Gearing up for “Back-to-Sports” in Saskatchewan this Fall

September 12, 2018

Lady running down a trail
Summer might be over, but fall is just as great. Along with autumn being back to school for kids, it also means back to sports for adults.

Swapping out softball, beach volleyball and throwing around the frisbee, it’s time to hit the gym for dodgeball and pickleball and head out to to the playing fields for soccer and football.

Here are five sporting activities to take part in this fall, where to get the gear you’ll need and a little advice from the experts.

1. Dodgeball

Dodgeball is a great activity for those who want an active night out without having to purchase all the gear. It’s also perfect for socializing and making new friends.

As one of four co-founders of the adult rec sports league Play Sask in Saskatoon, Ashleigh Mattern loves playing dodgeball games with friends as it never feels like a chore. “At Play Sask we really want to encourage people who usually don’t get involved in sports to come and try it out. Our leagues are beginner-friendly and casual.”

This fall, scheduled games are Tuesdays or Wednesdays depending on level of competitiveness.

2. Flag Football

Children playing flag football

Saskatchewan is a province passionate about football. There are three ways to approach the sport in Saskatchewan in autumn: play it, watch it or create a fantasy football league around it. It wouldn’t be surprising if many football enthusiasts do all three. In fact, Saskatoon even has its very own all-girls high school flag football league.

Unlike contact football, the gear needed to play flag football is pretty basic: a belt with two flags, runners, shorts and receiver gloves or cleats if you’re really serious. Check out Football Saskatchewan for more information on flag football leagues in your area.

3. Soccer

Although our hearts bleed green for football, soccer in Saskatchewan is big, too. It was first played in Prince Albert in 1889 – before we joined confederation. Today, there are more than 42,000 soccer players around the province.

Teams and leagues can be found in most cities and towns for people of all ages and skill levels. The Canada Soccer Shop in Yorkton specializes in soccer gear and gives expert advice. Their top tip when purchasing soccer cleats is to make sure to leave a little space in the toe so performance isn’t hindered when playing.

4. Pickleball

Pickleball seems to be the latest sport to hit the Saskatchewan scene. It looks like tennis, sounds like ping pong but also has an element of badminton to it. The paddle sport is perfect for all ages and is a popular social sport. Although it can be played on courts outside, it’s great to play indoors as well. There are several leagues in towns around the province and most gyms and civic centres offer drop-in times to set up a net and play a game or two.

5. Cross Country Running

Cross country running down a path 

Autumn is the ideal season to start running. It’s not too hot, not too cold and the fall colours are gorgeous. The Running Room in Regina or Saskatoon is the perfect place to pick up appropriate running gear and sign up for training courses. They offer programs and classes to help you work up to 5km, 10km, half or full marathon distances.

In terms of picking the right running shoe, in-store expert Sarah Kosteniuk recommends coming in to the store to have a foot assessment performed and to try on a variety of options. “It’s important the shoe fits right and isn’t too narrow or too wide – it’s all about the best fit for the customer’s foot.”

For epic running adventures, check out the Beaver Flat 50 or Prairie Summit Run-It trail races in September.

There are dozens of sports leagues and organizations to get involved with in Saskatchewan. A quick search on Mysask411 shows over 1100 sports clubs across the province with more than 3000 sporting good retail locations to get geared up at this fall. Details for local sports retailers and clubs can also be found in the latest copy of the phonebook.

Think the phonebook is outdated? Think again! Check out four facts about the phonebook you didn’t know!

– Ashlyn George is a travel blogger extraordinaire and former Saskatchewanderer.