Sports to look out for in Michaelmas

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Want to play university level sport but not played much Rugby or Football? Never fear, Cherwell Sport asked three students to talk about some of the less obvious university sports that welcome everyone from the expert to the complete novice.

American Football

The perception of American football is not always a positive one. The brutish force of the hits, the constant stop-start nature of the game, the gladiatorial armour 
that somehow is seen as emasculating… all have contributed to a dislike of the sport. It is somewhat alien to us here, something ostentatiously and overtly American, with Air Force flyovers lighting up the already star-spangled atmosphere. It almost feels like a pantomime — something to ridicule.

This being said, there is a great beauty in a sport that elicits such passion. There is no greater feeling than seeing a play executed properly, typified by a perfect spiral of a deep ball as it falls into the hands of the receiver. It is a game of strength and power, but it is also one of intelligence and strategy. The whole team has to come together and perform to win.

No person is less important than the other: for instance, if the offensive line can’t go, then the passing and running game won’t work. It is a sport that needs numbers, passion and cohesion. Even on a cold, muddy pitch in Buckinghamshire, the exhilaration of putting on your helmet, running onto the field with your teammates, and playing the hardest you can means there is no place you’d rather be. So if you already love American Football and have played for years, or are just starting out and want to try something new, why not come down and join the Oxford University American Football Lancers? You can be part of a close-knit, passionate unit that wants to win.

Also, Cambridge is in our conference this year: who could pass up another chance to shoe the tabs? Go Lancers.

Tom Fox

 

Korfball

“‘Korfball’… what does that even mean?” “No wait, you’re saying that’s an actual sport?” “Sounds like some kind of rolled minced meat.”

Similar things crossed my mind when I first discovered Korfball on the list of things I had absentmindedly signed up for during Fresh- ers’ Fair. A year on and I’ve travelled around the country attending tournaments and played in the most thrilling sports match of my life against Cambridge.

Korfball is a mixed team sport lying some- where between basketball and netball, with a team of eight split into four girls and four guys. The dynamic passing and movement has more of a netball feel but the fast paced, end-to-end play and shooting style (from short-range layup shots to five metre hero shots) can seem a lot more like basketball. The nature of the game means you’ve got to be a team player to win (though some nice shooting skills definitely won’t hurt).
Korfball at Oxford attracts a wide range of players, from fresh- ers to PhD students, new- bies to experienced play- ers and of course both guys and girls. We’re fun-loving (with some good socials lined up this term), but com- petitive nonetheless. We compete weekly in the Oxfordshire league, BUCS tournaments and the annual Varsity Match against Cambridge.

Come down to Iffley Sports Centre for our first training/ taster sessions on Sunday morn- ing from 11-12:30am and Wednes- day evening from 9-10:30pm in 1st week.

Alastair Glennie

 

Boxing

Well done, you’ve made it to Oxford. Unfortunately, UCAS has made a grave misunderstanding and misspelt the name of the university by neglecting its first letter: B. That’s right, you’ve been accepted to Boxford. But seriously, you’re a fresher and I know what you’re thinking, it’s time for that glorious fresh start.

You’ve no doubt been told that a world of infinite possibilities is right here in the ‘city of dreaming spires’. This may be true, but what if I told you that you’d be sure to experience something fantastical by venturing just out side of the city and sailing right of the Cape of Good Hope (this, of course, being the pub on the Cowley roundabout)? Keep following that road to Oxford’s Iffley Road Sports Complex and if you rock up at the correct time you’ll have entered OUABC (Oxford University Amateur Boxing Club) territory.

Chances are you’ve never boxed before and the even greater chances are that you’ve never imagined yourself boxing. Now is your opportunity to seize the day by wrapping both hands around a skipping rope and conjuring up those finely-honed playground skills. OUABC is an incredibly inclusive bunch and many of its members are there to train with the club, not necessarily to spar.

Boxing training is a great overall workout consisting of intensive cardio through skip- ping, strength training through body weight exercises and technique work with a punch bag or in pairs. We must stress that we are very open to girls training, and indeed sparring. So if you’re interested in improving your general fitness (or at least keeping it intact through- out a term of dodgy student nutrition), or if you fancy yourself sporting a full blue at Varsity then you’d better start committing now. Most importantly, just chill. No one’s going to throw you into the ring from the beginning. You’ll only spar if and when you want to and the coaches feel you’re ready.

Just bring water; with two free sessions there’s no excuse to not get stuck in. Will you make it to Boxford?

Summer Taylor

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