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Following the Sports Centre’s establishment two years ago, the multi-functional building has developed itself into one of Lancaster University’s central hubs for societies and activities. Whether it is squash through to rock climbing the Sports Centre can cater for everybody.
Intro Week provides the perfect opportunity to get involved in something new – with over 200 societies to choose from, a large proportion are based inside the Sports Centre. Vice President of Activities Emily Pollitt expressed “getting involved in societies during your time at university provides unparalleled experiences, lifelong friends and numerous opportunities to go that bit further. It all sounds a bit cheesy but the society I was involved in during my time at Lancaster really shaped my experience. There are so many things you can try whilst having so much fun along the way.”
Imperative to the university’s sporting calendar, the Sports Centre quietly sits separate from our hill-top campus but still remains a key focal point for activities and sport to flourish. Kitted with the finest sporting facilities, the centre boasts a varying depth 25 metre swimming pool, numerous squash courts, climbing wall and a multi-use hall allowing for a rich number of sports to be featured here. Squash first team captain Robert Gibson encouraged freshers to “sign up, no matter your skill level, as we cater for all abilities.” With a development squad in addition to competitive teams, Lancaster Squash club look to strengthen their squads as they seek revenge in the 50th anniversary of Roses and look for promotion into the Northern League First Division.
As well as the more familiar sports available, the centre offers a multitude of activities for curious students to delve into. Many martial art disciplines are beginning to develop as popular classes– MMA, Judo, and Karate to name a few. The reasonably priced ‘pay as you play’ payment structure for non-members allows any student to participate. With no sport priced over £3.70, students should take full advantage of the activities on show here – competitively or not!
While the Sports Centre continues to develop, so do the sports within it. As President of Lancaster Swimming and Water Polo (LUSWT), Rob Craven can confirm, telling SCAN: “The greater awareness of swimming and water polo has definitely increased participation because of the Olympics, which made more people want to try out such great physical sports.” First team captain of the men’s water polo Maroš Zuba proclaimed “freshers should overcome their physical and psychological limits and play water polo, not only for the great competition but for the best socials on campus.” The team’s trials will be held at the pool on the Sunday of Freshers’ Week at 6.30pm and students are encouraged to head down to find out more.
A unique team which can also be found in the Sports Centre is the Lancaster Korfball club. For those of you who don’t know, korfball is an intriguing, mixed-gender, originally Dutch sport which can best be described as a halfway house between basketball and netball – only, shooting into an 11.5 ft yellow “korf” instead of a hoop. Hannah Darwin, first team player and coach of Lancaster’s current stock of korfballers explained to SCAN how korfball is unique “The way korfball differentiates itself from any other sport is the defending rule, ‘an attacker cannot shoot if a defender is within arm’s length of the player’. This means that you have to escape your defender before you think about shooting.” With three squads to compete, korfball opens its arms for freshers to try something new and exciting.
Since the building’s inception, the Sports Centre’s progression has seen it become a crucial home for sporting endeavour. While still emerging from its infant roots, the growing success and popularity of the societies within the centre would not have been made possible without the facilities presented inside. Sports societies are a great means of meeting new people, keeping fit and making your university experience that little bit better, so get involved this Freshers’ Week, make use of what Lancaster has to offer and venture into the unknown – you won’t regret it.