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.

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 ( wyvernsafc).

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 something a little more sedate floats your boat, then angling may be the sport for you.

And you’re spoiled for choice in South Somerset, with Chard & District Angling Club and Ilminster Angling Association running alongside each other.

Ilminster always welcome new anglers to fish their matches – but they would need to know how to fish already; the Angling Trust and Environment Agency both hold regular ‘get into fishing’ days (www.getfish

There are many branches to the sport – coarse fishing, match fishing, carp/specimen angling, sea fishing, fly fishing and lure fishing – and many participate due to the social element.

It’s a good hobby to unwind, and it gets youngsters out into the fresh air and learning about nature.

Newcomers need an EA rod licence (and day ticket for a particular water), and would ideally hit the bank with someone experienced, but there’s lots of information online, in magazines and from tackle shops.

For Ilminster AA, the best point of contact is Jamie Rich, via his blog or the Ilminster AA Facebook page.

Another sport to get you out into the countryside is cycling, with 1st Chard Wheelers offering a very social way to keep fit.

Club member Mark Hughes says: “Incredibly you can burn thousands of calories on one ride alone, and riding your bike in a group gives you a great feeling of camaraderie.

“There’s nothing quite like suffering up a hill together and then getting the reward of coffee and cake at the café stop afterwards!”

The club always meets for its big group rides on Sunday mornings (9am), outside Boots on Chard High Street.

New recruits must remember to bring a good helmet and also lights on their bikes.

Other useful things to take with you are a puncture repair kit, a pump, something to eat for energy, your phone and finally some money for the café stop at halfway.

For more details on how to get involved, visit the Chard Wheelers Facebook page or go through the website,

See next week’s Chard & Ilminster News for more sports you could try in 2019