The Freshers' Guide to North East Sports

Katie Siddall looks beyond St James' Park to give a tour of Tyneside's lesser known sports clubs

Katie Siddall
28th September 2021
Newcastle Benfield FC in action. Image: @StuartLaundy via Twitter
For those of you who are new to Newcastle, and interested in looking for sports teams, or even those returning who have never gotten around to looking – this article is perfect for you. Hopefully, this selection of sporting teams are what you are looking for!

Netball

The first sport is… NETBALL! Netball, this fun, “easy-going” (which it really isn’t! – trust me, I play and umpire) sport happens all year round, except August. There are many different teams to try out for, including The Seatonians, whose league play on Mondays and Wednesdays. Specifically looking at The Seatonians netball team, whether you’re new to the sport or not, they have a range of teams to trial for depending on your ability. They’re a fun team to play for, who also make you play your best because you want to! Whichever netball team you choose, the league matches are played at the Blue Flames Sports Hall. Not only can you play netball and enjoy your time… if you are currently going through umpire training, there are amazing coaches and mentors around to continue that journey up in Newcastle.

Cricket

Meanwhile, for those who love to swing a bat – cricket could be the one for you. Newcastle Cricket Club has multiple teams for all different abilities, like the Seatonians. Each team plays in different leagues from the North East Premier League and the Tyneside Cricket League. There is also a Women’s Team playing in the Northumberland Women’s Cricket League! The top performing batsman, on their website, has a highest run total of 165 NOT OUT! Why don’t you try to beat that many runs? Newcastle Cricket Club plays at Jesmond Cricket Ground, which happens to sell alcohol whilst matches are played. Those of your flatmates or housemates who come to watch can have a fun day in the sun.

Tennis

Another batting sport? Why not? Tennis could be the one for you! As well as swinging your racket at the courts in Leazes Park, you can take your chances at Jesmond or Gosforth Tennis Clubs. Venture out of town and see where you could be living next year (Jesmond being the student area of all student areas) whilst walking/biking/uber-ing your way to play. The cost of Gosforth Tennis Club is as reasonable as £2 Tuesdays at Greenhouse, which we all adore, because per court is £8 for two hours. If you need floodlights, as we head into winter, then you’ll have to pay £2 for those two hours of lights on top of the court. Pricing-wise, if you go as two doubles – how cheap? VERY! Between September and March, the Gosforth Tennis Club also holds men and women’s nights – look on their website for more information.

Football

Then for those football fanatics, you can go and watch - or kick a ball about with - Newcastle Benfield F.C. They are currently in Division 1 of the Northern League. This league only holds amateur clubs, as in 1906 at an annual meeting it was decided that professional clubs were no longer allowed to enter this league. There is an annual dinner at the end of the season, whereby they give out awards – that’d be one crazy, fun and (potentially) drunk night for you to enjoy.

No matter what sport you choose, you’ll have fun and make plenty of friends! Now there are no restrictions, make the most of your time and do what you enjoy.

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