Photo: Maciej Siurek

GUSA Fair kicks off the year in style

Photo: Maciej Siurek

Photo: Maciej Siurek

Joe McLean

The 2009 Sports Fair was a proverbial melting pot of student clubs, all jostling and vying for fresh talent to swell their ranks.

The Fair had a vast array on display to suit the most discerning of sportsmen, from the mainstream and the obscure to the downright insane. It seemed as if there was a sport or activity available for every taste and more importantly available to everyone, regardless of age or skill level. Enthusiasm was the order of the day in the activity hall.

Freshers of all sporting ability arrived in their droves, brimming with the enthusiasm the clubs were seeking. From dedicated athletes to weekend amateurs, they filed in through the Stevenson Building’s front doors, with many first stopping en route to chat with the sailing club, who had cleverly “anchored” a boat on the corner of Oakfield Avenue and University Avenue.

This nautical sight drew as much attention from inquisitive students as it did gawps from bemused motorists, who were rubber–necking at this most unusual of sights during the morning commute.

The throngs of students were all intrigued and drawn to the Fair to find out just what was on offer from Glasgow University’s sports clubs and, more importantly to some, to find out just what was inside those yellow bags everyone on campus seemed to be carrying. They arrived at the Activity Hall and were met with a scene of all-round sporting peacocking and posturing.

Inside, the hall was packed with every conceivable sport and club. It also housed just as many conceivable sporting stereotypes to match the contrasting activities on offer: from bearded mountaineers messing around with ropes and knots to fake–baked cheerleaders merrily smiling and waving pom–poms as they manned their stalls.

Wandering around the hall allowed the visitor to see an eclectic mix of sportsmen: from american footballers rubbing shoulder pads with potholders; and equestrian enthusiasts, resplendent in jodhpurs and riding boots, sharing floor space with Kendo martial arts experts shimmering in their armoured finery brandishing fierce–looking weapons.

It seemed everyone from the Judo Club, with its bruising floor display, and the Rowing Club, with its lung bursting rowing machine competition, to the more gentile sports of snooker and cricket were recruiting new members.

This was helped somewhat by the lure of free trials and taster sessions, including offers from the popular and sometimes expensive sports of sky diving and skiing.

It was also a rare opportunity to sign your life away for an activity you would never dream of taking part in, with many choosing to try the ancient and noble art of fencing or for others the bone–crushing brutality of american football and lacrosse.

It’s this diversity of sport which echoes the vast array of cultures at Glasgow University and it bodes well for this new term, with people of all backgrounds coming together through the unifying power of sport, and it’s safe to say of whom many may never have otherwise had the chance to meet.

All in all, the Fair was a roaring success, with potential not only students to re-ignite a passion or find a hidden talent but for the University to perhaps unearth that hidden gem or star of the future.

It also proves that there is more to Freshers’ Week than drinking competitions in the Unions and foam parties at their nightclubs.

The journey many of these freshers are embarking on at Glasgow will surely be enhanced and enriched by participating in sport and it’s pleasing to see so many taking the opportunity to get involved.


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