Get Inspired in NORTHERN IRELAND

Looking to get into sport in Northern Ireland?

This is a great place to start.

On this page you can find out where to go, and who to speak to, to get started in dozens of sports across Northern Ireland.

Sport NI  is the main public body for the development of sport in Northern Ireland.

Don't forget you can also use the postcode finder on the right-hand side of this page to find clubs and activities on your doorstep.

Archery - Archers in the Olympics had to hit a target the size of a beermat from a distance of seven bus lengths - and they burned through 300-plus calories per hour while they were at it. Care to do the same?

Get Inspired: ARCHERY

Northern Ireland Archery Society  | Archery GB's club finder  | Parasport: archery 

Athletics - Here you have one of the widest ranges of choice in sport. Will it be running? How far? Maybe throwing? Or jumping - but high jump, long jump or pole vault? Decisions, decisions.

Get Inspired: ATHLETICS

Athletics Northern Ireland  | British Athletics club search  | Parasport: athletics 

Badminton - Smashes can reach speeds of more than 200mph, giving badminton a claim to be the world's fastest racquet sport. Can you keep up?

Get Inspired: BADMINTON

Badminton Ireland  | Ireland club finder  | Parasport: badminton 

Baseball - So, you want to play hardball? From leading off the inning to pitching or catching, there are all kinds of ways to get involved with your local baseball team.

Get Inspired: BASEBALL

BaseballSoftballUK 

Basketball - Run, jump, pivot and twist: this is a fast-moving game that will easily take care of 600 calories per hour in a fun, team atmosphere. Want to take hoops for a loop?

Get Inspired: BASKETBALL

Basketball Northern Ireland  | NI club finder  | Parasport: wheelchair basketball 

Beach volleyball - Are you prepared to brave Northern Ireland's beaches to play one of the more glamorous Olympic sports? Facilities now exist across the UK and not just at the seaside.

Get Inspired: BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Northern Ireland Volleyball  | Get into NI volleyball 

Biathlon - A combination of cross-country skiing and shooting inspired by the Norwegian military. There are a small number of clubs in the UK ready and waiting to help you get into this unusual sport.

Get Inspired: BIATHLON

British Biathlon Union 

Bobsleigh - Jumping in the sled and roaring down the track is only half of the story. The push-start will demand vast reserves of your strength and pace, so don't overlook bobsleigh if you have speed and power to spare.

Get Inspired: BOBSLEIGH

British Bobsleigh 

Bowls - "Seconds to learn, the rest of your career to master." Lawn bowls is a Commonwealth Games sport which appeals to all ages.

Get Inspired: BOWLS

Northern Ireland Bowling Association  | List of clubs 

Boxing - A dynamic sport that teaches physical and mental discipline, while shifting 500 calories in an hour's sparring. Learn how to box safely and easily at a club near you.

Get Inspired: BOXING

Irish Amateur Boxing Association  | Ireland club finder 

Canoe slalom - Paddle at the ready: there are 13,000 litres of water surging beneath you each second. Can you cope? Learn about canoe slalom and slightly more sedate paddling options.

Canoe sprint - A straightforward race across the lake. You can race your friends over 200m, train for a canoe marathon or simply gain the skills for a casual weekend paddle.

Get Inspired: CANOE SLALOM | CANOE SPRINT

Canoe Association of Northern Ireland  | Approved NI centres 

Cricket - Physical exertion with a chess-like strategic element in matches which can range from half an hour to five days in length - it's cricket.

Get Inspired: CRICKET

Northern Cricket Union  | Play-Cricket 

Ireland's cricket team playing against Australia in Belfast

Ireland's cricket team playing against Australia in Belfast

Curling - Forget the artistic flair of figure skating, raw power of speed skating or physicality of ice hockey - curlers rely on strategy, judgement and pinpoint on-ice accuracy.

Get Inspired: CURLING

Irish Curling Association  | Parasport: wheelchair curling 

Cycling - Join the pedal revolution as British athletes increasingly rule the world of two wheels. Choose from action sports like BMX or mountain bike (MTB), the technical intricacies of the track or the wide world of road riding.

Get Inspired: BMX | MTB | ROAD | TRACK

Cycling Ireland  | UK club finder  | Parasport: cycling 

Disability sport - From archery to athletics and ice hockey to equestrian, there are dozens of parasports and thousands of clubs in the UK ready to welcome new participants of all standards.

Get Inspired: DISABILITY SPORT

Disability Sports NI  | Parasport club finder 

Diving - So, you've seen a teenager make it look easy. Do you have the nerve for the 10m platform board? There are plenty of options available in the sport of diving.

Get Inspired: DIVING

Swim Ulster  | UK pool finder 

Equestrian - Horse sport offers the artistry of dressage, the dynamism of show jumping and the all-round thrill of eventing, but you can start out with a lazy hack at your local centre.

Get Inspired: EQUESTRIAN

Horse Sport Ireland  | Hoof - learn to ride  | Parasport: equestrian 

Fencing - The thrust and parry, not to mention all that work for your thighs and glutes, will take care of 400 calories an hour. And don't worry, it's not remotely dangerous to get started.

Get Inspired: FENCING

Northern Ireland Fencing  | GO/FENCE 

Figure skating - If Dancing on Ice took your fancy, it's actually very easy to get into skating in the UK. There are plenty of rinks and dedicated sessions available - this is the place to find out more.

Get Inspired: FIGURE SKATING

Skate NI  | Rinks and clubs 

Football - Widely considered the national sport in the UK and unquestionably the number-one in terms of popularity. But how do you get started if you've never played before? And how do you find a team if you're getting back into it?

Get Inspired: FOOTBALL

Irish FA  | Grassroots  | Parasport: football 

Gaelic football - One of the most popular sports in Ireland, a fast-paced game played between 30 players on a field larger than a football pitch.

Get Inspired: GAELIC FOOTBALL

Gaelic Athletic Association 

Golf - A sport which takes many forms, from hitting a few balls on the driving range to a quick nine holes with friends, to the full 18 holes and tournaments over the course of several days.

Get Inspired: GOLF

Golf Union of Ireland  | Get Into Golf 

Gymnastics - Inspired to hop on a pommel horse or swing from the parallel bars? Or would you rather try rhythmic gymnastics or trampolining? Not to mention tumbling, acrobatics and much more, and there are hundreds of clubs to choose from.

Get Inspired: ARTISTIC) | RHYTHMIC | TRAMPOLINE

Gymnastics Northern Ireland  | Find a club 

Charlotte McKenna

Northern Irish gymnast Charlotte McKenna competes at the Delhi Commonwealth Games

Handball - This sport flourished in the 2012 Olympic spotlight, having been big for decades in much of Europe. Did it catch your eye? If so, here's how to get started.

Get Inspired: HANDBALL

Irish Olympic Handball Association  | Play the game 

Hockey - Were you one of the 600,000 fans who saw Olympic hockey at London 2012? Here's more info if you want to try the sport or get back into it if you played when you were younger.

Get Inspired: HOCKEY

Ulster Hockey  | Hockey Nation  | Parasport: zone hockey 

Horse racing - The "sport of kings" has a long and illustrious history stretching as far back as ancient Greece, and remains one of the most popular sports on both sides of the Atlantic.

Get Inspired: HORSE RACING

Hoof - learn to ride in the UK  | British Horseracing Authority 

Hurling - Hurling shares elements with lacrosse, hockey, baseball or football, so if you haven't given the game a go, it won't take you long to grasp the basics.

Get Inspired: HURLING

Gaelic Athletic Association 

Ice hockey - With teams dotted throughout the UK and the promise of a fast-paced sport approximating the toughest interval training you can imagine, ice hockey offers and exciting and different challenge. Get your skates on.

Get Inspired: ICE HOCKEY | Parasport: sledge hockey 

Judo - It's not about brute strength: to enjoy judo, your technique and timing count the most. You can even drop the combat entirely and simply use the moves to build fitness - it's up to you.

Get Inspired: JUDO

NI Judo  | Club finder  | Parasport: judo 

Luge - The UK has one, tiny, luge course. You should put it to full use by getting a taste for what amounts to an adrenaline-fuelled, feet-first slide down a mountainside.

Get Inspired: LUGE

Martial arts - From karate to judo, kickboxing to MMA, martial arts promotes self-defence and wellbeing. Whether you use it for combat or not, there are plenty of ways to get started.

Get Inspired: MARTIAL ARTS

Modern pentathlon - Yes, it can be done, and you won't find a more exciting mix to hold your attention span: fencing, swimming, show jumping, running and shooting.

Get Inspired: MODERN PENTATHLON

Pentathlon GB  | Getting started 

Motorsport - Bikes, karts, rallying and more. Just because you're sitting in or on something with an engine, it doesn't mean you won't get exercise - physical conditioning is a vital element of motorsport.

Get Inspired: MOTORSPORT

Association of Northern Ireland Car Clubs 

Netball - First developed alongside basketball - and sharing many features - netball claims to be the fastest-growing and most popular team sport for women in the world.

Get Inspired: NETBALL

Netball Northern Ireland  | GoPlayNetball  | Parasport: netball 

Nordic combined - While it's a tricky proposition to learn this combination of ski jumping and cross-country in the UK, you'll become incredibly fit (and the envy of friends) if you take it on.

Get Inspired: NORDIC COMBINED | Parasport: nordic skiing 

Rowing - One of the most physically demanding sports at the Olympics if you really push it, but nobody will mind if you just want to learn the basics and get a little fitter. Opportunities all over the UK.

Get Inspired: ROWING

Rowing Ireland  | Club finder  | Parasport: adaptive rowing 

Rowing boat

The Olympic torch travels down Northern Ireland's River Bann by rowing boat in 2012

Rugby league - A crowd-pleasing, physically demanding game with few stoppages and plenty of pace. This sport is highly popular in England, Australia and beyond.

Get Inspired: RUGBY LEAGUE

Rugby Football League  | Parasport: wheelchair rugby league 

Rugby union - Get straight into the thick of the scrum in the 15-player game or try rugby sevens, which will make its Olympic debut in 2016.

Get Inspired: RUGBY UNION

Ulster Rugby  | Parasport: wheelchair rugby 

Sailing - Mental strength, a physical workout and the chance to get away from it all in spectacular fashion. That's what sailing offers at more than 1,500 clubs around the UK.

Get Inspired: SAILING

RYA Northern Ireland  | Start boating  | Parasport: sailing 

Shinty - With 12 players per team and the use of a curved stick called a caman, this game shares some aspects of field hockey - and also helped to inspire the invention of modern ice hockey.

Get Inspired: SHINTY

Camanachd Association 

Shooting - Have you got the concentration and the nerve for this precision sport? All ages can compete and there are clubs across the UK.

Get Inspired: SHOOTING

British Shooting  | Getting involved  | Parasport: shooting 

Short-track skating - Sort-of like track cycling on ice, minus the bikes. Fast, furious loops of the rink in four-person dashes to the line make this an invigorating sport and great for exercise. Plus you get to wear fancy yellow helmets.

Get Inspired: SHORT-TRACK SKATING

Skate NI  | Rinks and clubs 

Skeleton - Head-first down a chute of ice at motorway speeds - and somehow, Britain are among the world leaders, despite not having a full track in the UK. You can still join in, though. Find out more here.

Get Inspired: SKELETON

British Skeleton  | Get involved 

Ski jump - You will need dedication and the ability to travel if you're a British ski jump prospect - but it's an exciting, daredevil sport. Find out more about getting started.

Get Inspired: SKI JUMP

Skiing - Tear down the slopes as an alpine skier, slog across them as a cross-country specialist or pull off stunning tricks as a freestyler: the choice is yours.

Get Inspired: ALPINE | CROSS-COUNTRY | FREESTYLE

Parasport: alpine skiing 

Snowboarding - High-octane action on the slopes, this is a sport you can take as seriously and make as complex as you like: either take it easy with friends or test yourself with jumps and tricks.

Get Inspired: SNOWBOARD

Softball - A variant of baseball with a slight larger ball and smaller field, softball is gaining popularity with men and women throughout the UK, particularly as mixed teams are common.

Get Inspired: SOFTBALL

BaseballSoftballUK 

Speed skating - A longer, more endurance-based sport than its cousin short-track, speed skating is a minority sport in Britain but you can still get your skates on across the UK.

Get Inspired: SPEED SKATING

Skate NI  | Rinks and clubs 

Squash - Squash and its cousin racketball have long been recognised as excellent workouts, that you can even pack into a lunch break.

Get Inspired: SQUASH

Ulster Squash 

Nicol David

Squash superstar Nicol David playing inside Belfast's Ulster Hall

Swimming - Find your local pool and get ready for a dip with one of Britain's most popular sports, capable of getting you in formidable shape with a half-hour swim using up to 450 calories.

Get Inspired: SWIMMING

Swim Ulster  | Pool finder  | Parasport: swimming 

Synchro swimming - This is a lung-busting workout. Even if you don't want to become a fully-fledged synchro swimmer, the dry-land training its athletes need could do wonders for you.

Get Inspired: SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING

Swim Ulster  | Get started in synchro 

Table tennis - Cheap, easily accessible, easy to play and still a great way to stay active. There are even free outdoor tables across British cities. Find the nearest table to you and get going.

Get Inspired: TABLE TENNIS

Irish Table Tennis  | Club finder  | Parasport: table tennis 

Taekwondo - This sport offers a phenomenal workout, and if you're not sure about the martial arts aspect, there are non-contact variants. If you want to take it further and compete, it's easy to do so.

Get Inspired: TAEKWONDO

Taekwondo Association of Northern Ireland  | Club finder 

Tennis - One of the hottest sports in Britain's last two sizzling summers of success. Nobody expects you to win Wimbledon next year, but if you want to find your nearest court and learn the basics, this is the place for you.

Get Inspired: TENNIS

Ulster Tennis  | Getting started  | Parasport: wheelchair tennis 

Triathlon - This blend of swimming, cycling and running is one of the toughest tests in sport and also one of the fastest-growing activities in Britain, with hundreds of races for all ages and standards across the UK. Give it a go here.

Get Inspired: TRIATHLON

Triathlon Ireland  | Ulster branch clubs  | Parasport: triathlon  

Volleyball - An exciting, competitive team sport that can see you expend an unbelievable amount of energy when a game gets going. Playable indoors or outdoors, too. Find out more about getting into volleyball here.

Get Inspired: VOLLEYBALL

Northern Ireland Volleyball  | Get into volleyball  | Parasport: volleyball 

Water polo - A great endurance sport, demanding real stamina to stay afloat, keep moving and remain focused. Find out where to play and who to contact if you wanted to get started.

Get Inspired: WATER POLO

Swim Ulster  | Get started 

Weightlifting - More than a simple test of strength, weightlifting doesn't require any specific size and build - just look at GB's diminutive 2012 Olympian, Zoe Smith. Boost your energy levels and muscle definition with this sport.

Get Inspired: WEIGHTLIFTING

Weightlifting NI  | List of UK clubs  | Parasport: powerlifting 

Wrestling - If you're looking to develop upper-body strength and want to try one of the oldest sports in the world, wrestling could be for you. There are around 50 clubs in the UK - find out more here.

Get Inspired: WRESTLING

Northern Ireland Wrestling  | Club finder