Saturday, 15 October 2016

Varsity Ice Hockey 2016

Varsity is an awesome culture in itself. A week long event of sports that brings people together and promotes healthy competition between 'rivalling' Universities. The biggest and baddest event of this week is Ice Hockey. University chants all around you with a thrilling and fast paced game right in front of your eyes. Traditionally, it's an event that every Sheffield student must go to at least once before they graduate. This year, I had the opportunity to view this amazing game and had another accomplishment on my Sheffield bucket list.

Held at the Sheffield Arena, this year's Ice Hockey finals was attended by over 7000 students. For the second year running, the final event beat the record of highest attendance at a Varsity Ice Hockey match outside North America!

The easiest way to get there was to take a tram from the city centre and this journey proved an amazing trip in itself. As soon as we boarded the tram, a huge number of Hallam students stepped in, all dressed in Red and White. Us being a small number of uni-of students, dressed in Black and Gold, were a bit intimated at first but filled with pride from the overall Varsity win already in the bag, we sat upright beaming with confidence. The best part was when the chants began. Imagine 200 Hallam students chanting compared to 20 uni-of students shouting their hearts out. This is the best part of the varsity culture, a healthy rivalry between the 2 universities which ends with varsity and everyone goes back to being friends.

As we arrived in the Arena, me and my friends seated ourselves among the Black and Gold crowd and lucky us, we found some blow up sticks and posters. The game started off with the whistle and the first quarter was very tense with both the teams competing eagerly, however, Hallam scored the first goal within 3 minutes into the game. As the second period came in, the score was equalised to 3-3 by the efforts of both sides, however, Hallam scored their final goal in the final period, crushing our hopes. They reclaimed their title of 'Undefeated Varsity Ice Hockey Champions', once again.

At the end of the game, our sports officer was presented with the coveted Varsity trophy and we were all elated with joy. The match proved to be one of my best experiences in Sheffield and although we lost the Ice Hockey finals, we won Varsity!

- Abhinav Kongari
International Office Ambassador for India

Monday, 10 October 2016

A short notice trip to Peak District (contains directions to Stanage Edge)

What do you do when you're stressed out with exams? What do you do when you need some fresh air? What do you do when its sunny outside? What do you do when its your flatmate's birthday? You go to Peak district!

Sheffield is amazing in a number of ways and the best part is that it is located right at the vicinity of Peak District which is the oldest national park in the United Kingdom. All you need is about 6 hours of your day, a packed lunch and a brave heart to walk around 12 miles (probably directions as well!).

Its funny how the journeys planned on a short notice turn out to be one of the best ever. It was a nice sunny Thursday afternoon after 2 continuous days of rain. Reading week was going on and I was chilling in the living room (not recommended during exam period). Suddenly my flatmate comes in and he wants to go to Peak District. Since its his birthday, I decide to go along with the plan (deep inside I'm really happy). Off we go on a journey!

Let's go on a journey!

We took the 120 bus to the last stop on the Fulwood road (Beware! do not take the 120 that goes to Ranmoor) and the hike started from there. We walked on and on and on along quiet lane and then the clough lane till we reached the Mayfield Alpacas farm (yay alpacas!)

Alpacas <3

After chilling out with the Alpacas (careful, they spit) and horses, we went further down the Ringinglow road, saw a house with loads of jumping dogs and chased cattle along the fields, till we finally reached the Stanage edge. There were a couple of people walking around and quite a few keen rock climbers were also seen. We basked out in the sun and jumped from one rock to the other for about an hour and then it was time we headed back home.

Have these stone wheels been there since stone age?

Me being the adventurous trip leader, decide to take a different route back home and so we turned right at the end of the Stanage edge and headed off towards the Redmires reservoir. After a long and arduous journey, one of the most beautiful sights ever was right infront of our eyes (maybe we were just hallucinating as we were so tired). We kept on following the Redmires road and finally reached the Manchester road, from where we took the 51 bus and soon, we were back in Endcliffe.

Ahoy! Redmires in view!

If you ever decide to go to the Peak district, you can follow the instructions laid out in bold. I would also recommend consulting Google Maps so that you do not get lost. Finally, do go to Peak District as long as you're here because a legend says 'You never really graduate from The University of Sheffield unless you've been to the Peak District'!