For most final-year students at Durham, the start of Michaelmas term is dominated by talk of three things: dissertations, exams and job applications. I’ll be honest, I say most students because some of us have had our attention firmly fixed elsewhere. Whilst I’m sure my laid-back attitude to job-hunting will eventually catch up with me, I promise I have been busy doing other important things!
So far, being Outreach Secretary for Collingwood College Association Football Club (CCAFC) has involved far more contact hours than my degree in History, especially over the last few months working towards the ’24 Hours of Football’ event. This continuous playing of the beautiful game saw us raise over £7,600 last year, a target we’ve set out to beat with the second edition of the event, which kicks off at 7 pm on Friday 22 November.
It’s with great pride I can talk about the positive moves CCAFC has made over my time in Durham, becoming more than ‘just’ a football club, through new charity and community initiatives. This year’s 24-hour event is in aid of the Sir Stanley Matthews Coaching Foundation, a charity that seeks to develop lives through sport, especially those that have had a disadvantaged or underprivileged start. Accompanying the football, we’re hoping that live music, performers, a club night and raffle, can all help raise awareness and funds for this great cause! Check out the event here: facebook.com/events.
It sounds cliché, but amongst the nights-out and sporting fixtures, events like this really are the shining moments of my university experience. I mean, where else in life am I likely to see people tearing around a pitch at 4 am, whilst the commentary team ridicule their every move? It just doesn’t get much better than this. There’s no doubting that my Saturday nights can be spent better than reading risk assessments from Steve’s Gourmet Grill and wrestling with a tape measure to find a suitable gazebo location, but when the 24 hours is done, it’ll all make sense as to why it was worth it. You can support the event by donating using this link: virginmoneygiving.com
Student life at Durham really is more than just a degree. It’s easy to get caught up with the strains of academic life, but it’s not something that should ever stop you taking extra-curricular opportunities. Yes, I might not end up with that riveting role in corporate finance or be the lawyer my parents once thought, but I will have made an impact in the student community that will provide far fonder memories than any other.
Whether, like me, you’re coming to the end of your time in Durham, or perhaps just starting out as a fresher, make the short trip to Collingwood on the 22nd and embrace the atmosphere for yourself. Not only are you supporting a hugely worthwhile cause and having an all-important break from your studies, but you’re likely to experience a moment that might just stick with you for years to come.