Moving abroad can prove isolating especially if you’ve been used to a thriving social life back at home. Picking up a favourite sport, or investing time in learning a new one, can help you keep fit and meet like-minded people. Sports can give you a focus, a regular point of contact and a chance to socialise. But where do you start?
Many, but not all countries, have umbrella organisations which have lists of sporting activities available and relevant locations. Other countries have governing bodies that can help point you in the right direction. Some will definitely need more research than others. Here we’ve listed ways you can go about finding a sport and a club that’s perfect for you.
In Australia sport is big news, so you’ll have no trouble finding something active to do. The 2015 Sports Participation Reports found that the top five sports for those aged 14+ were swimming, cycling, hiking/bushwalking, aerobics and soccer. Other sports in the top 20 included cricket and volleyball. To find your own favourite, check out The Australian Sports Commission website which has an extensive database of activities across archery to wood chopping! They can help point you in the direction of different organisations in different States, and give you an idea of what’s available when. Find out more at: www.ausport.gov.au/participating
Judo, petanque and watersking are just a few of the 92 sports offered on the Sport New Zealand website: www.sportnz.org.nz/get-into-sport/find-a-sport/ With its extensive coastline and vast open spaces, there really is something for everyone to do. The most popular sports in New Zealand are rugby, cricket, netball, sailing, basketball, football, golf and tennis, but even if you don’t fancy one of these, maybe volunteering would be up your alley. You could become a coach or help out at an event. More information can be found at: www.sportnz.org.nz/get-into-sport/sport-makers-volunteers/
Moving to a Canada can offer you a wide variety of sporting opportunities. Fancy learning how to play their all-time favourite sport; ice-hockey or something more familiar like athletics. Once you know where you’re going to be living you’ll need to track down the sports club through the local Sports Council, who in most cases, have lists of clubs and organisations. http://www.communitysportcouncils.com/ For instance, if you are staying in Toronto go to www.torontosportscouncil.ca for more information about sports available in the area.
One way to explore a new country and make friends is through running. With cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles offering open spaces within urban areas, donning your trainers could help you find fitness and friends. The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has an extensive list of clubs to join so visit www.rrca.org/find-a-running-club/ to find out more. To find out more about other popular sports in America, you’ll need to search through the relevant websites: Basketball (www.usab.com), tennis (www.usta.com) and golf (www.pga.com/play-golf-america).
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