Finding an activity
Trying a new sport or activity is a great way to work out what you enjoy most. By finding an activity you enjoy, being active can help to reduce stress, increase feelings of connection, boost confidence and feel a sense of achievement.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are our tips for choosing an activity:
- Think about what kind of activity you want to do, and what you’re looking to get out of it. If you’re keen to meet new people, think about a group activity such as a jogscotland group or a team sport.
- If you’re just getting started, you could start with something small such as going for a walk or jog somewhere new. If you want to try a team sport but are worried about your fitness, many sports now have a walking equivalent such as walking football and walking netball.
- If you’ve taken up a new hobby or activity during lockdown, you could try taking the next step by connecting with a local group or club.
- Have a look at what’s on in your area! Maybe you’ve walked past your local ice rink or swimming pool and wondered what it would be like to get involved or you’ve seen people going into your local community centre with their yoga mats and you like the look of it?
- Most clubs will offer free taster sessions and are actively looking for new members. Look out for posters in your local area, keep an eye on local Facebook groups or check out your local paper.
- If you’re at school, you could ask your Active Schools Coordinator or Young Ambassadors about what clubs are available in school or in your area.
- In your local area, you could get in touch with your Community Sport Hub to find out what’s going on locally.
- Join up with a friend! Maybe they’re already part of a group which you could go along to, or maybe they’re also keen to try something new!
- Maybe you’ve been inspired by watching the Olympics or Paralympics? If a particular sport has caught your eye, you can find out more from our Sport A-Z.
Before your first session
If you’re going along to a club or group taster session for the first time, you might feel nervous or unsure what to expect. It might seem intimidating, but there are things you can do in advance to help put your mind at ease.
You can check the club or provider’s social media or website to find out more and get a flavour of the activity, and a sense of what to expect. It’s also worth getting in touch with them so that someone is looking out for you, and to ask any questions you might have.
Here are some things to check in advance:
- What to bring and/or wear: Most clubs will be able to lend any equipment you need, however it’s worth checking this and finding out what clothing or footwear is advised.
- Whether you need to book or pay in advance: remember that with COVID protocols you may need to book in advance. Many clubs will offer your first session for free.
- Directions and what to do on arrival: is there someone you should look out for or a specific place to meet?
- What facilities are available, e.g. parking, toilets, changing rooms
- Check the forecast: If the session is outdoors then make sure you’ve checked the forecast, it’s always worth bringing a waterproof jacket just in case!
If you feel nervous about going along to a session alone, you might consider joining up with a friend or family member so you can go along together.
If you’re experiencing mental health problems, you might still feel unsure about trying something new. It’s OK to start with something small, such as going for a walk or jog near your house. If you feel ready to join a group, you could find your local jogscotland group – each group is led by a trained jog leader, many of whom have completed mental health awareness training through SAMH. If you don't feel ready to join a group, they also have free programmes which you can follow to get started. Find out more here
- jogscotland: Find your nearest jog group/ what to expect
- sportscotland Sport A-Z
- SAMH: About mental health
- Paths for all: Let’s walk
- Walking Football Scotland
- Netball Scotland: Walking Netball / Bounce Back To Netball