Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

5 Reasons to Become a Bear

As a fresher, the transition from further to higher education is undoubtedly one of the biggest changes you will undertake. Welcome week will be filled with new faces, freshers and tonnes of freebies, but if there’s one thing I urge you to do, whether you’re sporty or not, it’s to join a club. To many people, joining a sports club may seem even more daunting than starting your first year, so if you’re sitting on the fence or need a little extra motivation, here’s our top five reasons for becoming a Bear:

1. Keep fit!

Whilst keeping fit may seem like an obvious reason to participate in sport, you’ll find there’s more to it than that! A club membership is significantly cheaper than joining the gym, and training in both a competitive and a friendly environment can be hugely beneficial when attacking the many VKs and Dominoes deals that you’ll soon see take a prominent stance on your hips. Essentially you’ll become fitter, and notice this considerable difference each time you return to training after the holidays.

2. Make friends!

For those of you who avoided P.E lessons like the plague, and the experience of choking in a deodorant filled changing room is just a distant memory, sport isn’t all about exercise. Whilst cliché and a little cheesy, joining a club is the perfect way to broaden your connections and to make friends with freshers alike, who you’ll soon be receiving panic stricken texts from about what to wear to training and whether it’s too much to pre before a social. Let’s not forget the second and third years, who are knowledgeable representatives of both the workings of the club, as well as their course, which might prove useful for you! These strangers who you think little of in your first few weeks at Royal Holloway will soon come to be your potential house mates and probable friends for life, and will completely make your university experience.

3. CV Opportunities!

Club membership is a great way for employers to distinguish between you and other undergraduates. The sports clubs of Royal Holloway strive to participate in various volunteering opportunities throughout the year, and these are recognised by the Royal Holloway Passport Award, a scheme which awards points for non-academic achievements. You’ll also have the opportunity to run for a variety of positions on your club’s committee, from President to Social Secretary, each of which will be accredited with Passport points. Membership to a sports club may even provide you with the chance to further your qualifications such as becoming a small sided referee for your chosen sport(s).

4. Get Involved!

One of the best things about joining a sports club is being dragged out of halls and having a social life that goes beyond kitchen conversations and study groups in Bedford Library. Whether it’s a sober social at lazerquest or a pub crawl, there’s no doubt that at some point during the year you’ll be involved in a chant off with another club in the notorious Stumble Inn. Being a member of a sports club also entitles you to a few more ‘exclusive’ events like initiations, in which you’ll officially become a fully-fledged member of your team, as well as our end of year Colours Ball, where both individual and collective achievements are rewarded, and the much-sought-after ‘Club of the Year’ status is up for grabs. Let’s not forget that your membership can go beyond the academic year, with TOUR! Jetting off with your club is the perfect way to end the year, and after exams a holiday is well needed!

5. Bears Day!

Lastly, being an active member of a sports club enables you to represent Royal Holloway in competitive leagues both at home and when travelling to other Universities across the country, and even internationally. Bears Day takes place every Wednesday, where lectures stop after 1pm in order for students to participate in, and support the various home games played on campus across all clubs. Bears day provides you with a sense of belonging both to your club and our university, as both students and coaches alike come together to celebrate their achievements on a day dedicated to sport.