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6 school sports you need to rediscover

Netball, cross-country, badminton or hockey… which sports did you play at school?

The good news is that you can enjoy them as an adult without having to contend with a shouty PE teacher or ugly school gym kit. Here’s how:


Adult netball is enjoying a renaissance thanks to schemes like Back to Netball, which has encouraged more than 60,000 women to return to the sport in England. Offering a great cardio workout, netball’s definitely not just for women. Chris Green plays men’s and mixed netball - an increasingly popular sport. 


While it may have been a shock to the system during the school day, cross-country running and races such as Tough Mudder events are popular with adults who want more of a challenge in their running. Sign up to train with others at an athletics club near you, or train for an event – search Timeoutdoors for races near you.


It may appear deceptively gentle but playing badminton has plenty of health benefits. It helps tone your body and aids balance and coordination. 

Swimming training

Swimming lessons may evoke a love or hate memory from childhood but it has all-over body benefits. Why not dive back in to this excellent exercise by taking adult swimming lessons or by joining an adult masters’ club in your area? You could enquire at your local pool. Val Thorp, British master swimmer, rediscovered swimming at 45

Gym lessons

Can you do a handstand or turn a cartwheel? Even if the answer’s no, it’s not too late to give it a go as an adult. British Gymnastics has adult lessons for beginners and up if you want to unearth your hidden talents à la Beth Tweddle or Louis Smith.


Dig out your shin pads and gumshield – this classic school field game is on offer for adults too. Providing an excellent cardio workout and good for coordination, agility and strength, regular hockey sessions are fantastic for improving fitness levels. Check out a club near you online.