Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 12:48 UK

Bushell's Best Bits

Breakfast sport presenter Mike Bushell swaps his suit for shorts to showcase the thrills and spills of alternative sports.

Click below for Mike Bushell's best bits.

SYNCHRONISED SKATING
Mike Bushell and synchronised skaters

Over the Christmas period many people make their annual trip to open-air ice rinks.

For the inexperienced, staying upright is difficult enough. But some ice skaters are pushing themselves further, skating in time with up to 19 others.

In his latest challenge, BBC Breakfast's Mike Bushell tries synchronised skating with the Solway Stars and Solway Eclipse teams in Dumfries.

Click here to watch

TAG RUGBY
Mark Cueto dummies a pass to Mike Bushell against a tag rugby team

Tag rugby was originally a training game for players in rugby league teams, but in the 90s it developed into a way of getting young children into the sport.

The UK schools tournament was recently held, fittingly at Rugby school, with the finalists given the honour of playing at Twickenham ahead of the Englad v Wales World Cup warm-up match.

England rugby star Mark Cueto was at the tournament, offering advice and analysis to Mike Bushell and the children taking part.

Click here to watch

SOAPBOX DERBY
Soapbox racers

While motorsport is undeniably popular, the expense is just one reason most people will never even think of giving it a go.

But gravity soapbox racers can reach up to 50miles per hour in their events, using nothing but a hill, whatever odds and ends they have lying around and some wheels.

Click here to watch

SLACK LINING
Mike Bushell on a slackline

Imagine being on a long, thin, trampoline - only 5cm wide - and walking from one side of it to another, and you have some idea of what is involved in slacklining.

The springy tightrope sport which started in the US has crossed to the UK - and in Brighton the beach has become the place to try it out.

Click here to watch

HORSE BOARDING
Horse power

It is the sport that brings together surf dudes, skateboarders and horse riders.

'Horse boarding' is all about teamwork and even if you have never sat on a horse before, you could soon be galloping around a field.

Click here to watch

COLD WATER SWIMMING
Mike in icy water

Athletes often boast of taking ice baths to relieve their muscles after a tough workout, but what about actually swimming in near freezing water?

Is this invigorating exercise, or just an exercise in pain? Mike went to a training session for the Cold Water Championships to find out.

Click here to watch

GEOCACHING
Mike Bushell goes geocaching

It started 10 years ago, there are now over 75 thousand hidden in towns and cities around the UK and they are an easy way to tempt all the family out for a walk at the weekends.

Mike goes on a hunt for some 'geocache' boxes.

Click here to watch

EXTREME FOOTBALL
Football game

Giant inflatable spheres have long been a source of fun for extreme sports fans.

Now they have been given a new lease of life on the football pitch, as Mike found out.

Click here to watch

RIDING WATERFALLS
Ghyll scrambling

Ghyll scrambling, which involves descending from heights by riding waterfalls, has become a popular extreme adventure in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Mike took his teenage daughter along for the ride.

Click here to watch

TREETOP OBSTACLE COURSE
Person on rope assault course through trees

Grown-ups nostalgic for the tree-climbing adventures of their childhood can now indulge themselves at one of several treetop obstacle courses.

Mike went along to perform his best Tarzan moves.

Click here to watch

HORSEBACK ARCHERY
Horseback archery

The ability to fire a bow on horseback was an essential skill for hunting for centuries and is now making a comeback as a sport.

Mike took to his trusty steed and tested his aim.

Click here to watch

DODGEBALL
A dodgeball player

England's dodgeball team have have just won the first European championships.

Mike has a go at the game and finds out how the team is helping to promote the sport at home.

Click here to watch

ELECTRIC CAR RACING
Electric racing car

Mike takes a look at a different kind of motor racing.

There is no mosquito-like engine roar noise as the cars speed past because the vehicles are electric.

Could this be the future of the sport?

Click here to watch

STUNTBIKE FOOTBALL
Mike Bushell on tiny motorbike during game of stuntbike football

A somewhat unusual football team is getting ready for its first full international game over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The UK's stuntbike football team will be taking on a Rest of The World team in the match, which will test the players' advanced riding skills.

Mike joined in a team practice in Northamptonshire - on a slightly more controllable bike.

Click here to watch

PAINTBALL
Paintballer

No longer just an activity for birthday parties and stag dos, paintball now has professional teams and international tournaments.

Mike visited the British London Nexus team at their Bricketwood training ground to see why it has become so popular, and competitive.

Click here to watch

FAST PUNTING
River punting

To most people, punting on the river, conjures up images of straw hats, blazers and total tranquillity.

But it is also a fast, physical sport, and next weekend sees the 125th running of national championship.

Mike went to have a go.

Click here to watch

HIGH HURDLES
Boy hurdling

Ever since Denise Lewis won gold at the 2000 Olympics, Britain has been at the forefront of the heptathlon event.

World champion Jessica Ennis now carries Britain's hopes towards the 2012 Olympics.

One of the key events in the heptathlon is hurdling.

So Mike went for a lesson with Denise Lewis to discover which is his leading leg.

Click here to watch

FOOTVOLLEY
Mike Bushell joins England's footvolley team at a practice session

Legend has it that in 1965, soccer was banned on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, forcing footballers to take to the beach volleyball courts.

The players continued to shun their hands, and the game of footvolley was invented.

Mike Bushell joined the England teams training for next month's UK Open in Brighton - and discovered how the two root sports still cross over.

Click here to watch

CAMEL POLO
The BBC's Mike Bushell plays camel polo

Camel polo is one of the highlights of this year's British Beach Polo Championships in Sandbanks.

Polo has been played on camels for centuries in the Middle East, but it is the first time the sport is being played in Europe.

Click here to watch

CRAZY BALL
New sport called Crazy Ball being played

Many different sports are now being played at schools in a bid to get every pupil involved. It is part of the Sports Unlimited programme, which targets those who have not yet found a sport to suit them.

Mike Bushell tried out one of the newer sports - crazy ball.

Click here to watch

RIVER RAPIDS
Mike Bushell rides the rapids
Mike Bushell rides the rapids

Great Britain's chances of an Olympic canoeing medal at London 2012 could be boosted by a new facility that flows through the city of Cardiff.

It is the UK's first Olympic standard Canoe and Rafting slalom course, and will compliment the national watersports centre at Holme Pierpoint near Nottingham.

Click here to watch

TAI CHI
BBC's Alex Bushell tries Tai Chi
BBC's Mike Bushell tries Tai Chi

If the Grand National is too much for your nerves, Mike Bushell has been looking for a method to unwind.

Tai Chi is known as a way to relax mind and body, but appearances can be deceptive.

Mike finds out why the hard way, at the Haotaiji Association with cabbie turned British Tai Chi Champion Bill Cornish. Click here to watch

SUMO WRESTLING
Steve Pateman

Mike Bushell talks to Steve Pateman, former world Sumo bronze medallist, and tries out the sport of Sumo wrestling.

He finds you don't have to be large to compete. Click here to watch

TALL BUILDING RACING
Mike Bushell joins hundred of runners for "Vertical Rush"

The sport of tall building racing is becoming increasingly popular around the world. This week, the running event came to the UK for only the second time.

Mike Bushell joined hundreds of runners for a charity race up Tower 42, the second tallest building in the UK. Click here to watch

EXTREME HIGH JUMP
Mike Bushell tries the high jump

It is one of those sports that defies logic and leaves spectators scratching their heads in disbelief. The high jump is a sport that might seem out of reach for many of us.

Mike Bushell went to meet some of the country's top jumpers for a quick lesson. Click here to watch

BRUSHING UP ON BOARDING SKILLS
A man brush boarding

If the Winter Olympics inspires you to take up snowboarding but there is no snow, or you want to surf without getting cold and wet, there is a solution.

Brush boarding is the new way of helping surfers and snowboarders to brush up on their skills. Mike went to Exeter to try it. Click here to watch

BEST BITS 2009
Mike Bushell

For nearly four years, the BBC's Mike Bushell has been trying to get people, especially youngsters, to get off the sofa and try out a new sport.

Here are some highlights of his adventures in the sporting world. Click here to watch

FLOORBALL IN THE COTSWOLDS
Floorball

Mike Bushell visits Chipping Campden school in the Cotswolds to play the sport imported from Sweden that has taken the region by storm - floorball.

Beverley Needham of the Great Britain Floorball Federation explains the appeal of the game. Click here to watch

WHEN THE DOG SETS THE PACE
Mike Bushell and other runners taking part in Canix

Britain has won a silver medal at the European championships of a sport combining dog-walking with cross-country running.

Mike Bushell borrowed a couple of huskies to try out Canix for himself - and discovered the difficulties of commanding a dog when running at their preferred pace. Click here to watch

THE ASSAULT COURSE FOR BIKES
Man with bike

Imagine doing an army assault course, but on a bike. Also throw in a bit of mud wrestling with the occasional hurdle, and you have the essence of cyclo-cross. Click here to watch

CRACKING THE WHIP IN WALES
Whip-cracking world champion

Cowboys have been cracking their whips for centuries, but it is now proving a popular pastime in South Wales.

Mike Bushell went to Barry Island to meet the locals, including a whip-cracking World Champion. Click here to watch

TREE CLIMBING FOR GROWN-UPS
Mike Bushell climbing a tree

Competitive tree climbing is becoming more popular across the world, and the UK has quite a good record in the sport.

Mike Bushell joined a group of grown-up tree climbers to rediscover the appeal of shinning up the branches. Click here to watch

ROUGHED UP ON ROLLER SKATES
Roller derby

Roller derby is a sport dominated by women, but many a man may be intimidated by this fast-paced and often aggressive game.

Mike Bushell got his skates on to meet the inaugural European champions, the London Rollergirls All Stars, ahead of the new season. Click here to watch

THRILL OF FREESTYLE JET SKI
Freestyling

Enthusiasts say it is like trying to ride a BMX or motocross bike on water. Freestyle jet-skiing requires immense balance and skill.

Jack Moule is the current British freestyle jet-ski champion and is only 15 years old. His mother, Suzan says his passion takes up most of their spare time. Click here to watch

HOW TO SWING ON A TRAPEZE
Mike Bushell learns how to fly through the air on a trapeze.

For those who are bored of the gym, there is now a different way to increase your confidence, fitness and most of all your upper body strength.

The BBC's Mike Bushell has visited the 'Gorilla circus' in London and has had a go at flying through the air on a trapeze. Click here to watch

LEARNING 'FORMATION' WING WALKING
Mike Bushell wing walking

The only remaining "formation" wing walking team in the world face an uncertain future as their sponsorship deal is due to run out.

Their routines are seen by more than six million people a year.

Mike Bushell went to try it for himself. Click here to watch

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN?
Mike Bushell hauls a truck

Mike Bushell meets Geoff Capes to find out what it takes to be the World's Strongest Man.

Geoff Capes won the title twice and now he's training a whole new generation in the art of strong man events. Click here to watch

GAELIC FOOTBALL
gaelic footballer runs with ball

Gaelic football combines elements of soccer, rugby and basketball.

Now a schools initiative in eight UK cities a year ago is reaping dividends with clubs reporting growing numbers.

Mike Bushell has been to train with the Round Towers club in London. Click here to watch

TOUCH RUGBY - RUGBY FOR WIMPS?
Touch rugby players

Touch rugby may sound like rugby for wimps because it does not involve crunching tackles, but 12,000 people play it every week.

Mike Bushell joined some of the Super league teams and found out that it is a fast, furious and exhausting game. Click here to watch

VAN RACING WITH DAVID COULTHARD
David Coulthard
David Coulthard

Not content with causing mayhem on the roads, van drivers are doing it on the race track too.

Mike Bushell and David Coulthard find out how the grassroots sport of van racing compares to Formula One. Click here to watch

SUMMER SKIING SEASON BEGINS
Mike Bushell with rollerskier Karolina Bicova

As the summer draws nearer, most people are turning from thoughts of winter sports in favour of frisbees, beach cricket and tennis.

But for some, the summer does not mean an end to skiing or skating - and Mike Bushell met some people who have combined the two. Click here to watch

CHESS GETS PHYSICAL
Chess boxer

Chess has been given a new lease of life - in the boxing ring. The rules of 'chess boxing' allow opponents to move the board aside and punch each other instead. Click here to watch

'FOOTBALL FREESTYLER' GOES FOR RECORD
Dan Magness

Dan Magness is regarded as one of the world's top 'football freestylers'.

Mike Bushell catches up with him as he attempts to set a new world record by keeping a football airborne for 24 hours using only his control skills. Click here to watch

EXTREME SKIPPING DOUBLE-DUTCH STYLE
Extreme skipping

Fiercely competitive and physically demanding, rope-skipping is not for the faint hearted.

Mike Bushell jumped over to Birmingham and roped in the British team to teach him a little double Dutch. Click here to watch

ADVENTURE SPORTS IN AN URBAN SETTING
Mike Bushell running in underpass

Hundreds of people fed up of being stuck in the city at weekends are taking part in a new sporting challenge, known as the Rat Race.

The idea is to make use of all the nooks and crannies of a city to participate in various outdoor adventure sports. Click here to watch

TWO BY TWO ON A MOTORCROSS BIKE
Sidecar cross

If you prefer racing in twos, then sidecar cross is a growing team sport that gives you the thrills of motocross, but with a bit more stability as you're on 3 wheels rather than 2.

The world championship season begins this weekend in France and Mike has been for a spin with one of the top British teams. Click here to watch

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2008
Mike Bushell

Mike tried dozens of alternative sports in 2008 and is looking for suggestions of new pursuits for him to try in 2009. Click here to watch



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