For the first time in Warwick history, the university has been granted its first ever lecture-free week at the beginning of term one to get students settled into Warwick before the grind of the degree begins. This week is all about laying the foundations for university experience outside of that scroll at the end – bonding with the flat mates, finding your way round campus, practically moving into the Copper Rooms every night and, where Mixed Hockey comes in, beginning to explore what Warwick has to offer in terms of sports clubs and societies.
It was an extremely exciting opportunity to be the first ever Mixed Hockey exec to be involved in Welcome Week, and we took the opportunity to fill the week with everything we had to offer, meaning it was jam-packed but extremely enjoyable. This meant lots of hockey, circling, a community event, and recruitment, recruitment and more recruitment...
We kicked the week off by getting down the piazza for Arrivals Weekend; albeit the wind, rain and cold was slightly off-putting, however our spirits were extremely high in spite of this, supporting some snazzy Team Warwick facepaint which we managed to get on our good pals Motorsport as well as the SU Sabbatical officers too. We had some great conversations with incoming freshers and dancing along to the great show RAW (the student radio) put on. The weather definitely wasn’t up for working with Team Warwick, however the buzzing attitude of the present exec still set a really positive precedent for the rest of the week.
Welcome Week also meant our first ever hockey preseason, a great opportunity for returners to get back into hockey – and even a few freshers joined in! Our training secretary Lydia did a brilliant job at rising to the challenge and putting on sessions Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. A lot of us worried that we would have totally lost our hockey ability over the summer, but luckily that wasn’t the case – although in saying that, I’m glad I got the opportunity to miss the ball a load of times before the freshers saw during tasters...
Wednesday gave us a little break from the pitch, however it was all about trying to get people to join us on it for our taster sessions in Week 1 and 2. The day may have started in disaster (let’s just say our board read ‘Mixed Hocky’ rather than ‘Mixed Hockey’), but with some cracking improvisation from El the stall was soon up and running (until it collapsed in front of the entire room, that is). After six hours of chatting to freshers, we got an incredible 200 sign ups, some of which we have already seen down at the pitches at Sports Day and Taster Sessions.
On Friday the SU put on an amazing Sports Day, which saw clubs all across Team Warwick put on events to showcase to freshers what the sport experience at Warwick is all about. We held a session over on the Waterbased pitch which had an incredible attendance of 50 freshers. The beginners successfully mastered all of the basic skills and even got onto some tackle drills. It was amazing to see people come so far in just two hours after having never even held a hockey still before. The more experienced group also had a great intake of freshers, Lydia smashing some expert drills with them as well as seeing some exciting game play.
Saturday was all about supporting our community, our Charities and Welfare secretary Sarah organising a morning with the Campion School in Leamington Spa, doing some much needed gardening work on their plantation. The plantation is used as an outdoor classroom for the school as well as somewhere for elderly people whom Age UK works with to come down and relax. After some grass-pulling to remove the overgrown areas and bulb planting, the team managed to leave the plantation looking much neater than when we arrived.
Finally, we rounded the week off with a Sunday Circle put on by our iconic social secretaries Ganney and Gigi (Gangizzle). Sunday Circle is a great way to bring freshers into the fold; we pair them up with returners to teach them the circle games in a nice and chilled environment before throwing them into the Copper Rooms in Week 2 for Pop! Despite not ending in the promise of Disco Dave, we had a great turn out of freshers and luckily only one needed to be taken back to their accommodation...
Welcome Week was cracking, and we will certainly be continuing along the same vein next year with more preseason and awesome social and community events. Now we’re onto our taster weeks – we are running SIX taster sessions, Tuesday 5.30-7.30pm, Thursday 8.30-10pm and Sunday 2-4pm in weeks 1 and 2. There will be another Sunday Circle at the end of Week 1, and we’ll be taking on the almighty Pop on Wednesday Week 2!
If you have any more questions, don’t be afraid to drop the club a message or any of the exec!!
Lots of love,
Your 2018/19 Prezza x