Feel Great For Sport: Team bonding time? Try out coasteering

Feel Great For Sport: Team bonding time? Try out coasteering

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First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

HERE is something different for you to consider while the sun is out and the water is warm.

Anytime is a good time to do some team bonding with your team-mates at football, but there is an alternative place to meet up rather than to sit in a pub or a wine bar after a game or training.

How about doing something called, ‘Coasteering’?

It’s a full activity day, which is great for fitness, great for team moral and more than anything, a really fun way to spend your day.

Coasteering encompasses movement along the intertidal zone of a rocky coastline on foot or by swimming, without the aid of boats, surf boards or other craft.

Let me tell you a bit about a day I spent doing it last week at South Shields.

You basically get into a wet suit, strap on a life vest and walk into the sea and begin to swim to the nearest rocks, which you them climb, and if the tide is low enough, you can also make your way through the neat caves, which, as you’re doing it, really tests your leg strength and flexibility as there isn’t always as much room as you’d like.

Is it cold when you get into the sea? Absolutely! But that’s good, because it makes you want to swim that little bit faster to warm up quicker. Ascending the rocks is tougher than you think as well and is a great work out for your arms and legs, while swimming back to shore is nice for the heart and lungs, especially when the tide is going out, and you’re going in.

As an added bonus, it’s really peaceful out at sea too, and sometimes just bobbing up and down while you’re waiting for a wave is quite relaxing and lets you admire the beautiful North-East coastline looking back at you.

The health benefits of doing something like “coasteering” are endless. Pretty much every muscle you’ve got will be used, your core stability muscles get a work out, arms and legs will be tired by the end of the four to five hours you’ll spend doing it, the fresh air makes you feel naturally healthy and you’ll even burn a few hundred calories in the process.

And that’s BEFOFRE you make your way back up the stair climb waiting for you at the end.

So, where can you go to do it? The closest place to take your teammates is Marsden Grotto, just along from South Shields. And, as I took all of my staff there last Sunday to do this, I can tell you that the water is fairly warm at the moment.

If there’s ever a good time to do any kind of outdoor water-based activity in the UK, it’s in the months of August and September when the sun has warmed the sea and rivers.

And how to organise it? I do this type of activity day with my physio clinic staff, at least once every three months and I only ever use a Darlington based company called Outdoor Ambition to do it.

The guy you need to talk to there is called Lloyd Murray. He’s involved at Mowden Rugby club too and his junior and senior teams do this kind of activity on a regular basis.

Check out the website www.outdoor-ambition.co.uk. Coasteering is also the type of thing you could do for a work leaving do, a hen or stag do, or, like us, just for the heck of it because it’s different, it’s healthy, it’s fun and it gives people something good and positive to talk about for long after the day is over.

Expect to burn a few hundred calories (at the very least) while you’re doing it and prepare for the next day’s aches and pains which will come, but at the same time you’ll feel very healthy having spent the whole day soaking up the fresh north sea air.

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