After a long Summer hibernation The Student Union’s sports clubs sprung into action last week to welcome this year’s Freshers to Sussex.
Most clubs ran social events, taster sessions and a stall at the Fresher’s Fair in their attempts to attract new members. So with Freshers harvested, and league fixtures still a week away, it seems like an appropriate moment to launch a mini-review of last year’s Sport and look ahead to the coming year.
Last year saw Sussex continue their climb up the University Sport rankings, up seven places to 51st (out of 145 institutions). As Scott Sheridan, USSU Activities Officer, points out ‘this is a fantastic achievement [for] an institution that does not have a taught academic sports program’.
This statistic improvement is supported by the anecdotal evidence. Leading the way as a club were Men’s Football, as Club Captain Richard Lynch, says ‘last season was one of our most successful on record with the 3rd XI winning Division 6B, the 2nd XI winning Division 5B and the 1st XI finishing 2nd in Division 2A, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the BUCS knockout cup’. There were also international individual triumphs, including Windsurfer Linda Erdil being ranked number one in the world and Lacrosse player Graham Monaghan who represented Scotland.
Aside from the competitive triumphs there were other achievements. Several smaller clubs have prospered, including Tennis. As Sophie Harding, Vice Captain, explains ‘We started out as a new club last year, and this year is the first year that we’ve been recognised by the Union as an official club. This year is also our first year in the BUCs league’.
Table Tennis has also expanded rapidly, with committee member Bobby Treweek saying ‘The best part of the year was during final term, an event in Mandela Hall that attracted a lot of people to play table tennis, and included a table tennis robot that you can compete with others against’.
This year, as well as seeking to improve on last year’s results, clubs also have big plans away from the sports field. Many of these revolve around socials, trips and tours, and community projects and coaching. Netball are a prime example, Club Captain Liz Easton told The Badger that ‘We have lots of exciting plans for this year including trips to international games, community projects involving local schools, huge social events throughout the year for everyone to let their hair loose and coaching/training opportunities for club members’. If that sounds like your sort of thing get along to their trials and taster sessions starting Thursday in Freshers week 2-4.
Another thriving club is Fencing who, according to Comms Officer Will Steer ‘have some fantastic new initiatives lined up this year. [We] will expand awareness of the sport of fencing in the local community by teaching in schools around Brighton. We have also won funding for a fantastic opportunity: a tour of America where we will be fencing other colleges in the Massachusetts area’.
This is just a flavour of Sport at Sussex, keep checking the Sports page for match reports, club profiles and special features throughout the year.