UCC Sport has remained relatively quiet since the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year, with few clubs returning to competitive action. It is expected that with a loosening of public health restrictions in December that clubs will be able to increase their operating capacity towards the end of the year; the reopening of the Mardyke Arena will also be critical for the training schedule of many clubs. There are however a few notable events that our University teams have been organising to keep students engaged remotely.
UCC Sport Podcast:
‘Spark to Sport’ – a UCC Sport Podcast series by Jeff Gomez (UCC Sport High-Performance Manager) which started at the beginning of the Summer is continuing to produce weekly episodes, and is available to listen to from the UCC Sport website. Now in its ninth week of airing, the podcast features conversations with those overseeing sport in the college as well as students who are participating in the Quercus Sport’s Scholarship programme. Great discussions are to be heard with students such as Johnny Durcan on his hopes of qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in sailing, as well as a chat with Colm Doyle on the rise of surfing at UCC and the difficulties of being a student in a pandemic. With thirty minutes of talk, it’s a great chance for students to remain connected to sport in the college while play is temporarily halted.
UCC Clubs take on Movember:
A number of UCC Sports Clubs have been participating in this year’s UCC Movember campaign, which at the time of writing has raised €26,000. The UCC Aussie Rules Club have been the trailblazers in this year’s campaign, contributing close to €7,000 of the total tally. Through bingo nights, virtual poker, and some questionable moustache attempts, the club has brought much attention to the Movember cause. UCC Rugby has also been heavily involved in this year’s MoCampaign. They too have run a successful Movember campaign, raising close to €4,000 for the cause. The Rugby Club also began their “Call A Mate” campaign in recent weeks, in which the club is encouraging its members to use rugby as a reason for people to stay connected during the current lockdown. The club used the half-time break of Ireland’s opening game against Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup as the first run-out of their campaign, with members of the club calling someone they knew and checking up on them. The campaign has been picked up by a number of UCC’s competitors in the Energia All-Ireland League, who are also getting involved by sharing the campaign through social media.
Mardyke Arena UCC – Cork Sports Partnership:
The facilities at the Mardyke Arena have been missed by many UCC Students over the current Level 5 restrictions, and to keep members engaged, the Arena staff have partnered with Cork Sports Partnership to keep members active during the most recent Lockdown. In its weekly “Keeping Cork Healthy” column in the Evening Echo, the Arena provides advice on how to maintain fitness levels at home, with tips on respiratory health, mental health, along with more niche information for different sportspeople, such as flexibility exercises for golfers. The column offers different insights from Arena experts each week and can be complemented by the daily workout videos that the Arena posts to its Youtube channel. The channel features workouts for all fitness levels, featuring everything from Yoga to HIIT classes, with no equipment needed. The Arena hopes to reopen on December 1st, but their online activity will keep students engaged in the meantime.
At the end of last month, UCC Ladies Hockey Club joined the 20×20 campaign. The 20×20 campaign aims to address the lack of visibility and cultural perception of women in sport, and UCC Ladies Hockey Club will join over 300 clubs already participating in the movement from 23 different disciplines. The club’s members also remained connected during the lockdown through their participation in the ‘Turn UCC Pink’ event, which saw members of the club run 200km to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer research.
A number of UCC Clubs are expected to hold their delayed trials for Fresher Teams in mid-December, and students are encouraged to follow the social media channels of their clubs to stay updated on dates. Hopefully, we’ll see our many clubs back in full-flow towards the end of this year.