My experience playing football at uni

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I had never played football before, but ended up winning the most-improved player award.
A photo of Liam Newman-Sharkey.
Liam Newman-Sharkey

When I joined UCLan as a first year. I knew I needed to socialise in order to make friends and enjoy my time at uni. To do this, I decided to join a football team since it is something I’ve been interested in for a while, but never properly played. My confidence was initially very low socially and in terms of football ability, but I knew I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Joining the football club opened my horizons at university. I have met people with the same hobby, creating common ground that has allowed me to become closer with the people in the club. This has massively improved my confidence at university. This is because if I was struggling if I was struggling with my course or something else, I could talk to my teammates about it. Plus, the physical exercise has a lot of mental health benefits. 

Playing in the SUL 11-a-side and 5-a-side was a fun challenge. Even though we weren’t the best in the league, our performance naturally improved throughout the competition. I could also see an improvement in my performance as I played more and more.

Football is a society, so naturally there are social events outside of training and playing matches. Often times, these are with other societies from across the university. These normally involve some sort of challenge where societies compete against each other. This allows you to meet new people and find new clubs that you could be interested in joining. Most of all though, it allows you to get closer to your teammates. One of the major social events was the Sports Ball. All of the sports clubs are invited to the Sports Ball, which includes a 3 course meal and awards to celebrate the achievements of the sports teams throughout the year.

My experience joining the club as a new player was incredibly positive. The football club were very accommodating and gave me all the support I needed to improve. In fact, I won most improved player overall. This is just my experience within football, but there are many sports across the university. These clubs often welcome people of all abilities and they will support you to help you improve.