Sport Editor Ross Wilson tells you why it’s not the end of the world if you don’t make the main University teams…
After getting to know my flat mates, settling in and drinking an unhealthy amount of alcohol, myself and many others wandered off to the Southampton University football team trials. My disappointment about not making the cut (actually a huge mistake on the selectors’ part) soon vanished when I joined my eleven a-side halls team, the mighty Chamberlain F.C. As someone who takes football quite seriously, I was a little anxious that it might not live up to what I wanted to get out of university from a sporting perspective. The particular setup of my side included a ‘legends’ XI and a ‘freshers’ XI. Playing in a competitive league with mainly decent players, and a few infamous grudge matches with the Greek society later, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have changed anything about the way things turned out.
From personal experience the camaraderie amongst the whole group of lads who belonged to Chamberlain was exceptional, and I’m sure the same could be said of many of the halls and societies who makeup the Wednesday and Sunday leagues. Attending socials (sometimes weekly, occasionally twice a month) early on and throughout your first year at Southampton is a brilliant way of integrating yourself into uni life and making new friends. There is usually a trial or two within your first couple of weeks, with information through facebook and posters around your accommodation. Don’t be afraid to wander down with or without anybody to begin with, you will find people doing exactly the same as you!
The highlight of my first year playing for halls has to be our spring jaunt to Porec in Croatia. Twenty Four hours on a coach wasn’t always pleasant but the ‘tournament’ and festival atmosphere of our location made for an unforgettable week. The togetherness of the group I travelled with is what you are likely to enjoy, especially if you land yourself in Chamberlain Halls or Hartley Grove!
First year should be about setting yourself up with a variety of things to do, belonging to clubs and societies that you are likely to continue with throughout your time in Southampton. Everyone makes mistakes though, pottery society isn’t necessarily for everyone. Though you will hear the classic ‘try anything and everything’ line, sometimes it’s worth not paying too much attention to it. There will be things that you won’t enjoy and though it’s nice to try something new and enjoy something you didn’t think you would, joining a team/society that you are confident you will like is recommended from personal experience.
If you are a serious sportsperson and gym fanatic then you won’t be disappointed by the university’s array of facilities. Jubilee Sports Centre which is on campus has a 25 metre swimming pool, a large sports hall for basketball/badminton/5-a side football etc. and a top quality fitness suite. Furthermore there are also facilities at Wide Lane and Glen Eyre.
That out the way, all that’s left to do is wish you the best of luck for first year and that you’re stay in Southampton is as brilliant as you’d hoped!