Twenty-Twelve: New Year, New You

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Twenty-twelve – a New Year and the dawn of a new term. The time is nigh for morale-boosting team talks, substituting procrastination for a super-human work ethic, and going all Usain Bolt on your rivals to leave them cleaning your dust out of their eyes. It’s resolution time, and for those looking for something more achievable this term than “revise for collections”, “actually enjoy a night at No. 9” or “write a whole article without mentioning the MGA 3rds”, Oxford sport has mountains on offer this Hilary to help you work off those Michaelmas mince pies.
Hilary term is the perfect time for those who haven’t been involved in college sport to get stuck in.

It’s a time when finalists will start thinking twice before leaving the library, and turkey-burdened regulars are no longer dead certs for the starting line-up. The cornucopia of sporting options available really is limitless: if there is nothing in your college which takes your fancy, start up a new team. Even if it turns out to be a complete flop at least you can exaggerate the bejesus out of it on your CV.

As well as the surplus of college sport available, the scope of opportunity for personal exercise at Oxford is equally expansive. Why not build on that 3am sprint to a kebab van by jogging blissfully along one of Oxford’s many riverbanks? Why not unlock your bike for more than a last minute dash to lectures by braving the ‘alternative’ Himalayas of Portmeadow’s nature reserve? Why not exploit your skinny dipping talents by diving in at the deep end at Iffley’s swimming pool (but please do remain decent)? Or at least try throwing a few darts between sips.

A few colleges also provide gyms on site, and although often primitive they are always conveniently located and definitely sufficiently equipped. The prospect of pumping reps alongside the next Martin Johnson may seem intimidating to some of us mere mortals, but you won’t always be surrounded by people who say ‘don’t worry, it’s not an airstrike, it’s just my massive guns’ every time they flex a bicep. If you choose your times carefully college gyms can be great hangouts and a great way of getting out of the Oxford bubble for a few hours, offering a brilliant way of easing out all the stress from those 9ams you occasionally frequent.

Those colleges that don’t have their own facilities often provide discounted or free membership to the Iffley Road sports complex, so make sure to check with yours if interested. Even without a discount the Iffley gym is great value – with the Jack Wills sale less generous than expected this year, many Oxford students may find the £57 a year (gym only) a much better use of their Christmas savings.

So get out there, give something new a go, and reap the rewards of regular exercise in your academic and social lives. And if the thought of applying your body in an active sporting environment really is all a bit too much, well there’s always cricket to be played in Trinity.

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