We chatted to Lucie Brown, 2nd year Sport and Psychology and Chair of the club as she was about to head into the Cheshire Awards. That evening, the club won Club of the Year, and Lucie received the Spencer Brookes Award for Outstanding Voluntary Contribution. Congratulations Lucie and the team!
Tell us a little about the club…
“This year we’ve had three teams, and it’s been quite diverse in ability. We train on a Monday night, a Tuesday night and we have fitness on a Friday. On Mondays we have training with a coach, so that’s usually ball skills and going into match play and that’s always good. We do basic skills for some people, so it caters to everybody’s abilities. After training, we usually have a committee meeting — as we’ve done a lot of charity events this year, we’ve been making sure we are on top of those. We make sure the captains and everybody in the team are happy.
Wednesday afternoons are either home or away matches, so your typical BUCS games, which are always brilliant. We have a fitness coordinator, which a committee role, who runs fitness. That’s usually a run or we do circuit training, and we’ve started doing a bit of Zumba this year, which has been quite fun.”
What have you been up to this year?
“We didn’t send a full team to Varsity against Leeds Beckett, but we did have one member of our team play in the match, which was nice, being able to combine with Manchester. We’ve beaten Manchester twice this year, which was a massive thing for Cheshire campus! We had a lot of support; we got everybody down in the sports hall, and it was a really good atmosphere. It was our first team against theirs, and we had a great time.
We haven’t won the league but our first team came really close. We’ve had successes in terms of improvements in the club — a lot of our players have come from third team and some of them are now in first team. They have just developed so well in terms of fitness, skill and ability. That’s been a major success for us.”
Tell us about the charity events you've put on...
“We had a charity netball tournament, and we did that for someone close to our hearts in the club. One of my friends lost a friend, so we did it for Cardiac Risk in the Young. We got everybody involved, with a maximum of three ballers as we call it, on each team. That’s a mix of netball players and basketball players to make it as fair as possible and not boring. We had eight teams down, and we did a knockout tournament. It was the most competitive tournament of the year, but it was absolutely brilliant. Loads of people came down and we had individual awards at the end for things like ‘Drama Queen of the Tournament’. People loved it. We managed to get sponsored by some of the local companies, so Nandos gave us a platter and Starbucks sponsored us, which was really great.
We’ve done other events, like ‘Strictly Come SU’. We did that for the Alzheimer’s Society. Two people enter and dance next to each other, and it’s like a knockout dance off. Kayode, Kwame and Tash were judging and it was absolutely brilliant — just a bunch of laughs. We had drag queens in it, and it was amazing.
We’ve also done a 12-hour tournament, where we played from 8am in the morning to 8pm at night, constantly playing netball. Because it was a Saturday, we were able to get everybody involved on campus, so everyone was down there really enjoying it. We’ve also done a few bake sales which have been successful."
You organised a visit for local school children to visit campus. How was the day?
“So we invited some pupils from Sandon High School. These children were in Year 11 and were all getting between B and A*, but they had no interest in going to uni as none of their friends or family have ever been. We wanted to give them the university experience, just to show them that it is there, and to show them it’s not like school. It was to show them you don’t have to do the things you don’t want to do and that you study a specific course. A lot of the children thought they could only do Maths, English or Science at uni. Myself, Tash and Kwame organised it, and we had a tour, we had lessons in the ESS building and Contemporary Arts building. They did a dance session and a lab session and they loved it. We’re going to try and sort one out to visit the Manchester campus as well with different schools.”
What do you get up to outside of training?
“The big one is tour — we always get involved in that and a lot of us go. Wednesdays are a massive day for us too. We always have a social after we’ve played a game, and we all have match reports and play silly games, and we always end up in I Love Wednesdays. We do a Christmas meal — to be honest, we are a really tight-knit club. Because we are quite small, with just the three teams, we just hang out together. We live in a six-bed house us netballers, and we have everyone round so it’s always busy in our house.”
What would you say to anyone who wants to get involved in netball at Cheshire?
“It doesn’t matter what ability you are or who you are as a person. If you want to develop any form of social skills or netball skills, just come and join us. We’re a really close-knit family and we are known as the friendly team on campus. We have a lot of fun together and it’s definitely worth the opportunity.”
To find out more about MMUC Netball, check out their page or Facebook.
To find out more about Clubs and Societies, check out the Opportunities page.
Photo credit: Alex Thurston