Sport at University
Although alcohol is a great companion and staple of the student lifestyle, nothing quite goes hand in hand with studying than sport. The student athlete lifestyle creates the perfect balance between academic pressure and physical release, study hard and play harder.
Your time at University may prove to be the best years of your sporting life and unfortunately for some (particularly female students) it may be the last time they are involved in team sports or competitive play. However for the next three to four years you need not worry about the stresses of balancing a working life and you can enjoy the vast array of sport that will be offered by your University.
Unless you are a professional athlete, your university years will be a magical time to be involved in a sport, particularly a team sport. The feeling of being part of a team or society will also allow you to make new friends and meet new people and being part of a team can give drinking a purpose as you have many ‘team’ nights out and away days.
The key to choosing a new sport is to be adventurous! Try as many sports as you like until you find one that fits and you enjoy. The University of Strathclyde Sports Union for example looks after 47 sports and the emphasis is on inclusion and enjoyment. There is often a small joining fee but once you are signed up to the Sports Union you are free to experience every sport on offer.
The competition structure in University sport is also superb and this is delivered through British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and is the National Governing Body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK.
BUCS offer a competition structure in almost every sport from clay pigeon shooting and fencing to basketball and Judo. Although your University may not have a club or representation in a particular sport, if you have a passion the Sports Union will support you in setting up your sport.
Most sports fixtures across the UK take place on a Wednesday afternoon and updates are well covered via social media such as twitter and the hasttag #bucswednesday. The emphasis is mostly always on good banter and socialising rather than the score board mentality. However I’m sure rival Universities may beg to differ.
Get active Get involved
So if you are interested in complimenting your academic life with the excitement of sport and the benefit of an active lifestyle, your first point of call will be the fresher fair were all the sports clubs will be pitching for your involvement. Playing is not the only role on offer and many clubs will be after Captains, Presidents, Vice Presidents etc as most teams are run by students for students.
If you are passionate about your sport you can really get involved in its development at University. The playing level can also vary at University. However there tends to be a place for everyone whether you are just wanting some gentle recreation or have aspirations to lift the cup, guaranteed you will find your place in University sport.
BUCS has also been pivotal in assisting Universities improve their disability sport provision and as a result there are a great number of inclusive sports, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to experience sport at university.
There really is no excuse not to get involved with sport at University. Even if you despise team sports there is Pilates, Yoga, running clubs the list goes on, all life is here as they say. Go check out your sports Union and join up. It might cost you the price of a nights drinking but it will be money worth spent in the long term. The friends you meet through university sport and the experiences you will have will stay with you long after you graduate.
A Bit About Our Contributor:
Robert James Woodhead - Lecturer of Essential & Core Skills at Edinburgh College
A passionate educator within the FE sector. Student focused and driven by innovation, quality and challenge. Sports background with an ability to adapt, develop and deliver courses across a range of subject areas.
The University of Strathclyde Sports Union
British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS)