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 passed 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 a 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 do 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)