Have the 2012 Olympics whet your appetite for all things sporty? Then don’t spend the summer lamenting your lack of Olympic tickets. Get off your backside and try one of the sports yourself – maybe even compete.

Here are some of the Olympic sports you can do in the capital.


Not the easiest of sports, but great if you’re in need of some cardio to shape up. Clapham Chasers (claphamchasers.co.uk) holds five big triathlon events a year as well as running, cycling and swimming sessions through the week (their Monday run attracts up to 100 people).

In summer, the swimming sessions happen in lidos and the group cycles to places like Windsor and Oxford. They’re also a pretty sociable bunch, too, with annual triathlon trips – the next one is in the Pyrenees in May. The club accepts beginners and seasoned triathletes, and newbies can try sessions before joining.

£20 per year
See triathlonengland.org for club details.

Canoe slalom and sprint

Want adrenaline-filled canoeing? The Islington-based Regents Canoe Club (regentscanoeclub.co.uk) is a good choice. Start out paddling on the calm canal waters then, when you’ve mastered your technique, go away with the group on a weekend trip on white-water courses in south-west England – or head to the Olympic Lee Valley White Water Centre.

The club meets twice a week – on Monday and Thursday nights. Beginners are welcome.

From £12 for two months’ membership plus £5 a day boat hire

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This is a fun, fast-paced, contact sport. Men’s training at Great Dane Handball Club (greatdanehandball.co.uk) takes place on Tuesdays in Bethnal Green and Thursdays in Leyton from 8-10pm. Women’s sessions are also in Leyton, on Tuesdays from 8-10pm. Players of all levels are welcome and league games happen twice a month.

£20 per season
For more clubs see londonhandball.co.uk

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If martial arts are more your style, head to a Taekwondo London (taekwondo-london.co.uk) session in Barbican. The 200-year-old Korean discipline focuses on controlled punching, kicking and blocking and it’s seen as a sport, an art and a self-defence method. It’ll also keep you strong, fit and flexible.

Sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays and all abilities are welcome to attend to see if they can progress to the all-important black belt. Beginners can also attend their first two sessions for free. But make sure you adhere to the class rules – Taekwondo is all about being disciplined, restrained and respectful.

£10 per session or £60 for 10

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Got good hand-eye coordination? Hone your skills at an archery workshop with Experience Archery (archerylondon.com). The mobile service holds sessions of the ancient sport in Archway and can also be booked for parties and events in London.

If you’re a beginner, head to the one-and-a-half-hour “have a go” archery lesson on Friday evenings, where you can weigh up whether you’re any good. Once you’ve completed this, hit the more relaxed Friday night shooting sessions. Booking is essential.

Friday evening shoots £10; have a go archery lessons £25

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– Clare Vooght