Seeing as how the 2012 Olympic Games have just ended, sport is at the forefront of many people’s thoughts. Britons are proud of the success of team GB and the impressive medal haul is sure to inspire the next generation of young athletes, But the Olympics are the mainstream there are a lot of strange and bizarre sports practised in countries all over the world. As an expat you may just come across a few of them and perhaps you might have the courage to participate!
The Mud Olympics (Germany)
Faster, higher and muddier! Is the motto for one of Germany’s most bizarre sporting events, the event is held every year on the mud flats of the Elbe River in Brunsbüttel near Hamburg. The contest has been played since 1978 and sees competitors from all over the world participate in the same sort of events you see at the conventional Olympic Games, except these are a lot muddier!
Today the competition is held alongside a series of concerts affectionately called Mudstock and goes onto raise money for a cancer charity. The events include mud versions of traditional sports like soccer and handball, as well as mud specific events like the mud-eel race and the long-distance rubber boot toss.
Camel racing (UAE)
Horse racing is for wimps. Camel racing is where it’s at. The sport is hugely popular in the United Arab Emirates, the middle East, Asia and Australia. The racing season takes place every year from late October to early April and sees the camel’s race along a sand track up to ten miles long. Unlike Horse racing the owners of the camels don’t have jockeys as such; instead they drive alongside the racing animals urging them on. The louder they shout the faster they run. Up to 70 camels can be racing at once so it pays to keep out of the way if you’re a spectator. The races usually take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and, while the morning races tend to be reserved mostly for sheikhs, the afternoon races are open to all.
Sepak Takraw (Thailand)
This game requires skill a lot of skill. The name roughly translates as kick volleyball and is a sport native to Malaysia and Thailand but it has seen its popularity grow in the USA and Canada. Sepak takraw differs from volleyball in that players are only allowed to use their feet, knees and chest to touch the ball. A match is played by two teams comprised of three players and is won by winning the best of five sets. The game requires incredible skill and dexterity and is amazing to watch.
Unicycle football (USA)
Yes, this sport is as crazy as it sounds, but it looks a lot of fun. The rules are similar to regular American football except the whole game is played with the players riding unicycles. Each game doesn’t begin with a coin-toss but instead sees the team captains joust one another with a long stick with a boxing glove at the end. As the sports website says ‘Most people won’t really “get” unicycle football until they come out to see it firsthand. Basically, it is the most kick ass sport in existence. If you are interested in playing, come out to one of our games or practices. Anyone can play!