When I got the opportunity to go to my first push tournament I felt a mixture of nervousness and excitement. I had no idea what to expect and was worried about how inexperienced I was. However, arriving at the tournament the WUSAC team explained everything to me, answering all my silly questions and helping me in any way they could, and all of my uneasiness disappeared. We played our first two games in the morning, playing Nottingham and York/Belfast. Despite losing 3-2 to Nottingham the team took it in their stride and were all so positive about the game, allowing us to win our second game 6-0.
After a lunch break we got back into the tournament playing a further 5 games. This is where the team really got into their element and we really started to bond. Through it all they were encouraging me with praise and some tips and tricks. Alongside this, ex-WUSAC were also cheering us on with even more praise and advice. Outside of the games you can really see the closeness of the push community, with many members of other clubs, higher divisions and referees coming to join us on poolside for chats between games.
Overall my first push tournament was a success, finishing 4th and having an extremely enjoyable experience. I came away from the tournament really excited about push, as well as having created a better bond with the team and I believe becoming a better player too, with some advice to work on at training sessions. The whole day if I had any worry or concern I could ask without feeling silly and felt a big part of the team. The team atmosphere was amazing and I truly believe that WUSAC was one of the closest teams there, and that was one of the things that made the tournament so enjoyable. My confidence has grown tenfold and I would definitely recommend everyone in the push team to take part in tournaments. It is a worry free experience, allowing you to bond with the team and improve your push skills. ( Rebecca, octopush player)
When I started university, I knew I wanted to do a sport. Throughout my life, I had played loads of different sports, trying my hand at everything from netball to triathlons to long jump. I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity through my school and community to take part in lots of different sports, and switch between them finding aspects I like, and similarly aspects I don’t. One of the reasons I had these opportunities is somewhat bittersweet: in lots of sports, especially in a small school like mine was, there often aren’t enough women interested for the team to be picky. I joined my school swim team for the first time without ever having swam competitively before, and was immediately on our only women's relay team, with swimmers who had been training for years. I was, fortunately, supported and encouraged in this situation; my teammates told me about the club they swam with, and my family supported me in joining that club. When I came to university however, I was nervous about joining a club like swimming or netball: sports I’d played previously but not to the extent I imagine loads of members of big sports clubs like that. I wouldn’t be competing at a high level, and I wanted to be able to experience that again, so I looked for a new club. A friend of mine suggested sub-aqua, recommending I gave underwater hockey a go. The idea seemed a bit odd at first, but I went along to a taster session without really knowing what I was getting myself into.
I loved it. The sport tested my swimming, had loads of skills I could practice and improve, and was playing with a friendly and diverse group of people. I was on a team with girls starting the sport at the same time as me, all with different previous sporting backgrounds, and we all supported each other in the highs and lows of learning a new sport. I got to tackle guys twice the size of me, was trained by GB level players, and cheered on fellow women players as they scored against a mixed gender and ability team. Its exciting playing a sport where I can use skill to get past stronger and faster people. It’s even more fun when this is all taking place on a team that encourages and supports all its players throughout.
In WUSAC, I’ve gotten to play a sport I’d never even heard of before joining Warwick. Last year, I got to be on our team at Ladies Club Nationals- it was incredibly tough and we played against teams where every player had been playing longer than all of our team combined, but it was also amazing to see women so skilled at their sport. I could see the passion they felt for push. It was inspirational, and showcased what I love about the sport and its inclusivity. In WUSAC I've seen amazing things that women are capable of: playing for GB teams, having the confidence to try a new sport- even if they haven't in years, being a successful president of a complex sports club, and striving to excel in anything they do above and below the water.
- Lara (Webmaster)