Hello everyone. I’m Kaity, I’ve just finished my final year of an integrated Masters in Environmental Science here at the University of York. Throughout my four years, sport has been central to my university career.
University can be difficult. Being away from home, exams, coursework and everything in between. Despite this, I have loved my time here at York. This is particularly down to being heavily involved in sports. I owe a lot of the good times to playing and being surrounded by those in my sports family!
What are sports at York?
This might seem like a question with an obvious answer, but sport at York is a little different to other universities.
We have our university clubs – over 65 of them. These range from netball and football to more unusual sports such as ‘Octopush’ (underwater hockey) and Ben Lairig (mountaineering)! Many of these clubs offer the chance to compete in competitions against other Universities in friendlies or in BUCS (British University College Sport) across the country. They’re led by committees of students, with funding from memberships, external sponsorships and the students’ union (YUSU).
There are many ways to get involved in university sport. You can join the committee, which will mean you have a hand in how the sport is run. You can become a paying member. Or you can go to taster sessions during the first week of first term (Freshers’ Week).
A big part of being in a University sport is competing in our annual Varsity, Roses, against Lancaster (famed for being the largest inter-university Varsity in Europe). This is a weekend thoroughly enjoyed by sports clubs across both universities. We all compete to lift the Carter-James Trophy at the end of the weekend.
That’s not it! We also have college sport, which offers a wide range of sports to get involved with. There are 11 colleges at York and each college offers a chance to play in their college team, no matter your sporting ability. College teams train throughout the year, with weekly league fixtures, the college cup and College Varsity against Durham. College sport is a great way to socialise and stay mentally and physically fit.
My Sporting Experience
I have been involved in sport at York in three ways.
Before I even got to University I went through YUSU’s website and social media to find the clubs I would be interested in joining. I had played lacrosse from a young age and knew I wanted to continue playing. I messaged the lacrosse club and was quickly invited to their pre-season training before term started.
As a first year, who hadn’t even started at university, this was slightly daunting. But was one of the best decisions I have made! The club was (and are!) incredibly welcoming and I thoroughly enjoyed the range of training and social events they put on that week.
Throughout my time at York, my participation in lacrosse has only increased. I became the Press and Publicity Officer in my second year, and Secretary in my third. I have been responsible for running the club and ensuring fixtures, charity events, training and our Alumni summer dinner (also known as Presidents) runs smoothly.
York Sport Union Committee
The second way I have been involved in sport at York is by being on the York Sport Union Committee (YSUC). YSUC are a group of students who are selected by the Students’ Union and the Sports President.
To get involved you fill out an application form and go through a series of interviews to prove why you are best for the job. In my final year, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the Communications Officers. We support the running of the York Sport Union through managing social media, organising events and overseeing funding.
The final way I have been involved in Sport at York is by joining Women’s Rugby. In my fourth year, I decided I wanted to join another club. I was a little apprehensive about joining a club late in my University career. I went along to a taster session for Women’s Rugby and absolutely loved it! This goes to show that no matter where you are in your University career, you can join any sport.
What has been my sporting highlight?
Over four years, I have competed in many BUCS matches, 4 Roses Varsities, 1 College Varsity, many training sessions and a few National Competitions. Whilst also being a key part of shaping the sporting experience of students at the university.
Whilst I could say that my highlight is winning Roses in my second year after losing in my first (it was a pretty great feeling). I think my true highlight is meeting all my sporting friends. These are people that I have grown with a lot and friends that I will cherish forever.
I hope that this has given you an insight into sport at York. I cannot encourage you enough to get involved in sport while you’re here. Whether it is taster sessions, being a member of a sporting committee, University, or College Sport. My experience here wouldn’t be the same without them!
Read more student stories about sport at York