You’ve heard it before; University is the best place to try new things! One that greatly improved my university experience was joining a sports team. Between lectures, nights out and general down time there was always a small gap in my timetable that I just HAD to fill. Then I heard about UoN’s Trampolining club from a friend of a friend and it seemed like a lot of my problems melted away. Here’s how getting involved with a sport at university can make your university experience!
First things first – how do you get involved!?
As a first year it was a little intimidating looking at the big list of all the sports on offer. Some sports I’d never even heard of (and still wouldn’t know how to play now). Luckily most sports offer engage sessions once a week where you can go ‘try before you buy’. These are often advertised in freshers but run throughout the year. Don’t be put off by joining after the initial start of term buzz. I joined just over half-way through first year and no-one batted an eyelid. If you’re still not sure try out a few different sports- there’s bound to be one you enjoy!
The benefits of being part of a sports team are endless but here’s a few I consider the best;
Increasing your activity levels
Of course you’re doing sport! Most sports teams train three or four times a week which is bound to keep you fit and healthy between those 1am takeaways. Being more active has a whole host of benefits not just on your health. Having routine sessions to attend each week will help you better organise your days and feel more motivated with your studies. It can also be a big stress reliever. If I’ve had a bad day or am snowed under in work, bouncing on a trampoline for two hours always perks me up. Whether that’s the endorphins or the blood rushing to my head after one too many somersaults I can’t be sure – but it works!
I think it would be very hard to join a sports team and not be social. After all it’s called a team for a reason! You are bound to meet new people when you join a sport at university, they’re there just like you to have a good time. Better yet all sports organise socials to make sure everyone gets to know each other. There’s often joint socials between clubs too so even more people to get to know. Team mentality is another great thing about getting involved. The support you get from those around you is next to none sport or non-sport related. Uni can be tough, at times you do feel lonely, maybe a little lost. Having a go-to group of people (that are probably feeling the same as you) can make a huge difference.
Getting to represent your university alongside all your friends is the pinnacle of joining a sport. You also get to see commitment to training paying off. Whether you come back from a comp with a medal or not it’s the experience you’ll never forget. Competing gives you the chance to get out of uni for a bit too! Fixtures and matches won’t always be at your university sports centre, you’ll have games all over the country. What’s better than being a little nosy and seeing the ins and outs of another uni. Maybe this makes the perfect excuse to see your friends at other uni’s too.
Gaining skills for your CV
Getting involved with a sport is the perfect extra-curricular activity to take your CV to the next level. Not only does it showcase your ability to work in a team but reflects your commitment and appreciation of personal development. This is something employers love! If you want to go even further join your sports societies committee. Being on committee means you have a big say on how your sport is run as well as developing yourself through an individual position. Think your talents lie in budgeting? Maybe you want to impress that big firm in the hopes of a summer internship? Having something like ‘club treasurer’ on your CV could really help you get your foot in the door. There’s a bit more hard work that goes with being on a sports committee but its not something you’ll ever regret doing.
Get involved with sports at university its an amazing way to make friends, develop yourself as a person and enjoy the free time you have. When it comes time to leave university no doubt you’ll look back and some of the best memories will be with your teammates!