Whether you’re after a bikini body, a good dose of adrenaline and motion, or socialising, there are several clubs in Copenhagen that not only welcome internationals, but cater to some of their diverse tastes in sports. Within reason, pretty much everything is covered by these sports clubs.
Netball: quick-thinking precision
Derived from basketball, but played with no dribbling and exclusion zones, this sport requires you to be quick on your feet – reaction, precision and co-ordination are vital. Plus it’s really fun and can be enjoyed by men and women together. The Copenhagen netball club offers one of the cheapest memberships out there: 150kr per quarter or 400kr annually. The club promises all its members great fun and social activities on the side, so it’s a good place to start your ‘net’ work. You can try it out twice for free, and if you’re ready to join, the training is open for everyone – experienced or uninitiated. Training is held in Bellahøj on Wednesdays at 19:30 and more info can also be found online.
Cricket: patience at the wicket
Part of the Danish Cricket Federation, Copenhagen Cricket Club offers the possibility training for adults and children alike with teams for senior, youth and junior players. Training takes place in Brønshøj both in the winter and the summer, with morning and evening training for juniors and youth, and evening and weekend meet-ups for the senior teams. The club also offers tutoring for youth and has a philosophy orientated towards integration.
Softball: making it to first base
Hard to find baseball in Denmark of course, but internationals and Danes make do with the next best thing, softball, and there’s no better club in the capital than Gladsaxe’s. As well as offering fun and often competitive games to its adult members, the club also runs a number of different youth sides and is always looking for members.
Lacrosse: fastest on two feet
Originally played by Native Americans, Canada’s national sport is often referred to as ‘the fastest game on two feet’. It was brought to Denmark in 2002 by a couple of enthusiasts who work hard to keep it cheap and appealing – hence the rather low membership fee of 250kr every three months, while exchange students get a discount. Copenhagen Lacrosse, the country’s oldest club, trains twice a week at Valby Idrætspark over the summer, and once a week indoors over the winter. Both men’s and women’s teams average two games per month over the summer season, and there is the possibility of attending a tournament in Berlin or Amsterdam. All equipment is supplied by the club.
Roller derby: keeping it fast and furious
Roller derby is a fast-paced sport for those who enjoy speed and are not shy when it comes to heavy bumps. Good balance, determination and a decent pair of rollerskates is all you need to join one of the two teams in Copenhagen. While the teams will only be open for ‘fresh meat’ in the late summer (the winter selection took place in February), you’re more than welcome to contact the Rollin Heartbreakers or the Kick Ass Cuties via the official webpage and find out how else you can get involved until then.
American football: towering above the rest
To be fair, only one of the teams featured here can claim to have been crowned national champions live on television. The Copenhagen Towers, who were founded in Gentofte in 1990, have just lifted back-to-back national titles, and if that sounds intimidating, it’s for a good reason. Nevertheless, American football could be the sport for you, and you’ll never know until you give it a go. Additionally, there are lots of youth teams should your kids fancy their chances.
Football: grown men chasing a ball
Football needs no introduction – it’s popular, intense and a great way of staying in shape (recent studies claim it keeps your heart ten years younger). Founded in 1982, international football club Copenhagen Celtic has close to 100 members representing at least 30 different countries, providing a great social base to them all. Whether you choose 11 or 7-a-side football, you can play it at a multitude of different age levels, from under-33s to over-50s. During winter, indoor football is also an option. Most of the training takes place in the evenings at Valby Idrætspark. New players are always welcome (free trials are the norm) and the subscription fees are 1,000kr for the 11-man teams and 900kr to play sevens.
Aussie rules: up it goes, from down under
Australian rules football has established itself well in Denmark – so well in fact that it has a league of its own. Just like other sports brought over by expats, it is equally enjoyed by Danes as well. Summer barbeques and local friendly matches come with the package, which includes training twice a week during the summer season (April-October) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 18:00 to 20:00 at Valby Idrætspark.
Kabbadi: you will not pass!
If you feel like getting a bit more physical and get developing some fighting skills while training in a team sport, kabaddi might be the answer. The ancient Indian sport has its own national team in Denmark and you're more than welcome to try it out at one of the training sessions that usually take place on Tuesday evenings.
Rugby union: all set to scrum down
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Situated in Kongens Lyngby, on the premises of Danish Technical University, the Exiles are a rugby union team who welcome not only students and academics, but all internationals passionate about rugby. Training takes place on the DTU premises on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 18:00, and both the men’s and women’s sides contest a summer season between April and October. Membership fees vary between 300 and 1,000kr depending on the length of the subscription, age and employment status of the player. If you’re not sure whether or not rugby union is something for you, try it out for a month free of charge first!
Rugby league: toughing it out
Vowing its determination to develop rugby league in Denmark, Copenhagen Rugby League FC welcomes Danes and internationals, beginners and pros alike, to their training sessions every Saturday afternoon (15:30-17:00) at Mimersparken. If you’re good enough, you’ll have the opportunity to not only be a part of a classic Danish-Swedish rivalry, but also take part in Aarhus-Copenhagen battles every season. Who knows, you might even end up playing for the Danish national side, as internationals only need four years of residency to qualify. Denmark, who only started playing internationals in 2009, are steadily climbing the rankings and have already leap-frogged Sweden.
Gaelic football: for the die-hards
If you find rugby too complicated or rugby league too tough, Gælic football might be the answer. Quick, mixing football goals and rugby tackles, it gets your blood racing and develops toughness and co-ordination skills. Training takes place on Tuesday evenings from 20:30 at Amagerfælled Skole for the indoor season, and on Monday evenings from 18:00 starting in April on the field at Arsenalvej 2. The Gaelic Football Association in Copenhagen offers not only a good opportunity for exercise and competition, but also a strong network and community for its members, from barbeque gatherings to help finding a place to live. And don’t forget the tours! As all the games are played against foreign teams, the club tends to visit at least two European cities a season, and some of the stories are legendary.