We all love a bit of competition; savouring the sweet taste of victory over our rivals as they lie in the dust by the podium, defeated. Some of us play sports purely for the gruelling competition and gut-busting effort involved in earning that win, but the world of sport is booming as its ranks are swelled by those who play for the enjoyment and social element with their friends.
It’s noticeable in all sorts of sports: ultimate has pickup matches in summer; skiers hit the indoor slopes to show their noob friends the ropes and so on. Nowhere is this pure emphasis on fun more evident than in the neon world of glow-in-the-dark sports.
That’s right. I don’t mean kicking an LED soccer ball around the street once you’re bored after sundown; there are companies, associations and huge numbers of participants whose primary sporting involvement is in the high-vis, edgy twilight of glowsports. Name a sport and I personally guarantee* there’s a dark-room equivalent being played out there, just waiting for another player to join them.
You know how hard it is to nail a serve anywhere near the right box in tennis? Ever tried it in a dark room with pink baselines, a hovering blue net with a neon opponent waiting on the other side?
More of a small field kind of person for your low-light sports? Maybe luminous spikeball or laser-quick Ping-Pong would be your preference. The fact is that with enough dedication (and luminous paints) you can transform any of your favourite games into their ludicrously fun and creative night-time counterparts.
The University of the West of England is hosting its second “Glow Games” when the latest batch of eager students arrives this September. For a little while their sports centre will be painted in swathes of neon paint and bright fabric with all sports equipment suitably prepared. When the lights are finally turned off, it’ll be a free-for-all as everyone scampers around to find which new luminous past-time is their favourite.
Aside from cleaning up any mess, it does sound like a brilliant way to pass an evening with a few friends. Just imagine those water-cooler conversations now.
“So man, what do you do when you’re not here?”
“Oh, I’m captain of our glow-in-the-dark beach volleyball team.”
Safe to say, those conversations just got a lot cooler…
Anyone else waiting for an announcement for the inaugural glow-in-the-dark, zero gravity trampolining paintball championships? A man can dream…