NEW Year, new you?

Each January sees gym memberships spike, and joggers head out into the winter cold.

But how about trying one of these more unusual sports in 2019?

There is a dedicated American football club for this part of the world, the Somerset Wyverns.

'Rugby with pads' or a 'violent game of chess'... there's no game like it.

Everyone on the team is taking part in their own battle on the field, as each side looks to outmanoeuvre the other for 60 minutes... or a little longer.

The Wyverns have adult and youth teams, allowing anyone aged 13+ to train with them.

Practice is at Victoria Park in Taunton (10am-noon for juniors and 11.45am-3pm for adults), unless otherwise announced on the club Facebook page (

The Facebook page is the best route for potential new recruits to contact the club members, who can also be reached via with any questions.

All rookies are expected to bring football/rugby boots, water and a gumshield if they possess one.

If contact sport isn't your thing, you may wish to try badminton at Bridgwater Badminton Club.

A fast, exciting game which is great for physical exercise, it also has a great social side.

The Bridgwater club meets on Tuesday evenings (7-10pm) at Haygrove School Sports Hall; players need to bring their own racquet but feather shuttles are provided.

With a good mix of competitive and social players, the club night consists of doubles and mixed games, and also enters teams into the Taunton Badminton League's Mixed & Levels Leagues.

Those interested should contact the club secretary for more information, via

Bridgwater Mercury:

SQUAD: The Somerset Wyverns American football team.

Anyone inspired by Creed II (or indeed Creed, or Rocky I-V) can give boxing a go at Sydenham Amateur Boxing Club.

Open to anyone aged 9+, male and female, the club trains at Sydenham Community Centre on Parkway on Mondays and Wednesdays (6.30-8pm), then at Puriton Sports Centre on Thursdays (7-8.30pm), at a cost of £3 (under 17) or £5 (17+) per week.

The club is run by four volunteer coaches, who take the boxers around the country to tournaments.

Volunteer Rob Haddon said: "Boxing helps youngsters with confidence, self-esteem, self-defence and for some to get them back on the right track in life.

"If they like they can just train and not compete – we are a friendly club and it's like a family really."

To get involved, call or text Haddon on 0795099247, email or visit the Sydenham ABC Facebook page.

If it's the fresh air you're after, why not try cycling with Bridgwater Cycling Club?

Members secretary Keith Bridges explains: "Cycling is an amazing way to keep fit and active, to explore our wonderful countryside, and to meet like-minded people from all backgrounds.

"We are a very friendly and active club with up to 100 members of various ages and abilities."

The club's principal ride is on Sunday mornings, meeting at Cornhill and departing at 9am, with two or three groups to cater for different experience levels.

There are other rides during the week too, with details of those advertised on the Bridgwater Cycling Club Facebook group, and more information available on

New recruits can have three rides before deciding whether to join the club; just bring your bike, plus a suitable helmet and appropriate clothing.

Back indoors now, as we turn to gymnastics.

Quayside Trampoline & Gymnastics Club – based in East Quay, Bridgwater – is gaining a fine reputation with the international success of Laura Gallagher and Corey Walkes.

Not that it’s all about competition, with the centre open six days a week and offering sessions to children (from pre-school age), adults and people with disabilities too.

For more details, contact or 01278 458060.

Another growing club is Bridgwater Martial Arts Academy, based in Condor Quay.

The club teaches semi-pro boxing, competitive kickboxing, K1, Jujitsu and Mixed Martial Arts, with members gaining good competition results across all those sports.

Bridgwater MMA has around 30 active adult boxers, men and women, and last year they won six titles against boxers from other clubs.

There's a strong group of juniors, too, and the club aims to represent Bridgwater on the semi-pro circuit and MMA scene, and host more shows.

A full list of classes and times can be found at, and for more details visit or email

Something more sedate? Perhaps sailing would float your boat.

Durleigh Sailing Club meets at Durleigh Reservoir, Enmore Road, primarily on Sundays, when racing and recreational sailing takes place throughout the year.

There are also races on Wednesday evenings and recreational meet-ups on Saturday afternoons.

For those who wish to learn, Somerset Youth and Community Sailing Association ( is based at the club, running a Saturday Club for Under-18s as well as adult courses.

Members do not necessarily have to have their own boat, as the club has some that can be hired.

To contact the club, email club secretary Steve Briggs via or visit

Briggs added: "Joining a club is a great way of getting out into the fresh air and can be done by all the family, whether you want to race or to just do some recreational sailing.

"As well as racers, we give an equally warm welcome to beginners and those just wanting to potter."

Finally, we come to table tennis, which has thriving leagues in Bridgwater and Taunton.

One of the main clubs is Bridgwater Junior Table Tennis Club, which meets on Wednesdays (7-8pm beginners, 8-9pm advanced) at Chilton Trinity School.

The club caters for all ages up to 18, and new recruits do not to bring anything other than sports kit and a bat if they have one; the first session at the club is free, and then £2 per week.

For more details, contact Ben via or 07762018003, or go to

There's also Sydenham Table Tennis Club, which is predominantly for adults players, with both social players and six teams competing in the Bridgwater & District League.

The club runs an open/practice evening at Sydenham Community Centre on Fridays (7-9.30pm, £2.50 per session), and between May and September members practise on Tuesday nights.

Club secretary Malcolm Sealey says: "Table tennis is very good socially, good for reflexes, good for the brain and very good physical exercise.

"It's one of the only sports that can be played on an even playing field regarding age, with a 15-year-old playing against an 80-year-old!"

For more details, contact Sealey via 01278424401 or 07957169643.