‘Cool’ alternative sports this summer

THIS summer, beat the heat in a different way. Try these “cool” alternative sports which will surely take your mind off the unbearable weather. Tired of the usual sports? Ultimate Frisbee, Dragon boat racing or mountaineering is probably for you.

A growing trend

Ultimate frisbee is usually played in an open field where players catch and pass a plastic disc called Frisbee. The game is composed of 14 players split into two teams whose aim is to send the disc to the goal and earn points.

However, players must keep the disc from falling to the ground while passing it around and stay in their position within 10 seconds.

A team wins after reaching 15 points, or at least the highest score after the 80-minute game.

“It is a fun sport that most of my friends play in our ‘bonding time,’” says John Benedict Mendoza, who has been playing the sport since last year. The Rehabilitations Science student says the game also has health benefits.

“It is a good cardio exercise since it involves a lot of running and jumping. It can also remove stress,” Mendoza says. This sport is relatively cheap, as it only needs a disc which costs around P500 to P600.

Beyond the heights

If you are more of the outdoorsy type, why not reach greater heights with mountaineering, the sport of hiking, backpacking and climbing mountains? Pe Borja, advertising student and member of the UST mountaineering team, says that starters need to go through training before setting foot on the mountain. Physical training consists of a pack run while mental training or running is done on campus for four rounds. They have the basic mountaineering course, advance courses and first aid.

“Once you’ve completed the training given by the club, you can climb mountains, starting from low level or easy routes (minor climbs) to a more a difficult terrain (major climb),” says Borja.

To fully enjoy the beauty of the mountains, one has to be in the proper shape mentally, physically, and emotionally. Aside from this, one must also be ready to dish out a lot of cash as mountaineering could be a bit expensive since equipment and safety gears cost between P20,000 and P100,000, depending on the brand of choice.

“Mountaineering is a unique sport,” says Borja who has been into mountaineering for 14 years. “Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll keep on coming back.”

Dragon racing is another alternative sport which will push your stamina and strength to the limit.

A team of 20 rowers, a drummer and a steersman must navigate their boat and beat the opponents through synchronized and strategic rowing in their long boats until they reach the finish line. The sport is usually played in Manila Bay.

“Dragon boat racing is a very extreme and tiring sport,” says Rafael Bawagan, fourth year Engineering student and former vice captain of the then UST Dragon Boat racing team. “The adrenaline rush that we get when we are racing and the drums beating is very thrilling.”

Being in this sport could also be costly since oars and paddles are made of special materials. Oars made of carbon fiber cost around P10,000, while maple costs around P3,000. The cheaper ones cost about P600.

“It is not a very famous sport like the ones you watch on television,” he says. “But Dragon boat racing is the best and only sport which I’ve tried and I have no regrets.” Justinne Chynna V. Garcia and Margaret Rose B. Maranan

summer sports

For those who might be interested to have their children (boys and girls) introduced to air gun shooting (rifle and pistol), I would like to invite you to check out the 1st Tac Padilla Olympic Air Gun Shooting Workshop for students 13-21 years old at the PNSA/Marine Firing Range at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on May 15-28 2010. Registration is free.

Airgun shooting is an Olympic sport which Filipinos can absolutely excel in due to the fact that the sport does not require any special physical talents/attributes. For inquiries, contact: Rhoda at 5102139/ Jimmy at 8932893 / Apaul at 5121928

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