Plenty of people across Wales like their sport a little less mainstream and a little less traditional. Whether it’s off grid, underwater or in the hidden depths of a Welsh hillside, Sport Wales is here to support your sports club – no matter how quirky or different.
Last year, Sport Wales’ Be Active Wales Fund invested more than £4 million pounds into almost 600 grassroots, community sport clubs. It offers grants from £300 to a whopping £50,000 for projects in Wales through National Lottery funding.
Here’s our guide to ten of the many unique sports that you can take part in across Wales and the clubs that have used Sport Wales funding to deliver brilliant projects.
Imagine yourself crawling through crevices, scrambling steep terrain and dangling on ropes and now add in the fact you’re underground. If this still sounds like it’s up your street, then maybe you should try caving?
The United Cavers Exploration Team is the largest club in North Wales. It has seen its membership skyrocket by a massive 250% in just two years with cavers enjoying teamwork and increased confidence.
To keep new members safe, it needed monitoring wristbands and tagging equipment. Sport Wales stepped in and gave them a helping hand to the tune of £2248.
TOP TIP: The Be Active Wales Fund welcomes applications from projects which are using technology to engage more people.
Think swimming pool and then add a hockey stick and a puck. And you get Octopush (or underwater hockey).
You may not have heard much about Octopush but the Pembroke Octopush Club has been running since 1989. With an adults and junior team, one member (take a bow Nia Matthews) has even been selected to play for Great Britain at the World Championships.
As you might imagine, the club requires equipment which can be expensive. The club applied to the Be Active Wales Fund and has was granted almost £4000.
Based in and around areas of Pembrokeshire where there are high levels of families living in poverty, the National Lottery funding has helped the club buy kit and equipment. It can now lend the kit to players, reducing financial barriers to getting involved.
TOP TIP: Take some time to think about what your project will achieve and how it will benefit your club. If you're unsure whether your project is eligible for funding, the friendly staff at Sport Wales can steer you in the right direction. So, complete the easy online form and go for it!
Some might say it’s a mash up of netball and basketball. Like netball, you’re not allowed to dribble and, just like basketball, all players are allowed to shoot and defend.
The recently established Swansea Roar Korfball Club put almost £1700 in funding from the Be Active Wales Fund into venue hire, coaching courses, cones and korfballs to help them get off the ground.
Previously, the only other club in the city was the Swansea University team which is available only to students.
The club is eager to be accessible to all and offers discounted memberships for those who are unemployed, receive council tax reduction or certain benefits.
TOP TIP: Apply for the funding with the right frame of mind. Think about the benefits your club can bring to the community and how you can offer sport that is accessible to all. Then, include this in your application!
If you fancy taking the plunge with a new sport, you might want to think about sub aqua. Scuba diving is a great way to build water safety - and just think about the underwater adventures you could have.
Clubs across Wales provides ocean diver training and qualification. But don’t worry if the ocean puts you off - Brecon Sub Aqua Club use the swimming pool at Brecon Leisure Centre to practice their diving.
Eager to make the sport more appealing for children and women, they applied to the Sport Wales Be Active Wales Fund last summer. A grant of almost £8500 allowed them to replace some of the heavy and cumbersome equipment for smaller, lighter alternatives.
TOP TIP: Is your project aiming to reduce inequalities? Let us know in your application.
Know your ollies from a backside180? Yes, we’re talking skateboarding. And if you want to get your kicks on a board, you can head to the growing number of skate parks across Wales.
No Comply Skatepark in Newport is the brainchild of Alan Cains who is on a mission to improve and create new skatepark and skate hubs in the city. But it needed the funding to build the facility.
Applying to Sport Wales, it received more than £31,000 from the Be Active Wales Fund which funded around 80% of the cost of the build and, according to Alan, “made everything possible.”
Now, it works with a wide range of youth and community centres including Positive Futures groups of young people who are disadvantaged and excluded from school. It runs queer sessions as well as relaxed, quieter, autism-friendly sessions. It also offers adaptive skating for individuals and groups with disabilities.
TOP TIP: Don’t assume your sport is not supported by Sport Wales. Alan always considered skateboarding to be more of a lifestyle rather than a sport – and was surprised to discover the project was eligible for funding.