The Sports Hall will host the event on Monday 4th OctoberJames Lee

The University of Cambridge Sports Fair 2021 is set to take place on Monday 4th October, running from 1pm to 5pm at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre. Bringing together over 70 sports clubs and societies from across the University, the Fair looks to promote the competitive and recreational sporting opportunities available to students during their time in Cambridge. Among this maze of advertisement tables and sea of light blue garments, students may fear floating adrift. But the reality is that beginners who cannot tell their squash racket from their ping-pong paddle will be in the same boat as seasoned athletes and tasked with the same mission: finding the sport they love.

Although many clubs compete at the highest level of University sport, notably the British University and College Sport (BUCS) leagues, over half of Cambridge’s clubs can actually be picked up as a complete beginner. With demonstrations being performed over the course of the four-hour period, Sports Fair is the perfect time to try your hand at new activities that are readily available and heavily discounted in comparison to external groups. For instance, Cambridge University Karate Club (CUKC), the University’s most successful sports club — with fourteen consecutive Varsity wins — offers classes at all levels for £5 per session and a termly training fee cap of £60, whereas in London you’ll likely fork out at least 25% more for such services.

If karate doesn’t balance your inner zen, perhaps putting on a helmet and slipping into climbing gear with the Cambridge University Mountaineering Club (CUMC) would better help unleash your fighting spirit. CUMC is active in most areas of mountaineering and climbing, from indoor bouldering to outdoor sport and trad climbing, and even winter and alpine climbing. Fresh off this year’s Annual Meet in the Lake District, CUMC first-timers and regulars both got to enjoy taking on the rocky faces of northern England. Meanwhile, the club runs “bouldering socials” on a Thursday at the Rainbow Rocket Climbing Centre, followed by a well-deserved trip to the pub.

CUMC President Bethan Davies-Williams described climbing as “a hugely fun and social sport”, explaining that “working on a climb often involves sharing of ideas, advice, and ‘beta’ between people”. Bethan also added: “CUMC is full of enthusiastic and friendly climbers, from beginners to seasoned alpinists”.

Or maybe you’d rather have your feet firmly rooted to the ground with a heavy barbell on your upper back. If so, the Cambridge University Powerlifting Club (CUPLC) would be your best bet. Voted the University’s “Club of the Year” in 2020, CUPLC thrives on a close-knit, family-like atmosphere, dispelling stereotypes of hypermasculinity in powerlifting. Out of 147 members last year, 51 were women, while the introduction of a development squad saw 39 novice lifters assigned to the club’s experienced members in an effort to provide them with a programme and mentor.

Samin Moghimiasl, this year’s CUPLC President, emphasised that the club is “home to lifters of all abilities; from international powerlifters with national records to novice lifters trying out powerlifting for the first time”. She continued: “This wide range of ability creates an environment in which members can help each other excel in the sport, while having fun inside and outside of the gym”.

CUPLC lifters train together at the Sports Centre’s state-of-the-art gym, which Samin detailed as key to the club’s success: “Being surrounded by individuals who have the same goals and mindset, both physically in the Sports Centre and virtually through social media, can be very inspiring”.

But mountains and gyms may not be the perfect fit for everyone. Instead, the smell of freshly-cut grass might rouse your fancy, so why not take a wander over to Cambridge University Association Football Club’s (CUAFC) stall? With both a men’s and women’s side that each have multiple teams, CUAFC boasts serious squad depth, which only means greater involvement for student footballers.


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In a joint statement, Women’s President Tatiana Kasujja and team captain Frances Steele describe CUAFC as “a friendly, inclusive, and supportive club that strives to bring out the best in every player, at whichever level they choose to play”. The pair continued: “We have an exciting and busy season lined up with regular training sessions, weekly fixtures, and a variety of social events”.

Meanwhile, CUAFC Men’s President Kosi Nwuba commented: “It’s an amazing atmosphere. We’ve already started preseason and we have lots of new freshers who are really engaging and integrating with the club”. Aspiring players at the Fair, however, will not miss the chance to join this year’s preseason, as women’s trials take place on 9th October and men’s the day after.

Kosi also stressed the importance of CUAFC’s hunt to fill roles just outside of the white lines: “We are very keen to encourage non-playing members to join administrative roles to help with the smooth running of the club”. He added: “This may be of particular interest for those who want to get involved in sports clubs at an executive level over the course of their careers”.

In what promises to be an action-packed event, Sports Fair 2021 offers the exciting opportunity for students to healthily balance their work and sporting lives during the upcoming academic year. The reward of finding yourself at home in a new club certainly outweighs the risk of briefly getting lost amidst the busy wave of stalls, flags, and team representatives.