By Holly Chesterton
Why you should join a sports team – and not just for the socials.
In my first year of Uni, I was super nervous to join a sports team. Why? Because in high school I was, admittedly, always the last to get chosen for teams; I sucked at anything that needed hand/eye coordination. Even in hockey, I was given that position at the back as ‘sweeper’ just because I could whack the ball up the pitch pretty hard.
And so, with this history in sporting activities, I scoffed at the idea of playing for a team, and was not quite ready to face an initiation. But at the start of my second year, a friend asked me to go along with her to a free taster session for Cardiff University Korfball. I thought at the time, ‘it’s too late’, ‘they will have made friendship groups and teams and we’ll be left out’. In all honesty, I only went along to give my friend company. However, little did I realise at the time that these people would become future housemates and friends for life (cheesy, I know). But really, joining a sports team at any time of the academic year will give you a chance to be a part of a group of people who will grow to become some of your best friends.
Aside from life-long friendships, joining a sport will allow you to gain a sense of routine. In Uni, some of us can have quite a lot of free time on our hands, and instead of heading to the library, we immerse ourselves in a great Netflix series, get in bed, and nap our way through the rest of the day. Training and matches will enable you to make time for study, and stick to it, as you know you will most probably spend every Thursday morning in bed moaning, ‘why did I go to the Lash?’. Furthermore, sport and exercise are a great release for both body and mind. A set time away from stress and your laptop is brilliant for clearing away any anxieties, at-least for a few hours, and the feeling can often last and give you a large boost of motivation to study and work. Plus, joining a sports team allows you to see a personal progress within yourself. You will notice your practise pay off, your skills improve, and your overall body coping with every day knock-downs so much better. Don’t wait until the start of the academic year, join today and do it for yourself, because the benefits will really be worth it.