For most of us, sport is for getting us fit, keeping us toned, filling up on those feel-good team vibes and blowing off steam. For others, it’s about a whole lot more. It’s about pursuing a passion. Celebrating individuality. Honing a true talent and, in this case, a love for the outlandish. And in doing so proving that where’s there’s true spirit and determination, there lies a life without limits.
Forget cricket, people. Because today we’re toe wrestling and chasing cheese as we take you to the centre of the action and into the weird and wonderful world of obscure sports. We don’t recommend you try these at home!
Underwater hockey? It’s called octopush.
Yes, this is another curious adaptation of a ‘classic’ sport. It involves pretty much exactly what the name suggests – two teams trying to push a puck using a stick across the floor of a swimming pool into the opposing team’s goal. Impossible? Apparently not. Started back in 1980, this inexplicable sport has stood the test of time. As for drawing the crowds, this is one sport that struggles with spectator numbers. Unless of course they’ve got their mask, fins and snorkel at the ready. We wouldn’t hold our breath.
Let’s move on to extreme ironing
Yes, you did read that correctly. It goes something like this: a competitor (or self-styled ‘ironist’) goes to a remote, possibly dangerous location to iron their clothes. This most sacred of domestic chores has been performed underwater, hanging from cliffs, while skiing or snowboarding and even on top of vehicles. It’s certainly one way to get psyched up about doing the housework.
Competitive shin kicking
This takes obscure sport to a whole new level. Apparently, the English have been kicking shins competitively since the 17th century! This combat sport involves two opponents (attempting) to kick each other, shin first, until one either hits the ground or surrenders in pain. Ouch.
Take one large cheese, a cheese-obsessed mob, and one rather steep English hill. And there you have it. A centuries-old cheese rolling tradition that attracts fanatics from across the globe to watch and take part. The point? To catch the cheese, of course. Hopefully without requiring a trip in the ambulance that unsurprisingly lies in wait at the finish line. And the prize? You guessed it, the big cheese itself. Keeping you knee deep in mac and cheese right through to next year’s race.
Ever heard of kabaddi? Allow us to enlighten you
So, you know tag, right? And wrestling? Consider this extremely popular sport a mind-bending cocktail of the two. Contenders ‘raid’ and ‘defend’ two halves of the court, tagging an opposing player for points. It’s been played in our own country since the 1930s and it now means big business with celebrity owners, revamped rules, a Pro league and over 200 million viewers – which means that it is actually more mainstream than we realize. Now that is knowledge to save for the next pub quiz!