Bromsgrove has a long and proud sporting tradition. There might not be any Premier League football or rugby club based here, but arguably what is more important is that grass roots sport is thriving and the town has dozens of clubs catering to all age ranges and both sexes. Being doers rather than watchers is an admirable trait and provides for more variety, too.
After all, when you have a community that is interested in playing sport and that already has a great infrastructure for football, rugby and cricket, it is much easier for other sports to also gain a footing. Here, we take a look at some of the fastest growing sports in Bromsgrove.
The globalisation of sport through online streaming and satellite TV deals has boosted the UK popularity of what are traditionally seen as US sports. But in Bromsgrove, that doesn’t just mean people looking up the NBA odds online and placing a crafty bet on the Boston Celtics or the Denver Nuggets.
Bromsgrove Blaze is one of the leading basketball teams in the West Midlands League, and offers community coaching for all ages from 5 upwards. There’s really no upper limit on that, so get yourself along to the Rylands Centre on New Road and get involved.
Sport is all about healthy competition, and in 2010, Bromsgrove sisters Dawn and Carys Hall set up the Bromsgrove Bears, specifically aiming to encourage more girls to get involved in the sport. Both basketball clubs are thriving and welcome new members.
It’s not just imported sports that are thriving. Footgolf is, according to the knowledgeable people at Bromsgrove Golf Academy, the fastest growing sport in Europe. They ought to know, as the sport is attracting dozens of new players to the academy every week.
As the name suggests, it is a cross between football and golf – the game involves kicking a slightly smaller than usual football into 22” holes. It’s all designed to be easy-access family fun, and is proving to be a great way to introduce younger generations to the world of golf – something which the sport has been struggling to do for decades. There are footgolf sessions available every day, and while you can generally turn up and play, larger parties are advised to book in advance to avoid waiting around.
Bromsgrove takes inclusivity in sport extremely seriously. That means offering variations of popular sports for those who might need to take things a little slower. Liz Morris is a long-term member of Bromsgrove Hockey Club. With more than 20 years playing experience behind her, she was forced to take a break through injury. At almost 50, she was eager to keep playing the game she loved, but ideally at a slightly slower pace.
Liz worked with development coach Alan Gormley to set up a walking hockey club and the pair were amazed at its popularity – it even attracted the attention of the BBC! The club caters to all, from young at heart septuagenarians to younger players managing injuries or long term health conditions.