How to….Get involved in Sport at Aberystwyth University

IT DOESN’T matter how old you are, what course you’re doing or even which University you are attending, for most students, Sport tends to play a big part in the coming three years.

On the whole we’re fairly lucky at Aberystwyth, with a wide range of facilities available for use – a Sports centre, full size floodlit astroturf pitch and a 3G pitch for five a side football, a vibrant inter-mural football league (DIGS) and an endless list of Sports clubs at the University meaning whatever your taste, or level of talent, there will be something waiting for you.

The sports centre is situated at the bottom of campus. If you go down the steps opposite the Arts Centre, cross the road and follow the path and subsequent road down, the Sports centre is on your right, opposite the astroturf and 3G pitches. This is where the gym, swimming pool and sports offices are, so if you want to play sport next year, you will more than likely visit the centre at least once.

With all the information that the first years will have received through the post in the last few weeks, and the changing prices for those of us who have been here a while, here is another summary of the packages and the prices for the 2012/13 Sporty Card:

  • 1 years membership – £41
  • 2 years membership – £72
  • 3 years membership – £101

There are also termly sporty cards available, although spreading the cost means you will pay the same price over the year that you would for a two year-membership.
Also, if you know that you will use a certain area of the Sports centre (Gym, Pool etc.) then you can also upgrade your membership to a ‘Gold’ status which means you can then use that area for free, although this is for a significantly higher cost and may be an investment that you then don’t use.

It might seem like a lot of money, especially taking into account that you will then have to pay money on top of this for equipment, joining clubs, and using the gym/swimming pool, you cannot play any organised sport at Aberystwyth University without a Sporty Card, so it is imperative to get one. The money used from it goes towards the upkeep of the Sports facilities, those mentioned previously, as well as the extensive playing fields at Blaendolau (known to most students as ‘Blan’), where you will have the Football, Rugby and other field sports. The Vicarage Fields, which is home to the prestigious first teams of the Rugby and Football, along with the cricket and tennis clubs, which also benefits from the sale of the Sporty Card.

However it is worth noting that whilst the Sporty Card means you can use the sporting facilities, it is only at a reduced rate and will still have to pay to use the gym or pool, along with the customary 20p for lockers.
Anybody interested can find an application form on the Aberystwyth University Sports Centre website or go to the centre itself and get an application or find them at the Freshers fayre.

Over recent years there has been an often mentioned lengthy delay in Sporty Cards being purchased and then made ready for students to collect them. This has meant some students haven’t been able to take part in the opening stages of DIGS league.

However this year the Sports centre have offered assurances that if your application is in by the 20th September, your card will be able to be collected by Freshers week.
After this date, if you have handed in your application and paid, even if you are not in possession of a Sporty Card – you are covered, and can play sport in Aberystwyth. Although carrying your receipt is advisable, which in turn should allay any fears of a repeat of incidents in recent years.

The biggest sports societies in Aberystwyth are Aberystwyth Surf Club, Aberystwyth Snow Club and Aberystwyth University Mens Football Club. It is always worth visiting the Sports Fayre on Tuesday 25th September 10AM-4PM in the Sports Cage, to see what sports are on offer, and you might even start playing a sport that you hadn’t considered before!