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Kingston University sports clubs show a rise in membership

By River Reporter Oct 11, 2012

Kingston University has had a rise in members at its sports clubs following the London Olympics.

Sam McEvoy

The London Olympic legacy has had a dramatic impact on Kingston University sport this semester, with preliminary figures showing a massive rise in interest in a variety of sports that proved popular during the Games.

Clubs such as rowing, cycling and boxing have had a surge in applicants this year, after the likes of Kingston’s own Ed McKeever, as well as Sir Chris Hoy and Nichola Adams, brought home gold for Team GB.

Rowing has had a huge 50 per cent increase in applicants this year, posing a happy problem for club captain, Sam Corn, who has to whittle down the team to 40 members.

“The numbers have gone up. There are a lot more people wanting to join rowing instead of being asked to join rowing. Since last year, the massive increase with women joining the club has doubled. This is something that Kingston has never seen before,” he said a week after the rowing trials.

Corn, who studies exercise health and nutrition, also added: “Last year we had to narrow it down from 60 to 40 people. This year, we’ll have to narrow it down from maybe 80 or 90 people, which can only be better for Kingston sport.”

And it wasn’t just the rowing club that gathered a lot of attention as the cycling club managed to interest over 200 people at this year’s Freshers’ Fayre, with it being described as an “instant success”.

Second-year business management student, James Mitchell, who set up the cycling club this year, explained how the Olympics was a major factor in the rising interest in the sport.

He said: “We are a new club this year so people are joining. Previous attempts to start a club have failed. I think a lot of it has been due to the Olympics. For example, at least eight people in the society brought their own bikes this summer after the Olympics.”

The society will offer students interested in cycling a group that they can ride with, both in races and for social trips. They did their first successful ride around Richmond Park last Wednesday.

Kingston was packed with people enjoying the Olympic events in August and among them was third year civil engineering student, Karoline Horn Baksaas, who was rooting for her native Norway in a sea of GB fans. 

 She said: “The atmosphere was great, especially when the Team GB bikers passed us.”

Boxing has also proved a popular choice among fresher’s, with twice as many applicants on last year.

Boxing president Ayo Bami, a geology student, said the past week had “been intense” thanks to the number of fresher’s who have shown interest in the boxing club.

He said: “People are showing an interest every day. I believe the Olympics played a major factor in that.

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