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Club Northumbria: Three Sports in One Week

Louisa Ruster Campus Life

If you’re looking for some extracurricular activities which will keep you fit during the term, Club Northumbria is the place to go! Providing a large variety of sports including classics such as Football, Tennis, Rugby and Swimming, Club Northumbria also offers sessions for even the most exotic athletic taste such as MMA, Korfball or Ultimate Frisbee.

May -17-16_Club -North -Review _FeaturedIf you choose to become a member of Sport Central, you will be able to take out a Club Northumbria subscription for half the usual price, and you can also use any of the facilities such as the gym, the swimming pool or the climbing wall. But even if you’re not a member, you can pay a small fee to get into a session and "pay as you play".

For this review, I tried to pick on three kinds of sports which I considered to be very different from each other – however, I learned that they weren’t really after all…

1. Boxing

I think of myself as an athletic individual having tried and still practising a wide range of sports, however, I was an absolute beginner when it comes to boxing. The coach was very friendly and supportive; he started off with explaining a bit of theory to me before actually starting.

So the hand you write with is called the “back hand” whereas your other hand will be referred to as the “jab”. As far as I understood, the ultimate game of boxing is to not get knocked-out, that means you must protect your face at all times.

I have always been convinced that boxing is all about strength, but in fact, it is much more about cardio as there as one hell of footwork involved – and this is what makes Boxing incredibly exhausting. In addition to practising several sequences of strikes combining low and high punches with your backhand and jab, we therefore did a lot of running exercises. The groups are rather small, so that the coach always finds time to teach and correct you individually.

I was surprised when the coach compared boxing to playing chess, but it made sense after all: you always have to predict the next move of your opponent in order to react accordingly and as quickly as possible. So Boxing isn’t just primitive punching each other as one might think…

I believe if you wish to stay fit or get in shape, Boxing is definitely a good sport for you as I was soaking wet sweated at the end but I really enjoyed it! Training is usually twice a week, one for beginners and one for advanced boxers. In addition, there is one session for girls only.

2. Squash

As you might know, you can also book one of three Squash Courts plus equipment at Northumbria Sports Central. As I play Tennis myself, I thought I would not need the taster session and chose to simply have a hit with a friend.

However, it turned out that my Tennis skills weren’t too beneficial in the end as the technique is completely different and even more so the rules. Just as boxing, Squash is all about thinking ahead of your partner and calculating his next hit.

The rules are quite easy; the basic aim is to hit the ball against the walls, ideally one more time than your partner. Consequently, you want to target your shot in a corner where your partner will have big trouble to get to.

Another similarity to boxing is the foot work; depending on the power of your partner’s shot the ball bounces extremely fast which demands some very exhausting sprints at times. Did you know that Squash is frequently named the most physically demanding sport? I can now see why having sore muscles even a week after having played…

3. Archery

Not least due to Katniss Everdeen of the hunger games movies I have always wanted to try the majestic discipline of Archery. So I hopped on the free shuttle bus which took me from Civic Centre to the Coach Lane Sports Campus.

Steve, the coach took a lot of time explaining the idea of Archery and provided me with a first class induction. As with any other sport, a good technique is the fundament for success. What I find so significant about Archery is that if you move the arrow only 1 mm before shooting it can make a 30cm difference on the target. This is where it can become quite frustrating as even the tiniest change in position can have such a huge impact.

It’s hard to describe what I liked so much about this sport, but I think it just feels very rewarding just releasing the arrow beneath your face and immediately seeing a result on the target. I also think the whole movement looks so graceful and elegant – even without having tried it before.

Other than Boxing or Squash, Archery is not that physically demanding; all the more striking is your mind. As Steve told me, hitting the target must not be the ultimate game of an archer but being consistent within your shots and hitting the same spot several times in a row is the key to success. The challenge is therefore to stay focused and try to keep your movements as consistent as possible. Maybe this is why I felt oddly relaxed after the session as I blocked any other thought but the one of my next shot.

Steve is very passionate about his sport and is a great coach; if you share his passion of archery or would like to give it a go I would definitely recommend to do so as it will be great experience! I am now even thinking about getting bow and arrows myself…

For information on Club Northumbria and the different sports you could play, check out their website here.

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