6 sports you might not have tried before

Get moving with one of these alternative sports ideas and make the most of opportunities for Girlguiding members

08 November 2018

Whether you're a fitness fanatic or finding your feet, there’s a sport out there for everyone. Try one of these alternative activity ideas - or give a classic game a new twist - to get your unit moving and feeling great. All of these can be done inside so there’s no need to wait for warmer weather to give them a whirl. 

If you’re feeling adventurous

Fast and fun fencing

Fencing is fast, fun and offers something a bit different to traditional sports. It builds girls’ coordination, flexibility, balance and concentration. Plastic or foam foils are available for younger girls.

In your unit

  • Check out British Fencing’s up to date coach register to find someone locally to run a session. Every coach listed has up to date disclosure checks, basic first aid certification and 'keeping youngsters safe' module. Make sure you check that those leading sessions have the correct qualifications and that you use a reputable provider. 
  • Try fencing at Girlguiding Activity Centres Foxlease and Waddow Hall.


  • GoFence trains groups of adults to lead fencing sessions with young people. Get in touch with [email protected] if you'd like to know more about the one day course tailored for Girlguiding.
  • Once you've done the training course, you can get reductions on safety and plastic fencing equipment. You could share a kit across your county to save funds.
  • British Fencing runs a leadership qualification for girls aged 14+. Girls who've completed the qualification can support sessions run by leaders with the Go Fence qualification.

Gain confidence with karate

Karate is all about self-confidence and coordination. For girls who take to it, there’s often ways for them to carry on with classes local to them.

In your unit

  • Organise an instructor to come to your unit for a fun session, no equipment needed.
  • Join up with other units or sections for a session.

Bounce it out with trampolining

Trampolining is so much fun you might not even realise you’re exercising! It’s low impact and easy on joints too.

In your unit

  • Visit your local trampoline park. You only need comfortable clothes and trainers to get bouncing. Make sure you check those leading sessions have correct qualifications and use a reputable provider.
  • Try bungee trampolining at our Blackland Farm Activity Centre

If you want something simple

Take up tennis









Whether you’re perfecting your serve or picking up a racket for the first time, tennis is a great boost for your physical and mental health. It improves balance, flexibility and agility too.

In your unit

  • Practice small games and skills in your meeting space. You can use balls and rackets if you have them, or improvise using balloons, hands or newspaper- it all uses the same skills.
  • Find a local She Rallies ambassador to lead a tennis starter session with your unit. She Rallies creates opportunities for girls and women to try their hand at tennis. Their network of UK ambassadors can come to your unit to run Lil Miss-Hits (perfect for Rainbows and Brownies) and Teen Girls Starter Tennis (great for Guides and Rangers). Sessions are often free. Find your local ambassador on the She Rallies website


  • She Rallies ambassadors also organise free training sessions for groups of leaders, parents, young leaders and Rangers over 16 to become activators. Activators can register on the Lawn Tennis Association website and get a free equipment kit (worth £250) for their unit. No tennis experience is needed. 

Keep it easy as 123

If you just want something simple and easy, give this game a go. It’s all about navigation skills and quick thinking - and you don’t need any equipment.

In your unit

  • Everyone stands in one corner of a rectangular room. The leader shouts 1, 2 or 3. 1 means girls have to run across the width of the room, 2 means they run the length of the room, and 3 means running diagonally.
  • Girls who run in the wrong direction or end up in the wrong place are out.
  • Spice it up by shouting numbers in quick succession. For example 3, 2, 1, 2 would mean running diagonally, lengthways, widthways and lengthways.  

Mix up classic cricket

When you think of cricket, hours (or even days) long matches might come to mind. But there’s plenty of ways you can mix up cricket to have all the fun but without needing lots of time and space. Cricket’s all about teamwork so is perfect for playing with your unit. You’ll need a small number of bats (they can be plastic), balls and stumps – or you could use a stick or the wall as a target instead!

In your unit

  • Try cricket skills and challenges such as hitting, throwing, catching, running between wickets or small games against each other. 
  • Take it further by joining other units in the same district for games or even a mini tournament.
  • Or learn umpire hand signals.

Want to know more?

If you'd like to know more about our opportunities or have a question about making activities accessible for all girls, get in touch with our Outdoor team.