Despite feeling like I’ve been in Bears forever Burla was a reminder that I’m only just done with my first year here, disregard for any instruction I gave in circle was followed by shouts of “shut it fresher” from the crowd of graduates. But to the intake of freshers hopefully I will be a fountain of Frisbee knowledge so here’s a few of the things you can do with bears in just one year.
The taster sessions were great fun, Ed broke the ice with an enthusiastic leading of the name game and in the coming weeks we went on a steep learning curve regarding our throwing and understanding of the game, going from never having played to playing beginners tournaments. I went to NBWin, a womens beginners tournament, and tried out handling, learnt tactics between games and had my first experience of playing Frisbee with a hangover from the tournament party – more to come on this. Having come stone dead last at NBWin the only way was up!
I didn’t have the chance to compete at any more indoor competitions in first term as I was splitting my time between Frisbee and rowing (manageable but somewhat stressful) but despite missing weekends and Wednesday sessions I remained active in the club, mysteriously always finding time to attend the weekly socials and got the opportunity to be on the kit committee that designed and ordered our bears stash.
After Christmas came Windoors! The weekend of week zero term two Bears hold an indoor tournament where alumni teams, amongst others, return to prove these young folk on Bears 7 still have much to learn. (We did, this was another weekend of being destroyed in pretty much every match). But it was a great opportunity to get to know more people and watch some high quality indoors. During term two I watched our womens team come 5th at indoor nationals, saw my first year beginners team “Barbearians” succeed in tournaments around the country and honed my costume making, beer pong technique and bad dance moves at pop! I wanted to help with the club that had made my first two terms at uni what they were, with my best experiences and friends having come from the club, and ran for the role of social sec on the exec, albeit uncontested.
I played for the second open team in sub regionals over easter which prepared me for the level I would face at UUT, a loose mixed tournament in Amsterdam. This was an absolute party all weekend (Not so much the sunday morning) and was the location for my lightbulb Frisbee moment of realising I could be useful on the pitch! I was committing to bids and stopped worrying about making mistakes, this confidence in my abilities would prove crucial to my next tournament: Womens outdoor nationals. Injuries to some key players somewhat halted our hopes of glory at womens nationals however being an almost exclusively freshers team meant that I got the chance to co-captain and handle. The open team were also competing in Div 1 nationals and both teams supported each other through a great weekend.
To wrap up term was end of season awards, Bears Holiday on the beach in Bournemouth, and a few days watching the under 23 world championships in St Albans (Which will host World Championships next year) where outgoing womens captain Kat was playing for GB U23. There were opportunities to play various Tours (club outdoor tournaments) which I couldn’t make however did pick up for a Coventry team to play a tournament with over summer. Finally in September came Burla, our annual trip to Italy to play a beach tournament and generally have a holiday. I played for the mixed team and learnt so much from the experienced players on my team. We stayed in bungalows not far from the beach and there were trips to Florence, Pisa and a hike up some nearby mountains to keep us entertained; however I spent this time playing Battenberg on the beach, swimming and reading my book, so it’s really up to you how you want to spend the week. We had circles a few nights and chilled out playing various bears games until the early hours every night. It is definitely the highlight of the bears calendar and I can’t recommend it enough.
I can’t quite believe I’ve only known the Bears a year, I have had so many opportunities and great memories with them and many are the closest friends I made in my first year at Warwick. Basically, come try a taster session and see, because it’s a great club to be a part of.
By Cathy Hensman