If you want to take part in more structured, competitive sport, virtually all universities field a range of representative teams across a range of sports.
- They take part in matches against other universities and often also participate in local leagues and other competitions.
- So if you're a member of a representative team you can expect to play a couple of matches a week, one against another university (usually on a Wednesday afternoon) and the other against a local sports club. You'll probably also have at least one training and/or coaching session.
An increasing number of universities now employ professional coaches (either full- or part-time) for most of their student clubs/teams
- The professionals are often supported by student members with a coaching qualification who will help coach new members.
- As a result, if you're interested in becoming a coach the cost of getting the necessary qualification – which will obviously look good on your CV – may well be subsidised by the club or sports union. The same goes for those interested in umpiring or refereeing.
Around 150 universities and higher education institutions are members of British Universities & Colleges Sports. BUCS is the national organization for higher education sport in the UK, offering a comprehensive, multi-sport competition structure and managing the development of services and facilities for participative, grass-roots sport and healthy campuses through to high performance, elite athletes. Its vision is to enhance the student experience in three key areas:
The BUCS sporting programme is available to the 2.3 million students across the UK and over 100,000 students regularly compete in BUCS competitions, leagues and events.
- BUCS delivers 50 sports to these students and universities and organises 150 individual final or championship events each year.
- BUCS collates all the results and produces 'ranking points' for all participating universities each year, so the higher a university's BUCS ranking (see the University Sports Table) the higher the overall standard of sports performance.
In certain sports the top university teams in the BUCS competition are eligible to compete in European Universities Sports Association (EUSA) competitions which are 'Champions League' competitions and provide the opportunity for university teams to compete against the best in Europe.
- BUCS also selects the British Universities' teams for events such as the World University Games (WUGs), the second biggest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics.
- The 2013 World University Summer Games will be held in Kazan, Russia and the Winter games in Trentino, Italy.
- In intervening years (2012, 2014) some 30 other sports not involved in the WUGs have separate World University Championships in which GB student teams compete.
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