5 ways to get active in Melbourne: the Sporting Capital of the World

Melbourne is officially the sporting capital of the world, as said in a SMH article from 2016, beating other major capital cities like Berlin, London, New York and Sydney. There’s massive funding for sporting events (think footy games and F1 races) in our world-class venues (like the MCG and Marvel Stadium) to play or cheer on your favourite sports.

Make the most of what the world’s sporting capital offers and jump right into Victoria’s sporting culture. AFIS has compiled a short list for you to try and experience some of the more unique sports Victoria has to offer:

1. AFL (Australian Football League)

You’ll be hard-pressed to take the train by Richmond over the weekend and not run into people all clad in footy gear to support their favoured teams. Footy season runs from end-March to the start of October. There’ll be at least a few games at the MCG over the weekend for you to catch, for you to decide your favourite team. Grab a sausage roll or meat pie while you’re there.

2. Open water swimming

Although the season for open water swimming isn’t till early December, it’s never too early to start considering your summer holiday itinerary. Open water swimming is literally swimming in the open waters. The Lorne Pier to Pub swim, which is about a two hour drive from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road, is the largest open water swim in the world, attracting up to 4000 participants each year. The novelty of swimming 1.2km in the ocean, after jumping off a pier to hang out at the pub, makes for a great memory.

3. ​Bikepolo

While Melbourne is known for being bike-friendly, there lies a more unique sport having to do with bicycles and traditional polo. Imagine polo being played but by using bicycles instead of horses. Bikepolo is extremely fast-paced and as a cardio sport, it offers numerous health benefits. Melbourne has their own bikepolo group that regularly hosts weekly sessions at either Flagstaff Gardens or the Futsal Courts in Albert Park.

4. Barre

As the combination of ballet, yoga and pilates, the barre (the bar held by ballet dancers for support) is used for balance while working on your body through repetitions of strength-training movements. Don’t worry if you’re lacking ballet experience as there won’t be any pirouettes involved – barre is simply ballet-inspired. Your core will benefit from the isometric contractions while enhancing your mind-body connection. A few well-known barre studios include Barre Body,  

KX Barre, and Aleenta Barre.