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Finding a community through water sports and dance

Undergraduate student, Lucy, has taken part in a variety of sports since starting at Bath, including canoeing and Latin and Ballroom dance.

Lucy in her garden in Bath.
Lucy joined Canoe Club during Freshers' Week at Bath.

Lucy is a student on the BSc (Hons) Politics and International Relations course at Bath.

Getting a taste of sport at Bath

Before coming to university, I had very limited involvement in sports as I could not afford to take part in out-of-school activities. However, since coming to Bath I have been able to take part in a whole host of different sports.

When I started, I felt the need to try out as many sports as possible and Freshers’ Week gave me a chance to do this with free tasters for every sport. I went to everything that looked interesting and decided upon two clubs: Canoe and Latin & Ballroom Dance. Both were a major part of my assimilation into life at Bath and I have been able to meet so many amazing people because of them. I would say that my closest friends have come from my extracurricular activities.

Joining the Canoe Club

Before I started university, I would not have guessed that kayaking would be my main source of exercise and social life and yet here we are. At the start of my first year, I attended the Freshers’ barbecue that the Canoe Club ran and decided that these were my kind of people and that kayaking was a good sport to commit to.

Within the Canoe Club, I am a member of the Canoe Polo team and regularly take part in competitions against other universities. This has been an amazing opportunity to bond with my fellow team members and meet people from different universities too. The whole idea of being in a team really appeals to me as everyone is supportive of each other and even sitting on the sidelines is a fun time when you’re shouting for your teammates.

A big part of Canoe Club is kayaking on white water. With trips being so cheap, I have been able to go to some beautiful parts of the country and experience thrills I would not have been able to without the use of the club kit and club boats.

Taking up dance

Latin and Ballroom dance is something that, growing up, I always wanted to do, and, by attending Bath, I had the opportunity to start lessons on campus in the evenings or go to sequence or social dancing. The lessons are run by external teachers, and I really feel like I’m learning technical dance skills which I could impress my friends and family with.

Social dancing is a great chance to meet and dance with other people and learn from the more experienced people in the club. There was a real community vibe, and I’ve enjoyed every part of it.

Exercising to de-stress

One of the reasons I chose to come to Bath was because of where the campus is situated. The surrounding area is so beautiful and often in my first year I would leave my accommodation to walk up to Sham Castle or behind campus to the golf course and Bath Skyline walk. This gave me a really nice time to de-stress in the mornings before lectures or in the evenings to watch the sunsets.

The Mountaineering Club runs guided walks around the local area as well that I loved taking from campus and they gave me some ideas for walks to do independently.

Sport has become a massive part of my student experience at Bath. I have seen a definite increase in my overall physical fitness and mental health since starting at the University. There is a general positive attitude among students towards exercise. Access to clubs has meant that I can really switch off from my studies, and the fact that I needed no prior experience or specialist kit made me even more eager to join in.