AU Officer: Welcome back, Team Newcastle

Your Athletic Union Officer discusses the importance of the return of sport on campus

Fergus Mainland
27th November 2021
Athletic Union Officer Fergus Mainland. Image: @nusu_au via Instagram
Over the course of the pandemic, the sporting world took one hell of a knockout blow. Grassroots sports was decimated, the Olympic Games postponed, and passion was drained from stadiums as fixtures were played behind closed doors.

And then we waited. Deadlines came and went as to when we would be back on the pitches. I remember going home, checking the calendar, and seeing that BUCS Regatta was 4 weeks after Day 1 of lockdown, foolishly thinking that a three-week lockdown would be long enough to fix COVID. Hindsight really is a wonderful thing. Three lockdowns later and the sporting world couldn’t be more different to those bleak days, absent of atmosphere.

For so many in the sporting circles - fans, players, coaches, and pundits - sport is a way of life. Those who live and breathe sport gain a sense of belonging, a purpose, and an identity. Many lost their way during the pandemic.

Those who live and breathe sport gain a sense of belonging, a purpose, and an identity.

However, as we have emerged from the pandemic and society returns to something resembling what we are used to (I hate the phrase ‘new normal by the way), I have taken a huge amount of inspiration from our 62 sports clubs and what they have achieved. I’ve seen a passion re-emerge that you only ever see in the sporting arena and bonds have been re-formed that you only ever get when you are fighting towards a common goal with a friend or a teammate.

One side of this is the social community. It’s a cliché that so often gets chucked about but you really do make friends for life whilst participating in university sport. You win together, lose together, often live together and you see each other’s emotions at their most raw and pure. When the team successfully comes together, the trust and camaraderie can at times be invincible, regardless of the situation it finds itself in.

At present our clubs have hit the ground running admirably. We sit ninth overall on the BUCS table which is testament to all the hard work behind the scenes. Sport is as strong as it has ever been at this university and as such, now is the perfect opportunity to reignite Team Newcastle. This has been a strong and powerful brand, one which brings together the Athletic Union, the Sports Centre and everyone that positively contributes to the success of our student athletes.

Now is the perfect time to engage our students with the joys of sport.

Now is the perfect time to engage our students with the joys of sport. We had over 30 home fixtures across our sports centre and it’s all free, high-quality sport to go and watch. Team Newcastle is the players, the coaches, but it is also the supporters. It’s our fellow students getting out and being the loud voice for opposition to fear. I have big plans to make Team Newcastle a dominant force in UK sport but also creating a widely recognisable and respected brand to accompany it.

Sport is one of this university’s best assets and it’s one we should all be incredibly proud of and want to engage with.

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