June 11, 2021, by brzmjb1

Nottingham Games 2021 | UoN Men’s Lacrosse are rising to the challenge on-and-off the field

Since 2004, each year the University of Nottingham competes against Nottingham Trent University in the Varsity series.

Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, this year both universities were unable to deliver a traditional Varsity series in Term 2. Instead, following the phased return to sport in Term 3, a day of competition with 16 fixtures across 11 sports will take place behind-closed-doors.

The Nottingham Games will streamed live on Sunday 13 June at David Ross Sports Village and NTU Clifton Campus.

We caught up with UoN Men’s Lacrosse 1st Team Captain, Pat McGowan to find out he is feeling ahead of their upcoming match and understand how much of impact the covid-restrictions have had upon the sport.

How have you and your team managed to keep motivated/ active during lockdown?

“At some points during lockdown there was no end in sight and it was hard at times to keep positive and motivated. As a team I think we all helped each other out by talking via group chats and holding each other accountable to remain active. We knew this would help us to transition back into training as smoothy as possible when the time eventually came.”

“Notably we had weekly Wednesday Zoom calls with our coach Michael Armstrong which included a ‘get active’ component each time. This was either yoga or a 10–15-minute HIIT session on the computer which we would each complete on camera and be able to have a bit of a laugh at most people, who were new to yoga trying to do some of the positions. We also had team challenges on Strava. For example, covering the distance to Manchester and back as Manchester is known as the heart of men’s lacrosse in the country. To add to this, we used the Moves+ app which personally I found very useful as the points system made us more inclined to want to do exercise in order to get the points up.”

“Overall, despite the challenges that the lockdown had on motivation and keeping active I think we as a team, and Michael the coach, all helped each other to get through it.”

“We were all very thankful when the restrictions were lifted and we were allowed to train again. Although the weekly zoom calls were fun and we tried to exercise in ways available to us, it doesn’t compare to the enjoyment we all get from playing lacrosse especially with your mates.”

How are you and your team feeling about the upcoming Nottingham Games?

“As a team we are very excited to play in the Nottingham Games, especially as we have not played for the University over the last 18 months.”

“One reason we are particularly excited is due to the nature of the rivalry with Trent being so big, this is amplified for us as many of us are friends with their team back home in the Manchester lacrosse community. The boys are especially excited to play as we lost a friendly game to them earlier this year. However, we had a number of injuries in key positions and with some of them back we look forwards to testing ourselves again and hopefully doing a job on Trent.”

“Importantly , it will also be a UON men’s LAX veteran George Harrison-Church’s final game against NTU following 8 years for UoN Sport, so it would be nice for him to go out on a high.”

Do you think lockdown will have had an effect of the performance of the team?

“It would be wrong for me to say that lockdown had no effect on the performance of the team as we would have definitely developed more individually and as a team had we had training in all those months lost to lockdown. However, this is the same for everyone so it is an even playing field in terms of how much time we have had training together. Despite this, since we have been allowed to train, we have developed well as a team and done as much as we could given injuries and exams.”

“Notably, our 4 American scholars came to university in January, which must’ve been tough for them as that was in the midst of a national lockdown. Yet, since the restart of training they fit into the team and adapted to the culture of the club very well, enabling an easy transition from the pre-Christmas team.”

“One way it has affected us post lockdown is through the number of injuries we had coming into a training programme despite our best efforts at keeping active and trying to minimise this impact. One of the reasons being it is hard to replicate the intensity of playing lacrosse while in a lockdown, so some injuries were inevitable. Many of these injuries are now sorted with all credit going to the UoNSport staff and students at the David Ross Sports Injury clinic and the coaches in our Strength and Conditioning sessions.”

What is your team’s training programme looking like in the lead up to the Games?

“We train 3 times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. This has not changed since lockdown ended however it has been marginally affected in recent weeks due to deadlines and exam season. Nevertheless, all players have still been going to the training sessions where possible.”

University of Nottingham will take on Nottingham Trent University in a highly anticipated match at Clifton Campus with a 1.30pm start.

Unfortunatly no spectators are permitted this year. However, we will be bringing you every minute of the action via a live stream on the  UoN Sport Facebook page.

Get involved in the conversation using #NottsGames and get behind our teams!



Posted in AchievementBUCSUncategorizedVarsity