This was me a few weeks ago celebrating with my teammates at our end of season BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) netball dinner. I’m honoured to say that I won the award for the best fake tan.
As an exchange student, joining the University of Bath BUCS Netball team opened up a range of opportunities. The netball program was comprehensive, including two strength and conditioning sessions per week, pool recovery options, court training sessions and games. Joining a sports team will definitely compensate for being in charge of your own diet, but it’s also the best way to connect with other students. As an international exchange student, it can sometimes be difficult to fully integrate with the full-time students, unless you live in the same accommodation. Playing netball at Bath helped me to build strong friendships with my teammates and their extended friendship group.
The BUCS Netball team take part in weekly competitions and travel to other universities around South West England including Exeter, Bristol and Swansea. This gave me the chance to see places that I wouldn't have otherwise visited. I also had the opportunity to go to London and play in the Red Bull Switch Up Tournament at the Copper Box Arena.
Being in the Western Conference Cup final was quite exciting, but winning it was even better. We came runners up in the League final, losing to Exeter in the last quarter.
BUCS games are celebrated every Wednesday night at a team social with a different dress theme each week. This is usually followed by Score, a club night in The Students' Union, with all the other sports. It's a great chance to meet other sports teams and shred up the dance floor. The most memorable theme this year was ‘Around the World.' My team decided to celebrate my cultural heritage and dress up as Aussies. Although there were some shocking accent attempts, the costumes were incredibly impressive.
If you're considering an international exchange, or even if you're a UK student considering joining a sports club, I recommend you go for it! It has honestly made my experience at Bath one to remember and has resulted in friendships that will last me for a lifetime.