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Sport Socials: Leave us be

Nursing her body back to full health after a week of Hail Mary and Halloween, our sports editor steps away from the pitch to consider the one thing that sports clubs across the country have in common: Wednesday night binge drinking

I Googled ‘drinking culture in university sport’ and it came up with almost 3.5 million results. The media loves to discuss the bingeing island of Britain, zooming in on the disgraces that are university students and not forgetting to focus, just a bit closer, on members of sporting societies. As I looked through a few of the pieces that I found online, they all bore a striking resemblance to each other. Don’t worry young people, we can offer advice and wisdom so that next time you don’t feel like you have to get involved.

One particular article stuck with me with the headline “you’re old enough to say no”, as two students were condemned for their actions after an alcohol-fuelled social with their club. I’m no detective, but the pictures of the boys involved in that particular event were brutish young men from a rugby club who, in my humble opinion, couldn’t look less sorry if they tried.

Here, I will boldly assume that the boys chose to go to their club social, drank heavily and after deciding to be a part of the games, took it too far. I could be triggering huge controversy here, but I’m certainly not under the impression that these boys wanted to say no at any point, despite having the privilege of crossing the age line that allows them to take responsibility for themselves.

Please don’t think that I’m obnoxiously writing from the perspective of a member of a sports club who wants to rebuke the media and exercise my right to get royally smashed just for the sake of it. I understand that the argument of ‘I’m a 21-year-old woman; I often drink more units per week than the recommended amount for an adult male and I’m still alive’ doesn’t particularly hold up. My argument against the angst of the media towards sports societies is because I feel simultaneously condemned and patronized, and the latter is not an experience that I relish.

On the off chance that this reaches a single member of the public outside of QMBL, please let me make something clear. The difference between an innocent Fresher and the demon that is a third year, is not actually that vast. Firstly, while we may have more experience with it, more often than not they do actually know what beer is. Finally, for those who do choose to come along, we are entering into two hours of drinking games led by one of our peers within the club. Correct, it’s unlikely that many will leave these sessions particularly sober, but for as long as the SU continues to allow sessions to occur and the Daily Mail insists on writing about it, let the record show that when asked, we said yes.

Follow Polly on Twitter: @pollyannabenson

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