Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 17, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
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University Sport Experiences

Exeposé members share their sporting experiences at the University of Exeter.
5 mins read
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Exeter University RFC playing against Cardiff at Sandy Park during October 2022
Image: Ceri Vaughan-Jones

The University of Exeter is recognised as one of the best sporting universities in the UK. Consequently, over £25 million have been invested over the past decade to ensure that we as a university have the best sporting facilities, resources, coaching and, ultimately, experience for our students.

While joining clubs or societies at uni can be a daunting, there is no doubt that it has its benefits. It is a great way to meet people and make new friends whilst also keeping active during busy university schedules. We asked Exeposé members to share their sporting experiences at the University of Exeter.

Beany Houghton discusses her time as part of the University of Exeter Climbing Club:

University of Exeter Climbing Club trip
The University of Exeter Climbing Club offer frequent trips
Image: Beany Houghton

It has been a constant source of joy and comfort.

As a fresher setting foot on campus, there was only one club I knew I would definitely be joining: the climbing club. While I tried out multiple sports and have since joined a few others, climbing has always been a constant in my uni life. Like most people, I was nervous heading to the first club sessions and socials, but I quickly learned that there was nothing to be anxious about. I met some of my closest friends within the first few weeks. Having been a member of the club for four years, I might be biased, but I could not have hoped for a better experience. It has been a constant source of joy and comfort. 

Of course, like with most things, there have been ups and downs. Having been a climber for quite a few years, I have learnt that it can be extremely frustrating at times, particularly if you cannot train consistently. But the club members are supportive, no matter what grade you’re climbing or whether you’re a beginner, everyone helps everyone; the sense of community still shocks me to this day. I was fortunate to be on the committee for two years running, a challenging yet rewarding time. Taking on responsibilities within a club like climbing, not only means your responsibilities within your defined role, but teaching others as well. It is tiring and has its moments, yet at the end of the day it’s still the place I want to be, no matter what else is happening. 

Sport at uni will be different for everyone, but I will always tell anyone who’s looking for a new club to join to try climbing, you never know where it could take you.  

Gracie Moore insists intramural netball is an opportunity not to miss:

Nets Media Team
The University of Exeter’s X-Media netball team
Image: nets_medianetball, via Instagram

It’s friendly, calm and endorphin providing and I cannot wait to get back to it!

For the social sport loving students, intramural netball is a must-do. I have been an active member of the Nets-Media intramural netball team for well over a year now and I have to say, it’s the best little family I’ve ever been a part of.

Already being a committed member of the University of Exeter Netball Club, I had pre-existing ideas of what to expect from social netball. I imagined the same sour, moody expressions from players reminiscent of BUCS netball where the culture would pressure me into making decisions I didn’t want to make. Along with the addition of boys to the teams, I was tentative to say the least. However, I’m never more excited for Sunday evenings than when I know I have a match to play with my best friends. All abilities and genders are welcome, everyone has a laugh on the court, bodies are put on the line but in a jokey way and you still have the opportunity to exercise and socialise.

It also opens up the chance to attend chilled socials and post-match pints at the Ram. These always go down well and if you find yourself gossiping too long, suddenly the weekly 7pm pub quiz is upon you and you’re winning crates of VK, still donning your intramural kit. Laughing and joking after a rare netball win with a crate of VK on your table is not something to turn your nose up at!

There are always good vibes, everyone supports each other and the matches are never about the winning, it’s always about having fun and making good memories. It makes me hugely debate if I even want to rejoin EUNC in my fourth and final year when I have found some of my closest friends within intramural netball, far from the heavy drinking and TP Wednesday culture that you’re naturally included in when you buy the membership of an AU sports club.

It’s friendly, calm and endorphin providing and I cannot wait to get back to it!

Mathias La Pira also advocates getting involved with intramural sports:

Intramural six-a-side
Intramural six-a-side football on the Rubber Crumb
Image: Ceri Vaughan-Jones

No matter your ability, intramural sports will always welcome you.

The University of Exeter is not only renowned for its academic excellence but also for its vibrant and inclusive extracurricular activities, including intramural sports. Every weekend, students have can participate in the Social Sport Leagues, previously known as Intramural Sports. With sports such as six-a-side football, mixed netball, and touch rugby, intramural sports play a vital role in fostering a sense of community, promoting physical wellbeing, and enhancing student life on campus. I’ve been studying at the University of Exeter for the last 4 years and I’m going to try and convince you to participate in the Social Sport Leagues.

Intramural sports at the University of Exeter are designed to be inclusive, encouraging students of all skill levels to get involved. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a newcomer to sports, different leagues are created to cater to the ability. This inclusivity promotes a feeling of belonging and provides an excellent opportunity for students to try new sports. When I was in my second year, I tried netball for the first time, a sport I didn’t even know existed before coming to uni. I enjoyed it so much that now I can’t miss a Sunday evening match, whether I’m playing to the best of my ability or supporting my teammates. No matter your ability, intramural sports will always welcome you. It’s open to every student and level on campus.

Intramural sports also offer an avenue for students to maintain an active lifestyle and prioritise their physical wellbeing. Engaging in regular physical activity not only helps to keep fit but also aids mental health, reducing stress, and overall academic performance. The competitive nature of intramural sports adds an exciting dimension, keeping participants motivated and engaged. For me and many other students, intramural sports play a significant role in the university experience. It offers a break from the academic routine, a chance to unwind, and an opportunity to engage in healthy competition.

Ceri Vaughan-Jones reveals that being part of the University of Exeter Golf Club helped him settle into university life:

University of Exeter mixed 6s
University of Exeter mixed 6s team photo
Image: Ceri Vaughan-Jones

If you are looking for a good way of getting to know new people, look no further than joining one of 51 AU clubs or over 300 Guild societies.

Having been a keen golfer since I was young, there was no doubt that I would join the golf club upon starting university. In fact, Exeter’s reputation as a strong university golf club was one of the contributing factors in my decision to come here. However my enjoyment as part of the club has surpassed even my wildest expectations.

Starting university can be a difficult time. You arrive in a new city with new people; it can be very isolating. As a clueless fresher, I was welcomed very warmly by all involved with the golf club. It was a great way to meet new people who had similar interests, and consequently I have made some friends for life. While University of Exeter sport does come with drinking culture, it is of course up to you how much you engage with the social side. There are plenty of other opportunities to get to know the members such as coaching sessions, intramural football and netball teams, social golf competitions and BUCS. 

I’m very lucky to have represented the 6th team throughout my first two years at Exeter, playing BUCS fixtures every Wednesday. A great deal of emphasis was put on team bonding, resulting in extraordinary team spirit. Every Tuesday evening we would have a practice session followed by a ‘team meal’ in preparation of the fixture. Waking up early on a Wednesday to head to the golf course has formed an integral part of my university experience. There is absolutely nothing better than venturing to TP later on that day with high spirits following a big win on the course. An overpriced green venom has never tasted so good! While away games sometimes result in missing out on post-match TP celebrations, some of my fondest university memories have been made on the team minibus.

The golf club is open to members of all ability, from complete beginners all the way up to the High-Performance Programme. While golf may not be everyone’s cup of tea, between the AU and the Guild there are numerous opportunities to play sport at university, be it competitive or social. Being part of a club gave me a sense of belonging at Exeter; if you are looking for a good way of getting to know new people, look no further than joining one of 51 AU clubs or over 300 Guild societies. Good luck!

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