Written by Izzie Clough

Finding a type of exercise you enjoy can be hard for everyone, but finding clubs that are both fun and open to sensory impairments can seem nearly impossible! Luckily, York has a great range of inclusive sport and exercise groups to choose from, so that you can have a healthy, active 2019.


Pronounced ‘bot-cha’, boccia is a disability-inclusive sport in which athletes propel the ball on to the court, aiming to get closest to the ‘jack ball.’ The two clubs below welcome members with sensory impairments, providing equipment such as balls that rattle/jingle and even VI boards to help you achieve your full potential in the sport.

It’s a great way to build up your motor skills, accuracy and confidence. Best of all, the boccia clubs in and around York have a fantastically friendly, social attitude, and are currently seeking new members!

Scarboccia (Scarborough)    First York Boccia (Huntington)
Where? Scarborough Sports Village Where: New Earswick & District Bowls Club
When? Tuesdays, 4-5:30pm When? Thursdays, 6:30-8:30pm*
Price? £3 per session Price? £3 per hour
Contact: Linda at scaboccia@gmail.com Contact: Carol on 07815728945 OR drop them a message of their Facebook page

*Come for just one hour, or stay for two!


Originally developed for WWII veterans with sight loss, goal ball is a classic team sport in which players aim to propel the ball across the opposing side’s goal line. The ball contains a bell, while the court has tactile markings to help you find your way. All players are totally blindfolded so everyone is on equal footing- so you could bring your sighted friends/family to play too!

“You don’t need any experience of goalball to come to York Goalball Club, just willingness to get involved and we’ll make you feel very welcome.” – Goalball UK

Where? York St. John University Sports Park

When? Every month, Sunday 2-5pm (next session on the 3rd February!)

Price? £3 per session

Contact? 07795 263642 OR email kathryn@goalballuk.com

Not keen on ball sports? How about…


A brilliant way to build fitness while enjoying the freedom and beauty of Yorkshire’s countryside. Open Country runs a great range of inclusive activities and nearly all of their groups have at least one visually impaired member. Their weekend groups range from relaxed routes of up to 3 miles (wheelchair accessible), to the more challenging rambles of 6-8 miles around some of the more interesting and striking scenery the country has to offer.

Where? Meet at Community House, 46 East Parade, Harrogate (with some capacity for collection in the minibus for local residents)

When? Every weekend, all year round!

Price? A donation of £10-12 is requested to cover transport to the walking site

Contact: 01423 507227

Feel like something a bit more out there? Try Energise!

If ‘traditional’ ways of exercising have never caught your fancy, this just might be the place for you. These classes all take place at Better Energise Leisure Centre in York, and are tailor-made for people with impairments and disabilities. Sessions are all under £5 per person, with free entry for up to 2 carers each.


There are few things more relaxing than a dip in a warm pool, and luckily there are also few things more physically beneficial than a good swim! With plenty of poolside equipment, ‘swimability’ sessions are fully accessible for people with sensory impairments, as well as many other physical disabilities.

When? Tuesdays, 10:20am-11:25am AND Sundays, 1:30pm-2:25pm


Want to try something a bit more adventurous? Once a month, Energise runs an accessible climbing session for both adults and juniors. Climbing is a great way to develop your core strength and build your confidence- just how high will you go?

When? 2nd Tuesday of every month, 10am-12pm (adults); 4th Tuesday of every month, 4:15pm-5:45pm (juniors)


Enjoy a good boogie? Whether you’re Strictly-professional level or only dance at weddings, you’ll be welcome at danceability. As well as being great fun, dance is proven to develop fitness, co-ordination and mobility.

When? Tuesdays, 12:20pm- 1:55pm

For all Energise activities, contact: 01904403900 OR email energise@gll.org