Katy Baker is the new Vice President for Welfare at the University of Northampton’s Student Union. She’s used trampolining as a means to improve her own physical health and here blogs for students about the benefits of joining one of the Union’s many sport societies.
I am in my 4th year of University, studying an MSc in Counselling Children and Young People, and I absolutely love being part of the Students’ Union. This has allowed me to gain more knowledge about representing students and giving them a voice but also it has let me enjoy trampolining, a club I have made the majority of my friends from and I had the pleasure of being President of last year.
Trampolining doesn’t just improve my physical fitness but also helps my mental health. Similar to any sports club, it is a way of forgetting any other situation or commitment for a couple of hours; whether that’s your studies, family situations, work or anything else getting in the way, it is therapeutic.
But did you know there are more than 30 other sports clubs at the University of Northampton?
From tennis, lacrosse to swimming and more, there’s something out there for you and if there isn’t – you can start one up yourself!
If you want to have a look on what’s on offer, have a look at the SU’s website.
It might sound silly thinking that doing something that makes your muscles ache and could result in an injury is a positive thing. But just think about the sense of achievement you could get from learning a new skill, taking part in your first competition or scoring your first point in a match. Having that lift to your self-esteem and confidence is also so important.
It’s just not the actual sports side as you also get socialise with your teammates. Whether this is during weekly socials, or by going on sport tours, attending sports awards and other events that the clubs hold. It really adds to your University experience and is also something to add on to the CV.
Over the last year, I have learnt that there are so many opportunities that follow joining a sport society. From sitting on student council to being involved in fundraising with your teammates, going away on competition weekends and – of course – celebrating at the end of the year at Sports Awards!
It really doesn’t matter whether you have additional needs or are not necessarily the best sports player, the Students’ Union wants to hear from anyone and everyone. I promise it will be a decision you will not regret!
Another advantage is that all sport societies at Northampton free! You have to pay for any stash kit you want and sometimes accommodation for a competition/match, but otherwise 99% of your sports life is completely free so you don’t need to worry about membership affecting your student finances!
You can be an Undergraduate or Postgraduate student, you may be going to your first session or you could be an expert but whatever level you are, you should definitely give it a go!
I have experienced first-hand the benefits sport has but also the benefits of being part of the Students’ Union – a huge support system. You don’t need to be super competitive or the most physically active. You don’t have to fully participate in the actual sport. You can umpire, judge, coach etc. and feel just as included. I cannot recommend joining a sports team enough, it gives you numerous opportunities. You never know, you could be the next Athletics Union chair or Sports Club President!
On a personal level, I can’t thank the SU enough for being so fantastic and supportive. They are always willing to help others and to show so much compassion in students’ time of need. I really encourage being part of a sports club – just pop in to the Engine Shed at Waterside if you have any questions!