Putting the Sky levy to best use


It might cost you up to £6.50 a term, but are really making the most out of your JCR’s Sky Sports package? Here’s a selection of some of the less renowned and unusual programmes that could bring some more breadth to your weekly sports viewing schedule.  And if any of these don’t float your boat, you can always spend your time watching re-runs of 80s football matches or waiting for Chris Kamara to appear on Sky Sports News saying something endearingly hilarious.

Extreme Carp
For the uninitiated, the idea of this late-night, high-intensity fishing show is “to catch the biggest fish of the weekend”, according to presenter Rob Hughes.  Obvious, yes. But simple? No. Amongst frequent close-ups of live, moving carp in the arms of their fishermen, are some genuinely impressive shows of strength and determination – these anglers’ standard British catch weighs about 50lbs and is at least the same size as their torso. Episode 4, repeated during the week of 31st January, looks set to be a stormer with the programme filmed in the familiar-sounding Brasenose Lake, Oxfordshire. Beware: I can’t guarantee that watching people catch fish remains extreme and exciting for more than one episode.

Netball Superleague
Being an already avid watcher I might be a little biased, but having watched this with guys on more than one occasion, I can confirm that netball is a sport which can be enjoyed by both men and women. Possibly a little sexed- up but showcasing some of Britain’s top sportswomen, this is defintely another one of Sky Sports’ hidden gems. Keep a lookout for St John’s very own Layla Guscoth, representing Mavericks.

Aerobics Oz Style
Upon reading the title you might assume this to involve a group of pretty Australian girls having a boogie down by the beach. You’d be right. Set in various sunny, sandy, and strangely secluded parts of Sydney, the girls lead viewers through a different exercise style each episode, including yoga, belly dancing and salsa. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to their daily ration of exercise without having to sweat it out alongside the rugby lads and rowing fanatics in the college gym.  This programme has been running since 1982 and is still going strong. I’m not sure whether that’s because it can provide a fun and energetic start to your day, or actually just because the demographic of Sky Sports is largely male and lonely.

World Matchplay Bowls
This conveniently coincides with Wednesday’s Shark End closing time – meaning that as long as you leave ten minutes early to avoid the human traffic jams, you can make it back in time to catch the start of what will undoubtedly become your favourite fascinating-when-drunk must-watch. If you’re feeling disheartened about our failures in most other national sporting competitions, bowls is the sport to watch – apparently we’re quite good at it, with the Top 10 men’s world players being British. There are women’s competitions too, though featuring significantly less model-types than Oz Style Aerobics.


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