Following the Coronavirus pandemic, an increased appreciation was placed on the importance of keeping fit and active. At University, that is no different, with a reported significant increase in participation rate year on year when it comes to signing up for sports teams.
As well as an increase in the awareness of staying fit and healthy physically, there is a big component of mental health improvement and catching up on social time lost during the Coronavirus pandemic. A big factor in what has led to the increased numbers trying to get into sports teams.
I focused on the University of Lincoln. In 2021, when the new academic year started, 170 people trialed for the football teams. In 2022, around the same time of year, 300 people trialed. That is a big increase and shows that people are more willing to get out there.
Harvey Gibbs, left-back for the University of Lincoln football first team and who plays a big role in the admin side of the society, said: “I would say that participation levels have increased since COVID’s gone away and that has benefitted us massively because it has allowed us to put more money into the society so that we can develop. The more money we get in the more we can improve and show off the University in a good light.”
In terms of participating in large groups, a sport such as Football has a low health risk because it is outside, meaning infection is less easily spread.
I also spoke to Katie Amos, part of the golf society, she said: “Post COVID the numbers have definitely increased. I think this is due to after lockdown, the first sport allowed back was Golf therefore people started to play it for the social aspect and the freedom. That is a trend that has continued.”
The University of Lincoln golf society has seen its numbers rise from 15 in 2020 to 35 in 2022.
This comes as positive news for existing students and ones looking to apply for university as they will not be alone in wanting to pursue a sport whilst studying.