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5 quirky sports freshers should try at York

Dom Smith picks out five of the quirkiest sports offered at the University of York. Freshers should try them out — why not?

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Image Credit: Don DeBold

Freshers looking to get involved with sports like football, rugby and cricket are in luck. With York being a collegiate university, there are both college teams and university teams for these and many other sports. But the University also offers the chance to play some truly unique, niche sports. If you’re hoping to try something wacky, or continue your love for a niche sport, this guide should help you out. Here are five crazy sports that you can play here at York.

Croquet
No, a pinstripe afternoon suit is not required when joining the croquet club. Here there are no constraints. Croquet is great fun — and is an example of a sport which can be as leisurely or as competitive as you wish to make it. To satisfy all your hitting-a-ball-under-an-arch-with-a-stick needs, you can join the croquet club through the YUSU website by following this link: https://yusu.org/activities/view/croquet

Canoe Polo
It is as ridiculous as it sounds. Canoe polo is a contact sport played by two teams of eight players. Using canoes, teams try to score more goals than their opponents to win matches. It’s effectively water polo played while canoeing rather than while swimming. York is the leading university for this sport. However, there is more than one canoe polo team, and they are eager to gain new members and welcome players of all ability levels, including beginners. Find (or join) them here: https://yusu.org/activities/view/canoe-polo

Kendo
Kendo is the sort of sport you’d expect only international-level athletes to play during their university years, but this simply isn’t true. Kendo is Japanese fencing, and is a semi-contact non-Olympic sport. Most of those who play the sport at York first picked up their sword during these sessions. As such, beginners to this intriguing discipline are more than welcome. The society does include several highly esteemed players, but they take an active role in helping beginners to grasp the basic skills. Join here: https://yusu.org/activities/view/kendo

Ultimate Frisbee
Practice sessions for ultimate frisbee on 22 Acres are a common sight at the University of York. This is a York favourite, and does particularly well at enticing freshers to join when advertising its membership at freshers’ fair. This high-speed game is played by teams of five when played indoors, and teams of seven when played outside. Try it out by following this link: https://yusu.org/activities/view/ultimate-frisbee

Korfball
Anyone wanting to play mixed-sex netball or basketball should try korfball as it is the closest thing. Four boys and four girls make up an eight-player team. Two teams compete to score the most points — done by netting into a netball hoop that stands at three metres high. The interesting differentiator is that much of the game-play takes place behind the goal. It makes for thrilling, unpredictable and fast-paced matches. They meet on Wednesday evenings between 19:30 and 21:30, and you can register interest or ask any questions about the sport by emailing korfball@yusu.org

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