Society Showcase: Edinburgh Napier’s Men’s Hockey Society
As covid has impacted societies across the board, we wanted to talk to ones that rely on physical contact, so naturally, sports comes to mind. Will, president of Edinburgh Napier’s Men’s hockey society, was kind enough to talk to us about how they’ve had to adjust as a society.
Hype: Thanks for meeting with us today! Can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?
Will: So I’m in third year, studying social sciences and I’m the president and founder of the men’s hockey team at Edinburgh Napier. I started the club in July 2019.
Hype: What did you gain from founding the society and why did you feel like there was a need for it?
Will: I wanted to be involved in a sports team at uni, I thought about rugby, but because I play cricket quite seriously, that wasn’t an option for me injuries wise. I felt like there was a need because I believe every university should have a men’s hockey team, as it’s a popular sport with men as well as women. It’s also just a great way to form an identity and socialise whilst you’re here.
Hype: Did you find it difficult to set up your own sports team and get people to sign up?
Will: We were very proactive on social media and we got chatting with loads of people to share the news. We’re not a big club, but we managed enough to get a team together. The hardest part of running a club is definitely the financial side of things, as funding and securing memberships to pay for the places we train can be tough at times.
We also train people ourselves, as we don’t have the facilities to hire a coach. The committee have a decent background in playing men’s hockey, so we’ve been managing quite well with that!
Hype: How has covid affected the usual running of the club?
Will: Precovid, most of our matches were friendlies with other teams, as we weren’t in BUCS. We actually just got into it last year, but due to covid, we couldn’t start playing competitively just yet. Hopefully, that’ll be able to change soon!
We used to do nights out, karaoke, and loads of great in person events, but this has all had to change. We managed to do movember, but this didn’t need us to be together for it. With getting new members, we struggled a bit, as there was a huge outbreak of covid in the Napier halls. So it was a lot of the same faces. A lot of people have decided not to come back and also, as membership is expensive, it’s hard to convince people to go for our team, when there won’t be any contact for a while.
The main way we’ve worked as a society is through keeping up with each other on socials. It’s really crucial to keep up with people and make sure they’re doing ok right now, as it can be incredibly isolating.
Hype: What would you say to people who want to join societies, but are sceptical due to the pandemic?
Realistically, it’s hard to say just go for it. However, when you join societies you do end up automatically being a part of a group of like minded people. We’re all trying our best to support each other, and you will be able to socialise in some type or form. Once this is all over, sports teams really are a great part of your university experience.