If you asked me at the start of my time at uni what it means to be a Gryphon I would have probably just said that you are on a sports team. However I have learnt that it so much more during my time at Leeds. Offering students a whole range of opportunities Leeds is home to one of the most inclusive and diverse sports programmes.

With 70 different sports all clamouring for attention at the freshers fair you instantly know that by becoming a Gryphon you are entering into something big. You aren’t just part of one individual team. Everyone is welcomed into a huge family where every sports club supports one another. The atmosphere at our team events like Varsity and Christy Cup is always crazy with everyone cheering along.

During my 1st year I instantly joined the Swimming and Water Polo society, sticking to what I know. Everyone was welcoming and full of handy little tips and advice to survive first year. I knew then that being a Gryphon was more than just about competing. Joining a sports society offers you such strong friendships. Everyone is constantly celebrating each other’s successes, commiserating losses together and helping each other out.

Coming into my second year I wanted to branch out and decided to join the University of Leeds Boat Club. I was picking up a completely new sport which is a challenge by anyone’s standards. The great thing about Leeds is that anyone can try any sport. From surfing to cheerleading, you just have to give it a go! Leeds is a fantastic place to try out something new and it has so much to offer.

There are so many different aspects to sport here at Leeds. There is a place for everyone no matter what your interest. During my time at the Boat Club I was inspired to perform to the best of my abilities but I’ve also been provided with other opportunities. I have been able to gain leadership skills through becoming a squad captain and I have also found the time to help coach new students starting the sport for the first time just like I did. It’s great to see how each club helps empower all of its members to make the most of every opportunity.

There is one final thing I’ve noticed when it comes to being a Leeds Gryphon. Everyone has such a tremendous amount of pride. From endless chants about Leeds to wild celebrations! You can find individuals across the globe still wearing their Gryphons kit and representing Leeds. Whether you want to volunteer, compete or play socially there is a place for everyone. It’s clear that being a Gryphon isn’t just for university, it’s for life.