It's warming up outside and you want to get active, but pounding the pavement in running shoes sounds boring. Why not try hurling or camogie?
Area clubs provide an opportunity not only to get active, but also to meet people and try new sports.
"We don't want to see ourselves as a social club, just as a social outlet," said Tadgh Prendeville, a member of the Baltimore Gaelic Athletic Association, which offers hurling and camogie games, stick-and-ball sports similar to field hockey. Hurling is for men, camogie is for women.
The group was started in fall 2003 to foster Gaelic games in the area and to provide a place for people to get to know one another. The association has garnered a lot of interest: as many as 250 people turn out for activities lately, and even the first few attracted 60. Most of the interest has been not from Irish people, Prendeville said, but from Marylanders looking for different ways to work out.
But clubs for more traditional sports are also gaining members. Mike Cray is the founder of Baltimore Sports and Social Club. Since its inception in 1998, more than 10,000 people have signed up for a variety of sports. "There are almost 3,000 people playing a sport a week," Cray said.
The Social Club, despite the large number of members, has still become a community.
"Our motto is that it is for people who enjoy sports and love to socialize," Cray said. "It really has become its own little society, almost."
The following is a Live guide to some local sports clubs.
Gaelic Athletic Association
This club offers a place to play the classic Irish sports of Gaelic football, a game on a large field that involves scoring by kicking a soccer-type ball into a goal or through the uprights above the goal. It also offers hurling for men and camogie for women.
For more information, call 410-902-7264 or visit www.bal timoregaa.com.
Baltimore Sports and Social Club Inc.
Football, broomball, wiffle ball, softball, volleyball and kickball are offered at this club. You must be 22 or older to join.
Spring registration is closed. For information on summer registration and more, visit www.baltssc.com
Baltimore Sports Zone and Social Club
The Sports Zone has leagues in baseball, flag football, basketball, bowling and softball.
Registration for baseball is still available. Call 410-496-6222 or visit www.eteams.com/bsz.
Chesapeake Hiking and Outdoor Society
This group, known to members as CHAOS, offers an opportunity to hike, bike, canoe, kayak and camp. There are no prerequisites for joining the group.
For more information, visit www.chaoshikers.org.