu.org/opportunities/sport/sportsa-z/



By Joe Connolly

Handball is a fast-paced, exciting seven-a-side game that continues to grow in popularity.

Like many sports, it revolves around teamwork. The aim is to score a goal by throwing it in the net, with the rules being that players can only progress three steps when in possession of the ball and no one apart from the goalkeeper is allowed in the penalty semi-circle.

Coventry handball club was founded in 2012 after the London Olympics garnered interest in the sport. The chairman, Boris Bailleul, had over 20 years of experience playing in France before he came to England.

“Handball brings people together and shows what you can do as a team. Coventry Sharks men’s team are in the Super 8, the UK’S top handball league and the women’s team are also a force to be reckoned with,” says Boris.

“The men’s second team are currently looking for players to join and there is a women’s second team starting, which means now may be the perfect time to try playing the sport.”

Anyone can try it out – no experience is necessary. The men’s team train at Coventry Leisure Centre on a Sunday, 5-6.30PM, and the women on a Friday from 7-8.30PM at Moat House on Winston Avenue.

Facebook: Coventry Handball

Twitter: @CovHandball



By Tom Crack

Photo taken at Alan Higgs Centre, 30th October


A sport to try which has grown a cult following the past few years is Ultimate Frisbee. A member of the Coventry University Ultimate Frisbee team gave iCov all the ins and outs with this ever growing sport.

I heard about the Ultimate Frisbee team of Coventry University when I looked at the CUSU website before coming to uni in September. I wanted to be part of a sport team, so I had a look to see all the options that would appeal to me.

Ultimate Frisbee is a sport of two teams of five or seven depending if you play indoors or outdoors. The aim is to throw the frisbee to one of your team mates who is in the end zone, to score. To do so, they can make as many passes as they want, but when someone has the frisbee, they can’t move and can only pivot on one foot.

I really enjoy the atmosphere. You have training sessions together, no matter if you’re a first year and have never played before, you’ll learn quickly and everybody will help you progress. People should get into frisbee for these reasons: team spirit and having fun!”

If Ultimate Frisbee is the sport for you, a membership fee to join is only £30 and training takes place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at Charterhouse fields.



By Jamie Garwood

Courtesy of @CovUniJets


We interviewed Coventry University student Tom Crack who currently plays for the university American Football team, the Coventry University Jets:

“I guess my love for the sport started with my dad, it was always on every Sunday for as long I can remember and when I was old enough I wanted to put the pads on and get going

“The sport is not just guys running head-first into each other. I love the sport due to the tactics and the psychology behind it. With a strong comradery regardless of how many plays you get on the field the bond between the team is strong from top to bottom

“Over the past ten years I’ve noticed a lot of improvements in terms of the exposure of the sport. The annual NFL game at Wembley has expanded from one to four as well as a weekly recap show on BBC Two and with the Superbowl in two weeks’ time there is never a better time to capitalise on the sport’s popularity in the UK.”

If you are interested in joining the university team, The Coventry University Jets trains Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at Sidney Stringer Sports Centre opposite Kasbah Nightclub.

Click here for the upcoming fixtures for the current season: https://twitter.com/covunijets/status/795247462281777154


MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

By Jamie Garwood


Mixed Martial Arts is a rapidly growing sport on a global scale. The sport encapsulates several separate disciplines, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, wrestling and boxing.

These disciplines take commitment and require technical ability, whichever level you aspire to pursue. Mixed Martial Arts is well represented in Coventry, with several gyms practising these arts, including Spiritual Warriors.

Coaches at Spiritual Warriors include Rich Green who has links with experts such as John B Will Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and with combat submission wrestling and STX kickboxing specialist Sensi Erik Paulson.

For a beginner a free lesson is available in any of the arts that Spiritual Warriors teach.

Spiritual Warriors website: http://www.mma-coventry.co.uk/


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