Your VP Societies & Sport Summer Update

We caught up with VP Societies & Sport Alex Parry to find out what he's been up to over the summer months, what he's looking forward to this academic year, and how you can get involved with our amazing student groups!

Image of VP Societies & Sport Alex Parry by the Emily Wilding Davison Building with Founder's Bu

As the start of Term one approaches, our student-led sports clubs and societies (commonly referred to as student groups) are making their final preparations to welcome new students and get back to in-person activity. After such a difficult year, we have seen how important it really is to keep active, to keep connected, and just to take some time away from your academic life. This is where our societies and sports clubs come in as they can offer exactly that.

Joining a student group can really be something that defines a student’s life at university, being part of something they love and connecting with people who have similar interests or who come from similar cultures. For all these reasons, I am incredibly passionate about encouraging students to get involved in student group activities. I personally have been on both sides from not joining anything in my first year (and later regretting it!) to then joining Men's Football the year after and truly seeing how amazing participating in a group at university is. Being able to regularly take part in a sport that you and everyone else around you love and making lifelong close friendships within the club was the best part of my own student experience at Royal Holloway!

We offer an amazing and diverse collection of groups. Whether it be one of our sports clubs, our activity and interest groups, or maybe liberation and representation groups - I am sure you will find what you are looking for. If not, we always want to expand and develop more groups so if you see there is an opening for a new group that you are passionate about then I am always more than happy to help you start it up!

So how can you get involved?

The best place to meet all our groups is to come along to our Freshers’ Fair which is held down at the Sports Centre on Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 September between 12:00 and 17:00. Here you will get to see loads of stalls and meet some of the students who run these groups – who will be happy to answer your questions. You can also check out what groups we have to offer through our Societies and Sports web pages!

How much will it cost?

Each group sets its own membership fee, which usually covers the cost of things like coaching, transport, and equipment. This fee really varies between groups and very much depends on the breadth of their activity for the year. As an example, many of our societies are much cheaper to join than our sports clubs as they don’t have to cover the cost of a coach. You can find out the cost of membership on each group’s page on our website.

We do also realise that joining groups for some individuals isn't always financially possible, which is exactly why we have set up the new Access Fund to help.

What is the Access Fund?

The Access Fund is there to help out students who are struggling to access groups due to financial barriers. With support from Royal Holloway alumni, we have introduced the fund this year to make sure all students from all backgrounds can afford to access and participate in student group activity. The costs can sometimes just be too high for students so the fund is available to make sure that everybody has a chance to get involved in clubs and societies! The fund can be used to cover many things, such as the joining fee for a group, equipment to take part or even trips that enhance your experience.

How do you apply?

Fill out the form and a staff member will be in touch ASAP!

I really look forward to seeing you down at the Sports Centre on Monday and Tuesday (20/21 September) for Freshers’ Fair. If you see me around, please stop to say hello and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.