Welcome to another year of sport at York. After a summer of sensational sport that has captivated the nation, we find ourselves in the rather more humble surroundings of the University of York.
It may not be the Olympic Stadium, or Centre Court, or Medinah Country Club, but our little corner of the sporting world has its own charm.
Over the past year I’ve watched and reported on more sports here than I care to remember, but one thing I can say for the benefit of any freshers reading this is that playing sport here is one of the best things you can do with your time at university.
Whether it’s for one of the many university-level clubs or your college, the opportunities available here really do highlight the message that has been universally broadcast this summer – that sport is something that unites us all and is an overwhelming force for good.
Those of you joining us this year may have to endure the perils of hiked tuition fees, but you do have the privilege of being the first year to enjoy the benefits of the shiny new Sports Village for the entirety of your stay here.
Or, if you’re like me, you may prefer the more nostalgic feel of a muddy 22 Acres or windswept JLD astroturf – we cater for all tastes here!
And even if you don’t fancy playing, I can say with some authority that going along to watch some sport and cheer on your mates is a thoroughly worthwhile use of your time – it may be a tad cold during the winter but it beats writing essays any day.
The University sport season starts next Wednesday afternoon with men’s rugby, and will be in full flow in Week Two, with the big college sports following shortly after.
There has been endless discussion about how the Olympics and everything else that went on this summer will inspire us to take up sport and being here gives you the ideal opportunity.
We are by no means a leading university when it comes to sporting prowess, but there is that something special here that sometimes makes it feel like we are.
The college sport system is nothing short of brilliant, and once Roses and College Cup come around in Summer Term you will see just what sport means to the people here.
So get yourself out to some freshers trials and I look forward to seeing you out on the pitches.