From Quidditch to the Dunny Derby: Australia's Weirdest Sports
This year we got an unusually revealing glimpse of where the world of sport has gone - a glimpse that divided the Australian sporting community. It was the marquee appearance from the girls in, well, not much, as the bustling bikini'd beauties from the Lingerie Football League
made a cameo appearance Down Under (check out the gallery here
). Feminists shook their heads, mothers covered their children’s eyes, while blokes… well, they pretty much just enjoyed the action. With the London Olympics only a few moons away, and the antics of the Lingerie Football League fresh in our minds, we took a look at some of the most unique and unusual sporting events taking place across our great nation.
Sorbent Australian Dunny Derby:
Known for our fixation with outback dunnies, it's only fitting that we host an event such as the Sorbent Dunny Derby. Twenty 'dunny jockeys' mount their well-oiled outhouse on wheels while four noble accomplices pull them along the 250-metre track, with the winners pocketing a whopping $3000 for their efforts. But a race wouldn't be complete without the mandatory weigh-in, even if it involves standing on the scales with your loo. Fittingly, the event is sponsored by Sorbent.
When you think of unicycles, what pops into your mind? Jokers? The circus? Krusty the Clown? All reasonable answers. But hockey? Apparently so in New South Wales. Yep, it's people, on unicycles, playing street hockey. They meet every Sunday in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown and from all reports, take it pretty seriously. Similar rules to ice hockey apply, except the game takes place on unicycles and bitumen instead of skates and ice. Apparently we're pretty good at it too, with our national team taking out the Asia-Pacific Championship last year, and currently training for the upcoming World Titles.
Cue unbelievable excitement from all Harry Potter
tragics. Believe it or not, there’s a place for us muggles to play the magical sport invented by J.K Rowling – with a few minor adjustments, of course. There’re all the Quidditch necessities: a quaffle, broomsticks, hoops, bludgers and the coveted golden snitch (not quite as enchanting, substituted with a tennis ball in a sock tied to the waist of a neutral player) and as much as physically possible, the rules stay true to the book. There’s even an Australian Quidditch Association that ‘facilitates all Australian-based Quidditch teams to play against each other’, which begs the question: how many wizard wannabes are out there?
Darwin Beer Can Regatta:
If you're in trouble with the missus or hubby ‘cos of your excess alcohol consumption, then this'll be the best excuse you'll ever find to indulge in a tipple or two. The Darwin Beer Can Regatta involves the making and racing of boats, constructed entirely of beer cans. Held annually at Mindil Beach in Darwin, the event even fosters its own 'can-mandments', stating the rules and regulations of the boats’ composition and the race itself. This year’s event is on July 12, so best get your drinking boots on.
Compass Cow Race:
We're well known for the wonderful thoroughbred racehorses we produce - Black Caviar, Makybe Diva and Phar Lap, just to name a few. So strong is the Aussie connection with racing, that it also extends to other animals. In South Australia, it's cows. The town of Mount Compass, an hour south of Adelaide, is the home of cow racing in Australia, with the annual Compass Cup held in January each year. A jockey sits atop a dairy cow while three 'urgers' help guide the bemused cows in the right direction. It's an udderly enthralling affair (not sorry) with the naming and auction of the cows often the highlight of the day. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the race - only 101 fewer than the Melbourne Cup.