The new season is almost here, and this year looks like its gonna’ be a good one..
With the academic term back in full swing, October also brings the start of the Varsity and BUCS leagues at SportBU. The Varsity team is the selected ‘first’ team of each sport, who are then entered into the BUCS league ready for spirited and elite competition. BUCS, in simple terms, is the national league for University sport and is highly regarded across Universities as being a ‘holy grail’ of sorts in the senior sporting world. Holding both local and national leagues, BU compete in a range of events including Lacrosse, Volleyball, Badminton and Rugby in both male and female competitions.
If you weren’t a returning athlete this year, the easiest way to sign up for the Varsity programme was through the recent ‘Fresher’s Fair’. Occupying the entire sports hall for the third year running, the popularity of the sports sign up day was booming! Captains, players, coaches and staff all donned their SportBU kit to attract as many of the crowd as possible into getting active and playing for a team. Plus, with over 50 sports, both competitive and social, offering sporting opportunities to students- paired with what seemed like thousands of bribery lollies- it was difficult to walk through and not give out your personal details to at least one table.
For a good majority of the Varsity teams, sign up day was a great success. The lacrosse teams combined pulled in over 350 names, rivalled by a surprised Volleyball team who gained around 250 interested beginners and players. Although the Rugby boys may have something to say about it, no sport could be beaten by the ever popular men’s football team, who no doubt had 300 names plus, including the next Diego Costa, Toni Kroos and David Luiz… let’s just hope there’s no new Suarez in the team! But after a long, and sweaty I must admit, day of grafting freshers and players, it seemed as though every captain left happy, with the hefty job of converting every signee’s details into digital format and sending them their trials invitation.
After coming a respectable 24th in the country in last year’s BUCS final table, SportBU are looking to kick it up a gear or two this season. Whilst compulsory fitness tests for all trialling athletes ran alongside the Varsity trials, it seemed that a heavy focus this year would be put into the strength and conditioning of each team. Athletes had to partake an hour of flexibility, sprinting, agility, capacity and core stability testing before completing the dreaded ‘yo-yo’ test to finish (for all the people lucky enough to have never done the yoyo test, it’s a 40 metre bleep test with short intervals between the bleeps). Although difficult at the time, the fitness testing spurred many athletes on to push themselves harder than before in order to gain a place in their chosen team, which in turn, will eventually create an elitist nature to BU sport.
With an exciting season ahead for our University sport, athletes are looking to push for a top 20 place in the BUCS final table, coming above rivalling southern Universities. Hopefully, the heavy emphasis that has been shifted to sport this year will spur on more and more students to get involved, get active and get healthy!
Games and competitions start officially on the 15th of October and will run weekly throughout the academic year for all sports. To keep up to date on any Varsity results, check up on the SportBU website, or at the BUCS league website directly.