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As a first year searching for ways to make friends, or an existing student hoping to get more out of your University experience, trialling for a sports team could be one of the best decisions you ever make. If you are unsure about taking part, here are several reasons to convince you why you should give playing for a uni sports club a go:
Playing for a university sports team means competing each week in hope of becoming a BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) Champion by the end of the academic year. This is a league in which university teams from the same region fight against one another, in sports ranging from Hockey to American Football. Being able to travel to parts of the country that you would otherwise likely never visit, BUCS gives you a sense of extreme pride in representing your uni at a high sporting level.
Joining a sports team allows you to spend time with people that share the same interests as yourself. Seeing each other regularly for training sessions, your teammates will soon become some of your closest friends, and before you know it, you will be signing the lease for a flat together in third year. This camaraderie is so strong that you may find yourselves meeting up outside of university and experiencing something other than a BUCS Wednesday for a change. Evidence of this includes the Lancaster University Swimming and Water Polo teams’ tour of Prague, and the Men’s Football Club making a trip to St George’s Park, home of the England national team, to take part in a weekend training camp. As a fresher, your teammates are a sure way of helping you settle in to uni life that little bit quicker.
The psychological and physical benefits of sports are no secret. Exercise is a welcome distraction from an intense day of learning, as well as a stimulating way of preparing mentally to finish those end of term deadlines. Although university is ultimately about furthering your education, playing for a sports team makes your three years even more unforgettable, and provides a balance between keeping fit and achieving your ambitions of getting first class honours.
Whether you are celebrating a victory or commiserating a defeat, socials provide a great opportunity to reflect on your day’s sporting exploits. A weekly gathering of teammates following a match, socials usually involve sharing a drink (or two) and dressing up in accordance with a theme that changes every week. Some of the more notable of these include a round of nine drinking holes in some of Lancaster’s finest night life spots for Pub Golf, and an inter-squad Beer Olympics. Of course, the consumption of alcohol is not compulsory, but socials tend to be among some of the highlights of university and are not to be missed.
The biggest event in the university sporting calendar, Roses is undoubtedly the most eagerly anticipated weekend of the academic year. This sees the red rose of Lancaster battle it out against the white of rivals York, in a War of the Roses inspired annual varsity. A festival of sport, teams from their respective cities compete for the bragging rights in the contest that is held in alternate years by each uni. Lancaster triumphed in a rampant demolishing of York last time out, claiming an overall victory within the first day of action. The Red Roses travel to Yorkshire this year hoping to retain the Carter James Trophy, and in doing so, become the first away team to win in the competition’s illustrious history.