By Adam Wakefield
For those of you who are new to Rhodes, may I extend a hearty and warm welcome. You will soon experience what it is to be a university student, especially a Rhodent. An important aspect of any varsity student life is of course, and might I happily say, sport.
Sport at Rhodes is no exception, but with a slight twist. I have been to a couple of the other varsities around this beautiful country of ours and seen the sports life as a separate component from that of the student life. On this campus it is the opposite. You will find that once you become involved with a particular sports club, that club is an extension of your Rhodes personality.
If you were at another varsity, some of the people that you play with you will only see within the confines of that sport. At Rhodes, you will see that person at the Rat or hitting the dance floor at The Union.
One aspect of Rhodent sportsmen and women is that they are just simply superhuman. Now this is quite a boast, but it comes from careful research and many nights accompanied by a cricket team worth of draughts.
I would merrily be enjoying my evening when all of a sudden you notice a first team member has just collapsed from the inertia brought on by a Mr Tassenburg or Uncle Crackers (You will be acquainted with these two lovely entities this week, I assure you). I would then think “this man has got to play tomorrow…looks like his team will be a man short.”
The next day would arrive, and I’d be at the stands, slightly weakened, assuming that the team missing a chap would be the gentlemen I saw turned into a perishable fruit by alcohol the night before. Amazingly, I see said thought-to-be perishable gallantly, like a rock star, wage a personal war against his (or her) hang-over for the Rhodes cause. That’s why Rhodes sports people are superhuman.
On a slightly more serious note (though I’m not kidding when saying we Rhodes sports people are superhuman), playing sport at and for Rhodes is one of the best ways to be involved in campus life. The fact that all sports societies host the infamous “cheese and wines” throughout the year is reason enough to get involved. The reason why you play sport for this varsity will be most evident at Tri-Varsity, Fish River and Boat Races, which I have no doubt you will know about before this crazy week of partying and delving into everything that is purple is over.
If you played a sport at school or are keen to try something different, go to one of the clubs and give it a go. You will be pleasantly surprised, as I was when I first got here two long years ago, that playing any sport or activity on this campus is one of the most rewarding avenues of your life at Rhodes University.