UEA: What a racket!

UEA’s racket clubs compete in the tri-racket Olympics annually, which sees the culmination of the yearís fierce rivalry between clubs. UEA are well known for excelling in sport (Essex, who?). Concrete spoke to members of the three main clubs about why racket sport is something UEA (or sport) newbies should try out.

UEA Squash are on the up. In 2016, the club won an award for being the most improved sports club, and finished the last Derby Day with a victory against Essex’s team. UEAís facilities offer five courts and the club have four teams for differing abilities, for both male and female players. The club offers an hour of coaching every week and access to the university’s monthly leagues, as well as the potential to play against teams from the area and other universities.

Oliver Varco, Captain of UEA Squash, said a highlight of his time in the club was “definitely Derby Day last year where we packed the courts with members and handed out a few air horns, the place was electric!”

Speaking of the infamous rivalry between racket clubs, Varco said he thought Squash was the best. He said: “Despite not winning the tri-racket Olympics in my two years at UEA, we are very progressive, constantly looking for ways to improve the way we run things, and we look out for intermediate and beginners, not just the squad players.”

Much in the spirit of UEA, UEA Badminton is also an up-and-comer. Jack Taylor, incoming Captain of the club, told Concrete, “for the first time in UEA history we managed to win the local league menís doubles discipline as well as getting both our menís and ladiesí first teams into division 1 of the university leagues.” This year, the club want to push themselves even further with a primary goal of getting a team promoted to the premier division – “alongside increasing the number of socials”, Taylor said.

UEA badminton seem like a friendly bunch. Their Captain said badminton was the best racket club because, “not only is it the fastest racket sport in the world, but it’s a sport where anyone can just pick up a racket and play!” UEA’s Sportspark is home to two of the biggest sports halls in the country, with 20 badminton courts available.

If you spent the summer Wimbledon-watching, tennis might be the racket sport for you.

Ben Place, President of UEA Tennis Club described the club as “friendly and relaxed” and as a place “where you can meet loads of new people”.

“We are committed to providing training sessions to every ability be it beginner or BUCS standard. Even better are our social events which bring the whole club together to create a really good group of friends which you will keep for many years to come”, he said.

“We have a tri racquet tournament once a year which provides one of the clubs with bragging rights! Generally the rivalry is a pretty friendly one.”

Of his favourite tennis moment so far, Place opted for Derby Day too.  “We had the whole club down to cheer the teams on and of course we beat Essex overall which made it even sweeter.”

“The first team will be aiming to build on last years strong end to the season and to try and win their league this season.”

However, he said the clubís 2017-8 goal was to “really focus on our social side of tennis and creating a strong group of people who just want to go play in a relaxed session”.


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May 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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