Grab Life by the Balls

Grab Life by the Balls

Jamal Thomas Rizvi explains his love for dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and dodging, after attending a UCLU Dodgeball Club taster session.

Dodgeball is a sport that I was first introduced to in the distant past of primary school, where you would be wearing those classic black plimsolls and awkwardly short shorts. It was a great time in P.E. when we would be scheduled to play *insert sport you do not like playing* but the British weather would force us indoors and we would resort to dodgeball. Isobel Wilson, President of the UCLU Dodgeball Society, said that “dodgeball was the best P.E. lesson in school” and to be honest I think I would go as far as to say that dodgeball was just the best lesson in school.

The rules of dodgeball are pretty simple; lots of people will know them from the classic film with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. The five D’s of dodgeball are dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. They are the five pillars of life; and trust me, with the amount of people who turn up to the free taster sessions on a Friday evening from 5.00-6.30pm at Somers Town Sports Centre (over 100 people squashed into half of a sports centre), the double dodge is essential for ensuring you don’t get trampled. Don’t get me wrong, we all had a blast despite the fact it was busy, if anything the fact that there were more people there made it better – more targets to aim for!

I attended a taster session this time last year on a whim, ended up loving the atmosphere and came back every week. The atmosphere is one of general acceptance of everybody’s inability to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge. Well that’s not entirely true, but what I am trying to say is something that was perhaps articulated better by Isobel when she said, “it’s a sport for the average Joe, that’s why people attend it so avidly, because after all, you don’t have to be great at sport to have fun.”


New UCLU Dodgeball Club members at their taster session

Dodgeball didn’t even exist at UCL a few years ago, but has now grown into a hugely popular sport. It is a testament to what sport is truly about – having fun and bringing people together. You don’t have to have done a sport before, you don’t have to be good at a sport, that’s not what it’s about – especially not what Try Fortnight is about. I will be G.I.A.G (Giving It A Go) at several sports this week including amateur boxing, MMA, and parkour, and I would strongly recommend anyone to do the same.

Try something new – you may love it, make loads of friends, and change your university experience for the better. Plus, the balls don’t even hurt when they hit you so there’s no excuse not to go.

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