If you live in Dartmouth and district there are a myriad of activities that are on offer virtually every day of the week.
The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a world-wide organisation which, in this area, has taken over where community education (evening classes) left off. The Dart Valley u3a has over 450 members participating in 38 interest groups which meet during the daytime and usually at someone’s house. The membership fee is only £10 per year plus a small fee if your particular group has to hire a hall or purchase equipment. The activities on offer range from Archery to Zumba – with scrabble, mah-jong, history of art, classical history studies, computing, pub lunches, wine tasting and others in between. Language groups number four – French, Italian, German and Spanish and for those wanting to be more physically active there is Medau, walking and a sports morning.
Details of all the groups can be found at http://u3asites.org.uk/dartvalley.
By the Dart magazine publishes a directory of local clubs each year – https://www.bythedart.co.uk
To help keep you fit and active Dartmouth Leisure Centre and Indoor Pool offers a range of classes ranging from Pilates and Rescue your body for those wanting less strenuous physical exercise to kettlercise, circuit training and boot camp for those able to work more strenuously. Swimming lessons and Aqua aerobics are available in the pool alongside general swimming. You can, of course, use their Fitness Suite independently. For the children they have a swim school, Junior Circuits and Junior Workout, plus Badminton and Pre-School Gymnastics. All details and monthly membership offers can be found on http://www.dartmouthleisurecentre.com/
Clubs that use the Leisure Centre are badminton (Wednesday/Thursday evenings), athletics for adults and juniors (Thursday evenings), football club for juniors and adults (Monday and Tuesday evenings). The u3a Sports Morning on a Wednesday from 10 – 11 offers badminton, table tennis and pickleball and you don’t need to be an expert to come along and join in. If you’ve never played before coaching is given. A newly formed club playing Pickleball meets on a Tuesday between 4 and 5.30 and a Sunday between 10 and 12 noon (just type ‘pickleball’ into Google to find out all about it!). The sport combines tennis and badminton but is basically tennis played on a badminton court with ‘paddle’ type bats and a plastic airflow ball.
Medau is a form of exercise for ladies that uses small apparatus to work and stretch all the muscle groups and mobilise the joints – very important as you get older to keep from stiffening up. This group meets at the Townstal Community Hall on a Wednesday from 12.30 – 1.30 pm. See http://medau.org.uk/
Ballroom dancing classes are held in Kingsbridge Community College on a Tuesday - see http://www.donaheys.co.uk/classes/south-devon-ballroom-latin/
The Walk and Talk group meet on a Thursday in various locations - https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/walkfinder/dartmouth-walk-talk
Petanque (boules) is played at Stoke Fleming and there are now two pistes on Coronation Park – free to play. There are indoor bowls clubs at Stoke Fleming and Dittisham. Dartmouth’s Bowling Club is in Victoria Road and would gladly welcome new members.
There are many tennis groups mostly playing during the day although there are some that play from 6 pm onwards. There are varying levels and information about each group can be obtained from Yvonne Cottam (details below).
A ‘Walking Rugby’ club caters for all ages and abilities, male and female. The Club meets at Norton Playing fields on a Thursday from 5.30 – 6.30 pm during the spring and summer and at Townstal Community Hall the rest of the year. Information from Yvonne Cottam
For the younger participant there is rugby, football, rowing (skiffs and gigs) and Dart Sailability catering for the disabled sailor. There are also the uniformed groups like Sea Cadets, ATC, Guides, Scouts etc.
Alongside all these physical activities there are also many opportunities to volunteer – several charity shops operate in Dartmouth and the National Trust is always looking for room guides or help in their gardens at Greenway or Coleton Fishacre - http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/.
Yvonne Cottam is the Secretary of the Dartmouth and District Sports Association and also runs or participates in several groups mentioned above, so if you would like information on any of them you can contact her on 01803 835251 or firstname.lastname@example.org.