Edinburgh's independent student newspaper

University Sport: Getting Involved

Friday 29th October 12.59

Our guide to how you can get involved, whatever your year or level

The idea of joining a sports club, whether you're a new or returning student, may well appear daunting. The beauty of university sports, however, is the huge variety of niche activities on offer with little expectation of prior participation.

Even clubs running performance sport programs provide excellent and inclusive coaching, from beginner to advanced. The rowing club is an excellent example of this, with one of the most successful Beginner Programmes in the UK.

The range of sports on offer at the university can easily be found through the Edinburgh University Sports Union website (www.eusu.ed.ac.uk). Here, you can also access information about each sport, and find contact details to get in touch.

Joining a sports club as a returning student may, understandably, give you concerns about integrating into an established team. To explore these potential worries we spoke to Clara, a fourth-year History student, who joined the hockey club in her third year.

What made you decide to join a university sports club?

"I wanted to get back into exercise, and with COVID-19 restrictions making socialising so difficult, I thought that it would be good to have an opportunity to meet new people and get outside."

How easy did you find it to join a club as a returning student?

"I found it very easy to join, although I did have a flatmate already in the club so she helped me with how to sign up and explained how the club would run."

If someone was keen to join a club but worried about not making a team, what advice would you give?

"I’d tell them, especially with the clubs where you need to go to a trial, to wear bright colours so that you stand out and catch people’s eyes. Also, you can talk to people within the club if you feel you have been overlooked and they will offer a retrial. If you do not make a team, it does not mean that you won’t be able to play as you can join the development teams which are very fun and sociable as well."

How has joining a sports club enhanced your university experience?

"I have really enjoyed being on a university sports team as I have had the opportunity to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise, particularly from different year groups, which can be difficult to do at Edinburgh because it is such a big university. Moreover, it has also been nice to have a routine outside of university work and feel as though I am keeping fit. I think that next year it will be nice to have the addition of socials to look forward to."

Joining a sports club as a returning student or fresher does not come without certain difficulties. The vast opportunities provided by the university through sport are nonetheless impossible to ignore.

Sport is such a huge part of many a student’s university
experiences, providing social, mental, and physical benefits which greatly outweigh any potential worries about getting involved. Clara's experience, as a returning student, is a great example of this.
The easiest and most direct way to get involved is to attend the sports fair on Monday 13th September at Bristo Square. Here, you can talk to the committee members of each sports club to answer any specific questions you may have and to sign up for trials or taster
sessions.

If you are unavailable, the EUSU website provides contact details for all sports clubs, and you can liaise via email. Go and get involved!

Image Credit: Richard West