Mark Twain once said that “twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” Now, that quote has probably been used to encourage/force you to do any number of things, like that extra shot that led to that incident at Junction that you’d prefer not to remember twenty years from now, and to make you feel guilty about the things you didn’t do, such as that incredible travelling opportunity you passed up on to, erm, stay at home negotiating with your siblings for control of the remote.
There is, however, no doubt that getting involved in sport is one of the most worthwhile things you can do in your time at Oxford. Whether it be at a University or College level, playing or reporting, Oxford sport offers a unique opportunity to make friends, stay fit, and expand your horizons beyond simply your degree. Looking back on your time at Oxford twenty years from now, it’s likely that it is the sporting memories, whether it be winning a trophy, an unforgettable social, or a lifelong friend, that will be among your most treasured.
This week sees the launch of The OxStu’s online guide to sport in Oxford. Over the summer we got in contact with loads of the sports clubs offering opportunities to get involved. What became clear early on was the sheer variety of sports that we, as students, have to choose from. Whether it be that sport you always wanted to try out but never got round to it (water polo?), to one that you saw at the Olympics and became instantly hooked (Modern Pentathalon?), to ones that you may never have heard of (Aikido?), there will be an Oxford sports club for you. From Karate to Quidditch, Clay Pigeon Shooting to Krav-Tardement, there’s no excuse not to pick a sport, head down to a training session, and have a go.
Speaking to the various clubs, what quickly became clear was the passion they all had for their particular sport. Whether it involved leaving at 7am in the morning to go to Kent for a 24-hour race, as the motorsport team did lastweekend, or battling against a rival university for a hard-fought win, as the Rugby Men’s Team did against Trinity College Dublin, it was clear that no-one we spoke to regretted their decision to take up University sport.
Equally clear was their eagerness to get new faces on board. What struck us when reading the various blurbs that the clubs sent in was how playing their game was only one part of what they enjoyed about University sport. As frequent an occurrence as dates of training sessions and prior requirements were comments about socials, about the fun, about the opportunities for socialising outside training and matches. University sport has never simply been about winning and losing. It’s about the trip to the pub after training, the end-of-season curry, the sense of solidarity as you all blast out “Three Lions” in the college bar.
Yes, these sports involve a big time committment. And you’ll have to meet new people, and try new things, and maybe even push yourself out of your comfort zone. But isn’t that what university is all about? Most of the sports we asked stressed that they were eager to accept people of any ability, whether you’ve got any prior experience or not. There’s nothing more fulfilling than trying something new, whether it be running, hitting, shooting, swimming, pedalling, steering, or lifting. University sports clubs are some of the most welcoming places you will ever find, and they are all desperate for new faces.
And for those of you not blessed with any sporting talent, you can always report on it. Here at the OxStu we’re always on the lookout for new sports reporters, whatever your interest be. It was great to see so many of you at Freshers’ Fair, and if you missed us just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So get involved, have a go, and don’t feel intimidated. Trust us, you won’t regret it.