When I started at Queen Mary I hadn’t played club sport for 4 or 5 years and had never been to the gym, so the thought of picking up a sport was pretty terrifying. I thought that everyone who played sports would have been doing so for years and I would be completely out of my depth. Little did I know that university is actually a great time to start playing.
No matter what your fitness level, ability or sporting background, university clubs welcome everyone. Maybe the future Harry Kane is at training with you, but there will also be people there who have never kicked a ball before. Most clubs will have several different teams so they can cater to all levels and you can train with people in a similar position to you, improving together. For me I found that this made joining a club much less intimidating. This also means that you don’t have to play competitively if you don’t want to; the 1st and 2nd teams may compete against other unis but you could join the 3rd team and just go along for fun and without any pressure.
University sport also has a huge social aspect so it’s a great way to get to know new people. From going to the pub after training, to all going to the monthly sports club night, the people you meet at training could be the people you end up spending the most time with and end up being some of your closest friends. For some, university can be an incredibly isolating and lonely time; but joining a club could be one way of connecting with other people on a regular basis and it’s a great way to get to know people across all years and all courses that you may not get to meet otherwise.
Amidst the hectic schedule of uni going to training every week is a great way to get away from studying for a few hours and just have fun. Taking a break, particularly during exam time, is so important, so spending a few hours doing exercise while having fun with your friends is a great way to do this.
You can spend the first few weeks trying out as many sports as you want by going to the taster training sessions before you commit to anything. Make the most of this as there are so many sports to choose from, including many you haven’t done before and many you may not get the chance to do again. Perhaps sport has never been your biggest passion and isn’t something you ever would have considered doing when beginning university, but it could also be a way to discover something new that you end up loving.