Term opened with a somewhat refreshing publicity boost directing us towards the opening fixtures of the BUCS season, but has it been enough? Sports Officer Alex Roberts sent out infographics of scheduled highlights we could all attend in search of a campus-wide fan base to get behind our 65 clubs, and in particular, those with BUCS outfits.
While the sparkly adverts have been shared, and a ‘game of the week’ highlight introduced, such scheduling information has hardly been scarce in recent years. Yet, when you stand on the sidelines of such games, there are often more medics in attendance than fans.
Nevertheless, clubs themselves appear to have stellar audience alliances – most notably Men’s Football and Women’s Netball who will frequently attend each other’s games to cheer Team Warwick. Then, there’s Varsity. We fill up half of Coventry’s Planet Ice for the finale, and attracted 100+ spectators to the opening Basketball spectacle this year.
Impressive as those crowds may seem, we are a university of over 25,000. In light of that figure the support base for our sport clubs is measly at best. With our campus one of the biggest in the UK space-wise, it can seem daunting to trek around for the pleasure of standing on a cold, muddy pitch in Week 7 when both essays and influenza are due.
From day one we demonise Westwood as a separate body to the main campus, but in reality it’s a ten-minute walk from the sports centre. As for the Cryfield pitches, now that the bus interchange has shifted campus’ centre of gravity towards the Students’ Union, watching the plethora of home games hosted at Warwick every Wednesday has never been easier nor more convenient.
As for results, imagine the impact we could have on Warwick’s place in BUCS simply by showing our support? Women’s Football Social Officer Danielle Boughey told me that sideline support indeed boosts morale and thus player performance: “For us, the atmosphere at games is so important. The girls agree that they naturally play better when someone is cheering them on and they’ve got fans to impress.”
With our campus one of the biggest in the UK space-wise, it can seem daunting to trek around for the pleasure of standing on a cold, muddy pitch in Week 7 when both essays and influenza are due.
With spectatorship and interest in women’s sports growing, yet still globally depressed relative to that of their male-counterpart games, grass roots sport is an easy way to address the imbalance and show forward-thinking support.
Action points to note going forward, then: update yourself on fixtures lists, pick out a team or two that interests you. Turn out for some of their matches with peers, if not to cheer on the team, then at least to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the bubble.