By Tolu Atilola
They say that you either leave Oxford with a first, a Blue, or a spouse - and today we’re discussing Blues!
Blues and half-blues are both awards that can be achieved by students at Oxford who take part in university-level sport. Eligible sports range from basketball to dancesport to polo! To be awarded a blue, one must normally compete / excel at a Varsity match (against Cambridge) or in other high-level (e.g. BUCS) fixtures. Apart from the honour of receiving a Blue, you may also receive some money from your college, and you also have the opportunity to get your own Blues blazer!
While a Blue marks a great achievement at Oxford, getting involved in university sport more generally is a fantastic way of keeping fit, challenging yourself, and making new friends. This year, I have had the pleasure of taking up women’s Rugby League! While I had dabbled in college rugby and played a little bit of Union in first year, I was particularly motivated to join as the club was just restarting this year after the folding of the women’s side in 2015, so most people were brand new to the club and Rugby League as well.
I can honestly say that joining a uni sports club (especially one as welcoming as League!) has been the highlight of my year - it’s allowed me to work towards non-academic goals, make new friends from different years/colleges/subjects, as well as ensuring I got some good exercise in between preparing for Finals and doing coursework. I also think that having regular weekly commitments forced me to structure my working time better, so I ended up having a lot more time to relax in between too. The cherry on top of my sporting experience so far was our 24-20 victory against Cambridge at the Varsity Match in June. While we’re not quite eligible for Blues status yet, it was still an amazing experience and I would thoroughly recommend to anyone and everyone to get involved in sport at Oxford - whether that be at university or college level.
A list of all available sports can be found at: https://www.sport.ox.ac.uk/sports-a-to-z