Playing sport at Durham University

Students in a rugby team in a field smiling at camera

Progressed student, Dana from UAE, shares her experience of playing rugby for her College at Durham University. In this blog, she shares the reasons why she wanted to get involved in a sport during her final year and how rewarding she has found the experience.

“Being a part of one of the ‘sportier’ colleges, Collingwood College, joining a sport may come across as somewhat intimidating. However, as a finalist at Durham University, I realised that I only had this last year to try something completely out of my comfort zone, something that would allow me to look back at my time and be proud of the progress I have made.

One sport that I found myself becoming deeply immersed in watching and supporting was the beautiful game of rugby. However, I never thought it would be a game I could play as I didn’t fit the physical stereotype (I’m 5’2 and would be considered ‘too small to play’). Luckily, a couple of my friends have been heavily involved with the team over the last few years, which gave me the push I needed to join. They encouraged me to attend the taster session the team hosted in Collingwood for beginners at the start of the academic year and I went with no experience or expectations.

The team was extremely friendly, enthusiastic, funny, and a lot less intimidating than one would have thought. They taught us a couple of the basics and invited us all to the first social of the year which took place at the end of the same week. In the weeks that followed, I found myself wanting to get even more involved and improve as much as I can. I went to every training session, watched previous highlights of international rugby games, and asked previously experienced friends to coach me outside of training timings. After 4 weeks of training, I found myself somewhat ready to play in our first game of the season.

Walking onto the rugby grounds, I was nervous yet excited to be part of something so special. I ended up starting although I had no previous experience playing. The minute the game began, all thoughts of fear went straight out of my brain. The adrenaline took over and the tackling did not stop. We ended up winning our first game which was extremely rewarding and gave us the confidence we needed for the rest of the upcoming games.

I am beyond ecstatic that I took the step to join something I never thought I would. I also couldn’t imagine starting my final year any other way now.

Collingwood is looking forward to claiming back the title! #bleedblackandred”