Freshers’ guide to club life

The biggest clubs on campus pitch their teams in our freshers’ guide to college sports.

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The biggest clubs on campus pitch their teams in our freshers’ guide to college sports, illustrated by Marina Bogautdinova.

DU Boat Club, DU Ladies’ Boat Club 

Rowing as a competitive sport has been in existence for over 2,000 years, and the thrill of racing continues to attract millions of people worldwide to the water to train for domestic, international and Olympic competition, and also purely for recreation and to keep fit. Although many people may only have encountered rowing in the context of the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, Ireland has a large and competitive rowing scene, of which Trinity’s rowing clubs DULBC (for the ladies) and DUBC (for the gents) are a prominent feature. Rowing has been described by Forbes as one of the healthiest sports, combining low impact cardiovascular fitness, strength and significant skill.

What Forbes doesn’t mention is that rowing, especially university rowing, and particularly in Trinity, is great fun. Unlike many university sports societies, the vast majority of students who join DULBC or DUBC during Freshers’ Week have never rowed before, meaning all so called “novices” start on an even playing field. Through a combination of sessions on the water on the Upper Liffey in Islandbridge, as well as “fun” circuits and rowing machine sessions, all novices are ready to race by the end of Michaelmas, and compete in a full season of regattas, which continues into the summer. For those less sportily inclined, but who still love being on the water, tactically minded coxes to steer the boats are crucial, and are always needed.

For more experienced athletes, the DULBC/DUBC senior and inter squads are highly competitive, holding university championship titles in the 8+, 4- and 2x, as well as fielding six athletes to represent Ireland at the Home International regatta and two at the World University Games. There are multiple club trips away during the year to compete at Irish regattas and larger UK competitions such as the London Metropolitan and Henley Women’s Regatta, as well as a senior warm weather training camp to the Barcelona Olympics rowing venue in southern Spain. There is also a very busy social scene, including the famous Halloween Massacre, the more traditional Club Christmas Commons and many a post training/regatta impromptu night out or in.

Rowing is a sport for everyone and a great way to meet new people and learn a new skill, with the help of fantastic coaching staff, top range equipment and a crowd of enthusiastic like-minded rowers! Come talk to us at our stand (decked out in pink and black) under the campanile during Freshers’ Week, or check out our Facebook (DULBC) and Twitter (@DULBC1976) pages.

ladiesboat (1)

DU Badminton 

Get cocky with the badminton society. We cater for all levels of badminton both high and low and run a social evening on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30.We don’t discriminate against fitness levels. Some weeks we run a lap, maybe even two. Gym sessions are vast, extreme and non-existent. The society is very much like a family and certainly will provide you with many great memories at Trinity.   The badminton club have two yearly trips, the Irish student badminton tournament in Limerick, and Varsities, which is in Queens University this year. These trips are highly anticipated and a great chance to ‘meet’ people (interpret that as you wish). We have been known to have a wide range of international students from South African to Azerbaijani and are always interested in gaining new members. Make sure to sign up in Freshers’ week. Membership is a steal at only €5 to join, ‘no strings’ attached.

badminton

DU Lawn Tennis

Dublin University Lawn Tennis Club is one of Trinity College’s most renowned sports clubs. Combining an incredibly high standard of athletic prowess with an active social scene, the club welcomes every tennis enthusiast. From the ultimate beginner to the seasoned intermediate, to the advanced league player, there is a niche for all levels in DULTC. A very reasonable fee of €7 entitles members to weekly coaching sessions on the newly refurbished astro courts in Botany Bay. Throughout the year, there are a variety of competitions taking place, such as internal leagues for beginners, the famed Intervarsities and the annual Colours match against arch rivals, UCD. Trinity College is well-represented at every match, maintaining a formidable reputation throughout.

The Tennis Club tour will be taking place in Oxford from the 31st October to the 2nd November this year and is one of the most memorable events of the tennis calendar. The famed excursion is the crowning glory of our stellar social scene, a fantastic opportunity for newbies to establish themselves within the core of the club.  Other social events to look forward to throughout the year include the Freshers’ Week Pub Crawl and the black-tie Racket Ball, to name but a few.

Make sure to come and visit the DULTC stand in Front Square during Freshers’ Week and get involved with us immediately. Joining Trinity Tennis will be one of the best decisions you make during your time in college and will undoubtedly be the best €7 you have ever spent.

Tennis

DU Swimming Club

As you sit there in the GMB, young fresher, eating your fourth slice of Nutella on toast, washing it down with the most sugary coffee ever synthesised by humanity and considering whether it would be bad form to go for your third burrito of the day; are you at your physical peak?  Regardless of the fact that none of the current brood of swimmers and polo players look anything like the image of the person you now have in your head, we are willing to be upstaged by the potential Greek God or Goddess that lies within you. Water polo and swimming are probably the quickest and easiest ways for you to unleash that inner topless Snapchat or Instagram fiend, giving updates on your six pack to people who couldn’t care less.

Despite the compelling argument proposed above, we should probably convince you further to join our team. We are one of the oldest and most popular sports teams on campus with a wide range of members, from competitive swimmers to those looking to keep fit, to those amongst us who just want to learn how to swim a bit better. Unlike many other teams in Trinity we train on campus five times a week in Trinity’s very own six lane pool. We pride ourselves on being as inclusive and social as possible. This is helped by the fact that the men’s and women’s teams train together and that the team is comprised of over two dozen nationalities. The sessions don’t always finish when we leave the Sports Centre either, often enough we can be found having a few post-training drinks in the Gingerman. If any this interests you or if you have more questions please feel free to call down to one of our training sessions, find us in Front Square during Freshers’ week or email the club at [email protected]

DU Squash Rackets Clubs

If you’re looking for a great sports club to join this year, DU Squash Rackets Club might just be what you’re looking for. Our club caters for all levels of participants and is ideal for anyone looking to try something new. The club has dedicated training times for those who are new to the sport and there is also the opportunity to get involved in beginner’s tournaments throughout the year. As a member of the club you can also join us on our annual Tour (last year we headed to Oxford) and participate in Intervarsities, Colours and Leinster league. To top it all off we also have Trinity’s Coach of the year, Elvy Da Costa, on hand to get you playing like a pro in no time. Not only is squash a great way to keep fit and active, it’s also a chance to get involved in a friendly, sociable club during your time here at Trinity.

DU Rifle Club

Fresh from the success of running the second annual ‘Founders’ League’, the only outdoor summer target shooting league of its type in the country, DURC is hitting the ground running with a great Freshers’ Week schedule. You will find a fully manned stall in Front Square all week long where you can learn all about the club and the sport of target shooting. During Freshers’ Week you will have the chance to chat to the club’s range officers and athletes, including recent international competitors who will be more than happy to fill you in on their experiences with the club and target shooting in Trinity.

Following Freshers’ Week you can shoot for fun or to train for competition in two disciplines any night of the week, six to 10pm, by signing up using our online booking tool at durifleclub.com/booking. There will always be range officers on duty to make sure everything runs smoothly and offer any advice you may need to improve your shooting. Your first detail is free! And after that you only pay for the ammo you shoot, we supply all necessary equipment and no experience is required.

If competition is your thing be sure and sign up for our Novice Colours squad and you’ll get one night a week of training from one of Ireland’s top coaches to prepare you for the Intervarsities and Colours competition against UCD after Christmas.

DURC is College’s second largest sports club whose members hold countless accolades and nationals records. So, if you’re looking for a relaxing half hour at the on-campus range after lectures, the challenge of national level competition or just a unique experience, DURC has something for everyone.

Rifle

DU Equestrian Club

The Dublin University Equestrian Club, sometimes referred to as the Trinity Riding Club, has an approximate membership of 120 students annually, all of whom are somehow drawn to the horse. We cater for Equestrian athletes of every variety, from the “Happy Hacker” to the elite performers. Every year DUEC sends riders to compete for their University internationally as part of an Irish squad. Amongst our esteemed members, past and present, we count London Olympian Natalya Coyle, Irish International Show jumper Nicola Fitzgibbon, and dual European Young Rider medallist Melanie Young.

What is unique about the Equestrian Club is the relationship we have with our friendly rivals. We often share our many club events with other Colleges, even the dreaded UCD, giving everybody a chance to build up their social network. I believe they call it diversification these days.

At the business end of things, DU Equestrian competes in two to three competitions annually, to which we send two or more mixed teams of four, several individual competitors, and a healthy host of supporters, cheer leaders, and general mischief makers. First up is the National Tetrathlon Championships in November, hosted this year by the UL Equestrian Club. “Tetrathlon” might sound like a made up word to most of you, but it is in fact derived from the Ancient Greek words “Tetra” meaning four, and “Athlon” meaning great pain caused by a dangerous combination of exercise and a night of poor decisions and over-consumption. The brave competitors undertake a swim, run, target shoot, and show jump, in addition to representing their club at the obligatory fancy dress and black tie parties. This is an event which DUEC has excelled at in the past (finishing an agonisingly close second to UCD last year. Grrrr). We normally commence training in late September to leave plenty of time to shed any unwanted holiday weight.

All of this serves merely as a warmup for the National Intervarsity Championship held in February every year. Three hundred students, eighty horses, fifteen  colleges, three competitions, three nights, one hotel. Trinity played host to this gargantuan affair last year with phenomenal success. This year we pass the torch on to a UCC-CIT joint venture. A lot of things happen at intervarsities, leaving those who remember scarred for life and those who don’t with an acute dosage of “the Fear”.

Throughout the year lessons are run once a week at a discounted rate in Brennanstown Riding School, Bray. These are ideal for anybody who has had to leave their beloved nag at home and wants to keep up to scratch with their riding. All equipment is available at the riding school, and they offer lessons for riders of every ability. Furthermore all horses are provided by the host University for our competitions, making them more affordable for students.

So whether you count yourself as a seasoned equestrian, more of a hobby horse, or somebody yearning to fulfil a childhood fantasy, DU Equestrian is the club for you. Sign up in Front Square during Freshers’ Week for what promises to be the ride of your life!

Equastrian

DU American Football Club

Trinity College’s American Football team has grown year after year since its inception in 2008. Performing at the highest level in the 2014 season, we reached the final and appeared in the Shamrock Bowl, only to be narrowly defeated in a 0-7 loss to the Belfast Trojans. This year the club hopes to make another appearance but take home the win, a first in club history. American Football is a rapidly growing sport in Ireland with new teams appearing each year. Trinity has one of the best, if not the best team in the country right now. We have a place for everyone – due to the specialized nature of playing positions, we need big guys and small guys. Zero experience is required, we don’t expect anyone to have played previously or even follow or have knowledge of American Football. We provide the opportunity to understand how the game is played and to learn the skills to perform your positional roles. We also provide equipment to new players so no need to worry about financial commitment. There is also an active social element to the club, with our annual Super Bowl party, run in conjunction with Trinity Ents, along with various nights out throughout the year. American Football is an exciting and explosive sport and we would encourage anyone to at least give it a try, regardless of experience, and come out to training or one of our meetings early in the year. We accept new players year-round, as the regular season only begins mid-way through second semester, and the College Bowl is contested in November against teams from UCD and the University of Limerick. Any of our players will tell you it is an extremely rewarding sport and our club will offer you some of the best fun you will have in your time in Trinity.

Trinity Hiking

Trinity Hiking is a relatively new society, but in spite of that we have a huge number of members (over 800 last year). Hikers are free to join us on any of our weekly trips, which take place every Sunday. We tend to hike around the mountains of Wicklow, as well as having a few weekend trips to places further afield: the Mournes, the Comeraghs, Kerry, Connemara etc. This year we’re even planning a trip to Wales. We have easy hikes a few times a year, which only require a pair of runners, but we also have more intense hikes (the views make up for it) for a bit of a challenge. The social aspect is an important part of our society: we have a large number of international students as well as a mix of undergrads, postgrads and staff. We have nights out and navigation workshops every month or so, as well as our infamous “pub hikes”. We hope to see you on the mountains with us soon.

Hiking

DU Ultimate Frisbee Club

Ultimate Frisbee, one of the fastest growing team sports in the world, originated in the USA in the late sixties. It has grown rapidly since then and is now played in over forty-two countries worldwide. It is a fun, exciting, fast-paced game which involves running, jumping and an extensive array of throws, as players try to catch the disc in the opposing team’s end zone for a score. It is played both indoors and outdoors (on grass and on beaches) in mixed, open, and women’s divisions. Trinity Ultimate Frisbee club is the oldest Ultimate club in Ireland and we welcome players of all levels to come and try out the sport. We will be hosting a public game and a show game on the cricket pitch during Freshers’ Week to give you the opportunity to see how the game is played and to allow you try it out for yourself.

DU Snow Sports Club

The dust has settled, the rain clouds have emptied and the sun rays now begin to peek through the smog still hanging over from June’s era of discontent. You’ve made it onto the memory-sodden grounds of this university and chosen to follow a path of illumination for the next few rotations of this celestial body around the sun. Yet whatever that road may be, one thing is always unavoidable: winter is coming.

Ever since the honourable Ned Stark uttered this now meme-infected phrase, individuals have come to fear the unavoidable grip of the east wind and the knowledge that the Berkeley Library will be a tomb for many unfortunate souls. But do not fret upon this piece of foresight, for there is hope to be found for those that seek it. From the misty mountains of Wicklow to the cold sloped marshlands of Edinburgh to the Alpine wildernesses of the Gauls, one finds the grounds upon which those who’ve given over to way of the snow can discover true enlightenment.

You may ask if I can provide pertinent reason towards why you ought to join the Snowsports clan, but a true answer already lies in the hearts of the chosen. The call of the Horn of Helm Hammerhand has sounded in the deep and these months will soon fade into forgetful nothingness of 9am’s, coursework and the dreaded whale-song of midterm exams. Do not forsake the chance of light at the end of Michaelmas’ dark tunnel. Join for the tales of futures past that you shall tell and remain for the fellowship that you shall find.

DU Wind and Kite Surfing Club

Introducing Trinity’s newest sports club: DUWKS. Over the past year or so, the windsurfing club has undergone some pretty big changes. After a year of inactivity a group of us decided to reform the club and introduce a new sport, Kitesurfing, to College. Kitesurfing is now one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. It combines aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Our club name has also been changed from DU Windsurfing to DU Wind and Kitesurfing or DUWKS. In the upcoming year we plan to run loads of different wind-driven activities for both sports. We will be running both wind and kitesurfing lessons on weekends along with social sessions for both sports on Dublin’s best beaches. Towards the end of the year we will be attending both the kite and windsurfing Intervarsities, both promising to be great fun for beginners and experts alike. As well as all of this, we also have plans to take a trip to Achill, one of the best places to kite in Ireland, in the early weeks of term.

On the drier side of things we also have several social events planned throughout the year, the first of which will be taking place during Freshers’ Week. Our goal is simply to get as many students as possible involved in either sport. Don’t hesitate to come ask us for more details at the stand. Our committee is excited to bring you the best of both sports, and we hope to see you out on the water with us soon.

DU Women’s Cricket Club

The Pav is our clubhouse. Need we go on…? Well, yes, because there’s a lot more to DUWCC besides, including beach cricket, regular social events joint with the men’s cricket team and the DUWCC Christmas Party. As cricket is a summer sport we won’t be starting to train until October/November which will be held indoors in the Sports Centre. We will be preparing for indoor Intervarsities which will take place in Cork this year. It’s run over two days and is usually the best weekend of the year. We also plan to play a few friendlies against the UCD Ladies team, both indoors and outdoors. Our season will kick off in April and run until the end of May, competing in the Ladies Division 3 of the Leinster League. We are also hoping to organise a trip to play a series of friendlies over Reading Week next year, hopefully abroad.

DU Surf and Boarding Club

It’s a cold Saturday afternoon in Lahinch and you’re huddled round the fireplace of a small pub, laughing with friends, old and new. Your hair is salty and wet and there is definitely sand between your toes (and other places). You’ve just emerged from the cool waters of the Atlantic having caught your first ever wave and the feeling is indescribable. Trinity’s Surf Club has been ferrying College’s bravest students to the west coast year-round for many years. The most popular destinations have been Lahinch (Co. Clare), Bundoran (Co. Donegal), Strandhill (Co. Sligo) and Banna (Co. Kerry). We’ve also been known to venture abroad to warmer waters. This year, the club is planning expansion in many ways. Surf Sail Salmon (SSS) is our first event of the year — taking place the first weekend of term. Held in collaboration with our friends at the Sailing Club, SSS has been a massive hit in recent years. It’s a camping weekend with the option of taking part in either surfing or sailing lessons in the morning and having the beach to ourselves in the afternoon. Everybody is well looked after in the evenings with plentiful entertainment, all within a lovely marquee (nice and dry!). It’s a great weekend away to start your year off with excitement and an abundance of craic. Buy your ticket for SSS at the Surf Club’s stall in Front Square during Freshers’ Week! The biggest excitement for Trinity Surf Club this year is the reintroduction of the International Surf Trip, scheduled for Reading Week in February. The schedule is still being finalised but to give you a clue: think exotic, think warm waves, think outside the continent. As we do every year, we’ll take part in the Surfing Intervarsities. This past year we had a winner in the Women’s Novice with visiting student, Ali Leonard, and a second place in the Men’s with Paddy Gaynor, now Secretary of the club. Details of this year’s competition have not yet been released but we are certain to build on previous years’ efforts.Trinity Surf Club has lots to offer — we urge everyone and anyone to get involved. To become a member of the club or just to chat to committee members, call over to our Freshers Week stall in Front Square all week. Hope we’ll see you there.

DU Hockey Club

So you’re in college now, what are you going to do about it? Any friends coming into University with you are most likely thinking the exact same thing . How will I know where to go? Who do I ask? What societies do I join? We had the exact same thoughts when we started and of course we wanted to make new friends as fast as possible. We did the whole freshers’ thing of joining every society from the Phil to the Baking Society. There was only one that we joined again the following year. Trinity Hockey Club is the oldest Hockey Club in the country but most likely you don’t really care about that. What you want to know is what the people are like and most of all what the socials are like. DUHC feels like a family, with rooms on campus there is always a place for you to chill out, play Fifa or just eat your lunch. We were all embraced like we had been in the club for years. From first years to masters’ students there is no judgement, no Regina George. Who cares if the only time you played hockey was in PE class? If you can show up on match day, or even just show up to the after party, then we want you. We want to enhance everyone’s University experience and we want to keep meeting new people. We have a brand new pitch, our own training facilities and of course many trips and themed nights- all of which are coupled with the girls club (Wink Wink Nudge Nudge) You can find us during Freshers’ Week or just email [email protected] and we will be happy to get you set up.

 

Hockey