KU sports teams are struggling to pass the baton to newer members in order to ensure a club’s longevity, which is largely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tiffany Tang, vice-captain/Treasurer of KU Hockey said: “We haven’t managed to recruit that many first years. Our Freshers’ Fair was promising, however we emailed those that signed up and not that many actually came to training.”
Hockey player and President of KU Karting, Andres Bedoya, said: “I think the reason that people do not follow through with turning up to training and matches after signing up really differs depending on their year of study.
“Students undertaking their masters degree or last year of study have a harder time committing due to balancing dissertations, exams and assignments simultaneously. Some other people simply might not find it to be as fun as they were expecting or they just sign up to everything.”
Bedoya agrees that Covid-19 has taken away the social factor of sports societies despite government restrictions being eased and for the most part lifted.
Bedoya said: “People like to stay home now and there is still fear in the air of getting Covid. A lot of first years missed out on the social aspects due to being locked down for the duration of their university sporting experience.
“The social aspect is quite a big part of it. You miss meeting people and going out. Playing a sport keeps you active and is a good way to improve your mental health and disconnect from all the stress of assignments.”
No-one to pass to
If people are not joining for the sense of community after a couple of years of isolation, there is not much to entice newcomers.
Tang said: “Being vice-captain and one of only two committee members, it’s made putting time into hockey really difficult. My course is very demanding and trying to get people to play and organise matches is a challenge, especially when in previous years there would be at least five seniors doing all that.”
“Normally at the end of the year, a new committee is chosen to run the club the following year but we didn’t have that because of the break from sports for a year due to Covid,” said Tang.
Tang outlines the bleak future of the hockey team through stressing that the break in recruiting members and lack of frequent activity has left them with undesirable recruitment numbers this year.
The future of KU hockey remains uncertain with both vice-captains claiming to have no clue what will happen to the club or if anyone will take over.