Sport is an integral part of university life in St Andrews, which boasts over 60 different clubs and societies available to try. Most of these offer ‘give it a go’ sessions during Freshers’ designed for people who are out to try something new. These vary from the more traditional sports such as Hockey and Rugby to the more niche choices. Here are just five of the many that you should give a go during Freshers’ week.
A sport steeped in tradition, and often ridiculed by the uninitiated, Cricket is well worth trying out. While the 1s for both the men and women compete at a national level, the club is substantial enough for beginners to get a run out. Have you played before but not convinced you’ll get in? Don’t worry, there is indoor practice all year round so there is plenty of time to get good! While the season only starts in April, this gives you a perfect excuse to stay in St Andrews a little bit longer when the weather is at its best. If you are eager to get some game time sooner, there is an indoor league as well.
Originating in the USA, this sport is fast becoming one of the most popular in the country and with good reason. It’s a fantastic work out and the rules are simple enough to understand, yet there is a deceptive level of tactical nuance for those who get hooked. From a St Andrean perspective, the added challenge of the wind and rain makes it all the more enjoyable. With the club having the only frisbee coach in Scotland, this underrated sport has the scope for any beginners who want to improve quickly.
Now I know what you are thinking: you can’t be serious, is this even a sport? Yet underestimate this club at your peril. Like Frisbee, it is fast becoming a popular sport for students. Whether that’s because of the genuine workout it provides, or students are just desperate to escape the horrors of university by pretending that just for a while they are wizards running around a field with broomsticks between their legs in an act of escapism, none has worked out yet. Besides, Freshers’ week is all about trying something new and you are in a town that has a Hogwarts ambiance so you might as well give it a go.
The biggest club in the Athletic Union provides many opportunities for all levels, from those whose only moves are the Macarena to those hoping to compete at a national level. No matter the genre, you will find something on offer, with classes ranging from Scottish traditional dancing to K-Pop. The club won many trophies at events across the U.K. last year, making them one of the many societies eager to win the tag of a ‘performance sport’. Rumour has it that their pres for Sinners are wild, so if that isn’t motivation enough to give it a go then I don’t know what is.
In most countries, doing any activity with this club would probably make you the most drenched out of any other. But with the advances in dry suits and the monotonous dreichness of the Scottish weather, that is no longer the case. The club has recently been blessed with a new boat which they use to go on many diving trips around Scotland. For those who have some experience with Scuba Diving but are unsure about the prospects of trying in Scottish conditions, the club offer training sessions for the murky waters of the North Sea, and there is also a warm water trip over the winter. If you have no experience but are keen to try, there are beginner sessions that you can sign up for during freshers’ week.