Rachel is a student on the BSc (Hons) International Development with Economics course at Bath.
Something for everyone
As a second-year student at Bath, I’ve explored as much of the campus and facilities as I can and feel like I’ve got a good grasp of all the University has to offer.
I hadn't played sport competitively for a few years and knowing the sporting reputation of the University I was apprehensive that the facilities would only be for those at a high level. Fortunately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover that the opportunities here really are open to everyone.
Making the most of the sports facilities
My favourite way to exercise during the week is by going for a swim at the Sports Training Village (STV) pool. Booking a session is free with a Sports Pass, and you’re able to pick the speed of lane you feel most comfortable in. I love coming up to campus early before my lectures to swim before class, and it’s so practical as I can shower and get ready for the day all in the STV.
I’ve really appreciated this as it can be hard to motivate myself to exercise regularly, but I’ve found that this routine really works for me. Sometimes I convince my friends to join me, which adds a competitive edge, but it’s also just a lot of fun to swim with other people.
A great location for exercise
In my first year of study, I loved the Woodland Walk around campus. In between lectures or in the evening, I would often go for a walk with friends to Sham Castle, Rainbow Woods, or just around the campus. I’ve often described campus as being its own little ecosystem at the top of the hill, and this walk is great as it feels separate from lecture theatres and study spaces, yet still so close to all the student accommodation.
I appreciated this a lot last year, as it allowed me to clear my head after a long day, without having to travel at all. Occasionally I’d go for a run around the Woodland Walk, and found that great for my mental health too.
Trying something new
Over the past year, I’ve also tried out a few new things. One of those was the Water Polo Club. I’d never played water polo before, so was excited to try it out at the taster sessions at the beginning of the year. Going in, I was nervous that everyone would be far more experienced than me, but I actually met a lot of people who were starting from scratch too. I didn’t end up continuing water polo regularly, but for the first term I really valued the chance to do something totally different.
The committee welcomed me and set my nerves at ease, affirming that they’d never pressure us to do any more than we were comfortable with when it came to drills and matches. It felt like a safe place to learn, for people of all abilities.
Finding a sporting community
Overall, I’ve found the sporting facilities to be a real highlight of my time here at Bath so far. I love that they aren’t exclusive to athletes but can accommodate people like me who just want to exercise for fun and fitness. Being able to exercise in between classes has really helped me to take downtime from my studies and relax after long work days. I’ve definitely found it a good way to connect with other people and find a community too!