October 31, 2018, by Charlotte Gauja

I tried four engage water sport tasters!

After playing lacrosse at university for two years I started my final year wanting to try something different. I used to swim, way back when, so I thought that maybe a water sport would be for me.

The Engage programme means that everyone can try out a new sport, whether you have a gym membership or not. Sessions start at £3 for non-members (free for members) and often include transport to and from the venue. Ideal.

Caption: A rare glimpse of the Portland building in the sunshine. A lot of teams meet here before taking everyone to the session.

The best thing about Engage is that it runs all year and there are weekly sessions in more than 25 different sports.

To find out when the sessions were I just searched for the sports team on Facebook and signed up. It’s that easy. You can also sign up at fresher’s fair or on the SU website.

My brilliant plan was to try as many sports as possible and then try to narrow it down. I even made a schedule and everything. In reality, I only tried four.


Where? Notts County Sailing Club

How much? Free!

I learnt a lot at the sailing taster session. The main thing being that I am absolutely terrible at sailing.

We started with a bit of on land teaching from the club’s vice president. Then they set us off with our very own personal instructor, A.K.A a student who had sailed before. I was terrified but loved every second of it. The wind blowing through my hair, the sun shining on my face; I was feeling very invigorated.

Source: Sailing Facebook page

Caption (left): This isn’t me but this boy’s face sums up how I felt the entire time.


Where? DRSV pool – yes there’s a pool, it’s round the back.

How much? Free!

Not quite as exotic as sailing. This time I had a swimming hat on my head as opposed to a nice breeze. Definitely just as fun. Swimming is a huge club so the taster session had a lot of attendees. I met so many people and managed to win some relays with my team too.

Source: google images


Where? Notts County Sailing Club

How much? £5 – not free, but still a bargain. A session like this could cost £50+ at your local water sport centre.

Same place as sailing and similar on-land training before we headed out on water, they even had a windsurfing simulator. The biggest difference (apart from the fact they’re completely different sports) was that I wasn’t terrible at windsurfing. Who would have thought it – not me. In fact, everyone got the hang of it pretty quickly and only one of us crashed into some bushes. Success.

Source: Windsurfing Facebook page

Caption: Also not me. Sadly, they didn’t manage to capture any picturesque photos of me windsurfing really well. Can’t imagine why not?

Water Polo

Where? DRSV pool

How much? Free!

I can’t tread water, nor can I catch a ball one handed, but it didn’t matter because neither could anyone else. Twenty minutes into the session and I knew water polo was the sport for me. It was non-stop, a little bit aggressive and very, very tiring.

Every sports team at university LOVES new members. So do not be afraid to show your face at a session, even if you don’t want to continue the sport long term.

All the students running the sessions are volunteering their time to help new members learn about their club. They’re friendly, definitely approachable and more than happy to teach you how to play their sport.

Here’s a handy dandy link where you can find out more about the Engage Programme and have a peek at the timetable:



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