Image: Wikimedia Commons/ Acabashi
Image: Wikimedia Commons/ Acabashi

What does it take to run a University sports club?

When asked to describe being on Exec in three words I’d be lying if ‘fulfilling’, ‘exciting’, or ‘memorable’ are the first words that spring to mind. Personally, ‘stressful’, ‘exhausting’, and ‘risk assessments’ ring a lot truer. Even the word ‘Akuma’ makes me tremble.

While I find being president of Women’s Cricket very rewarding, I want to be candid and say it has not been the smoothest of joyrides since the start of term. More akin to Alton Towers’ ‘Oblivion’ ride where you’re tempted into a false sense of security over the summer as you fantasise about all your future plans for the club, until you find yourself at the vertical drop – also known as the start of the academic year. 

But what on earth is ‘Exec’? I asked the same question in my first year as I heard the word thrown around like it was some secret club that only the more intellectually and athletically superior could be part of. In reality, it’s a bunch of enthusiastic students who are elected to keep the sports clubs ticking over. Responsible for arranging matches, kit, charity events, to social events like nights out and circling, the positions of the ‘Executive Committee’ are vital to ensure that university students can take part in the sports they love while having fun and making lifelong memories. And, no, you don’t get paid.

Speaking for Women’s Cricket the first half of first term has been a great success for the club and it’s members. We had a great turnout at the Sports Fair and Sports Day with lots of interest from both first-years to post-graduates. Training sessions have seen good attendance (many thanks to the Club and First XI Captains), and our social events like circling, bowling, and movie night have helped build a sense of community early on. As of writing, the much anticipated Cricket Ball is about to take place which means we are all scrambling to find outfits (myself included). 

As I know many of the smaller societies and clubs will relate to, UWWCC has felt the repercussions of the pandemic badly this term. We started the academic year missing two key roles of our Executive Committee: Charities & Tour Officer, and Publicity & Campaigns Officer. It has not been easy to juggle the responsibilities of these roles which felt like another slap in the face after a whole year of lockdowns. 

There’s nothing we’re more passionate about than the growth of women’s cricket, and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to help the club at Warwick

On top of this, raising awareness of women’s cricket at the university, and attracting new members has been a challenge. On one side, the pandemic reduced our social members which has had trickle-down effects on this year, and on the other side, you have the patriarchy saying that women can’t play cricket. However, thanks to the efforts of the current Exec we managed to overcome these obstacles and have surpassed the previous year’s membership count. Woohoo!

Despite the stress that running a University sports club brings, the Exec would all agree that it is exceptionally fulfilling and we have learned a lot, especially having never been on the committee before. So far, our time management and organisational skills have been put to the test and each of us has grown in confidence. I now have the delegation skills of a god, and if you ask them, the Exec will jump to tell you how inspiring and motivating my weekly meetings are. Well, under duress maybe. Sarcasm aside, I am being truthful when I say there’s nothing we’re more passionate about than the growth of women’s cricket, and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to help the club at Warwick.

Having said all this, there’s still much to be done and much more to learn in the coming year. The Women’s Indoor Midlands Cricket Tournament is in December and the BUCS Play app is incoming (if you know you know). It’s been very exciting to see our members improve, and we are relishing the start of an indoor competition that Covid prevented last year. 

So, there’s your short VIP insight into Exec life at UWWCC, which I’m sure you’ve been absolutely dying to read about. We can’t wait for what’s next in store, but our Akuma cricket kit better be one of them.

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