Get Involved: Sporticipate Squash & Racketball
By Harry Newton
If the university team isn’t for you, or you simply want to play a sport, such as squash/racketball, at a more chilled level, then maybe the more relaxed Sporticipate sessions are for you! With attendance at these events increasing each week, around 30 students are returning each week to take part in the squash/racketball sessions. This is a great way to make friends and be part of a team whilst learning and playing squash/racketball.
Also, you don’t even need much experience to play the sport, since one of the participants in the sessions states, “I did not have much experience before I started this September getting into squash. At the start it is easy to learn the basics, but to improve is a slower and longer process. The feeling is nice when you finally get better and own the T in the court. When you play against better players and never stand on T, it can be off-putting, but I try to see the positive and learn from it. I recommended squash to many of my friends and some off them started to get into it, too.”
With the university squash club already full up, this is a great way to play the sport, but also a great way to learn the sport ready for next year (or even semester two if spaces become available). The sessions themselves are really relaxed, as coach Max Gibbs mentions, “I try to make the sessions feel as welcoming and relaxed as possible so that it won’t deter anyone who wants to join in. I usually start assessing who needs my attention the most and set others off with practices or free play… then I leave them to it, which allows them to discover things for themselves and play the game in an even more relaxed environment.”
Although Sporticipate is arguably less competitive than the university teams, due to the results not actually counting for anything beyond your own personal accolade, it is a much more relaxed environment. Coach Max describes how he splits the group into teams of equally skilled players to play each other in competitive games. The sense of challenge and competitiveness is evident still. Max also states that “the difficulty of the sessions is easily managed by switching between racketball and squash and by varying the type of ball used for the session.”
Max adds, “I believe in making things manageable for players but also giving them a sense of a challenge.” So, whether to keep fit, pick up an old sport, or fall in love with a new one, you should go down to the squash/racketball sessions every Thursday 6:20 – 9pm.