In coming to the University of Nottingham, you are not only part of a fantastic university sport set-up, but you’re also in an amazing sporting city. Steeped in success and history, sport in Nottingham is world class and also affordable. Here’s a quick guide to what to expect this year.
Live Football and Rugby
Football has a massive following and history in Nottingham, with its two rival clubs Nottingham Forest and Notts County. Although Forest can boast of being in the Championship and have two European Cups to their name, County stake their claim in the history books as the oldest professional league club in the country.
Despite a questionable campaign last year, with the signings of Simon Cox and Billy Sharp, the return of Jermaine Jenas – as well as the experienced Danny Collins shoring the side up defensively – Forest’s intent for the season is clear. With this year promising to be an exciting footballing season, Forest have introduced a new student membership for the year, free of charge, entitling full time students to reduced tickets at various prices. Simply fill out the form online and start going for less! The City Ground is only about a twenty minute walk from the city centre and with the bus from campus only costing a pound, you are ensured a cheap but very entertaining event.
A stone’s throw from the City ground sits Meadow Lane, home of the Juventus-inspiring Notts County. The famous story of the side getting their kit out to Italy has led to a potential visit from the Series A side later this year. Like Forest, County have been very active in the summer transfer window with a wave of free signings, strengthening the squad in preparation for a serious promotion challenge. Players with a wealth of lower league experience such as Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Gary Liddle and Enoch Showunmi add depth to an already impressive squad, and manager Curle clearly has them playing to get results. Located directly opposite the City Ground, tickets for County games will set you back just £15 in the aged 16-21 category. County even advertise some games for a mere £3. See the website for more, as special offers will often pop up for certain games.
In the spirit of the ‘ball in hand’ game, Nottingham Rugby Football Club also offer an attractive option to students. The Club currently play in the second tier of the English game and finished just outside the play-off spot last season. The club also play their games at Meadow Lane alongside Notts County, but with incredible prices for students at a maximum of £3.50, well worth it for a side on the edge of the top tier of English professional rugby.
If you’re more of a water sports kind of person, again, Nottingham is the right place for you. The National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont offers a truly world class facility, hosting a rowing course and white-water canoe slalom course. Prices again start from just £15 so if this is something you have never tried before, it is well worth it – and it’s right on your doorstep.
Trent Bridge Cricket
With the County cricket season already closed down for winter and everyone’s focus being firmly on the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka it may seem strange to be focusing on Trent Bridge. But it’s time to unearth your diaries and plan what you are going to treat yourself to in 2013. Home to one of the top County teams, Trent Bridge offers a panoramic viewing experience and with the first matches programmed for early April it would seem like the perfect excuse for a day off revision.
The crown jewel in the Trent Bridge 2013 Calendar comes in the form of the most heated rivalry in International cricket. Hosting the opening Test Match between England and Australia on 10th July 2013, Trent Bridge will hope to prove a fortress from which England can kick start their defence of the Ashes. With a new look team under the leadership of the inexperienced but fresh-faced Essex boy Alastair Cook, this Ashes is an exciting prospect. Tickets are already going for between £140-£700.
How to get there: Indigo bus to Maid Marian Way (Stop M2); Walk to Maid Marian Way (Stop M1); 8/Green Line bus to West Bridgford, Hound Road.
Capital FM Arena
The Capital FM Arena is a place you must visit if you love sport and want to see something a bit different. The Arena hosts the successful Nottingham Panthers ice hockey side which has won the Challenge Cup for the last three seasons in a row. They currently have NHL’s Anthony Stewart who has joined from the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The season continues until the end of March and ticket prices range from between £8.50 and £18.50.
November sees the WWE Raw World Tour come to the Capital FM Arena. Tickets will be limited and prices go from anything between £20 and £60. The tour sees the USA championship match between Zack Ryder and Antonio Cesaro and also features John Cena against CM Punk.
Nottingham’s biggest sporting event of 2012 sees Carl Froch return to his home city to defend his IBF World Super middleweight title against Yusuf Mack of America on November 17th. Froch became champion at the Arena in May and will be hoping the home support will spur him on to defend his title.
The wrestling continues as the TNA ‘Road to Lockdown’ Maximum Impact V tour comes to the Arena in January making it the first steel cage match ever in the UK. The likes of Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy will all be in attendance and you can get tickets online from £22.50.
Powerleague Nottingham is the place for all the Lionel Messis – or Emile Heskeys – of our University to show off. It has a student/under-23 league system at discounted prices which consists of many leagues to cater all levels, so ability doesn’t matter. Pre-season grading tournaments ensure you’re entered into a league that matches your team’s ability. With roll-on, roll-off substitutions, five-aside squads can be large enough to deal with any lack of fitness issues, so there’s no excuse not to be found there! Leagues run on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.
If it’s a casual kickabout you’re looking for, pitches can be rented at student prices outside of league nights. The pitches are located on Thane Road next to the playing fields at Grove Farm, which cater for the University’s inter-mural, faculty and society football and rugby matches. Taxis to and from Thane Road are easy, and especially when taxi-sharing as a team, the fare is minimal. As prices vary between seasons, make sure you call 0115 986 7890 or email [email protected] if you need to clarify costs before booking.
Andrew Cotterill, Ben Munson, Yannick Mitchell, Shaun Gibbs