On the first day of freshers, Elijah looks at why uni (especially Notts) is the best place to learn a brand new sport!
For the freshers joining this year, your introduction to university will be one like no other. With curfews, groups of 6 only, limits on where you can go and who you can see, the one door that will never close is the opportunity to get involved in new sports.
Coming into a new community is not as lonely and as daunting as it may first seem, everyone in your halls, lecture halls, and seminar rooms feels the same, they all have to experience living in a new place and meeting new people. You are willing to learn new things and experience a brand new life so why stop there?
Finding a common ground in sport with new people is a quick and easy way to make a connection and a friend. The great thing about University of Nottingham Sport is it facilitates for everyone there
No one should be afraid of trying out a new sport, especially at university. The first step in joining a new team or trying out a new sport is equally as scary for everyone else as it is for you, so if you are doubting yourself and feeling like you’ll not fit in or not enjoy it – why not try? If everyone around you is in the same boat, it makes it so much easier to take the same first step yourself. If you were to ask last year’s freshers, and the year before that, and all the years before this, whether they regretted diving into the challenge of trying out a new sport, they would all give the same answer- no.
Finding a common ground in sport with new people is a quick and easy way to make a connection and a friend. The great thing about University of Nottingham Sport is it facilitates for everyone there. Sport does not just have to be football or rugby, official sports clubs range from Aikido to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, from Caving to Windsurfing.
In 2016 the David Ross Sports Village was opened. Costing £40 million to build it is one of the country’s leading university sports centres that houses a martial arts dojo, a 25m swimming pool, 3 tennis courts and many more facilities. With all these opportunities present and a gym that is open from 6:30 am until 10:30 pm, it would be pointless to not make use of this.
Physical activity is a direct link to improved mental wellbeing, and it also helps build character and develop skills you would never have had the opportunity to develop before university
Even if a sports club is not for you, going to the gym even for a swim or a walk is beneficial. Exercise as light as this is inclusive for everyone, and releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, so not only will you see physical improvements but mental one too. Following your exercise, you will feel a lot happier which helps massively for a fresher who is apprehensive about starting their new life here.
Physical and mental wellbeing during times like these are absolutely vital. Staying fit and protecting your immune system should be of paramount importance for everyone during current circumstances, so the opportunity to do so during free time at university is ideal. Physical activity is a direct link to improved mental wellbeing, and it also helps build character and develop skills you would never have had the opportunity to develop before university.
Leadership and teamwork qualities are vital in the world outside university, trying out a new sport, one as popular as football or as unique as water polo both have the exact same result. They help you to take pride in individual performance and give you the ability to work in a team, which not only translates into your university work, but also sets you up for the future world of work and labour.
Ultimately, sport is about fun, enjoying your time, making connections, and seeing improvement in yourself both mentally and physically. Involving yourself in new sports is beneficial in the way that it develops new skills, develops leadership and teamwork qualities, if you can do all this while enjoying your time at university and setting yourself aside from the workload – why would you turn this opportunity down?
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