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Surprising Sports

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In fitness, as with life, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut.

Whether you’re a gym junkie, runner, or crossfit addict, sometimes you just need something fresh to mix up your routine.

Canberra has a rich sporting community, but what if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary? We’ve uncovered three of the most interesting, but least know, sports to help you shake things up.

Stock Sport Canberra

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Ice Stock is also known as Bavarian Curling and while it’s been popular in Germany since the 16th century, Ice Stock Canberra has been running in Canberra since 1990.

The game itself involves competitors sliding stocks over a surface, aiming for a target or to cover the longest distance. There are several disciplines including teams, target shooting and distance shooting, and all can be played on ice or on bitumen and concrete in the summer.

Heather Millard, President of Stock Sport Canberra says “I love that the game brings together all sorts of people, involves physical skills I can hone and strategy to keen my brain working”.

Heather says the game is very social, and a great opportunity to meet people as players are from all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

In addition to making new friends, joining Ice Stock gives players the opportunity to travel interstate for annual competitions, try out for the Australian national team and compete in the World Championships held in Europe every two years.

In order to play, you need to be able to lift about 4 kilograms with one hand, and be able to shoot a stock, which is a similar type action to that used in lawn bowls.

The Canberra Stock Sports Club plays on Thursday evenings from 6:30-830pm at the Australian Club in Mawson, and welcomes new players to come and have a try.

the essentials
Where: The Austrian Club, 5 Mountevans Street, Mawson
Web: facebook.com/CBRstocksport

Parkour

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Ever seen those YouTube clips of people climbing walls, jumping from buildings and turning cities into their own personal playground? It’s called Parkour, and if you love the look of it, the Canberra Parkour Association are your people.

While the Association itself was created at the beginning of 2014, Canberra has had an active Parkour Community for around a decade, with classes running since 2008. These days, the Association teaches over 1,000 participants every year.

It’s a non-competitive activity where participants learn about the environment through play and exploration. Eliot Duffy, president of the Canberra Parkour Association says that it isn’t all play. “Physical training in Parkour can also be gruelling, it adopts a ‘no excuses’ utilitarian attitude.”

Training itself is broad. At a Parkour class you’ll be taken through a dynamic warmup and then head out into a training spot in the city where you’ll learn vaulting, climbing, jumping or balance. Add in some games and strength and conditioning, and you have yourself a training session that requires no base level of fitness but brings a multitude of benefits like increased fitness and strength, greater confidence and a whole lot of fun.

the essentials
Where: Classes run from Glebe Park every Sunday
Web: canberraparkour.com.au

The Hundred Swords

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The Hundred Swords is a ‘battle sports’ group that’s been running for about 3 years.

What are battle sports exactly? “It involves ‘melee’ battles of a medieval/fantasy nature using foam and latex weapons. You can wield swords, axes, maces – we even have archers,” say The Hundred Swords.

Aside from learning skills and exercise, benefits of battle sports include camaraderie and proud that’s found with joining a war band, as well as the social benefit of mingling with like minded medieval enthusiasts.

Not to mention you can let your imagination run rampant – you can even choose to be an elf if that takes your fancy! If you’ve ever wanted to personally experience your favourite fantasy film, this is the activity for you.

In terms of the game days themselves, you can expect a range of battles. For example, one of the group’s favourites is a ‘territory and base attack’, where Team A has to fight their way to the Team B base and then break down the gate of their fortress.

While you can wear what you please to training, on game days, The Hundred Swords outfit people in a basic tabard (coloured tunic) when they first join. As you progress you can gain health bonuses under the combat system for adding armour.

If you’re interested in joining The Hundred Swords, you can turn up to any of their Training or New Player Days. You’ll start with basic sword handling techniques and move on to stamina-building drills, ‘levelling up’ as you go. You can start with any level of fitness, and best of all, it’s completely free!

the essentials
Where: Training and battles take place throughout Canberra.
Web: facebook.com/TheHundredSwords

Read this feature in print and more in our latest Magazine ‘The Hidden Edition’. Available from these stockists

HC_Magazine_Issue_03_web

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