Saturday, April 13Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Sports & Socs

A Closer Look at Alex Scott’s Inspirational Memoir, ‘How (Not) To Be Strong’
Culture & Literature, Literature, Sports & Socs

A Closer Look at Alex Scott’s Inspirational Memoir, ‘How (Not) To Be Strong’

By Beth McCowen *Content Warning - discussion of domestic abuse* Now a highly-respected pundit, and ambassador for the domestic abuse charity Refuge, Alex Scott MBE became the best right-back of her time during an illustrious career as a high-level football player. The former Arsenal and England captain’s memoir was published in 2022.  ‘How (Not) To Be Strong’ details not only Scott’s football journey, but also the story of her life so far. She may have gone from strength to strength as a player, and then as a broadcaster, but that is not to say it was easy. Scott describes some of the difficulties that came with growing up with a father who was an alcoholic, and became abusive. One part of the book which really struck a chord with me, was when Scott explains that her decis...
The Rise of Formula 1
Sports & Socs

The Rise of Formula 1

Photo by Formula 1 By Beth McCowen Formula 1 has been a popular mainstream sport since long before many of our readers were born. The internationally renowned competition is ever-changing, and remains at the heart of multi-faceted discussions of its core elements, along with their wider implications. Here is a brief overview of how the top flight of motorsport has dominated the world of sports media, and some of the problems that have arisen along the way. The 2022/23 season came to an end on Sunday 26th November, with Dutch superstar Max Verstappen and Christian Horner’s Red Bull continuing to dominate both the driver and constructor’s championships.  Over the last few years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of young people who follow the sport. This i...
Luton Town Football Club Face £120,000 Fine for Homophobic Chants
News, Sports & Socs

Luton Town Football Club Face £120,000 Fine for Homophobic Chants

Image by Sky Sports By Beth McCowen Luton Town Football Club  has been hit with a £120,000 fine and a two year action plan by the FA.  The club has accepted the charge, which is a consequence of an incident that took place during the Town’s first game of the 2023/24 season on August 12th in Brighton, where a portion of the away side’s fans took part homophobic chanting.  The action taken by the FA in this instance sends a strong message to both clubs and their supporters regarding the importance of stamping out all forms of discrimination.  Luton were promoted to the Premier League, the top tier of football in England, after the 2022/23 season came to an end. Prior to this breakthrough, they had not been a part of the country’s top flight in footbal...
Motherhood, the Sporting World and Its Impact?
Sports & Socs

Motherhood, the Sporting World and Its Impact?

Photo by Jeffrey F. Lin via Unsplash By Liberty Simons It’s common for male athletes to have children during their careers. They don’t have to experience the 9 months of pregnancy, plus the recovery time after that. Their almost always female partners, do that. But the picture looks different if you are a female athlete. Whether they are in a same sex couple, or a heterosexual one, female athletes are affected by pregnancy and the expectations of motherhood much more than their male counterpart. It is only now we are reaching a point where motherhood is being treated with respect and dignity in women’s sports and mothers and their children are being treated well by big organisations, but this is not always the case. (I will not be including children’s names in this piece out of ...
An Interview with Kellie Cheung 
Features, Sports & Socs

An Interview with Kellie Cheung 

Photo by Liberty Simons By Beth McCowen In light of lacrosse being named as an Olympic sport for Los Angeles 2028, The Orbital sat down with player Kellie Cheung to talk about her personal journey with the sport, what this news means for the lacrosse community, as well as her time competing with Royal Holloway. Photo by Sharks Lacrosse HK Can you tell us a bit about your personal journey with lacrosse? “I came to the UK when I was 12 and attended boarding school, and that's where I started to play lacrosse. I actually started as a goalie in high school, then at university I was midfield attack. After my year abroad, I joined Hong Kong Lacrosse, so I would play with Hong Kong during the summers. I would coach beginner’s adult and children’s lacrosse. Also, during my year abr...
Spotlight on Beth Mead’s Return to Arsenal
Sports & Socs

Spotlight on Beth Mead’s Return to Arsenal

By Beth McCowen Arsenal have been at the forefront of women’s football in the UK since the team was founded in 1987, with an astonishing 60 trophies to the club’s name, and an admirable commitment to the advancement of the women’s game at all levels. The 2022/23 season, however, presented the team and its management with unprecedented challenges, largely in the form of an injury crisis which saw four players (Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Leah Williamson, and Laura Wienroither) suffer Anterior Cruciate Ligament ruptures, an injury which is devastating to any footballer, and concerningly common in female players. In addition, captain Kim Little experienced a significant hamstring injury in late-March which saw her miss the rest of the season. Photo: @arsenalwfc on Instagram. ...
‘A Place for Everyone’: An Interview with Kiera Joyce
Sports & Socs

‘A Place for Everyone’: An Interview with Kiera Joyce

By Carmen Anderson Given the nigh-on meteoric surge in worldwide interest in women’s rugby, we spoke to the president of Women’s Rugby here at Royal Holloway, Kiera Joyce, to understand a little bit more about her, the sport and her commitment to it.  Kiera is a third year English Literature student. Aside from sport, she is passionate about the performing arts, involved with many societies. She previously played hockey and is planning to start playing polo. She had never watched or played rugby before starting her studies here, but on first introduction, Kiera “immediately fell in love with the game!”.  Rugby is a contact sport, a highly physical game requiring top levels of fitness and can be deemed high-risk, with 1 in 4 players injured each match. What does Kiera find a...
Keep It Moving
Sports & Socs

Keep It Moving

By Liberty Simons Progression wasn’t just being part of the 60,063 strong crowd as Arsenal took on Wolfsburg at the Emirates after selling the place out for the first time in their history. Nor was it watching Matilda’s fans break Australian attendance records at the Women’s World Cup. Or watching the Roses reach the Netball World Cup finals for the first time. It was in the smaller moments. It was in taking my lifelong Gooner Grandpa to his first Women’s North London Derby. It was when he accidentally called Vivianne Miedema ‘quite good’ not realising the scope of a player that she was. Or when I went to visit my grandparents and we had a 30-minute discussion about whether Alessia Russo would be joining the Arsenal. Or texting various family members and friends to tell them how they ...
Fall Forward
Sports & Socs

Fall Forward

“Nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Fall Forward” – Denzel Washington This is what the graduates of University of Pennsylvania received as departing wisdom from Denzel Washington. Interesting that he chooses to cast an image of the unknown at a time when the unknown can be seriously unsettling. But this mentality. It creates risk takers. Personalities. People that others might call reckless or bold. To be bold you must take risks and to take risks you must be brave.  Brave. That is a word that continues to rise in the world of sport. Whether that’s through standing against discrimination, standing proud within the LGBT+ community or through sheer determination. Bravery is something that radiates from the quietest to the wildest among the bold.  It i...
Nostalgia, Sport, and Parental love- the raw emotion of nostalgia
Sports & Socs

Nostalgia, Sport, and Parental love- the raw emotion of nostalgia

Nostalgia is such a personal overwhelming experience. A yearning to experience what is no longer obtainable. For many, sports evoke a strong sense of nostalgia. Whether that be for the better or for the worse. However, it remains to be said that sport has its own unique way of conjuring up memories and emotions that just can’t stop you from smiling.  Why is that?  Usually, it’s a sense of carefree fun or high moments of success and happiness. Perhaps more unusually, it’s the embodying of emotions, which a lot of the time we do not feel anymore or don’t get to enjoy. That’s why that feeling of nostalgia hits so hard. A time when things just felt right in life. Pure.  And, if you dig a little deeper into that emotion, you realise that the background feeling of parent...