The range and quality of student sports clubs, facilities and classes available will be a revelation.
- Most universities offer a full range of traditional sports such as football, rugby, netball, badminton, hockey, cricket, tennis and squash.
- Many universities also provide less common sports such as archery, American football, caving, fencing, gliding, hot air ballooning, motor sports, sub-aqua, triathlon, ultimate Frisbee and windsurfing.
- The list is varied and constantly changing in response to students' needs and expectations.
- In addition, there will be opportunities to take part in a wide range of 'lifestyle' or fitness activities from Zumba to Pilates and working out in high quality gyms that in many universities are every bit as good as those in the trendiest commercial fitness club – but much better value for money.
- University sport and physical activity continues to develop and is seen as an important component of the student experience.
Don't worry if you've never played a particular sport or want to try a new activity.
- Most institutions offer both beginner classes and coaching for those who wish to improve, usually provided either by the staff employed in university sport and recreation departments (they go by various titles) or fellow students.
- The emphasis is often on Sport for All and an encouragement to try something new.
- If team sports are not your thing there is usually a broad range of classes and recreational programmes on offer.
- Over 1.7 million students take part in regular physical activity.
Qualified coaches will run most of the classes in popular activities such as badminton, golf, squash and aerobics, and any equipment you need, such as bows and arrows or racquets and balls, will be readily available.
- The scale and range of taught recreation programmes varies from one university to another, with some offering over 100 classes a week.
- They provide an ideal opportunity to grasp the basics of a sport or a range of activities both cheaply and without any long-term commitment.
- Many universities offer coaching courses and provide leadership and volunteering opportunities for students.
Next page: Student-Run Sport