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By itsmaggiegwu

I have always been a sporty kid. From primary school to high school, I've participated in school sports such as soccer, tennis, softball, basketball, table tennis. The list was endless because I loved sports! But ever since university hit, the number of sports activities decrease dramatically, or more precisely to zero. I decided to turn that around during my exchange semester, partly because our marks wouldn't get transferred over, and also because I discovered this thing called LSPA, which I mentioned a couple of posts back. I wanted to expand on this because I've had such a great time doing a variety of sports through LSPA and also sports clubs at university.


First up is rock climbing.This course is run off campus at Sport Rock in Alexandria (more precisely near Van Dorn metro). It takes about 30-40min on the metro to get to the rock climbing gym and it is taught by the owner of the gym, Jason. There are a few things that's great about this course. You get unlimited access to the gym and the areas within it: top roping, weight lifting, training, bouldering, and so on. All equipment is provided including harness and climbing shoes. And Jason is a wonderful teacher. At first I thought rock climbing is simply going to be comprised of us climbing every week, but that was far from the truth. There is so much more to learn in climbing, such as technique in using your feet and not your arms, that I never really thought about before. The whole point of it was to get us stronger and better at utilising what we have to conquer the rocks. Even for people who are a little bit scared of heights, rock climbing was still super fun and let's us push our own fears out the door.


Now getting back to tennis having played it in high school brought back a lot of memories. It's incredible that my muscles still remember how to hit the ball. The lessons held on the tennis courts of the Mount Vernon campus (beautiful campus by the way) is two hours long. As an exchange student who probably wouldn't want to buy a tennis racquet, I was able to borrow one at the start of each lesson from the coach. As students enrolled in this LSPA course, we are also able to book these courts for practice for free and rent the ball machine if we needed.

The thing about LSPA is that back home we don't offer sports courses and the only way to get involved is through sports clubs. That means that for the people starting out or just learning, it is very intimidating as some sports are very intense and competitive in nature. As an exchange student, you can also take advantage that any courses you take will be of no financial burden besides the fees you pay to your home university. These were great for someone who wanted to just play casually in a fun environment and learn a new skill or two. There are plenty of other LSPAs offered such as boxing, yoga and much more which means there's something for everyone!




By itsmaggiegwu

When your university life is packed with full-time class, part-time work, extra-curricular activities and much more, it means that there is little time for sports. This dictated most of my university life in Australia. However, I was certain that this had to change during my semester abroad. So at the sports fair, I signed up to the Women's Ultimate Frisbee team at GW and boy am I glad I did.

What is ultimate frisbee you may ask? Imagine rugby but replace the football with a frisbee and remove the running with the ball part of the game with throwing a disc and you have yourself a game of ultimate frisbee! I played this sport casually during my high school years and it was pretty fun. The club has practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays 4-6pm and Sundays from 10-1pm and welcomes members with no skills which is great.

The social aspect of the club is pretty awesome too. They host events which are free for rookies to attend which consists of rooftop gatherings, amazing race challenges, and many themed parties. It is a great atmosphere to meet many local students and the clubs has a very diverse group of people as well.

This past weekend, the women's team headed to Axton in South Virginia (approximately 5 hrs drive from D.C.) for the Virginia Fusion Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. We stayed at a motel with 4 people per room. Games started on Saturday and we played three games on Saturday and three games on Sunday against schools such as North Carolina, Duke, Ohio State and many more. The great sportsmanship and spirit of the game was what stood out the most. Winning or losing I felt the team was always on high spirits and supported one another. It was so wonderful to see many of us improve as we progressed through the games and slowly grasping the many aspects of the game. Unfortunately, I had a small hiccup on Saturday after grabbing the disc with my left hand and my cut started bleeding again. We headed to an Urgent Care nearby and got it cleaned up, patched and ready to go for the next day.

All in all, joining the Ultimate Team at GW will probably stand as one of my highlights for my study abroad. I constantly look forward to practices with my team and I feel like I am finally getting my share of sports back after being dormant for many years. Go G-Dub!




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