Taking up a sport is a great way to meet new people, whether you’ve moved to a new area, you fancy widening your circle of friends, or you’re just bored of your old friends! There’s plenty of bonding to be done through some good, healthy competition and lots of opportunities for post-match drinks and socializing. Plus, making friends through sport means you already have a common interest and therefore something to talk about with your new buddies! Try on these sociable sports for size:
1. Tennis is an excellent way to meet new people and make new friends and you don’t have to be Wimbledon level to be able to play. You can either sign up for some tennis coaching sessions if you don’t feel confident enough to jump straight onto the court, or join your local club and put yourself forward for some matches.
2. Skiing or snowboarding might seem like something of a solitary activity but there are actually plenty of group activities to get involved in on the piste, from snowmobiling to trekking. And if you don’t meet people on the slopes there’s always the après ski, which is of course one of the main reasons many people choose to take snow holidays in the first place.
3. 5 a side Football is a great team sport that most people will already know the rules to and that you can play pretty much anywhere, from a park to a proper pitch. From team bonding over the half time oranges, to post match drinks, there are plenty of opportunities for meeting new people and because the group is small-ish your face won’t get lost in a crowd.
4. Golf is the perfect option for anyone who is looking to make new friends in a slightly more serene and less sweaty way than spending several hours running around a court or a pitch. After a few friendly rounds, head to the club house for a sociable drink to discuss handicaps and swap your stories of your time on the green.
5. Netball is a really invigorating way to spend a couple of hours and is also a proper group sport that requires communication and plenty of teamwork. Whether it’s a tactics planning session beforehand or celebratory drinks at the local pub after a win, this is a great sport for meeting new and like-minded people.
6. Cricket is the kind of team sport that is perfect for socializing, as there is plenty of opportunity for leisurely chats and discussions of play for those not on the pitch. Factor in the tea and lunch breaks, as well as the post match nights out with friends and other halves, and you have a sure fire way to expand your social circle.
7. Jogging is something that many people do on their own, with a dog or with only an iPod for company. However, most cities in the UK now have one or more running clubs, which are the perfect opportunity to meet like minded souls, to arrange joint runs and to train together for big events.
8. Swimming is a great way to introduce some new faces into your life, especially if you sign up for aqua aerobics or swimming classes at your local pool. If you have a new baby, this is a particularly good way to meet other mothers who are also introducing their little ones to the water for the first time.
9. Aerobics classes are the perfect way to meet new people in an atmosphere that is always upbeat, lively and great fun. OK, so you might be getting a little sweaty and not looking your best but everyone in the room will be in the same boat and this kind of physical exercise can really encourage people to let their guard down.
10. Sailing is an exhilarating and unusual team sport that can bring a whole crew of new people into your life. Sign up for some group lessons anywhere on the coast of the UK and then introduce yourself into the local sailing club, as these are often at the heart of the local community.
These different sports are an easy way to make new friends and widen your social circle. Meeting other people whilst doing something that you love is a situation where you are almost guaranteed to come across similar minded people with similar interests. And most of the time it’s much cheaper and healthier than going to the pub!
John is a guest blogger from Go Mammoth netball London – a social sports club where you can meet new people while playing the sports you love.