Queen Margaret has the upper hand in terms of a strong sense of community compared to other universities in Edinburgh, given its relatively small size. Every QMU student gets a “cheers, ta” from Ronny when they buy food at 1875 and a “#BleedBlue” post from the Student Vice President, at least three times a week on their Facebook newsfeed. Regardless of what we all study, we also enjoy meeting in the atrium for our wee Starbucks coffees every day.
This strong sense of community is also fostered by every sport and society at QMU. My involvement with QMU’s Netball Club has played a massive role in my overall university experience. When I began my journey as a recreational netball player in 2015, I became very passionate about maximising recreational players’ development and involvement within the club. I am proud to say I became captain of our newly founded second team in April 2017, because QMUNC has grown and developed immensely through consistent efforts from our committee. Every member of the club gets game time on a regular basis now. The first team competes and remains undefeated in the British University and College Sport’s 5A league. If QMU Rugby still think they can change this, I encourage them to step up to the challenge. Funnily enough, the second team actually gets more game time than the first team now, as we are involved in a recreational Scottish Student Sport league, a tournament every Monday at Heriot-Watt’s sport centre, and our wonderful president puts me in touch with any and all netball clubs in Scotland to arrange friendly matches on Saturdays. Our club has doubled in size in the past two years and we can now proudly say we will officially have two teams competing in BUCS in the 2018/19 academic year.
Our growth and development on the court is only half of what we have achieved since I joined. We also align our fundraisers with QMU’s sustainability and wider community involvement goals. Some examples are our participation in Children’s University giving kids a taste of what university is like outside of the classroom, our bake sale for St. Columba’s Hospice, our mixed tournament for all sports teams at QMU to play netball together and our involvement in the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign. We have learned how to inspire the wider community and ourselves by being part of this small netball club. This has been recognised by QMU, so we have received funding to maximise the success of our second team in BUCS next year. We have realised that hard work and dedication definitely pay off.
We also know how to celebrate our achievements. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that QMUNC will have a booth reserved on the dance floor at Edinburgh’s Why Not nightclub on Wednesdays. Sometimes we will look our best and sometimes you will catch us laying on the booth’s sofa in our pyjamas. Some of the best experiences I have had at QMU have been with my netball girls and I will always recommend joining a sport or society to anyone starting university for fitness and social purposes. If you are interested in joining QMU’s official team of the year, please contact us via the QMU Netball Club Facebook page.