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Whether you’re new to Lancaster University or are returning for another year, you may be thinking that you would like to try something new in the coming academic year. Undeniably, university is the perfect time to do so, as there is a myriad of opportunities and different societies to get involved with. Though if you are still spoilt for choice and cannot decide, why not pick the option that is closest to home?
Bowland, Cartmel, County, Furness, Fylde, Graduate, Grizedale, Lonsdale or Pendle. It is a much-debated topic which college can lay claim to being the best on campus. So, the colleges give you the opportunity to prove that yours is the best as each has teams that regularly compete in football, netball, pool, darts, table tennis and arguably the biggest sport at university, dominoes.
College rivalries will write most of the stories behind these fixtures. Players will tell you about ‘that time we beat County 7-0’ (Grizedale Women’s Darts, February 28th, 2017) and other famous victories that each add an extra dimension to these fixtures. These rivalries bring an immense rewarding feeling after a victory, or a crushing feeling in defeat; though you are all too happy to discuss with your opposite number in lectures the day after. This kind of love/hate relationship with opponents would be difficult to find in the inter-university teams, with only a few notable exceptions being Roses, the huge inter-varsity tournament against York, and when the Men’s Rugby Union second and third teams played each other in the league twice last year.
Although competition runs fierce through the veins of all colleges, it isn’t as high pressure as one might imagine. The social aspect of these teams is as important, if not more so than the winning. Teams often partake in social events after games (this works especially well for darts, pool and dominoes as they take place in the bar!) and chemistry building between squads and even the different teams within the college. Take for example the Furness football and netball teams combining to play a mixed netball game as a warm-up, before both teams turned out to support the other in their respective fixtures, then going on to a joint social that evening!
There are also the annual inter-collegiate tournaments that highlight the rivalries between specific colleges. With the founding colleges at Lancaster, Lonsdale beat Bowland in last year’s Founders competition. Patriots is contested between Cartmel and Furness colleges, with Cartmel coming out victorious in the last two years. There were two new tournaments introduced this year, Warriors (Pendle vs Grizedale) and the Fylde-County Cup (no points for guessing who’s involved in that), with Grizedale and Fylde coming up trumps in the first instalments of their respective competitions. These competitions involve not only the regular sports that the colleges take part in, but also include a bunch of other sports that are decided by the sports officers of the colleges.
In essence; college sport is a fantastic opportunity for you to enrich your university experience through competition, make lots of new friends in your teammates and enjoy some fantastic moments, sporting or otherwise! Your colleges and the university always do a fantastic job to organise these leagues and tournaments, and I am proud to tell people when I represent my college and I always hope to prove that my college is the best. I hope you join me.