Sports Week lays the foundations for Team Aber

Tomos Nolan

Tomos Nolan

SPORTS week has become such a brilliant way for new students to come and get settled in Aberystwyth before the hectic schedule of registration and lectures. This year was no different and excelled in bringing the new and old stars of Aber sports together for one big celebration of sport; laying the foundations for an incredible atmosphere and building one mighty Team Aber.

Over the three days, 35 sports clubs were involved and they held between them 62 sessions in which fresher students were put through their paces in a variety of new sports. For the first time there was a Snow Sports session held in the Ski Centre in Llangrannog. Octopush was popular amongst fresher students and they only helped add to the growing reputation of the unique and unusual sport. Fencing attracted a large crowd on the first day, as did Ultimate Frisbee and Urban Dance, and of course the usual big three of men’s and women’s Football, Rugby and Hockey were still the more popular sports with fresher students looking to make their mark on the sports clubs before trials begin. However, overall there was a general feeling of trying something new, the sports that students would never have tried before coming to University and perhaps even finding some hidden talent not even known to themselves.

The waiting was over as day one began on Wednesday 17th September and the weeks of all that pent up anticipation from the 105 students taking part was released. One of the largest crowds of day one was that of American Football down on Blaendolau fields, perhaps showing the recent popularity the sport has had over the past few years with the NFL staging of a showpiece game at Wembley Stadium each year. Fresher students were joined by the old American Footballers of the past as a few light sessions were taken and a general introduction to the sport was handed out. Fresher students were just hearing about American Football for the first time and so the committee were eager not to dish out too much punishment on their first day. Overall,the general feedback was good and great news for the American Football team as it is difficult to attract new players to a game rarely played in schools across Britain.

The sports centre played host to a number of popular sports on day one. Cheerleading, Fencing and Urban Dance all held sessions in the morning and did not disappoint. Cheerleading were their picturesque selves, using the experience of the older team members to show fresher students typical manoeuvres in a show’s routine. It’s another sport that can struggle to attract new faces but after two enjoyable and busy sessions during sports week hopefully the recruitment process will be a lot smoother. Fencing drew in a large crowd and amongst them was a new student who fences for Team GB, a priceless asset  for Team Aber to acquire. The club President, Nicola Martin, was pleasantly surprised with the turn out and pleased with the talent that was on show, “The freshers who turned up looked to have a lot of potential, especially Izzie Smith, who had previously fenced for GB. Looking forward a great year building a great team.” Urban Dance was its usual energetic self, with a number of new students shedding their shy outer shells following choreographer Chris Wilson-Slight to Jason Derulo’s Talk Dirty Me, overall a great success for the club.

Days two and three continued upon the same manner with a great atmosphere throughout the week, most likely due to the pub quiz being held on the Wednesday evening and the Aber All-stars on the Thursday evening – both being held in the Union, a first for Aber as these events usually take part in town. The big three shined on these days with Football, Rugby and Hockey all holding packed sessions. These days were important for a lot of fresher students taking part as some were determined to make their mark on the clubs before the big recruitment drive in the next few weeks. Men’s and Women’s Football braved the weather on Thursday morning to hold their second sessions; a big crowd was on Blaendolau fields as the new faces were put up against the older members of the club. A general introduction to the club was made by club Chairman Barney Tierney and a friendly match played. Tierney was happy with the overall session and even spotted a few good players, “It was a good session and more competitive than I expected which is great. Recruitment is going to be huge for us this year so it’s great to already have a few lads wanting to sign up this early on.” It’s fair to say that sports week has not only been bringing together the old and new but helping out clubs snapping up fresh new talent. Rugby and Hockey were much the same. As would be expected both sports drew in a lot of new students and with competition for places high, it’ll do both sports the world of good. These days too belonged to some sports to which Aber are indeed extremely talented in. Badminton and Ultimate Frisbee were happy with their turn out and put on some difficult drills for the new students. In Badminton, fresher students trailed playing glow-in-the-dark Badminton. A drill aimed at improving hand-eye coordination and working on movement, all in the dark. Ultimate Frisbee was down on Pantycelyn and they carried on as they had left it last year; a couple of well worked drills adding to their now sterling reputation.

As for the people who organised the whole event a massive thank you is thoroughly deserved. Speaking with Liv Prewett, Sports Activities Officer, she was extremely happy with how well the whole week went, “I’m happy with how great the week was. There was a fantastic atmosphere all week between both new students and between the sports clubs. There really is a great Team Aber atmosphere that has been built up in this week, it’s good to see. I’m also really pleased with how smooth the week went and I couldn’t have done it without the help of all the volunteers, the club captains and presidents, the Student Union and everybody involved. I’d like to thank them for all there hard work. It has been amazing.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.