When starting, or indeed attending, university, there are a million and one things to think about. How much reading is there for my seminar? When is my next assignment due? Where is that weird smell in my kitchen coming from? To lots of students, sport and exercise is definitely not at the forefront of their thinking. However, the proven links between mental health and exercise suggest that joining a university sports club could be the right move.
Every university champions an extensive range of options for all abilities, whether you are used to competing at county level, or you think BUCS is what Americans used to pay for things with. Obviously your traditional sports such as football, rugby and hockey offered. But if, like me, winter PE lessons in the cold and wet have put you off, there is a plethora of new sports you can sink your teeth into.
Here are five sports you most likely wouldn’t have thought of, but should attempt whether you are starting next uni next year, or in need of a dissertation distraction.
Even I had to Google this one! However, you won’t be alone in not previously hearing of the sport. You will very rarely find someone joining who is aware of the sport, let alone the rules!
Originating in the Netherlands, this mixed-gender sport was invented to offer equal opportunities and encourages strong teamwork. Perfect for someone wanting to take on a new challenge, the sport offers a great mix between keeping you fit, learning something new, and exciting socials.
If you want to spend the best part of your first visit home explaining to family and friends the intricacies of your new uni sport, Korfball is for you.
Ultimate Frisbee can also be known as Ultimate. First of all, that would sound incredible when people ask what sport you play! Almost everyone has heard of it. But very few actually have an idea how to play.
It has been described as a mix between American Football and Netball. The two sports are not naturally combined but, in fact, produce an exhilarating result.
The aim is to pass the disc/Frisbee into the opposing end zone more times than your opponent. Lauren Griffiths describes Ultimate as ‘great for making new friends,’ with the ‘array of teams allowing people an opportunity to play at a good standard.’
An extremely popular sport down under, the best way to describe this is a mixture between football, rugby and basketball. It does not matter if you’ve never played this sport before. The majority of those getting involved have no experience.
Fortunately, the sport has evolved from its early days, when it was common for games to last almost two days! Some might say the perfect form of procrastination.
The University of Birmingham’s Aussie Rules media secretary, Cherry Halfyard, described joining the sport as ‘a highlight of uni’ with the ‘socials enhancing the the whole experience’. Her only regret? ‘Not joining the club sooner!’
A primary school classic. The celebrations when the teacher announced that an hour would be spent playing Dodgeball were akin to 3000 away fans watching a last-minute winner. So why not relive some childhood memories by getting involved with the sport at uni?
The university clubs offer a ‘Play for Fun’ session, for the school hall nostalgia. But there are also more competitive training sessions. Euan Berry, who represents the Nottingham Trent BUCS 2’s, praised the fact ‘it can be played as a mixed sport, which few can.’ He also spoke highly of the socials, stating that ‘going out with Dodgeball on a Wednesday night is the highlight of my week.’
The ability to embrace new opportunities, no matter how weird and wacky they may be, is one of the things that makes university life so fulfilling. The sports suggested above provide just a glimpse into what there is on offer. What have you got to lose by throwing yourself head first into a completely new sport?
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