The Gloucestershire Barracudas are set to whet the appetite of adventurous aquatic sports fans with a series of underwater rugby taster sessions aimed at beginners.
The events, designed to provide a glimpse into the unique sport, will be held on the first Wednesday of every month at 6:45 pm at Leisure at Cheltenham.
It is an opportunity for curious individuals to experience underwater rugby firsthand. From mastering the basics of breath-holding to learning the art of navigating the underwater playing field, participants will be immersed in an environment that combines fitness and strategy.
Underwater rugby players don masks, snorkel, and fins and attempt to score by placing a weighted ball in the opposition’s goal, which is located at the bottom of the pool. Like conventional rugby, the opposition players attempt to defend their goal by tackling opponents.
Laura Garlic, co-founder of the Barracudas, spoke with Park Life Sport:
The six players each time comprise two defenders, two midfielders, and two forwards. Substitutions can be made freely during stoppages in play. Teams can rotate players in and out of the water to maintain energy levels and strategic advantages.
The sport is played worldwide and is popular in parts of Scandinavia and Greece. Greek team Physalis won the Open Underwater Rugby League, which features teams from many European countries.
The Barracudas compete in tournaments, but the club is keen to emphasise their inclusivity-first culture. Regardless of an individual’s skill level, everyone is encouraged to take part.
The success of the taster events has fueled optimism within the Barracudas, whose numbers have swelled again following a difficult period post-pandemic.
Underwater rugby remains a niche activity, but the Barracudas are keen to show that the sport offers a refreshing alternative to those seeking exciting alternatives to traditional activities.