After dabbling in many college sports and being part of a University of York sports team (do you know I row?), I feel somewhat qualified to tell you just why you should join a sports team. Here’s six of the many reasons why you should get onto YUSU asap and invest in a new sports membership.
A big part of university is meeting new people, and joining a sports society is a great way to meet like-minded students, who will probably end up being some of your closest university mates. I can vouch for this, and honestly say that the people I have met in my sports societies are some of my best university friends.
When you’re training multiple times a week together, you end up seeing them so much that you get to know each other on a really genuine level. You see each other at your best moments, like when you win your race, but also when you’re struggling and, for example, weren’t particularly happy with your sports performance.
You also get to socialise away from your training grounds, so you can end up seeing your teammates every other day, creating some really strong friendship bonds.
2. Sports Society Socials
Few things are constant in life, but one thing you can rely on is having plans for Wednesday night when you join a sports society as it’s their social night!
Not only will you experience an unbelievably good night out in York, which according to the Get Licensed Survey is the best in the UK, but you will also get to know your squad outside of your training walls.
Nouse spoke to Amelia Herschel-Shorland, who plays UoY Hockey and is also the Social Secretary for their society, about her experience. Amelia told Nouse: “Socials are not only a great way to get to know people within your own club, but also those involved in other societies, making you part of a diverse, sociable, and inclusive community across the university”.
A hearty community spirit is indeed present when the sports socials are out and about town, so get involved and try out a new sport!
3. Character Building
At university, there comes a time when one must make many life-changing decisions. These choices vary in scale, for example, from choosing a college and campus to picking a fridge shelf in your shared kitchen, but one decision which is often overlooked is where you are going on a Wednesday night.
Dressed with the rest of your chums to an oddly specific theme, you will have pre-loaded by challenges or forfeits and are ready to hit the town. But where do you go? Wednesday Salvos or Flares?
This is a famous UoY dichotomy, and your decision will provide some useful character building as your answer will impact how other students view you. I know both die-hard Flares and Salvos fans, but never anyone who likes both.
For many, the decision is a basic instinct, but this only comes with experience. This will follow after a few Wednesday nights, so let’s just pray you don’t have any 9am Thursday seminars.
4. A new personality trait
When I lightly told you that I row for UoY, this was also a slight warning. If you start playing a new sport, or worse, befriend someone who has just started a new sport, they will feel it necessary to drop it into conversation every so often.
Obviously, your mate’s sports merch, which they wear all too often, wasn’t a big enough giveaway and so you have to be reminded that they play football and are impressively on Team Two, which they are also Captain for!
What’s worse are those 9am seminars when it’s too early for small talk because you’re tired, but they insist on telling you that surely you can’t be as tired as them since they’ve been training for two hours, the exact same morning.
We can’t be too harsh though, it’s their new personality trait. Yet, sometimes, I do feel that the novelty never wears off for some. So, forget chit-chat about the weather, rather get your personal bests at the ready for your next encounter with a UoY sportsperson.
If you’re into history you’ll have heard of the famous War of the Roses, between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. To keep a friendly rivalry going over 500 years later, both Lancaster University and UoY take part in The Roses Tournament, which is an annual sports competition.
Traditionally the largest inter-university sporting competition in Europe, Roses 2023 is being held in York. It is always said that whoever hosts is more likely to win, with Roses 2022 being held and won in Lancaster last year, so why don’t you test such hearsay and try out for Roses after joining a sports team!
6. A fun break
When you’re at university, sometimes you can get so consumed by your course, as obviously you’re there to study, but it’s also so important to take respite from your studies. A fun and productive way to do this is by joining a sports society.
Exercising is so vital for both physical and mental health, and so doing it in an environment with your friends to support you, and one in which you don’t feel like you’re exercising as you’re enjoying your sport, is such a great feeling.
When Amelia spoke to Nouse, she summed up this exact feeling, stating: “Joining a sports team enables you to see a different aspect of university life, one where you interact with so many different people whilst all sharing a common interest.” She added, “Playing sport can create many opportunities, whether that be in the friendships you build or simply enjoying playing the sport itself.”
I hope you find a sport that you love and make some great friends along the way, just remember to look after yourself!