Sports teams at Sussex are already deep in preparations for the upcoming season. Recruitment is well under way and the hard yards, or otherwise, in the offseason will hopefully result in a successful season both on and off the field.

The Sussex Men’s Football Club has consistently remained one of the biggest clubs at the University, with three teams and a squad of around fifty. Whilst the first team trundles along in the dizzying heights of BUCS 2A, the seconds have boasted a championship winning side not two seasons ago, and the thirds enjoyed a fine cup-run last season before penalty heart-ache wrecked talk of a run all the way to Wembley.

Pay special attention to such Sussex legends as resident “traveller” and journeyman striker Marc Rewell, lead scorer in his last two seasons, along with triple-award winning fullback Hartley and Ginola-wannabe Martin Simonneau. And with psychotic goalkeepers aplenty, lumbering centre-backs, moany midfielders and barn-door-missing strikers, the year promises to be as enjoyable as ever!

Though the football is taken extremely seriously on the day, the social side of the club enjoys equal billing and Wednesday nights have always, and will always, be the best nights of University life. With Mow Magzoub stepping in the sizeable shoes recently vacated by Tom Wild as Social Secretary, this year will remain as booze-fuelled and banter-filled as a night with George Best and Gazza. Early reports tout tours to rival universities, dress-ups, pub golf and centurions as the frontrunners for “nights of the year”, though the list is endless. As the great Bill Shankly proclaimed “Sussex Football isn’t a matter of life and death – it’s much more important than that.”

Women’s football train on Tuesday 5-6.30pm at Brighton’s astro pitch and Thursday 4.30-6pm at Falmer Sports Complex. The club runs two teams, both of whom play on a Wednesday afternoon in the BUCS league. We welcome all abilities!! Its a good way to meet new people and do some exercise. Molly Evans said: “last year our 1st team came 3rd in our league and this year we are looking forward to try and beat that success.”

Every week members of the squad gather in Falmer bar to start the night’s festivities. So get involved!

Sussex Men’s Rugby had a difficult season last year, with both teams relegated from their respective BUCS leagues whilst having the ignominy of being on Austin Healey’s ‘The Big Tackle’, aimed at improving the fortunes of struggling clubs.

Club Captain Jonny Mac put last season’s double relegation down to a poor start: “last year we played well but lacked a clinical edge, often losing narrowly. We are confident of a big season this year and are aiming for a good start and hopefully promotion for both teams.”

The rugby team train up at Falmer Sports Complex, 5-7pm on both Monday and Friday, with matches often every Wednesday, after which they retire to don their best (or worst) fancy dress costumes for the night’s festivities. To get in contact email rugbymen@ussu.sussex.ac.uk or check them out on Facebook under University of Sussex Men’s Rugby.

Rugby women train at the Falmer Sports Complex on Mondays and Fridays at 5-7pm and all are welcome. On the season ahead, Hannah Fosbraey said: “This year we aim to improve on previous year’s performances and hopefully come top of our league. We have several players who joined us last year with no previous experience but excelled in the sport and are going to be amazing this year! Rugby has 15 different positions, and there is a place for everyone, whatever your size.”

For socials, Women’s Rugby meet every Wednesday at Falmer Bar, and then head into town to party at Oceana. There is a different dress up theme every week from ‘cowboys’ to ‘superheroes’, and they can get pretty imaginative. If you are looking for a sports team that requires no previous experience, keeps you fit, has a really friendly bunch of girls and is a laugh, then come give rugby a try! 

Sussex Men’s Hockey run two teams competing in BUCS 3A and 6A respectively. Training is every Tuesday 6-8pm and Friday 6.30-7.30pm and all levels of ability are welcome to attend. Watch out for Tom Runtyman, who manages to put in the most effort whilst moving the least distance!

Sussex Women’s Hockey had a successful season, the 2nd XI being promoted, whilst the 1st XI earned a comfortable mid-table finish. They train 8-10pm on a Monday and have a mixed training 6.30-7.30pm on a Friday, both of which are on the Falmer Sports Complex Astroturf. To get in contact with them email sussexhockey@hotmail.com or find them at University of Sussex Womens Hockey 2009-2010 on Facebook.

Despite not being a competitive club at the moment, the canoe club ran eight successful weekend trips throughout last year and promote participation at any skill level. Kyaking is a great way to get out and enjoy the world from a new perspective, getting an adrenaline rush, learning new skills, meeting some great people and having a laugh.

Pool sessions take place on Thursdays during term from 9-10pm. Meet at 8pm outside the Student’s Union Shop in York House, where transport will be provided to Ringmer. We then usually go for a quick drink and return you to campus at about 11.30pm. First pool session is on Thursday 8th Octber, all are welcome!

Sussex Canoe have a varied social calendar of paintballing, zorbing and bowling as well as having fun in the pubs of Brighton. The first Social of term is the  Paddle Round the Pubs Social (think pub golf, but with a watersports flavour). If you want to come along, meet us in Falmer bar at 7pm on the 6th October. We’ll be easy to spot – we’ll be the ones in wetsuits … or visit www.sussexcanoe.com

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The Badger

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