If you’re even remotely interested in athletics – be it for the competition aspect or simply because you enjoy it – this is the year to join Southampton University’s Athletics and Cross Country Club, for one massive reason: next year’s BUCS Outdoor Championships will be held in the Olympic Stadium. Yeah, that’s right, if you join SUAC you could have the chance to run in the world’s best athletics stadium. The BUCS Outdoor Championsips is being used as a tester event for the Olympics next summer, in an attempt by the organisers to smooth out the operation. Better yet, in an effort to get as many spectators through the gate as possible, tickets will likely be just a few quid, as they are hoping for a crowd of 20,000.
Still not convinced?
Southampton University doesn’t own its own athletics track, but there is one a mile or so from Highfield. The benefit is that there are no membership fees, and the coaches available are incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated (read: they will do their utmost to destroy you! Or so it feels sometimes…) I personally run with the 100m, 200m and 400m runners, but there are groups that accommodate all the standard distances. We also accommodate all standards of athlete, so if you’re comparatively inexperienced you will fit in as well as if you’re an extremely good runner, both are welcome.
There is a great team spirit within the group as we have a lot of fun on and off the track. If you’re flagging you can always rely on words of encouragement from the others to help you keep going. As we don’t have a university-specific training squad, we train with the city team, which includes Solent and non-university athletes, so the more the merrier! Training sessions are varied, and although track sessions are our staple diet we also run in forests, up hills (often at the same time…) and do circuits every week. You’ll be buff in no time!