If you take a break from your work in the Main Library (other libraries are available) and are walking through The Meadows on a Sunday afternoon, it is very rare that you won’t see one of Edinburgh’s many sports clubs training whether the sun is shining, or rain is pouring. And when the weather is nicer, it is likely that other societies will be out there too for a picnic or BBQ. Balancing your studies and extra activities is a really important part of university.
And that’s why Welcome Week is so important: it’s an opportunity to try out new things but also find people who love the things you love, whether that’s through sports clubs, volunteering or societies. Welcome Week offers trials and events for an array of opportunities available across the university (and yes, that does mean free pizza). Stay tuned for more information about Welcome Week, including the opportunity to download the University’s Events app!
Whether you’re a pro at football, want to play badminton for fun or just want to try out surfing, there is something for everyone. The university has over 70 sports clubs, with new ones being created each year, from the classic rugby, football and athletics to the not so classic parkour, roller hockey and ultimate frisbee. Whilst many clubs require memberships, there are also opportunities for recreational sport and one-off sessions which require less commitment.
This year, I joined rounders, during their first year as a club, as it’s one of the most chilled sports clubs out there (for those that didn’t grow up playing rounders at school, it’s very similar to softball or baseball). Some of my favourite moments of my year in Edinburgh were heading to the Meadows on Wednesdays and Sundays for the training sessions and recreational play. It’s a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise!
If you don’t want to join a club, there are so many facilities to help keep you active across the gyms, whether it’s climbing and bouldering, swimming, playing squash or simply just using the gym. (But I’d recommend doing a tour during welcome week because it’s HUGE!)
With over 300 societies, volunteering groups and social enterprises to choose from, if sport isn’t your thing then don’t worry!
This includes everything from dance (e.g. ballroom or afrobeats) to languages and cultures (e.g. Spanish or Filipino) to academics (e.g. business or psychology) to volunteering (e.g. STAR or dirty weekenders) to religion and politics (e.g. first love or greens) and everything in between (e.g. bad film, book club, gaming, hot chocolate). And of course, in Edinburgh, there has to be a Harry Potter society!
After welcome week I decided to join CHV (Children’s Holiday Venture), a student-led charity, as a team leader. This involved taking disadvantaged children from Edinburgh on biweekly evening trips to places such as trampoline parks or bowling, or even bringing them back to the university for science nights or scavenger hunts! Again, this was one of the best things I did this year and I’m so sad to be leaving all the wonderful volunteers and children!