The shutdown of universities all across the country has put an unsurprising chokehold on the activities of university sports teams, and UEA is no exception. There were so many events we were looking forward to that sadly can no longer happen, such as UEA’s Strictly Come Dancing, the Norwich Senior Cup Final, BUCS, and, for me, the MMA Club’s Rumble in the Concrete Jungle.
Nevertheless, even though it is necessary for these events and others to have been called off, fingers crossed that they will return again next year. In the meantime, UEA sports teams have been using social media to continue their activities where possible from the isolation of their own homes.
UEA Ballroom and Latin Dance Club (BLDC) have been posting lessons on their Facebook group, and are gathering plans and performers to hold a dance event on TikTok, with details to be released at some point within the next week.
Other teams, such as Swimming and Netball, have been using social media to post workouts, with UEA Swimming uploading programmes daily to keep their members fit and healthy in anticipation of next year.
But it’s not all about training. For many, what they will be missing most from their university sports teams are the opportunities for socials and the community atmosphere that they generate. In an attempt to keep the fun coming, many of the sports teams are also using their social media as an opportunity to hold fun community events. UEA Swimming has been drawing up a pub-style quiz night, while Archery has held its own archery bingo.
UEA Football has set up a YouTube Channel, with regular content, from a TikTok keepie-uppie challenge to retrospectives of the best penalty saves of the last season. The Netball team have held a sock-throwing elimination game where members have to shoot 20 socks into a bin in increasingly difficult rounds.
Even though the situation is undeniably uncomfortable, and several weeks into lockdown many of us will be crawling up the walls with boredom, social media has provided the ideal outlet for UEA’s sports teams to keep in touch with members and maintain team fitness and morale as best they can in creative and fun ways.