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Sport For Thought

Rayna Sidhu on why you should be getting active this Freshers’ Week

Everyone remembers their Fresher’s experience: whether you spend it exploring every club in London, becoming a regular at Drapers or getting to know your new home (or all three) it will be the most exciting and daunting period of your university life. From experience, one of the best ways to break away from those inevitable nerves is to sign up for a new sport at the Fresher’s Fair. Whether you played for your secondary school team or you’ve never given it a go, sport is one of the easiest ways to meet new people at university and to settle in to campus life.

Queen Mary is fortunate enough to have a vast range of sports available, all run by extremely friendly students who would be happy to welcome you to their teams. QM also offers a great scheme whereby you don’t need to play competitively if you don’t want to: you can just go to training and social events to build a friendship network. As most people will tell you, Hail Mary is the best night at Drapers: a campus-wide celebration of the sports teams held every month – what’s not to love? Many sports societies also have trips too (the Snow Sports holidays are perhaps the most infamous) so there’s opportunity to travel with new people. All of them are affordable and a lot of fun!

If you do want to play competitively, Queen Mary has some really successful teams! Games are usually played weekly and the schedules are designed to fit around your degree studies too. Playing for a team will also help you immerse yourself into the history and culture of the university. The Merger Cup is the biggest annual sporting event on campus, where teams from Queen Mary and Barts battle it out. It’s been a tradition since 1995, and has continued success every year. Why not find out exactly what the hype is about for yourself?

Finally (here’s the boring part) but playing for a team, or even being part of a sports society at university is widely appreciated by employers. Not only that, but it will really help you settle into a routine and ease those worries of fitting in and making the most of your university experience. In fact, the best part about the sports at Queen Mary is that each year you have the opportunity to sign up for a new one. Don’t worry if you can’t fit everything in, or you felt like you missed out in your first year, because every team is always welcoming of new participants, no matter what year you’re in.

Step out of your comfort zone or pick up a sport that you already love – this is your time at university, make the most of it!

Image: Queen Mary Students’ Union/Sport Leagues

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