Last semester, the September students of the Law School blogging team discovered the University of Aberdeen’s numerous sports club and societies. In this blog post, they share their experiences. With the new restrictions in Scotland, linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the second semester is likely to look a little bit different. However, sports club and societies remain a wonderful way to meet new people. Activities continue, but they are now organised differently.
At the University of Aberdeen, there are over 100 clubs and societies to choose from. We are convinced that you will find the right fit!
Despite the limits that we had to respect because of the pandemic, there were several opportunities to participate in a student's association during the first semester. After playing field hockey for a long time, I wanted to try something new that is quite unusual. When I saw that the University of Aberdeen has an Underwater Hockey Club, I immediately knew that I wanted to try it.
The University’s sports associations allow the new students to participate in some tryouts before deciding which association they want to participate in. I really enjoyed the first training session with the Underwater Hockey Team. The training was fun, and the people were incredibly friendly and tried really hard to make it work for the new students despite the limits that they faced because of the pandemic.
I am glad that I decided to join the team because it was a great opportunity to meet students from other programmes. As the possibilities to meet with other households were quite restricted during the semester, meeting people through sports was a very important part of my social life. Not only did we see each other during the training, but we also had social events like a game night online.
Other alternative ways to meet students are through the student associations which are not sports associations. During the orientation week, we could check out all the different associations online at the Freshers’ Fair. This was a great opportunity to find out what the associations do and to meet some of the members for the first time. After meeting the team of the Lawyers Without Borders Students Division, I decided to join the team that manages some events of this association. Even though it was difficult to organise many events during the semester, we still had very fun online meetings and a Halloween event.
I am really glad that I decided to join both associations in the first semester even though none of the associations could organise their programme as they would normally do. I think we all are exhausted of meeting online and being limited to very few social contacts. But being a part of the Underwater Hockey Team and the Lawyers Without Borders Association really helped me to meet new people and keep connected with other students. I recommend everyone checks out the student associations at the Freshers’ Fair to get in touch with other students that are part of these associations. I hope that proceeding with training will again be possible for the sports associations at some point during the second semester. But until then, we’ll meet other students online and get as much social life as possible in our situation.
Sport is fun. It is more fun when doing it together in person or virtually.
Sports societies are a great opportunity to work out with people who have the same ambition or shared interests. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, you have to be even more proactive to make friends. Sports societies are a chance to meet people, either in person or virtually. In the challenging times of the pandemic, it is particularly important to find a balance between studying and life. Sports societies might help you to find this balance. I was joining the classes of the Athletic Society and the Yoga Society regularly during the previous semester. I am happy to share my experience with you below.
Athletic Society classes took place outdoors in the Aberdeen Sports Village. Even during the cold winter months, it was not possible to use the indoor facilities following the Covid-19 restrictions. The training sessions enabled me to combine my personal ambition with group training and social interactions. Especially during the warm-up and cool down, you found time to chat with the other members. Thus, you get to know under- and postgraduate students from different programmes. One of the highlights was a well-organised 24-hour charity run, at which each member was asked to run at least for 30 minutes. The society also offered some online social events, such as gaming nights and a Halloween special. Most of all, I enjoyed the flexibility training held virtually by an ambitious member every week.
Yoga Society held the classes online only due to the pandemic. The disadvantage of online classes is the fact that it was not possible to meet the other yogis in-person. However, the advantage of online classes is that you can easily integrate yoga into your daily studying routine. You could either attend the classes live or watch the recorded videos at your convenience. I preferred to attend live sessions for various reasons. For example, I used the opportunity to ask for yoga postures to improve the strength of my lower back. Yoga is a great instrument to strengthen your body, to relax and to free your mind. In particular during intense studying periods, the benefit of yoga was very valuable to me.
Overall, I really enjoyed being a member of the societies. I recommend you join at least one sports society each semester. I’m looking forward to meeting some of you during the next semester.