Aberystwyth is home to the biggest Rugby 7s tournament in Wales, hosted by the Student’s Union. It’s a weekend filled with rugby, a few drinks (or more) and friendly competition. It’s open to anyone, even if you’ve never player before!
I’ve been lucky enough to be part of one of netball’s rugby 7s teams, District 7s, for the past 4 years. I’d played a bit of rugby in school before but some of the girls had never even touched a rugby ball! In the weeks leading up to Rugby 7’s our captains ran a few sessions to get the basics down and were helped by a few volunteers from Aberystwyth University Men’s Rugby Club.
On the lead up to the event you get to buy or design your own rugby kit, which has resulted in loads of different styles, some with my little pony on! Most importantly you get to choose your number (I managed to bag my lucky number and I think it worked a treat).
The weekend itself is held on the Saturday and Sunday of the first bank holiday weekend in May. There’s always a buzz as the playing field starts building up with tents and sound systems blaring. There’s even a tent where you can buy food, drink and mould your own gum shield if you forget yours. If you don’t fancy the food on offer in the tents Maccies is just down the road, and is an absolutely ideal place to chill for an hour between games, with a hot drink to warm yourself up after freezing on the field!
Last year was one of the best years at 7s I have had and I cannot wait to top it this year. A lot of the old netball girls came back to play and it was amazing to have them back and hear about what they’ve been able to do after uni. Our team had a tough few matches against some of the more experienced teams, and some really fun matches against the other teams with not much experience; we came third in our division and were put in the play offs for the Shield. Our first two games went well and we won them. We were so close to winning the shield again, something we hadn’t managed since 3 years prior and were determined to do.
We managed to battle it out to become finalists for the shields against Y Geltaidd, the Welsh women’s rugby team. After a pep talk from our captain on the blustery Sunday afternoon we ran onto the pitch (gum shields in hand) with a final warning from our men’s rugby coaches of, ‘remember to pass’. The game got off to a tough start with tackles being made at every point. I have never felt so exhausted in my life. But we pushed on to bag the first try of the match! The game kept on going up from there as we held our own and scored the winning try!
But it’s not all about winning. Through the rain, wind, bruised limbs and cold we managed to have one of the best weekends Aber has to offer. I made some great friends from other teams and created memories with my friends it will be hard to forget. Especially with so many attractive photos of me lurking around (see above)!
This is truly an experience that shows to everyone why Aber is so great, you’ll meet people and students from all over and have such a good time (even if you do feel like Jack Frost at times). It’s only available here in Aber, so what are you waiting for? Come to Aber and get involved!