Now that the Winter Olympics has come to a close, it may have left some students inspired to try out some extreme sports at their own university. Here are a small number of the extreme sport societies on offer across universities in the UK.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Pretty much every university in the UK will have a popular ski and snowboarding society and Birmingham is a good example. Brumski and Board society has been running for around 30 years and has over 500 members. They hold Christmas and Easter ski trips every year and regularly take part in competitions. Daisy Tudor, a committee member, describes some of the events that Brumski partake in, “every Wednesday we go to sports night. Fancy dress is compulsory, as well as drinking. Games and music are played and everyone is welcome. It usually gets very rowdy but there are no seniors terrorising freshers like some other sports encourage. We also have special events like the Extreme Sport Ball, BUDS and Kings Finals Ball (after competitions that take place in Edinburgh and London). During these there is a strict no cutlery rule and cheesecake always ends up in people’s hair or tux jackets.”
Oxford, York, Aberdeen and Warwick are only some of the universities that offer this rather unusual sport – underwater hockey! Apparently anyone who is able to swim is able to play. It’s played in teams of six and everyone is equipped with a mask, fins, snorkel and a small wooden hockey stick.
Skydiving and BASE Jumping
The University of Lincoln offers both skydiving and BASE jumping. For those of you that don’t know, BASE jumping is where participants jump from fixed objects (buildings, antennas, spans and earth) and use a parachute to break their fall. They go on weekly trips to Skydive Hibaldstow in North Lincolnshire, which is the home to University of York Skydiving Society, and sister drop zone of Skydive Spain. The society hopes to arrange an Easter Skydiving trip to Spain.
Skateboard, Rollerblade and BMX
The Cambridge Urban Sports society brings together skaters and BMXers and meets regularly for social and sporting events. Each term they travel to PlayStation skate park in London and to the NASS urban sport festival in Bath every year.
Warwick University is home to the amusingly named ‘WUSS’ (Warwick University Skate Society) as well as a Longboarding society. Longboards are usually two or three feet longer than a normal skateboard and have a wider wheel base. The society plans to take part in the Great Parade Skate in Leamington. Instead of offering society hoodies or t-shirts, the longboarding society have chosen to let members have personalised socks…
Birmingham University’s Windsurfing society has been running for over 10 years. They are members of the Student Windsurfing Association (SWA) so they go on trips all around the country to meet up with other Windsurfing societies. These include Bude in Cornwall, Liverpool, Bristol, Nottingham and of course BUCS in Southampton. Susanna Mazzocca Gamba, a member of the society, says “windsurfing is a great sport as it’s enjoyable at all levels and windsurfers are all very chilled out. We recently went to a roller disco as a social, which was great fun.”
The Manchester Extreme Sports Society (MESS) organise windsurfing, rock climbling, paintballing, bungee jumping, zorbing and other events for their members. Zorbing is sport in which you are harnessed inside a giant, transparent ball and run down a slope. It’s very popular with lead singer of The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne, who loves zorbing around the crowd at their concerts, because crowdsurfing is so last year… MESS has also helped organise a charity climb up Kilimanjaro.