Summer
of Sport

Go get inspired by a jam-packed summer of top sporting events, find the equipment, advice and motivation you need to get out, get involved and get fit this summer.

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SUMMER SERVED UP

Head to the courts to ace your summer workout plan. Benefits include improved fitness, stamina, coordination and strength.

The most common and reliable way to hold a racket for beginners is the ‘Eastern’ grip. Place your dominant hand flat against the middle of strings, slide down to the base of the handle and grip. It should feel as though you are shaking hands with the racket handle. 

Many historians believe the game originates from a 12th and 13th century French handball game played by monks called ‘jeu de paume’, which translates to ‘game of the hand’. It’s suggested that the name ‘tennis’ stems from the French word ‘tenez’, ‘to take’ which was yelled by these monks as they served.

Beginners and intermediates are generally suited to slightly larger racket head sizes of between 102 sq.in and 110 sq.in. More advanced players with a powerful shot will benefit from the precision and control of a smaller racket head.

Each tennis match is made up of two or three sets. To win a set, you must win at least six games which begin at "love all" (both player on zero). Your score increases to 15 if you win your first point, 30 for your second, 40 for your third and you win the game if you win the next ‘game point’. If both players reach 40 you’re at ‘deuce’ where one player has to win two consecutive points to win the game.

BENEFITS OF PLAYING TENNIS

  • Health
  • The short sprints and bursts of energy required to reach shots make tennis a cardiovascular workout. 
  • A wide set of leg, arm and core muscles are used to play tennis, helping to strengthen and tone. 
  • Balance and hand-eye-coordination are key to a good game as you swiftly change direction to reach shots - keeping you on your toes!
  • As well as physical fitness, tennis requires tactical thinking skills, as you need to stay alert and plan your next shots to beat your opponent. 
  • Social
  • Tennis is a really accessible sport, there are many tennis clubs available all over the country, for both kids and adults of all abilities. 
  • Professional British tennis is thriving at the moment, so there is plenty of inspiration on the TV from watching top players in tournaments. Many clubs hold ticket draws to big tournaments, so you can go and watch a match live! 
  • Playing doubles or practicing in a group of people gives you the opportunity to work on communication and team skills.
Get involved in the tennis this summer
 
  • Find a friend and a sunny day and head down to your local lawn tennis club.
  • You may need to become a member of a club to use their facilities, find out where your local club is here. 
  • Can’t make it to a court? You can have loads of fun practicing coordination and your swing with just a racket, ball and a wall.
Top  tennis tips
 
  • Stay hydrated during play with plenty of water and have healthy snacks on hand for boosts of energy during play.
  • Stretch your arms and legs, and do some light jogging before and after playing to warm up and cool down.
  • It can be tricky for beginners to hit the length of the whole court, so start by playing mini tennis, where both players stand on the first horizontal line in their court and rally.
tennis Trivia
  • The longest tennis match in history was played between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in June 2010. The first-round match of the tournament took 11 hours and 5 minutes over three days!
  • A grand slam in professional tennis is where a player wins all four major tennis tournaments, taking place in Australia, France, the UK and America, in the same year.
  • Tennis balls were originally white, but changed to the fluorescent yellow we see today in the 1970’s because these were easier to spot on television screens.

 

ON YOUR BIKE

A great cardiovascular, strengthening and low-impact workout, cycling is also a fantastically accessible sport for all ages and abilities.

Road bikes have a low frame, dropped handlebars and a high seat for riding on smooth tarmac at high speeds, perfect for training for road races or triathlons. Mountain bikes feature chunkier tires and up to 27 gears to cope with rough terrain and steep inclines. Hybrid bikes are a mix between mountain and road bikes are suitable for general purpose riding over different terrains, ideal if you’re just getting into cycling.

Your inside leg measurement, from heel to crotch, will indicate the right size bike for you. Our bike range includes this measurement in inches in their description.

It is definitely not a requirement for getting on your bike, but it’s true that many professional and amateur cyclists shave their legs before getting on the saddle. Reasons for this include improving aerodynamics, making post-workout massages easier and making cleaning up any potential scrapes or scratches more hygienic.

There are many factors that contribute to measuring the number of calories burned including time spent, effort put in, your own weight, and metabolic rate. This makes it difficult to give an estimation of calories burnt. However, as cycling is a cardiovascular workout that also uses several muscle groups, it’s a great exercise to work into your life.

BENEFITS OF CYCLING

  • Health
  • Cycling is a relatively low-impact sport and is therefore easier on your joints than higher impact sports such as running.
  • Together your two large leg muscles across the back and front of your thighs, the hamstrings and quadriceps, power your peddling and get a good work out.
  • Your calf muscles and glutes (buttocks) may also get a workout through all that peddling. 
  • As well as muscle strengthening, cycling is a cardiovascular exercise. 
  • Social
  • Cycling can get you from A to B and is therefore an easy and efficient exercise to work into your life.  
  • Charity bike rides are available in a range of distances and are a fantastic way to support a good cause, meet new people, and set yourself a fitness goal to work towards. 
  • The benefit-cost ratio of cycling for many is greater than other more expensive sports or gym memberships as it serves as an exercise and a mode of transport.
Get involved in the cycling this summer
  • Try using your bike instead of a car couple of times a week to build up your fitness.
  • Some workplaces and schools offer cycling schemes, where you can get loans for equipment and incentives for riding your bike. Ask around in your place of work or study to find out more.
  • Also a fan of swimming and running? Fun or super sprint triathlons are short races that combine all three exercises and are a great entry route into triathlons. Sigh up to a local race and set this as a fitness goal to work towards.
Top cycling Tips
 
  • Keep your tires correctly pumped. Road tires typically require pumping up to 80 to 130 psi; mountain tires, 30 to 50 psi; and hybrid tires, 50 to 70 psi, but check the manufacturers recommended pressures to be sure.
  • Remember you must wear a helmet when cycling.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing when on your bike. This helps other riders, pedestrians and vehicles see you when riding on roads.
cycling Trivia
 
  • Up to 20 standard sized cycles can be parked in the same space as one car – think of all those hours of car parking space hunting you could save!
  • One of the longest tandem bikes had 35 seats and was almost 70 feet long.
  • Early versions of cycles were called velocipedes. The term ‘Bicycle’ was coined in France in the mid-19th century.

 

Dive straight in

Grab your goggles and make a splash at the pool this summer. This type of exercise works every muscle group for a full body workout.

This depends on your weight and how fast you’re swimming. Someone weighing 130 pounds and swimming freestyle for an hour may burn approximately 590 calories at a fast speed or around 400 calories at a slower pace.

Time how long it takes you to swim a set amount of lengths, for example 5. You can then use this to estimate your total length count at the end of a swim.

A swimming cap protects hair from chlorine and other chemicals in the pool water. It can also help you to swim faster as it reduces resistance. Some caps are specifically designed to keep you warmer when swimming in cold water.

There’s a couple of different types of goggles available but comfort will be your main priority when it comes to finding the perfect pair. There should be a good level of suction around the seal and the strap should be tight enough to keep the goggles in place without creating marks around your eyes. 

BENEFITS OF SWIMMING

  • Health
  • Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout while also improving strength. Water is denser than air so your muscles are under constant resistance.
  • It’s a low-impact sport which means it’s perfect for anyone with an injury, or people who need to take it easy on their joints.
  • You’re using muscle groups you wouldn’t normally use everyday which can improve flexibility and core strength.
  • Swimming, along with other sports, releases endorphins which can help us feel relaxed and increase feelings of wellbeing.
  • Social
  • Swimming classes or competitive team swimming are a great way to meet new people and promotes team-building skills.
  • People of all ages can swim, from young children to adults in their 90s. It’s accessible for all, with swimming pools and classes widely available across the UK.
  • Swimming is a popular choice for disabled people. Many clubs and pools offer para-swimming sessions.
Get involved with swimming this summer
 
  • Check out your local swimming pools here. You normally need to pay a small fee to use the facilities but many offer pay-as-you-go options.
  • Join a club and take your swimming to the next level by entering competitions and swimming galas. 
  • If you don’t like your head being under water, why not try an aqua aerobics class or give water polo a go? 
Top swimming tips
 
  • Stretch all your major muscle groups before you dive in to help with flexibility. Hold your stretches for 10-15 seconds.
  • Getting your breathing right can be difficult at first. Exhaling under the water instead of when you reach the surface can help your breathing technique. 
  • A nose clip keeps water out of your nose and may help you to relax while mastering different strokes.
Swimming trivia
 
  • The oldest type of swimming stroke is the breaststroke.
  • Olympic swimming was initially a men’s only event. Women were first able to compete at the 1912 games in Stockholm.
  • It is illegal to swim in Central Park, New York.

 

Swing into action

Get to know your birdies from your bogeys on the golfing green. This social sport is a seasonal favourite and a leisurely way to spend a summer’s day.

Generally, a beginner’s golf set contains 12-17 clubs. These includes driver, fairway, wood, irons, hybrid clubs, pitching wedges, sand wedges and putter.

Some clubs have a strict dress code while others are more relaxed. Men are normally asked to wear a shirt with a collar while t-shirts and vests are off limits for both men and women. Find out your club’s guidelines before heading to the green.

A handicap refers to the number of strokes a player can take off their score card at the end of a round. This means golfers of different abilities can play against each other on equal terms. Good players with a low handicap can still play those with a higher handicap competitively.

A caddy carries a player’s golf bag around the course and hands the player the correct club for a shot. They also rake bunkers, clean the clubs and balls and patch up divots. Amateur golfers will usually carry or pull their own golf clubs.

BENEFITS OF GOLF

  • Health
  • Being outside and around nature can have a positive effect on our mind and body. It’s also a great way to soak up vitamin D from natural sunlight.
  • With all that walking from hole to hole, along with swinging and crouching, playing golf can really raise your heart rate and blood flow. 
  • There’s also a fair amount of mental ability involved with playing golf. Totalling scores, planning tactics and working on hand-eye co-ordination all help to keep the brain active.
  • Social
  • Golf is very sociable and being part of a club can often feel like a community. It’s a popular way to catch up with friends or business colleagues.  
  • All ages and abilities can play golf and compete against each other, including families. 
  • The average round of 18 holes takes around 4 hours but if that’s too long, you can play 9 holes in 2 hours. 
Get involved with golf this summer
 
  • Visit Get into golf to find clubs near you offering taster sessions, beginner courses, lessons and more golfing activities. It’s a great way learn the basics and etiquette. 
  • You don’t necessarily need to be a member of a golf club to play, many Get into golf sessions allow you to book a course in advance and turn up on the day.
  • Want to get back into golf? Head to your nearest driving range and get some practise under your belt. You can even take the whole family for a fun day out.
Top golfing tips
 
  • Many beginners put their hands on the club incorrectly. Hold the club like you’re carrying a heavy suitcase, in the creases of your fingers where they join the palm.
  • Don’t talk or make unnecessary noise when someone else is preparing to putt.
  • Repair any divet holes and other damage to the putting green made from the ball.
  • Replace the flagstick in the hole before leaving the putting green.

 

Golfing Trivia
 
  • The term birdie was created by Ab Smith, an American, who referred to a “bird of a shot”.
  • Jack Nicklaus became the youngest person to win The Masters in 1963. He also become the oldest person to win The Masters in 1986.
  • Russian, Mikhail Tyurin hit a golf ball into space while on a space walk in 2006.

WHAT'S ON THIS SUMMER?

The Summer of Sport is just getting started, here’s what is coming up:

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