It's more than playing sports

I initially started on the Dance course at BNU but after doing further research into what I wanted for my future career I transferred courses to Sports and Exercise Science. With the support of lecturers, the Students’ Union and friends, I could continue dancing and competing by joining BNU Dance Club. By becoming more involved with the Students’ Union I was able to join other clubs such as ladies' football and take part in various volunteering opportunities. 

As a fresher, I was reluctant to join any clubs at first however at the end of the day we were all new once, and you never know you'll like something unless you try. I started BNU moving to a new area and not knowing anyone, joining clubs allowed me to meet new people with similar interests and build my confidence.

In my first year, I auditioned for the Advanced Street Team, which I got into. Unfortunately due to Covid, we were unable to compete that year however it was still a great experience to meet new people and share our creativity. Being surrounded by other dancers that I looked up to encouraged me to go for the choreographer position in my second year. My second year of university was a very positive experience for me as I became the Novice Street Choreographer of BNU Dance Club and the Social Secretary of Bucks Ladies Football. 

Novice Street Choreographer allowed me to share my creativity with others from teaching masterclasses to competing at multiple competitions and coming back with amazing results. I was also able to join teams within the dance club such as Jazz, Contemporary and Tap broadening my knowledge of the styles, whilst still being able to study my chosen course.

Joining the Bucks ladies football team has been a journey of consistent training and game opportunities. Becoming part of the committee had additional responsibility but I was always able to come to anyone at the students’ Union if I had questions. As social secretary, I was able to arrange trips such as mini golf and trampolining to encourage team building and meeting new people.

The team at the Students’ Union helped so much in supporting the role and keeping me fully informed about my duties and assisting me with the best way to carry them out whilst balancing training and my studies. There’s so much more on offer than simply ‘playing sports’ and it’s all down to the Students’ Union’s commitment to providing the Big Deal, which means all students can take part in any sport free of charge. It’s a fantastic offer that opens up sporting opportunities to everyone and removes so many barriers, and I would advise all freshers to take advantage of this and try their hand at any sport that interests them, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

- Italia-Cardai Coote