Who watched the Olympics? I was hooked to it, to the point where I stayed up ’til the small hours to watch track events live. The highlight for me, though, has to be watching team GB women’s hockey team grab gold in the final against the Netherlands, who are currently top in the world. From bronze in London in 2012 to gold in Rio, they’ve shown that determination, dedication, and hard work pays off, and they’ve really shone a light on hockey in the UK. It was a great moment for British sport generally, but even more special for hockey players around the country. I play for ULMHC. That’s the University of Leicester MIXED Hockey Club, (not be confused with Men’s). Watching the hockey at the Olympics has really geared me up to start playing for the uni team again in September. To those of you who have never picked up a hockey stick in your lives, I hope seeing the girls on that podium has inspired you to do something you’ve never done before, whether it’s to play hockey or not.
Team GB’s incredible success comes at a time when hundreds of you have received your A Level results and your place at the University of Leicester. Naturally, you’ll all be excited at the prospect of meeting new people, and curious as to what your chosen subject(s) have in store for you, but have you given any thought to which societies and sports clubs you fancy joining? Being a part of a sports club is, in my opinion, an integral part of your university experience. It’s a chance to try something new, or even renew a love for a sport you did as a child, but the real beauty of doing sports at university is that you don’t actually have to be any good. Societies want members, so they usually cater to all abilities. I was a complete beginner when I joined Mixed Hockey as a Fresher, so I spent the first year just running around a pitch with a stick in my hands. To this day I’m still a bit foggy when it comes to the rules. But I love playing, so it doesn’t matter.
As well as bumping up your CV with the whole ‘teamwork’ thing, being a part of a sports club makes you instantly more sociable. Wednesday night is Social night. Every sports club hosts their own social, usually in fancy dress, to enjoy a fabulous evening at their respective sponsors, before heading to the O2 Academy to enjoy the best of 90s and 00s cheesy music. What’s not to love?
So, be sure to make good use of Freshers’ Fair, take every flyer they shove in your face, and go to any taster session you fancy. Who knows, you may find something you love and have a natural talent for. University is the perfect opportunity to try something you’ve never done before, and if an Olympic Gold medal isn’t enough to inspire you to take up a sport, I don’t know what will.