It’s the ultimate competitive sport for people who don’t like actually playing competitive sports

A sport where the aim is to relax? It sounds too good to be true but is, in fact, a real thing. The inaugural Extreme Relaxing UK Championships, the first of its kind in Europe, is taking place at the Kia Oval this month featuring 30 people going head-to-head at relaxing against the clock. Across three rounds, the competitors will face a stressful ‘obstacle’ and be measured on the speed at which they can achieve a relaxed state following the surprise.

The event has been pioneered by leading sport psychologist and Senior Lecturer in sport and exercise psychology at Loughborough University, Dr Jamie Barker, who’s spent years researching relaxation in sport. It’s not just pro athletes who need to spend time on recovery and relaxation in order to perform at their best, it’s something that the general public also should be scheduling time for to combat workplace stress.

A study conducted in March of this year found that almost half of British workers were at risk of burnout and 21% were either struggling or in emotional distress. It’s not just a British thing either; a competitive relaxing event has been held in South Korea since 2014 and post-pandemic, more relaxation-specific events and spaces are appearing in the country.

So if you need some help finding your zen in a chaotic world, you can apply to take part in the event here until midnight on 15th August.

Sun 20th August 2023
Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SS