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The season for summer sporting fun

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cycle is a fun and easy way to see the Bay, and might become your new mode of transport.

Summer – the season of reinvention. Every year we’re told it’s a time to start thinking about your new ‘beach bod’, to create grand plans for the New Year or how to kick those nasty habits of 2017 (New Year, New You!)

But what if summer was the season of experimentation, of trying new things and, discovering new hobbies and places, and finding a skill or activity that could turn into a lifelong love?

The great thing about living in the Bay of Plenty is there is no shortage of options when it comes to sport and recreation – particularly in our parks, reserves and forests.

And with this being the big holiday period for many of us, there’s never been a better time to try that sport, activity or class you’ve looked at, bookmarked but never taken the next step with.

Set yourself a goal, such a climbing Mauao two to three times a week, and enjoy the summer sun!

Sport Bay of Plenty Recreation Team Leader Sonia Lynds says while it can be daunting to take that first step, don’t be afraid to simply give it a go, no strings attached, and have fun doing so – there’s no harm in doing a free week’s trial with a local class, showing up to a Have a Go day or joining your friend on one of their adventures to find that one thing that clicks.

“We often tell people raising children not to compare them. It’s the same with adults,” says Sonia. “Who cares what colour your togs are as long as you like them? Who cares what size your shoes are as long as they fit? Everyone’s lives and interests are different.

“Challenge yourself this summer to ‘find your thing’. Something that gets you ‘out there and active’, while fitting in with the life that you live. This will be the key to sustaining your activity levels long term.

“Just remember that often the barriers are ones that we are making up in our heads – the biggest challenge is to get out the door. Even walking a small way is better than not walking at all.”

Social sports are a great way to meet people and try a new sport without the commitment of signing up long-term. Hockey, netball, volleyball and more all have summer leagues that are focussed on fun, and can be a great way for those looking to find a new sport to join to have a go without the competition and pressure.

“Participating in sporting activities gives us that feeling of satisfaction,” says Sport Bay of Plenty Sport Manager Megan Cleverley.

Backyard cricket is a great Kiwi past-time and popular summer sport.

“Even though our bodies will not appreciate it at first, as we start to feel those body aches and pains in areas that we didn’t even know could feel that way, it doesn’t take long for body and mind to feel better for it!”

After a busy year, summer is a great time to look forward to – to unwind, relax with family and do something for you.
The weather and long daylight hours provide us with the best opportunity to get out and try the many new, modified sports and activities that are around in our community – just get out there and have some fun!

For a list of sport and recreation options this summer, check out Sport Bay of Plenty’s Get Involved Activity Directory. You can also visit the Sport Bay of Plenty Facebook page for events and information regarding sport clubs and Play in the Bay Facebook page for low-cost and free recreational activities.

Sport BOP’s summer fun

We asked a few members of the Sport BOP team what they’d like to do these holidays and their advice to getting active over summer:

Heidi Lichtwark (CEO)

2000-Heidi-L

New places or activities you want to try?
I would like to go to Splash Planet in Hawke’s Bay, Blue Lake in Rotorua for swimming and running under the trees and Whangamata for the best beach running. Cycling on some of the off-road trials – been meaning to go for ages but the rain has kept me away!

Summer health and fitness goals?
Just keeping fit and enjoying the summer longer hours. I am doing the New York Marathon next year (November 18), so starting to build base fitness for that.

Number-one piece of advice for someone who wants to get active over summer?
Start small and build up you activity over time – that way it’s much more achievable and the body adapts to the changes without too much discomfort.

Jen Riley (Keep on Your Feet Project Team Leader)

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New places or activities you want to try?
Some sort of bike packing mission, but not sure where yet – there too many options! Previously we’ve done a five-day bike packing mission from National Park to Hamilton all via off-road trails.

Summer health and fitness goals?
I’ve just got one lifelong goal to keep active regardless the season.

Number-one piece of advice for someone who wants to get active over summer?
Find something you enjoy/is fun and then it won’t be a chore. Find a friend to be active with then you are more likely to commit. And sign up for an event to keep motivated.

Valda-M

Valda Money (Accounts and Contracts Manager)

New places or activities you want to try? Biking in the Redwoods.

Summer health and fitness goals? To include more vegetables in our diet as our meat intake increases with summertime barbecues (and a husband who thinks barbecues mean meat!)

Number-one piece of advice for someone who wants to get active over summer? Do something every day, even if it’s a short walk.

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Lisa Dangen (Operations Team Leader)

New places or activities you want to try?
I always wanted to visit Mayor Island or Great Barrier. I love islands and the sea.

Summer health and fitness goals?
Just keep active and healthy, and make the most of the sunshine with family.

Number-one piece of advice for someone who wants to get active over summer?
Get out with friends and try something new. It will make you feel good in the great weather.

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