A freshers’ guide to Sport in Nottingham

There will probably be a million and one activities on your bucket list of things to do in Nottingham once you’ve settled into life here and sport should most definitely be on that list. Whether it’s participating or spectating, there are a myriad of exciting things to get involved with and explore in the world of sport in this city.

From Meadow Lane to Trent Bridge, Nottingham has a plethora of live professional sport on offer all year round in fantastic historic stadiums. If you’re a football fan it would be rude not to go and watch Notts County try and claw their way back up the football league ladder at Meadow Lane – the oldest club in the football league.

Nottingham was declared England’s City of Football in 2015 and rightfully so. As well as Meadow Lane, the City Ground is well worth a visit. The former stomping ground of two-time European Cup winning manager Brian Clough creates a fantastic atmosphere on match days. Students can make the most of the brilliant £5 matchday deal at Nottingham Forest to see some quality Championship action – an absolute bargain for a game of football!

“There are a myriad of exciting things to get involved with and explore in the world of sport in this city”

I implore you to go and watch England internationals Stuart Broad, Alex Hales and Jake Ball down at Trent Bridge for T20 Blast or One-Day action during the summer months. A lovely old cricket ground, ever a ground chosen for the Ashes test series is always a good day out in the sunshine for just 11 quid.

Trent Bridge in the sunshine

Trent Bridge in the sunshine

You can get to any of these three locations by buying an all day bus pass for £3.50 and catching the 34 bus from campus to Broadmarsh shopping centre and then a route 9, 10 or 11 which stops at Meadow Lane or Trent Bridge.

“The Varsity Ice Hockey is a must see clash where 7000 students pack out the Motorpoint arena for the biggest university ice hockey match outside of North America”

If you’re after something a bit different then you can pay just £13 to go and watch the Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team at the Motorpoint Arena. Ice hockey is a must see sport in Nottingham as I’m sure every student that has watched the sport at the Nottingham Varsity series will testify. The atmosphere is buzzing inside the arena with a pulsating, feisty game of ice hockey sure to be on offer.

The National Tennis Centre is also just over the road from campus where international tournaments are held all year round. Annual events include the Robin Hood Marathon which takes place on the last weekend of September every year and the European Archery Championships in May – where else could the biggest archery competition in the continent possibly take place?

Of course everybody’s favourite and the most important event in the sporting calendar is Varsity. At the start of the summer term the University of Nottingham contest our fierce inter-city rivalry over a few weeks with Nottingham Trent; from water polo to basketball the two unis compete across many different sports.

The Varsity Ice Hockey is a must see clash where 7000 students pack out the Motorpoint arena for the biggest university ice hockey match outside of North America. We haven’t lost varsity in five years and long may it stay that way.

In terms of participation sport, if you want to continue a lifelong hobby or start something completely random and new then you’ll be sure to find it at the University of Nottingham. We have entered a whopping 114 teams to BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) this year for you to get involved with; from horse ball to canoe polo to basketball, there are so many sports to try here at UoN.

You will be sure to find all the sports societies at the Sports fair near the new £40 million David Ross Sports Village on the west side of campus between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th of September.

We also boast one of the biggest IMS (Inter Mural Sport) set ups in the UK. Hundreds make their way down to the hallow turf of Grove Farm every Wednesday afternoon to play football and rugby, with netball also on offer among so many other sports on University Park.

If you want something more individual and leisurely as well there are so many places to run and cycle in the city. The stunning Wollaton Park is just across the road from the northern side of campus. The Park and along the canal are lovely areas to get a breath of fresh air outside of campus. On University Park, the Highfields lake is a great location for a runaround – you will get to know the geese very well indeed!

So there’s your whistle-stop guide of sport in Nottingham and at UoN, it would be rude not to throw yourself into it during your three years here!

Joe Tanner

Images courtesy of University of Nottingham Sport and Andy Dickinson via Flickr

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