Surfing has always been a passion of mine and I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to surf throughout my time at university.
I was keen to join a surfing club before I arrived as it was a sport I had fallen in love with during my time in Australia prior to university. So, I got in contact with Leeds Beckett's surf club through their Facebook page in my first week here, and I signed up on the surf stand at Freshers Fair. The club is not just professionals - there were many individuals wanting to sign up at Freshers Fair who had never surfed before and wanted to try something new.
At the beginning of the year we hold an event called 'Foamie Fest' which is where all members participate in a free surf lesson in Scarborough as an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. It is open to any ability, so whether it is someone’s first try or they are very experienced, everybody is welcome. After this, there are regular trips throughout the year to Cayton Bay and Scarborough North Bay so that we can get in the water and get surfing. Some people are surprised that Leeds Beckett has a surfing club seeing as Leeds isn't near the coast, however Scarborough is only about an hour and a half away.
As well as surfing in the UK, we also go abroad. Every year (during January’s Refreshers Week) we take a winter trip abroad and we choose a different destination each time.
Our most recent adventure was to Morocco where 25 of us went to Taghazout for a week. We had a beautiful rooftop balcony and surfed on some of the world’s best beaches. A highlight of the trip was exploring Moroccan markets, cliff jumping in Paradise Valley and skating down sand dunes in the desert.
Another adventure the club had was when we travelled down to Newquay for the annual BUCS competition. Only a handful of members competed but it was a fantastic weekend to practice surfing and support your friends.
As well as the surfing, the club all get together for social events too. We hold fancy dress socials every couple of weeks and there's always a new theme. We also organise dry socials for those who do not wish to drink alcohol which are really fun. Recently we went to Laserzone (lazer quest) followed by a dinner at Nandos. These socials mean our team is really inclusive and open to everyone, as we know sometimes people are afraid that sports clubs or societies can involve a lot of drinking.
I've benefited so much from being a part of the team. As social secretary and the first female captain of the club, I have learned to become more organised. This has come in handy, especially when booking venues for socials and arranging transport to and from day trips. This is a skill I have utilised in all aspects of my student life from managing assignments to my part time job and I hope to develop it further in the future.
I would definitely recommend joining a society at university because you meet people you wouldn’t cross paths with otherwise. We have all become so close that I would go as far as to say that your society becomes like your second family and is a great addition to university life.