MY DAY AT WOMEN’S WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday 15 November, 2017, we held the first ever Women’s Wednesday, where our female teams took over Clifton Campus to celebrate female sport as part of the This Girl Can campaign. As part of this, we invited St.Johns C of E  Academy from Worksop to bring some of their students, in the hope that they would be inspired by the action. Here are our favourite two account of the day from two students….

1. Chloe, year 5 – St Johns C of E academy

“T,R,E,N,T we are the Trent army!

So far my day has been great, we are currently watching cheerleaders (they are amazing) and they are extremely inspiring. Fencing is awesome and the people who can do it and training to do it are talented. Tennis is cool. We had a picture with the Trent Lacrosse team. Volleyball is the coolest things ever, or is it? Badminton is quite similar to tennis but different in a way. Football is awesome.”

2. Imogen, year 5 – St Johns C of E academy

“To begin with we watched the cheerleaders, they did an extremely good routine that was quite exciting. Next we went across to a different building to see some indoor fencing which was very fast. In the end NTU won furthermore fencing is an unusual sport which I don’t think I would like to do. Then we saw tennis it was unbelievably good with 8 people playing on 4 courts. After that we watched a strange sport called lacrosse, basically lacrosse is like hockey but you throw and catch the ball with nets on the end of a stick. Soon after we watched volleyball and badminton both good sports. We kept chanting all the way round “T, R, E, N, T we are the Trent army.

During the football match we carried on chanting. First Oxford Brookes scored. Then the goalkeeper was knocked over the match was quite good. In the Rugby match NTU was against Leicester sadly 5 minutes into the game there was an injury of an NTU player who (luckily) wasn’t too badly hurt. Fortunately it doesn’t usually happen.”

 

 

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From Cheer to Boxing!

University has definitely encouraged me to try many new things; including sports. Having never been much of a team sport kind of person before coming to university (aside from football aged 10), I have thrived from being part of a competitive club at NTU. 

As a club Cheerleading has gone from strength-to-strength and been very physically challenging. Engaging in this as a beginner was intense but ever so rewarding. However it has been exciting to take part in several ‘skill swap’ sessions including American Football and Thai Boxing. Not only were we able to show how physically demanding Cheerleading can be, but myself and a few others found that we really enjoyed these sports that we may not have tried had it not have been for these encouraging ‘skill swap’ sessions, organised and ran by the clubs themselves. 

Having enjoyed the Thai Boxing session thoroughly, I decided to hang up my cheer dress for this year, and look further into how I can get my teeth stuck into a new challenge.

Sophie Pyke, (Cheerleading president last year)

Are you keen to get involved in sport, or even just get more active? We want to hear from you! Why not come along to our ‘Girls Night In‘ evening next on Tuesday where you can enjoy some free food, mocktails and music, and enjoy an evening socialising with your female peers.

For more information about Trent Girls Can Week, and how to get involved, click here.

 

ATHLETICS & MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health issues are an underrated matter, and one that many students suffer from throughout their time at university. I once read that 1 in 4 people will suffer from it at some point in their life time, which means that it can affect anyone around you. To that end, I’ve always thought that getting involved in your hobbies is an excellent way of getting your mind off troubling issues. Personally, I’ve had a longstanding affair with them, namely depression, as I’ve seen it take the life of one of my best friends from School, as well as having a brief battle with it back in 2012. My experiences might not be the same as everyone else’s, but I figure the least I can do is explain how I dealt with these instances so hopefully others can follow suit.

I had a brief bout of depression back in 2012, at a time when my girlfriend was moving back to Australia, my grandmother was hospitalised, my dog had become sick and my mother had started suffering from anxiety attacks. It only lasted about 4 or 5 months, but they were some of my lowest points. I just had the feeling that I was a burden to people around me, and that others were better than I was. I had counselling, which helped, but I only truly got rid of it when I started my Athletics season in the summer. It felt like I was a completely different person as I was genuinely doing something I loved, and getting better at it. It’s never been as bad as it was back then, and I think that’s because I’ve placed added emphasis on finding what makes me happy and seizing it. For that reason I don’t regret having experienced it, as I know I’ve been through it, and my happiness stems from knowing I don’t feel that way anymore.

Throughout my time at university, I’ve had times where I’ve been lower than I was back then, but I’ve never reverted back to how I felt and being involved in the Athletics club has been a massive part of that, as I’ve met people who have helped me through the hard times. One such time was last year, when I found out that I’d lost a great friend of mine from school to depression. And that’s the harsh truth about depression, and all mental health problems, that people need to realise: it’s a sickness. An example I like to use to explain it is that you wouldn’t say someone who has just lost a battle with cancer died due to a stage 4 cancerous tumour on the lung blocking crucial airways or rupturing and causing internal bleeding… you’d say they died from cancer. In the same way, people who commit suicide don’t die from suicide, that’s just the execution. They’re dying from depression as it’s literally taken them to the point where they believe that if they were removed from the world, then it would be better for their friends and family. That’s what it took me a long time to realise, and I’m grateful that I did.

Therefore my word of advice to people is to find something that you love, and even better, that you’re good at. For me, it was Athletics, as sport has such a positive effect on you in terms of physical health. Also, while you’re getting fitter and better at your sport, you’re also releasing endorphins that are designed to make you feel happy. I never regret going out on a run, I may have no natural fitness at the start, but it’s the fact that you’re getting better after each session that got me hooked on it.

I’d also suggest talking to your friends and family, and surrounding yourself with positive people as sometimes the harder things like telling loved ones what you’re going through are what makes it easier to go through it when you have their support. I’ve always thought that if people are going to be talking about what you’re going through, it’s better that it comes from you first. I started putting on mental health workshops last year for Athletics so that people could come forward and speak to friends that were going through similar experiences and know that they weren’t alone. I think it really helped some people as they realised that isolation they felt wasn’t exclusive to them, and they certainly weren’t going through it alone.

That’s how sport helped me through some tough times, and I suspect it will carry on being a driving force for happiness in my life.

Visit our website for more details about sport at NTU, or our previous blog about how to get active.

Sam Corsan (NTU Athletics President)

Get active at NTU Sport

At NTU we have many different ways you can get involved in sport and exercise, and we currently have some special early bird offers in place for you to make the most of.

1. Two early bird gym membership offers:

   a) Early bird Annual Active Gym Membership = £110 (will increase to £140 on 16 October 2017)

   b) 3-year Special Offer (only available between 1 September – 16 October 2017)

Both memberships will give you:

  • Access to two gyms, the City Suite on City Campus, and the Lee Westwood Sports Centre on Clifton Campus.
  • A free gym induction
  • Discounted fitness packages, including Boditrax scans.
  • Unlimited access to NTU Fitness Classes and Blast Sessions, with priority booking. They are very popular and offer a huge variety of options, with classes taking place at City and Clifton.
  • Free hire of our world-class facilities, such as the brand new tennis centre, sports halls, squash courts, and the 3G to have a bit of fun with your mates.
  • Free Play for Fun sessions, which offer an alternative to just going to the gym by giving you the chance to start something new, get back into a sport you love, make new friends and most importantly, have fun!
  • Access to the University of Nottingham’s casual swim sessions for only £2 per visit.

2. At NTU there are 60 sports clubs for students to participate in, catering for every level of experience.

3. Volunteering is a great way to get involved, and we work in partnership with Nottingham Trent Volunteering to offer a huge range of sport volunteering opportunities.

4. We have very popular intramural leagues in Football, Netball and Rugby, where you can enter your own team. Represent your hall, society, course, or simply round up some of your mates – everyone is welcome.

CLUB COMMITTEE HANDOVER

Today marks the official committee handover day, so we caught up with NTU Sport staff members to hear their thoughts on this year, and what they are looking forward to next year!

Uttley, Lawrence (Participation Sports Development Officer):

Ok then chaps. It’s come to the end of the year for committee. Thought this would be a good time to reflect on how it’s gone. First of all from the newbies; Steve and Tom. Is this what you expected? What’s been the most challenging/ rewarding?

Drake, Steven (Outdoor Activities Sports Development Officer):

It has been a fantastic 9 months and I feel that I have had to learn a lot, but this challenge has been welcomed for the most part. One of the most enjoyable parts of my role has been working with clubs that I have not had much experience of doing myself, such as Rowing and Equestrian. I think the main challenge I have faced, is the minefield that is finance but I am slowly getting there.

Armstrong, Thomas  (Coaching and Competitions Manager):

Since joining the University late last year it really has been a case of being thrown in at the deep end. Coming in half way through a year presents its own problems, getting to know my clubs and committees, and the best ways I can support them in the short term has been hard. However seeing the great work our students are doing to develop their clubs has shown the potential all our students have to exceed, not only on the sports field/hall/court, but off it too. I have really enjoyed engaging with my new club committees, seeing them set plans and targets for next year has me excited of the possibilities for next year! What has been particularly pleasing for me is how the committees have engaged with their coaches and the University in maximising the potential of their clubs. As my role involves a lot of performance focus, our climb up the BUCS table and improvement in team performances has been great to see and long may it continue.

Uttley, Lawrence:

Tom, I know you’ve mentioned a few times that getting to know committees half way through the year and seeing what their targets are has been tough. How is everyone looking for targets for next year now that we’ve completed all our development plans and budgets?

Armstrong, Thomas:

Targets wise, all clubs have set themselves goals to move the club on in every aspect. This includes membership, performance and community/student engagement. I’ve challenged them to be ambitious while also being realistic about what they can do in their time in position.

Uttley, Lawrence:

Any big plans in the pipeline that you’ve got a particular eye on? Steve – what about you?

Drake, Steven:

Yes, I do Loz. I am looking at getting equestrian involved with Brackenhurst and using their state-of-the-art facilities. I am also looking at getting part of rowing programme moved to Lee Westwood for their S & C sessions. Our climbing team will be looking to get their highest BUCS points next year with the help of Molly Thompson-Smith (GB Climber Team Member) joining us for 2017-18. Do you have any plans Loz?

Uttley, Lawrence:

I genuinely don’t think there is a club that hasn’t got big ambitions next year. I’m personally looking forward to seeing Water Polo add a women’s team and how the men get on in a higher league. Boxing is also a sport I think we have a lot more to come from. With 6 out of my 19 presidents returning, I think it will mean changes can happen rapidly over summer. It will be interesting to see the students represented by a Non-BUCS student (Izzy Gregson) for the first time in my 8 years working and studying here. Definitely going to be strange without Matt around. Tom?

Armstrong, Thomas:

Anything away from performance you guys? For me I have a number of clubs setting out plans to get more girls into their sports including an American Football Flag team, while also getting some clubs engaging with local partners and communities. A number of my clubs have expressed a desire to do more charity and fund raising work this year with some great ideas to support local charities. There is also of course the performance aspect, which gets harder each year to improve on, but all the clubs are attacking this with a great attitude and commitment to their sport and the University.

Uttley, Lawrence:

Haha, the performance officer taking it away from performance goals. Ironic. This time last year, I set cheerleading a very tough target of making sure that anyone who wants to do cheer at NTU can, and I’m proud to say that they succeeded. There’s potential to add another team next year. My aim is to get all of my clubs to have a local club partner, providing avenues for both ends of the sport. Outside of sport, I want clubs to increase charity work. Athletics have been great teaming up with cricket to support BacZac the legacy. I’m really pleased clubs are starting to take on their own ideas around mental health and looking forward to my own personal development and pushing awareness even further.

Drake, Steven:

All my clubs are looking to grow next year and some have set themselves a target of growing by more than 50%. Equestrian are looking to keep up their great volunteering programme, and Triathlon will be looking to take on the staff again with a Dryathlon to raise money for John Van Geest research centre. Surf and Wakeboarding are also looking to keep active throughout the winter months with trips away which would mean more student engagement with water sports, which, would be a first for these clubs.

Uttley, Lawrence:

So basically what you’re saying is ‘watch this space’. Haha. Anyway fellas. Just want to say what a great year it’s been. It’s been great meeting you both and looking forward to working with you and sharing ideas for next year. Saturday was the Sports Awards and it was great to see so many clubs there, getting the recognition they deserved. Here’s to a successful 2017/18!

TRENT GIRLS CAN

Joining a sports team throughout my time at Nottingham Trent University has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Being part of NTU netball over the past four years has hugely developed my character and increased my team work skills and confidence. Weekly netball sessions helped as I felt happier and less stressed after a run around in a period of university deadlines, and they provided a fun social environment with friends.

Wednesday BUCS days included away games, travelling to other universities to play, really emphasising the feeling of being part of a close team. My highlights in the club has included me being delighted when making it into a BUCS squad, and then captaining my team this year, which I have loved.

Jess Blog 2

The club has everything. Competitive BUCS teams, a development squad, and also social teams for those who just want to play. Therefore there really is space for everyone and anyone who wants to get involved! The club encourages anyone to come and be part of netball. No matter what team you are in, you are a member of the NTU Netball family.

Supporting ‘This Girl Can’, from my experience as part of a university sports club, there is something out there for everybody. NTU offers a huge variety of sports clubs ranging from lacrosse to dance, and women’s football to rowing. Therefore there are so many opportunities, and with nothing to lose from trying something new, I would encourage anyone to get involved in sport at NTU.

There will be some ‘This Girl Can’ activities going on throughout term 3 at NTU, so make sure you look out for them and get involved.

‘Trent Girls Can’!

By Jess Stansfield (Netball)

Jess Blog 3

RICHARDS PREDICTS A CLOSE GAME

We caught up with the Women’s Football first team captain, Georgia Richards, ahead of tonight’s Notts Varsity fixture…

How are you and the team feeling on the build up to Varsity?

Me and the girls are feeling very positive in the build up to varsity. After playing UoN twice already this season and drawing 1-1 in both results, it’s safe to say Varsity this year will be very competitive as both teams want to come out on top! Whenever we play UoN the buzz in the dressing room is fantastic and every girl is up for the challenge. Varsity is always a big occasion that all of us want to be a part of, so everyone works hard to ensure they get a place in the starting 11.

What has the team been doing in the lead up to the big event?

In the build up to Varsity, training and S&C has been as normal, which has put the team in the right mind-set. With the BUCS league finished, it gave us chance to focus on our opponents, who we know of quite well already. This means we could focus on tactics, set plays and fitness to really give us an advantage over them in Varsity.

Is there a lot of pressure on you as the captain to help lead the team and make sure they are ready for the game?

I do feel a tad pressured, and of course I want to lead by example. We have made sure that the fresher’s understand the importance of the occasion and how much it means to students and the girls at Trent. I say my bit and like to get a good vibe going between all the girls, and the senior players bring a lot of character and support to me and the team. I’ve been leading the girls all season with no issues and they’re a great bunch and even without input from me they understand what they need to do as individuals and as a group to ensure we get another victory.

How do you feel when you arrive on the pitch and see all of the Nottingham Trent fans watching and cheering you on?

I loved coming out last year and checking the pitch and seeing the stadium, all the girls got very pumped and excited. For me I feel very nervous when I see everyone arriving for the game during the warm up, I put a lot of pressure on myself as I want to perform well and have the best game. But as soon as I get a few touches of the ball I forget about it and treat it as any other game where I want to go out and win. The support from Trent encourages me and the team and boosts our confidence levels!

Finally, do you believe you will win this year’s varsity game?

Definitely! All those into football will know, on the day things may not go your way or you may be unlucky! But I am confident in the squad, and with the ability that we have, that if we turn up and put in 100% effort we will get back what we deserve and pull off a performance!

FOOTBALL

MENS BASKETBALL ARE READY

How are you and the team feeling on the build up to varsity?

We are feeling very good. The team this year is a very close unit on and off the court and that helps us keep spirits high and keep everyone motivated. For a lot of the players this year it is their first varsity experience, so there is definitely a feeling of excitement. However we also have the mind-set that we take into every game which is that it is just another game that we will turn up and do are job and get the win!

What will the team be doing on the lead up to the big event to prepare for varsity?

It’s very much the same as what we have been doing all year which is just a mixture of hard work at training and letting our bodies recover during our days off. We have had a very successful season this year due to the combination of our coach developing great training sessions utilising all the time given and then us as players giving 100% each practice when we step on that court to get the best out of each other. As this has proven to work perfectly for us all season we will be doing more of the same before varsity. However we aware that the opposition are a strong team as well and we have got some special tricks up our sleeves that I am sure will help us bring home the win for Trent!

Is there a lot of pressure on you as a captain to lead the team and make sure they are ready for the game?

Usually I am sure the answer is yes, but with the team we have this year they make my job as captain nice and easy due to how tight we are as a group. Throughout the year we have developed a strong, family like ethos throughout the whole team that does transfer to positive results on the court. Therefore my job is just to keep the guys at that level where they are mentally switched on and ready for the game, whilst also making sure everyone keeps calm as the varsity experience can be over whelming for some. But as I said, I know these guys as if they were my brothers and I am sure that they can all handle pressure. I mean as I’m always telling the lads ‘pressure is what you put in tyres!’ and I’m certain that helps them keep calm.

How do you feel when you arrive on the court and see all of the Nottingham Trent fans watching a cheering you on?

It’s unreal. I remember last year the noise coming from that crowd was electric and it was like having an extra player on the court with us. Trent students definitely know how to get a team pumped and ready for the game and that helps us a lot. Running out from the tunnel and looking up and seeing a sea of people cheering you on just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Last year’s fans were quality and have set the bar high for this year’s Trent fans, but I am sure that this year they will top last years no doubt.

Finally, do you believe you will win this year’s varsity game?

To keep it nice and short. Yes. Our team is ready, and with the infamous Trent support behind us, I don’t see how we can lose.

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