It is undeniable that sport makes up a key part of university culture. Students might want to play a sport at uni but do not want to join the BUCS team. Or, in some cases, a student might have trialled for a team and been unsuccessful. However, this does not mean these students will be unable to play sport at university. Actually, it is quite the opposite. Freshered spoke to three students involved in university social sport to exemplify this. Moreover, I will draw on my own experience to highlight a few more positives.
What is a University Social Sports Club?
In some cases at university, there are two types of sports club. There is the main club who compete in a competition known as BUCS, where they represent their university. For those who are unsure what BUCS is, check out this article. In short, these clubs are often ran like professional teams. They employ coaches from outside the university, and require a successful trial to join. Thus, a good level of skill in the certain sport is necessary. In most cases, these clubs will include students who have played at county level. This is only applicable to certain sports, with some clubs catering to all abilities. In the clubs where there is a trial process, there will often be a social sports club. These clubs do offer the chance to play competitively. But they are more focused on every member enjoying playing the sport, regardless of their ability.
In all honesty, I have never really excelled at a certain sport. I have always been a football fan. But my love for the game has not translated to gifts on the pitch. However, at my university, there is a 6-a-side football league, which anyone can enter. Despite losing all five matches, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute playing alongside my mates. ‘Campus League’ is not limited to football, with leagues in basketball, hockey, and netball.
Moreover, I picked up cricket two summers ago, with no understanding of technique whatsoever. When I came back to uni, I joined the social side. Alongside the great social events, such as Sports Night, universally known nationwide regardless of which university, joining the social team has allowed me to train once a week, with the option to play in the summer. I cannot recommend social sports clubs at university enough.
Don’t Just Take My Word For It
When asked what makes social sport so important, Jack Davis, captain of the University of Birmingham Cricket Social Squad said ‘it allows everyone to be an integral member of the club, no matter what their level of ability is.’ He urges students to join a social sport. According to Davis, it ‘has the potential to become one of the best parts of your university experience. Davis was asked what his social sport highlight was, to which he responded ‘being part of the first Cricsoc (Social Cricket) team to beat the BUCS team.’
Euan Berry, a third-year at Nottingham Trent University, echoed these thoughts around social sport. He said joining the Dodgeball team allowed him ‘to open up his social circle by talking to people that I previously wouldn’t have.’ He also cites social sport in helping him post-Lockdown, telling Freshered that ‘after being stuck indoors for 18 months, I made sure I joined a sporting society to keep active.’ Berry was full of praise for social sports like Dodgeball, citing the opportunity to ‘create lots of new friends,’ as the main reason to join.
In an interview with Freshered, history student at the University of Bristol, Ed Walley, spoke about the advantages to ‘playing some casual sports in the evening, with a bit of casual competiton.’ He describes himself as ‘pretty hopeless’ at Badminton, but ‘enjoys going’ to play with the social club because ‘it’s a good way to meet people after Covid.’