I’m not a natural athlete and I never really have been. This is why I was reluctant to try my hand at sports when I first came to university. I knew I wasn’t good enough at any sport to join a uni team and even if I were, I was a fresher far too intimidated by the thought of attending trials anyhow. For these reasons, I bypassed sports completely. I didn’t know what Intra Mural (IM) was and it wasn’t until it was too late in the year to join, that I discovered it.
This meant that during my first year, my only exercise consisted of the walk to and from Ranmoor to uni and whilst this felt like enough of a workout, I was well aware that I should be doing more. In a bid to change my ways in my second year, I decided to try give IM a try.
Most subjects take part in Intra Mural sport and mine (history) have two teams for netball. As I said, I’m no athlete but I have had some experience of playing netball in high school and so I wasn’t opposed to the idea. Trials took place in September but as you don’t actually have to be good at sports to play IM, these were low pressure and everyone who attended was given a place on the team.
I was placed in the 4-6 league which meant that for me, IM entailed playing a 40-minute match against another subject each week between 4pm and 6pm on a Tuesday. These matches were played at Goodwin sports hall, where an umpire would keep score and ensure the players footwork was in check. The cost for this was divided between our team and meant that the price to play netball, over the course of 6 months, was small.
Netball became a part of my routine and I genuinely looked forward to the matches ahead. I was exercising more but this didn’t feel like a chore because I was usually too focused on the game. Joining netball gave me the opportunity to meet people on my course that I hadn’t already and I liked representing my subject as well as the healthy element of competition that exists between other subjects.
I won’t say that I’m any good at netball but I will say that I was better than I was before. As a team, we’ve had our wins but we’ve had more losses (12 to be exact). This can be demoralising but the beauty of IM is that it doesn’t matter. As the old-age saying goes, ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ and this is very much applicable here. Sadly, our team wasn’t great enough to make it to the knockouts this year but this doesn’t mean that our team enjoyed the experience any less. In fact, we enjoyed the experience so much that we’ve registered ourselves for the Netball Stressbuster league that IM are running throughout the exam season.
If like you are anything like I was and are reluctant to give sports at uni a try, I would recommend Intra Mural. It doesn’t require a lot of commitment, it doesn’t cost a lot but playing in a team with other course mates is something that I’ve found to be a lot of fun.