The anxiety diaries: Intermural netball

Shudders in secondary school PE trauma

Welcome to The anxiety diaries, where The Tab Exeter is trying out all the things you’ve wanted to do at uni but have been too scared to do.

Starting at a place that brings pure fear to most people: competitive group sports. It may be my secondary school PE tinted glasses, but the idea of playing netball, with a group of relative strangers (tethered together by only a society in common) in the Sports Park fills me with genuine dread.

Exercising in public generally isn’t fun unless you’re one of those people who swan up Forum Hill looking like a Gymshark rep and when you throw the Sports Park into the mix, man does it get worse (have you seen the hill?)

I turned up feeling proud having actually found the place – all the matches usually take place on a Sunday evening on the covered courts, round the corner from the sports park main building. I decided to play for surf society seeing as I knew a couple of people in there already and figured ratio wise, there was a good chance of at least one person I knew turning up. I was soon introduced to others who didn’t know many other people and came infrequently. My inner metronome of fear slowed down a little, especially as there was a large group of people we were only needed to play a quarter each – infinitely lowering the chances of running for the best part of an hour and passing out in the middle of the court.

However, things quickly escalated when some people from the adjacent courts (about four netball games play at once) came over – they had only three players for their game and those of you who know that the minimum number of players needed is seven are probably beginning to see the problem. Long story short: I turned up for surf and ended up playing for maths. The closest I have been to maths since GCSEs is looking at my bank balance.

Despite this, and the fact I played for a whole game rather than a quarter (sans any medical emergencies), it was actually pretty good fun – red face aside. Luckily it transpires no one takes inter-mural *that* seriously, and honestly, they’re usually just grateful that you turned up. If you turn up and they have more than enough players, consider yourself the newly appointed side-line hype girl – oh, and there’s usually post match celebrations at The Ram – as it turns out, it’s a must.

Anything you’ve been curious to try at uni? DM us on Instagram @thetab.exeter with suggestions of what to do next.

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