Starting at university means you get the opportunity to try out so many new things, including sports. At Southampton, there are hundreds of sports for you to try. But the one that I tried – and have been a part of ever since – is Korfball.
Before I started at Southampton in 2017, I’d always been a sporty person. I always played in school and college teams; captaining and coaching some of them too! The sport in particular that I played was Netball. I played in school and sixth form and in a club outside of school too. However, in my second year of sixth form, I decided to leave the team, as I wasn’t feeling very valued or a real part of the squad. This was around November time.
Then in early December, I had my interview day at Southampton, where we had talks with the lecturers, an interview and tours between campuses. It was on one of these tours, I think walking to Highfield campus from Avenue, when I got talking with one of the ambassadors, who asked me what my hobbies were and I said I liked Netball but I’d just recently left my team. At this point, she asked me if I had ever heard of Korfball. Of course, like most people, my automatic reaction was no. She then went on to explain to me that it was a Dutch sport that’s a bit like Netball, a bit like Basketball and you’re on a team with both guys and girls.
As soon as I got home, I looked up this sport to find out a bit more about it. It looked fast-paced, skilled, but most importantly, really fun! Everyone was working as a team and knew what each person was doing, despite not having set positions, like Netball. Half the team would start attacking and the other would be defending, then after 2 goals they would swap ends and roles, meaning that everyone got a chance to be involved in all aspects of the game. This was something that really appealed, as when I played Netball I felt happy playing various positions, but they each have their own roles and zones they can play in, whereas in Korfball you could be shooting one minute, then marking up the next.
So, when it came to fresher’s week, I went to Bunfight so I could go and meet the Committee and find out a little bit more about Korfball at Southampton. I walked up to the stall where they were and was asked by one of the Committee if I knew what Korfball was and I stunned him when I said yes! I signed up there and then and a few days later went to taster session and loved it!
The best feeling in Korfball is scoring for the first time, as it is quite a mean feat. The post is 3.5 metres tall and the Korf is bright yellow, thick plastic so you have to get your shot in exactly the right place so it drops in. This takes a bit of practice but is so worth it! Plus you work as a team to get there and you celebrate as a team when you score, because everyone knows how hard it can be.
Since second year, I’ve been on the Committee, including on my year abroad, because I love the club so much and want as many people as possible to get the opportunity to play it and be a part of the Korf family at Southampton. I call it a family because I have made my closest friends at uni through this club and had the best times with them, whether it be at training, on socials, on tour, or even when we go to the library together to work. It also feels like a family because we aren’t the biggest club by any means, so everyone is close, we all know each other well and are so supportive of one another, which has been my favourite part.
Korfball, for me, has been a constant throughout uni. It didn’t matter what was happening at uni or in my life, I always had Korf and my Korf friends.
If this sounds like the sort of environment you want to be a part of at uni, you should definitely give Korf a go. Not only will you make great friends, you’ll also play a really fun sport, with so many opportunities, like playing in leagues, BUCS and in the Netherlands on tour!
For more information about Korfball at the University of Southampton, click here.