Balancing sport and studies can be quite a struggle in our daily student life. But it’s a crucial part of mental and physical health. During your stay in Canberra you will have the opportunity to enjoy great hikes near the campus such as in Black Mountain, Mount Ainslie or even Mount Painter. Take time to enjoy long walks alongside the Burley Griffin Lake and if you are keen on discovering new sport or entering clubs, ANU Sport have so much to offer. From basketball to cycling to even scuba diving there must be a club of your interest at ANU. It’s the best way to meet people with shared interest and perfect solution to include sport into your daily activities. The ANU Sport website provides a lot of information about all the different clubs and their contact to get in touch with them. Otherwise, I highly recommend you take advantage of the Market Day. Usually held during the orientation week, it is a one-day event that takes place in the ANU sport hall. It is the best way to meet executive members of each clubs and they sometimes have great deal on the annual membership.
I am personally a big racket sport enthusiast with a particular interest in badminton. ANU sport offers free access to badminton court, for up to one hour per players. However, if you are up for a challenge the badminton club is full of great level athletes. I also tried other clubs that I would highly recommend you check them out as well.
ANU Badminton club
The badminton club offers session every Saturday from 2 to 5 pm with an hour coaching session (4-5pm). It is a great way to challenge yourself with advanced players and improve your techniques or even learn how to play with the coaching sessions. Their membership fee is one of the lowest of all clubs, but it also includes a $5 fee every time you want to join them on Saturday, which is not such an inconvenient as if you cannot make it a particular day you won’t have to pay. This club tend to be very popular at the beginning of the semester and with only eight courts available, you would play for 30 minutes and let another group play for another 30 minutes and vice versa. You should definitely give it a try at the beginning of the semester as they usually offer trial.
ANU Tennis club
The tennis club was by far my favorite club, the executive is so friendly, and the coach is extremely nice. It is a great asset that this club offers coaching session every Sunday afternoon. For two hours you learn the basic of tennis with a fun cardio session to train your mobility on the court, I absolutely loved them. The coaching sessions are so fun that by the mid-semester I bonded with many other players and was able to play with them outside our coaching sessions. For more advances level they also have regular session on Friday and Saturday, also being a member allows you to book a tennis court for free. Great tip: take advantage of bush week promotion to get discount on your semester’s membership.
ANU Boat (rowing) club
Lake Burley Griffin is one of Canberra’s greatest asset. You will often see people sailing or rowing on the Lake, as rowing is known as being part of Australia’s national sporting and cultural heritage. Rowing is a great team sport and paddling across the Lake is such an incredible experience, something you would never experience anywhere else. To enter the Rowing club, you will have to enroll for the introduction to rowing program, which include eight lessons over four weeks practices on the water. The enrolment for semester 1 usually starts at the beginning of February, while for semester 2 it is at the beginning of October.
ANU Mountaineering club
This club offers you so many possibilities, from regular kayak session during the week to casual Saturday morning kayak on the lake, to bushwalking and mountaineering across beautiful Canberra sites. There is a lot of outdoor activities offer every week. This is best club to sign up to if you want to discover nature and visit the ACT area. Kayaking on the Lake was such a fun experience, I unfortunately discovered the club too late to be part of other outing, but they usually have continuous events even after the end of the semester.
There is so much you can do and discover in a semester, my experience at ANU was by far the best of my whole university experience. Having the chance to take part of other activities inside the university besides studying really made this semester the best. Take advantage of all the facilities that you have access to and fully enjoy your semester abroad!