NTU Student and Hockey umpire Harry Collinson Pitch side

NTU Student Harry umpires in Malaysia

First Year NTU Student Harry Collinson has had quite the month. He travelled to Malaysia as the GB umpire at the Sultan of Johor Cup. The under 21s international tournament is a major pathway for future professional hockey players. We asked him to give us the low down on the whole experience.

What do you study? (Course, year)

Business Management and Marketing

Do you play Hockey yourself? If so for who?

Yes, I have played since I was eight. I played at Thirsk School and Thirsk HC until moved to NTU, and now I am playing for NTU M3’s on a Wednesday in the BUCS league.

How did you get involved with being a hockey official?

I got involved in Hockey umpiring when I was 13. After completing a few courses and officiating some tournaments. From there I was put onto the North RYUAG (Regional Young Umpiring Action Group). I did more tournaments and worked up the “Panels” until I was 15, where I was promoted to the NYUPL (National Young Umpires Promising List).

This is the best 25 umpires in the country between the ages of 16-25. I was put on this list a year young, being the first umpire to do so. From here, over the past 2 years I have umpired multiple national finals.

Then, this year in May, I did the National Finals for U16 Boys Clubs at Nottingham Hockey Centre. I was watched by a senior figures in the world of Hockey umpiring who fast tracked me into the world of men’s hockey umpiring.

This gave me the opportunity of going to Malaysia to do the Sultan of Johor Cup, which is an under 21 international tournament, as the GB umpire.

What was the highlight of your time in Malaysia?

There are so many highlights of my time in Malaysia! From meeting umpires from all over the world, we had umpires from Japan, Australia and Singapore to name a few. 

 As well as an umpire manager from Holland, who has umpired at two Olympic Games! Another highlight was the hospitality shown to us. We were put up in a 5* hotel, I even had all my laundry done for free (a bonus as I don’t have to do any now at uni!). The local schools were given a team each which they would support for the tournament, the noise they created for the whole game was incredible! They treated us like celebrities, even asking us for photos with them, bizarre! My main highlight though was getting a top mark in my report and having a good tournament in my first international event!

What was it like officiating being so young and why do you think it is important that the game has young officials?

Being younger than most of the players (it was an under 21s tournament) is always difficult. Since I have 

started nearly every match I umpire people of the same age or older than me. 

The guys playing in Malaysia are international players. This makes it difficult as it is often deadly serious, if they perform well, they can make a profession out of it. Therefore, being the youngest and most inexperienced, I can often find myself a little bit intimidated by some of the players.

This is something which I have worked on and become a lot more relaxed with, having played myself. As the youngest, I needed to prove myself to my colleagues and umpire manager. These are the challenges of umpiring so young; however, there are many upsides. One of them is the fact I am 18, just started university and I have had the chance to have an 11 day all expenses paid trip to Malaysia, in a continent I have never visited before. I also have umpired on many occasions at the Olympic Hockey Stadium in London.

I think it is important that the game has young officials for many reasons; the main reason is that Hockey is fast becoming a young person’s sport. With the arrival of the new “World league” I believe the age of umpires will need to drop.

The age is lowering because of the sheer pace and athleticism shown in the game at the top level. This means that younger umpires will get more opportunities. Having new young umpires in the game, we can learn from the more senior umpires and have a younger, more knowledgeable umpiring generation.

What do you want to achieve in the future as a Hockey official?

The ultimate goal for me is to get to the highest level possible in the umpiring world. Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cups are the best tournaments, in which I aspire to umpire one day. In the near future, I hope to get my Level 3 and umpire National League in England.

 Contributor – NTU 1st year student Harry Collinson

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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.

A YEAR AS VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT

When myself (Joe Junkovic) and Jess Stansfield both started as Sport Volunteer Assistants, I really didn’t expect the job role to be as varied and rewarding as it has been. In term 1 there was a focus on recruitment and engagement with potential volunteers. We were responsible for flyering, poster campaigning and social media marketing to promote volunteering to students at NTU.

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After students started to sign up to the many different volunteering roles such as coaching in schools, photography and community volunteering, myself and Jess greeted all the volunteers during the first meeting. This was highly beneficial as it helped us to become familiar with the volunteering team. The meeting also highlighted key aspects of the volunteering programme such as safeguarding and different scenarios and how to deal with them.

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In the build up to Christmas, we helped to officiate and administer a number of primary school football and basketball tournaments. These tournaments were competitive, fun and entertaining. Children were awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals at the end of the day and were also given a tour of the new NTU tennis centre. Children were given time to practice and have a rally on the new refurbished courts.

From Christmas to Easter, we were responsible for continuing to promote volunteering across the University in an effort to sign up as many people as we could to the volunteering programme. We also helped our line manager Stacey Trainer (Sports Volunteering Coordinator) to monitor the register and see how popular the volunteering programmes had been amongst the students. There were also meetings between ourselves and the Sport Champions, which helped both job roles to understand and find out what the other had been up to in an effort to increase sport participation and opportunity for all students.

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In our final term as volunteering assistants and we have been involved with exciting University events such as the recent BrackFest at the Brackenhurst Campus. Brackenhurst was beautiful with lots of green spaces, music, food, games, and a daunting rock climbing wall that we were encouraging students to conquer.

We were responsible for getting students to sign up and have a go at climbing. We also handed out freebies such as the popular pink NTU t-shirts that were all gone within an hour, flip flops and tote bags. Students were also given NTU ‘Play For Fun’ leaflets that detailed the current sport and volunteer opportunities the University are offering. There was also a real focus throughout the day on promoting the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. Therefore after students had a go at rock climbing they were asked to take a picture of themselves in the ‘This Girl Can’ picture frame. Pictures can be seen here.  This was the first time either of us had been to Brackenhurst and it really helped to promote volunteering to students who we won’t have had the opportunity to work with before, and who may not have heard much about the available opportunities

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As our time as sport volunteer assistants and students of NTU comes to an end, we have both learnt a number of valuable skills and grown as people throughout the year. I have further developed my social skills through numerous volunteering events and showcases where interaction with students has been key. I have also developed my administration and data entry skills through updating volunteering registers and spreadsheets. My marketing skills and knowledge has also significantly improved through volunteering stalls, social media and promotional activities. All of these skills have added to my CV and will hopefully make me more employable in the future. The next step for myself is studying for a master’s degree in International Business at Montpellier Business School.

By Joe Junkovic (3rd year Sports Science & Management Student).

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

Trent Tigers cement their Legacy

Last weekend, Trent Tigers were crowned victorious at the annual Legacy Cheer Inspire Greatness competition in Cardiff. Going into this competition as a university squad, when the majority of the other teams were All Star teams (Cheerleaders who are part of a squad outside of a school or university), could have put the team at a disadvantage. However, the Tigers didn’t see it that way, and it fuelled competitive energy to take out onto to floor, give it their best shot, and ultimately enjoy themselves. The Trent Tigers team were scored on skill level, execution and overall impression in stunts, tumble and dance.

Having introduced a new team into the squad (Trent Tigers Tora, Level 2), The Tigers confidence and ability grew and as a squad they felt stronger than ever. Level 2 have already shown success by coming 2nd at the International Cheerleading Coalition (ICC) National Cheerleading Championships. This being under their belt they took the floor and came second with another 0 deduction routine!

Stefan Warren, Trent Tigers Head Coach commented “Level 2 (all girls) went and did themselves proud. A ZERO deduction routine and a strong 2nd place. For a brand new team they have definitely made there mark in that division.” Introducing a Level 2 squad has been a massive accomplishment for the team and all the girls involved have put their heart and soul into making it the best it can be.

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Level 3 have had a tricky year, but at Legacy they pulled together as a team and gained victory in the Co-ed (Boys and Girls) Level 3 division, as well as winning Level 3 Grand Championship. Scarlett Myers, Coach, said “we may have had a rough year but we brought it back in the end!!! From Future Cheer I was super proud, coming off that mat was the best feeling ever! And Legacy was no different, I finally felt like we just enjoyed it and we really have gone out with a bang. I couldn’t be prouder or happier to have been a part of it!”

Overall, it’s been a great season for the squad, including Varsity and performance success! The whole team want to send their thanks and all the luck in the world to all the Tigers leaving this year and look forward to another successful year next year.

For more information about the Tigers, head to our website.

Chloe Maher – Performance Vice Captian, Level 3 Cheerleading

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10 things i love about Varsity

Are you ready for Notts Varsity 2017?!

The big event ‘kicks-off’ with Rugby League tomorrow (Lady Bay, 4pm), and we are so excited to finally get underway!

We’ve put together a checklist of 10 #NottsVarsity related things to do during the series, all to get you in that Varsity spirit…

  1. Take a photo with an NTU player in their kit… then share it on social media!

  2. Tweet your support for our teams, tag @NTUSport, and hashtag #NottsVarsity

  3. Get a photo with our mascot!Mascot

  4. Get your hands on one of the Varsity T-shirts and show your support to the players from NTU!

    Varsity Tshirt

  5. Wave your #NottsVarsity foam finger in the crowd!Varsity Foam Finger

  6. Make a Snapchat story using the Varsity filters at each eventVARSITY SNAPCHAT GRADIENT 2.jpg

  7. Travel on any NCT bus for just £2.50 unlimited day travel!eventrider.png

  8. Paint your face pink!

  9. If you are competing, get yourself a discounted Sports Massage with Fairclough Sport PerformanceC7mSUzEVAAQ5Hc1

  10. Finally, and maybe most importantly…. make a lot of noise in the crowd!! The players need to hear you!

    For updates during the series, make sure you follow NTU Sport on Twitter and Instagram!

Varsity: The captain has his say

We spoke to Matthew Ross, the Rugby League Men’s first team captain, about how he and the team are feeling about this weekend’s Varsity fixture against University of Nottingham.

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

Yeah we’re feeling pretty confident, we’ve had a successful season with some good results, and after not winning for two years everyone in the team really wants it this year.

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

We’re quite lucky in the fact we’ve got games every week before varsity, which will help with everyone’s match fitness. We are also doing a one week drinking ban before the game. We’re going to make a big day of it this year, going for a squad breakfast the morning of the game and things like that.

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?

Not really, a lot of it’s down to each individual. We set some targets at the start of year, one of which was to win varsity, and all the lads have really bought into it. This has taken the pressure off me to get on everyone’s backs.

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

Yeah it’s a good feeling, and I always find the chants very entertaining.

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

I do! Everyone in the team does as well. You’ve always got to back yourself or you might as well hang up your boots. We’re preparing much better for it this year, and all the lads really want to win it as most of us are final year.

RUGBYLEAGUEVARSITY

The big game will take place on Saturday 25 March, KO 4pm at Lady Bay. For updates during the game, follow @NTUSport on Twitter.

You can see a full list of #NottsVarsity fixtures on our website.