Arianwen Herbert | Warwick Sport Squash Activator
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I have been involved with Squash at Warwick for two years now, and I am part of the Team Warwick Performance programme and a member of the Women’s second team.
I have loved being part of Team Warwick. I’ve tried many sports during my life, but I think most people have experienced the feeling that if you’re not an absolute A-team player who’s going to win for the club every time, you will get left aside. At Warwick Sport this hasn’t mattered.
I’ve been seen as having something extra to contribute and something of value in a different capacity, which has really reinforced to me the value of inclusivity.
Being a Warwick Sport Activator and being part of something that inspires and helps other people has also been amazing. Watching people like me come to the Women’s Rock Up sessions, with the same reservations I would have had, grow in confidence and become players who love the same sport that I love has been so rewarding.
Playing squash has contributed to my mental and physical health massively.
The strength and fitness I’ve gained through playing and training makes me feel so much more confident in my body’s capability. I even did my first half marathon this year, which wasn’t pretty, but was a tremendous personal achievement.
Training every day energises and motivates me while providing me with a routine, which can be difficult to achieve at university. Training in the morning sets my mood up for a good day and playing in the evening helps me decompress from the stresses of the day and wind down for a great evening.
I love both training and playing and, like everyone, I love to win. However, the most rewarding part is knowing that I facilitate and support people in a way I wish someone would have for me.
I like watching new recruits relax as they realise that they’re genuinely welcomed, supported and encouraged, even if they don’t get that shot every time. I love seeing them grow in confidence as well as skill.
I particularly enjoy when they ask me how long I’ve been playing, assuming it’s unattainable to be as involved as I am without having been part of the sport their whole life. The look in their eyes when I tell them I’ve only been playing for two years is priceless.
I would go so far as to say that my involvement has indirectly helped me to understand myself better.
The satisfaction I get from my roles has helped me understand that I’m a facilitator, not a gatekeeper. I love seeing people with reservations due to poor prior experience realise that they are genuinely welcome and supported in growing and exceeding their own expectations, and any expectations others might have of them.
Being at Warwick has definitely helped me with my involvement in sport, and without a doubt the credit must go to Steve Townsend, the Head Squash Coach. He invited me to train with the performance squad, and continues to support me in several different ways.
Being part of the Performance Squad has not only helped me to become a better player, but more importantly, has actively demonstrated the skills I need to successfully support new players.
I know I’ll always have this sport and I’ll always have a way to keep fit and to find a community to be part of wherever I go.
Team Warwick is the combined club community on campus. Keep healthy, have fun and meet new people; discover Team Warwick
Sam Davis Content Contributor, Warwick Sport
Sam is a content writer and sport enthusiast with a keen interest in football, judo, and hockey.
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