Exclusive: freshers talk sport

Nottingham Trent University's lacrosse team. Photo: Jack Kimber.
Nottingham Trent University's lacrosse team. Photo: Jack Kimber.

October has come, freshers’ week is over and it is time for new students to make the most of the life-changing experience they have just embarked on. FEDERICO CORNETTO finds out about the array of sports NTU has to offer – and the benefits of joining a society.

University doesn’t only mean studying, partying and clubbing.

The range of activities offered by Nottingham Trent and its Students’ Union (NTSU) is vast and suits even the most unusual tastes.

Matt Nicholson, 22, from Cambridge, is NTSU’s vice president for sport. He acts as the main student voice in the NTU sport management team and oversees all areas of sport, from volunteering and event management to marketing campaigns.

For those freshers who feel bored and think that drinking and partying are not quite for them or that their life at NTU is still missing something, Matt has some advice: join a sports club!

“Sports clubs are unlike anything else at university,” says Matt, “They make you feel part of a family and you can make friends for life regardless of your background as you all share that common love for your sport.”

NTSU vice president for sport, Matt Nicholson.
NTSU vice president for sport, Matt Nicholson.

“I have seen some students struggle to fit in at university in their first few weeks, but then they joined a sports club and found new vigour,” he adds.

“I have also been fortunate enough to see students develop so much as part of a club, some even going from never playing a sport before to representing their country within three years, which is incredible.”

Nottingham Trent University hosts 59 different sports clubs, meaning there is really something for everyone here. Matt lists Ultimate Fresbee, Wheelchair Basketball and Belly Dance as some of the most unusual NTU sports clubs.

But let’s see what freshers think!

Lucy Bastiani, 19, from Nottingham, is a first year criminology student who is very enthusiastic after joining NTU.

She says: “I have been impressed with how much support is available for freshers. The reps, lecturers and additional staff really appreciate that starting university is a huge change.

“In regards to sports, I feel like there’s a whole diverse range of sporting societies to participate in, something for everyone. Most teams also welcome a whole range of ability. This is good as it enables beginners to get out of their comfort zone and try something new, whilst also enabling more experienced sports players to continue to grow and learn within their hobby.”

As for the visibility that NTU sports clubs have amongst new students, Lucy says: “Although the societies have been very efficient at posting updates on social media, I feel that for my friends who do not use social media such as Twitter and Facebook, it was quite difficult to access information. Most societies rely on social media to communicate information as opposed to emailing.”

Arel Amu (pictured) scored the opening goal as NTU football team beat the University of Nottingham in the varsity series last year.
Arel Amu (pictured) scored the opening goal as NTU football team beat the University of Nottingham in the varsity series last year. Photo: Jack Kimber.

Vanessa George, 20, from Grantham, has had positive impressions on student life at NTU and is looking forward to get involved in societies and sports clubs.

According to Vanessa, sports clubs and societies provide a sense of community and can be a massive help for students who struggle to make friends with people on their course or in their halls.

She says: “I have not joined any society or team yet, however I am planning to join the volunteering, burlesque and film societies. I might join a sports club as well, but I feel like there is not as much advertisement for sports clubs as there is for other societies, and the range of sports and facilities available is not often shown.”

Varsity 2016: rugby league. Photo: Jack Kimber.

Ethan Potts, 18, from Bedford, is a first year product design student who is looking forward to joining one of the football teams.

He says: “I love sports. Initially I was just looking at football but there are so many other options! I may actually try something new.”

Ethan seems to disagree with Vanessa on one point, adding: “Sports clubs are very visible and accessible and make it easy for students to join.

“The freshers’ fair was also useful as it showed the wide range of sports that we can take part to. The only drawback is that many sporting facilities are in Clifton campus, and for those in the city it’s a long ride to get there.”

Varsity 2016: NTU romped to victory in the ice hockey.
Varsity 2016: NTU romped to victory in the ice hockey. Photo: James Judge.



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