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Five unconventional sports in Copenhagen

Why should you do the same sports as everyone else does? Forget soccer, basketball and running: let's move off the beaten track

We all know exercise should be part of your routine if you want to live a long and good life. But doing sports is the fun way to work out, stay healthy, get rid of the stress and socialize with new people.

There are many places in Copenhagen where you can join a team to play soccer, ride your race bike, swim and play volley.

But out of all this variety (and there is alot of variety, see Copenhagen’s universities sports USG programme (in Danish) here), we have chosen five sports that you don’t hear about every day in the news.

They will assure you an out of the ordinary experience that will match perfectly with the out of the ordinary you!. Ideal for students all of them, let’s start randomly with fencing.


From duels between knights in medieval times to a high-tech sport played by women and men of all ages around the world. It was one of the first sports to be included in the modern Olympic Games and it never gets old. It may sound dangerous (anything including swords and historic bloody battles is not exactly the definition of peace) but it is actually a highly safe and complete sport, where you exercise your entire body and mind. The main objective is to touch your opponent and score enough points to win the match.

Even though it is a complex sport, the young fencers at Hellerup Fencing Club believe anyone can do it. Terne Juul Vilhelmsen, a 22-year-old odontology student at KU, has been fencing in Copenhagen for two years and she explained to us how everyone at the club fences against each other, regardless whether you are a World Championship medalist or just a beginner.


It is the perfect place to get to know people with different stories and backgrounds. In her own words, “it’s like a second family. We have parties and grills together. Fencing has given me many good times. It’s nice to have a place where you can forget about school for a while and just have fun.”

You can read more about fencing in Copenhagen here.

Flag football

Do you like american football but don’t exactly fancy being tackled by a 90 kg man for fun? Then this version might be perfect for you. The rules of flag football are similar to tackle football, but the main difference is that instead of trying to defend with contact, the players must remove a flag from a plastic belt around the waist.
This sport can be mixed, with both men and women playing in the same team.

Sports Science UCPH student Michael Hoffmann, explained to us the benefits of being part of a small sport. “Unlike big sports, like basketball, you can escalate quickly to a more professional team if you really want it, without having to wait for five or six years”.


Michael plays for the Copenhagen Barbarians and his team is currently third place in this season’s national league.

Here is a place to get going with flag football.


This is a low-cost and safe type of indoor hockey.

The great thing about this sport is that it can be played almost anywhere and you don’t have to wear protective equipment. Just get a stick, put on a simple sports outfit (anything) and start playing.


Lisa, a computer science student who has been playing floorball for two years, thinks being part of a sports team is more than staying in shape and exercising.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet people. Just last week we played some games outdoor and after we finished we had some drinks and had a good time with the girls.”

Want to try it out? Here is a place to start floorball.

Ultimate Frisbee

Recently recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Ultimate Frisbee might become an Olympic sport by 2020.

“It might be one of the easiest skills, to throw a Frisbee. The complicated part comes when you play the game. It is one of the hardest games I have tried,” says Daniel Rowbotham, a UCPH student who started playing almost two years ago and has hardly put down his frisbee since.

“We do a lot of running, a lot of sprints. We straighten all the muscles, so you get strong,” he says.


In Ultimate Frisbee, there are no referees. During a game, the responsibility for fair play falls on the players as they act as their own referee and call faults during the game. As Daniel told us, it might be a little tricky for newcomers who are not familiar with all the rules, but, as in any sport, practice makes everything a little bit more easy.

Find out more about ultimate frisbee here.

Water Polo

A nice pool, lots of energetic young people, a ball and many different exercises.

No, we’re not talking about your summer holiday, we are describing a sport where you can do all that, twice a week, all year long.

Water polo is the perfect sport if you enjoy swimming, ball sports and if you would like to start getting in shape.


Before playing the game (which is actually similar to a handball match if you have followed that), the players perform strengthening and endurance exercises inside the pool. Then they practice all kinds of movements that will improve their performance during the matches.

Mia Hartvig, has recently graduated from Political Science at UCPH, and has been playing water polo in the Hovedstadens Svømmeklub for five years, while studying. Apart from the physical benefits, she talked about all the social opportunities that this sport has given her:

“We are very international. We have students from Spain, Sweden, Germany and the United States. In the men’s team they have boys from Portugal and Italy. Everyone is open and we enjoy going out together after our games.”

You can try water polo here.

Just do it

There are no excuses. Either you are new in this city or a local, a first semester student or writing your thesis, Copenhagen is full with surprising opportunities to keep your body and mind in the best shape, all while making some new friends along the way.

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