Falling with style

As a skydiver I am often asked why I keep on jumping: “Doesn’t it get boring to do the same thing over and over again?” The answer is simply no! Skydiving is a multi-faceted sport where people participate and compete in a wide variety of disciplines ranging from canopy or freefall formations where jumpers aim to complete a sequence of shapes in freefall or under canopy, to competitions in individual canopy handling where you fly your parachute at very high speeds just a few feet above the ground (do you fly your canopy or does it fly you?!). The competition also includes artistic freefall, where visual beauty and synchronization is in focus. Common to all disciplines is speed, precision, accuracy and adrenalin.

So is skydiving only for the competitive? Again the answer is no! Aside from joining an incredibly social community and enjoying the view of the earth from a birds-eye perspective you will also challenge your basic instincts, overcome fears and as such gain a great deal of confidence in yourself and your own abilities. As you stand in the door of the plane, ready to throw yourself out, you’re truly living in the “now”, forgetting the anxiety and stresses of everyday life, and it is therefore widely believed that skydiving leads to an increased quality of life.

Skydive Warwick is the biggest and most successful university-run skydiving club in the country: last year we raised a record-breaking £60,000 for charities around the world through “The Great Warwick Jump”, and we are currently topping the inter-university skydiving league, a league that will culminate with the collegiate nationals in July. This year, as a unique initiative, five of our members have teamed up to compete in “4-way formation skydiving” in the UK Skydiving League and at the British Nationals in August. In four-way, there are 36 pre-set “formations” (or shapes) that can be formed, and in a “round” three to four of those are chosen to comprise a sequential. In a competition six separate rounds are completed, and in each skydive you have 35 seconds to complete the sequential as many times as possible. A camera man is part of the team and films each round from start to finish. The round is then scored by three judges – a team is awarded one point per completed formation – and at the end of the competition the team with the most points over the six rounds win; simple enough!

Training for a UK national event will likely be more challenging (and fun!) than all our degrees combined. It is a huge financial commitment; we are each contributing £2000 for training and competition, however, this is a relatively small budget compared to most teams we’re up against! This was recognized by our University, who generously provided us with a £1000 bursary from the Giving to Warwick Opportunity Fund, in order for us to further our training. The Opportunity Fund was set up in 2001 by the Warwick Graduates Association to support student, club and society projects, and is now funded by generous donations from Warwick alumni and friends. More information the Opportunity Fund can be found [online](http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/alumni/giving/supportstudents/environment/opportunityfund/)

Skydive Warwick caters for all types of jumpers; from absolute beginners to recreational skydivers as well as the competitive-minded. We run an annual trip abroad; this year to Skydive Perris in California where a single skydive costs as little as £12.50! As skydiving is an adult sport (minimum age of 18 or 16 with parental consent) it is really never too late to learn! We run on-demand beginners’ courses for the rest of the academic year, so if you want to join us in the air then drop us an [e-mail](mailto:info@skydivewarwick.co.uk) or check out [the website](http://www.skydivewarwick.co.uk).


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