Sport is a major part of life at York, as it is at any university. Essentially, if you want to get involved you can, at whatever level you want to. Want to play at a competitive rugby? You can. Want to have a kickabout with your mates? You can. Want to do a bit of waterpolo? You can.
There are plenty of sports on offer at the university, and not just the obvious. For every cricket, netball or football there’s canoe polo, ultimate frisbee or snowboarding. The Freshers’ Fair is the place to be if you want to know the full range of sports on offer at York, or when you arrive have a look at the first edition of Nouse in which you’ll see a rundown of what you can get up to when you’re not in the library and/or drinking.
In terms of York’s success in the sporting arena, it’s a mixed bag. We’re not the best around, but neither are we a University that has no sporting prowess. Our men’s rugby firsts only avoided their second successive promotion due to an admin error while our women’s fencers have just been promoted to the Northern Premier League, where they will do battle with the likes of Durham and Manchester. Similarly our pool players have been busy this summer at the European Universities Championships, so there is plenty to be positive about.
The highlight of the year is Roses. This is when the sportsmen and women of York do battle with their counterparts from Lancaster University. Prior to last year’s result we had won three in a row but most recently it was the Lancastrians that took the honours. Have a look at Nouse’s coverage of the event to see what you could be in for.
It’s important to say that every sport at the University, be it the most successful or the least, is enjoyed hugely by those that take part and that sport at York is definitely on the way forward, the argument is whether the University provides enough support, as next year’s rugby firsts captain Tom Weir argues in this fantastic article.
In terms of facilities if Loughborough are the Man Utd of universities then we’re probably Blackpool. We have a gym, but there is no swimming pool as of yet. It is coming, though you may have to wait a while. The latest estimates put the completion date as 2012, although construction has yet to begin. There’s a running track that is pretty retro and an Astroturf that seems to perform its purpose perfectly adequately, as well as the expanse that is the 22 Acres, the fields on which every grass-based game takes place. It can’t be too bad though, the Gambian Olympic squad have chosen it as their base for the 2012 Olympics.
College sport is like your younger brother, massively disorganized and fairly messy, but seemingly loved by all. There’s nothing like getting up on a November morning to represent your college in whatever sport it may be, and if you just want to get involved then passion, commitment and loyalty are able substitutes for a lack of talent. The College Cup (football) is the glamorous side of college sport and takes place every summer, it’s like the World Cup, only better and Andy Townsend doesn’t keep turning up.
If playing sport isn’t your thing you could always go and watch York City FC. Or if you prefer a bit of Rugby League then the York Knights are also worth a watch. Similarly if you don’t mind travelling then Headingley isn’t too far away and a day watching Yorkshire CCC is always memorable, the Twenty20 against Lancashire is a must.
So that’s that really. So many sports so little time. There really is scope to do whatever you want in terms of sport at York and doubtless if you want to be involved you can be, and you will definitely enjoy it.