GUSA’s niche societies

Credit: GUSA

Dylan Tuck
Sports Editor

The University of Glasgow’s Sport Association (more commonly known as GUSA) have a great deal of sporting opportunities for students to take part in. Be it the more run-of-the-mill team sports like football and rugby, to individual performance sports like tennis and badminton. But what if you don’t want any old regular sports? What if you want something a wee bit more niche? Well, fear not, GUSA also have a wide range of less common sports, and here’s a few of the best we’ve hand selected for you.

Hares and Hounds
Yeah, we know, sounds weird, right? Wrong. This is actually one of the oldest sports clubs at the University. The aim of the society is “to bring together all standards of runners, from hardcore competitors to those just looking for some jogging buddies”. Informal running, that doesn’t require you to be massively committed, this is a nice way to get into being sporty while at uni.

Aikido
Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that “consists of hand and body techniques (taijutsu), which are used along with strikes (atemi) to unbalance an opponent in order to throw (nage technik) or immobilise them with a lock.” A skill-based art form, rather than one based on an individual’s physicality, this sport is open to anyone “regardless of shape, size or gender” and is a handy tool for self-defence.

Kendo
Another form of modern Japanese martial arts, Kendo, which means “the way of the sword”, is, as you’ve probably guessed by now, a sword fighting sport. Developed by the Samurai class, Kendo “uses armour (Bogu) and bamboo swords (Shinai) to allow safe yet realistic fights”. Both physically and mentally challenging, the sport is available to everyone willing to learn and is known to be good for improving concentration and relieving stress. 

Potholing (Caving)
Ever wanted to get a big old rope and hang over the side of a cliff to see what’s chill inside caves from underground river systems? Of course you have. Well, the universities Potholing (or caving) society regularly run trips down to Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Assynt to do just that. You don’t need prior experience, just the desire to explore. 

Shinty
Shinty is “Scotland’s oldest and most traditional sport” and one that is intertwined with Scotland’s sporting identity. A game that’s sort of reminiscent of hockey with a few key differences, the university’s shinty society are quite successful, with the Women’s Team winning the 2018/19 league. If you’ve never played, there’s no need to fret, you can still come along to the taster event and see how you like it, and who knows, you could become part of a winning shinty team too. 

Sub Aqua
Diving – that’s what Sub Aqua offer. Whether you’re the most experienced diver at the uni, or a complete novice, all are welcome to join. If you are new, you’ll be given lectures and pool sessions to teach you how to dive properly, before you’ll head out to the West Coast of Scotland. If you know a thing or two already, there are regular weekday and weekend trip across the country, meaning there’s plenty of opportunities to get your wet suit on.

Wakeboarding
Apparently, “wakeboarding is the fastest growing board sport in the world today”. The wakeboarding society is open to all, experienced or not. The majority of their events take place at Loch Lomond, where you’ll wakeboard behind a powerboat (!) while trying to avoid obstacles in the water. If you want to get competitive too, the society takes part in UniWake Student Nationals in Sheffield and Loch Stock, described as “a weekend of partying, coaching from pro-riders, and a big competition at Loch Lomond.”

For more information on all of these sports, visit the GUSA webpage on the University’s website, or pop along to the Sports Fayre in the Stevenson building from 11am-5pm on 17 and 18 September.