The Students Real Struggle

Students are always deemed as animals that are nocturnal and never attend lectures. When in fact we, alongside those that have jobs experience the same commuting difficulties.  

Waking up to the sound of your alarm is bad, but have you ever not woken up. My mind so used to the ringing of my phone that I’ve managed to become immune to it.  Over sleeping on the morning of a lecture is the least of my worries. It’s the great strides and speed walking competition I manage to enter on the way to my University along with all the other students who can’t help but to hit snooze. Constantly glazing at my watch frantically trying to work out how long it’s taken me to walk the past five yards since I last checked the time. By this point, it’ gone nine and now late for the lecture.  

But for some this would be a walk in the park. Others need to worry about driving and estimating what traffic they will be stuck in. Whilst the most unfortunate must deal with public transport. Holly, a commuter to the university stated, “It’s a struggle to get to lectures on time, my routine is heavily reliant on public transport.” 

However, there are the odd few that think it’s a must to complain about the easiest forms of travel. The cyclists. Bicycles require minimal effort and maximum exaggeration. Despite this the incompetent individual must complain about almost everything.  

To aid the requirements of those that resemble snowflakes the university have brought in ‘AECOM’ a team to review the transport infrastructure of the university. Their aims: Reduce the vehicle speed on campus; improve pedestrian and cyclist experience and to wrap the students in bubble wrap so they don’t have to experience the difficulties of the real word.  

When researching this company, I discovered the grand scale of some of their constructions. Some of their biggest operations consist of NFL stadiums, The JFK airport and the world trade centre transportation hub. Many huge landmarks, then there’s us. As a university, full of some of the most intelligent humans, you’d have thought that we’d realise that they probably aren’t needed to amend the small difficulties that a few students are bringing to their attention.  

Kim Pettingill, a member of the AECOM team explained to me that they had received multiple issues from their day asking students about transport difficulties. The issue that had appeared most frequently was how the cycle parking areas were at the opposite end of the university in which most students cycle in from. 

Sorry, how is this an issue? I understand the point made about how drivers need to cut their speeds as this can compromise the safety of students. But the fact that some students feel it’s a major issue that they must walk a few extra yards further because the cycle shelters are out of their way. Its utter nonsense.  

The main problems for commuters seem to be to do with public transport off campus rather than the difficulties people face when they have arrived. Those that commute have difficulties with dealing with late train arrivals of continuous traffic on the roads causing tail backs or worst gridlock.  

Aidan Fox, a daily commuter described the traffic as being the worst he had witnessed prior to attending University. He stated “The difficulties are within Colchester; many people are on their way to work and the rest are students all heading the same way” he said. 

Despite students having to deal with these problems we seem to forever be judged by the stereotypes created by those that think they are more prestige due to having a 9-5 job. Ha, how ridiculous.  

Remembering the Forgotten

Temperatures have dropped, parents are frantically worrying about the run up to Christmas and kids are still buzzing off their sugar overload from Halloween. That’s right, its November. It’s a weird month, there’s not a lot to look forward too apart from celebrating the event in which some nutter attempted to blow up the houses of parliament.  

Oh, there’s that event that we were all supposed to remember, no not the 5th of November. Remembrance Sunday, many seem to forget this day mainly because they could never understand the significance of the sacrifice that many took for their country. But because we don’t have some weird rhyme that’s drilled into us from a young age, “remember, remember the 5th of…” whatever.  

Many people will buy themselves a poppy and stay silent for a minute or two to show that they have taken that time out of their day to show people that they ‘remember’. However, this seems to feel very manufactured. Not many can say that they understand the true meaning of remembrance.  

Jerry Davis, the man in charge of the RBL in Wivenhoe explained to me how the RBL is a great way for people to meet up and socialise with having memories of the war as being what brings them together.  

Jerry Davis said: “The RBL is a great way in which many people like me can come together in order to reflect on the history of our families. 

“its upsetting however to know that the inevitable will happen and there will become a time in which the legacy of those that made the ultimate sacrifice will be forgotten.” 

The kryptonite of the RBL has gradually emerged itself over the past decades. They appear in the form of young tracksuit wearing youths immersed into the digital screens glued to their hands, yes, the new self-obsessed generation.  

The RBL was set up for people to come together for the profound reason of providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants 

Consequently, they have gradually noticed the reduced number of members due to the positive reason being, we haven’t had any wars credible to the likes of WW1 and WW2.  

To combat this, the RBL need to have a rethink in changing their overall aims of providing not only aid to family’s veterans and armed forces but to continue their legacy by education the newer generations. 

However, it seems that everybody is competing in trying to out do one another in who can remember the soldiers in the best way. Warren, a member of the Royal British Legion in Belgium explained how most people will attempt to put on grand displays of remembrance rather than doing something a little more personal.  

 

Warren, who lives in Wivenhoe is a member of the royal British legion, however he is not a part of the local one in Wivenhoe. In 2015 Warren became a member of the branch in Ypres.  

 

Warren Lucas explained: ““The poppy is a great thing for remembrance, in my opinion however its becoming a bit politicised, everybody seems to be trying to outdo themselves with how much they remember, it should just be a personal thing and entirely non-political like it was meant to be when it was set up. 

 

“It seems there is an awful amount of point scoring these days.” 

 

Many people are introduced to the idea of remembrance whilst being in school. Despite the remarkable importance of the occasion, many incompetent students tend to take the idea of a two-minute silence as who can act the biggest clown in front of hundreds of other students.  

It appears that the problem is with children not understanding the difference that the world could be if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of, wait only approximately 77 million lives. Its not that many is it? 

Many people are unaware of even what day remembrance Sunday occurs on. Which when you think about it, it is rather appalling. Just in case any of you did need a reminder it’s the 11th of November. You’re welcome.   

In order to find out truly what the younger generations new about the event I opted to put a poll on my twitter rather than venturing out, the main reason for this being, who has the time to get away from their digital screens these days.  

Remarkably only 42% of the public new what day remembrance Sunday occurred on, and the other 68% probably couldn’t even tell you what the month was.  

So, what should the RBL do to correct this? Well, Jerry Davis and … have said: “More people need to get behind the idea of remembrance however we do need to do more, despite not having huge amounts of funding, we need to approach the younger audiences. 

Maybe this will involve attending schools nearer to remembrance and educating them on the relevance and importance of keeping the memories of those that died and to maintain their legacy that they battled so hard for. 

What we can all take from this is that the RBL are currently maintaining their great work however the looming future is withholding many challenges to throw their way. Therefore, looking at the future the public need to take a look at the growing problem and begin to do their part in educating their younger family and friends. We shall not forget to remember.  

The Gentleman’s Game

There’s an old saying that football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentleman. On the 9th march I discovered the overwhelming truth behind this statement when I attended Twickenham.  

I’ve always deemed this to be an exaggeration of the truth. The game of rugby has always been played by middle and upper classes and so has always acted more formally, however football is a game that has commonly been played by the working classes and so has gathered a greater audience.  

Not to seem arrogant but the few intoxicated fans don’t tend to act well….responsibly at football games most of the time. 

The atmosphere will forever be a key component as to what makes a game so memorable. Each sporting event has an iconic anthem or chant. Both Dortmund and Liverpool have obtained the song, ‘you’ll never walk alone’ whilst Boxing and Darts fans cant help but to cry the lyrics to Sweet Caroline after sinking five pints.  

However, the most iconic anthem that you’ll hear at an England rugby game is ‘Swing Low’. When watching games at home on TVthe poignant chant can compel the commentators into immediate silence. The dominating lyrics overpowers all other sounds. The first time I heard it for myself was on the walk down to the ground.  

The first supporting evidence for the statement of rugby being played by gentleman came when I reflected on the immediate fan trouble at the beginning of football fixtures. Football hooligans being herded like animals down the long straights to what they view as their Sunday chapel. The constant presence of police towering above fans on their horses. Instead, rugby fans were calmly walking alongside the opposition, a sight you’d never see at a football game.  

The past meetings between Italy and England have all ended with a dominating performance from the Three Lions. In the past fixtures Italy have never shown signs of securing a win however Eddie Jones insisted that it would be a tough fixture for his boys.  

The lyrics, ‘swing low, sweet chariot’ echoed out of the speakers and fans immersed themselves into the song. It appears I was surrounded by a moving orchestra. When arriving at the ground we gradually made our way to the seats. Stair after stair, we finally reached the top tier. We were up in the Gods as many would say.  

When I took my seat, James Grant a fellow supporter said to me “It takes my breath away every time. I’ve never not enjoyed my time at Twickenham. There has never been any trouble.” After speaking to some of the supporters it was clear that their views amplified the view of how relaxed fans are at rugby games.  

It was surprising being sat in the stadium without already having gone through a threat to my life. Normally by this point at the football, I would have had to dodge the away fans and avoid the commencement of the annual dousing of beer over each other.   

Before kick-off, the teams were led out and a roaring crowd welcomed the two sides. The fan behaviour was immaculate. The biggest shock we witnessed was when it came to the end of the game and fans were going around collecting the plastic cups left behind. However, it wasn’t until we were leaving the ground we realised that for every cup collected you were given one pound. This explained why people were being good Samaritans.  

However, just one week after the game, there were horrific and disgraceful scenes at Birmingham City vs Aston Villa when a fan ran on to the pitch and recklessly attacked Aston villa midfielder Jack Grealish. This highlights the nature of the fan’s behaviour at football games. Not only would you not see these scenes at rugby games as the fans can contain themselves I would be inclined to think that the rugby player might just come better off.  

However, the point here is that it always appears that some football fans tend to travel to games with the premeditated intention of getting into a fight. If you were to take your minds back to 2016, France were the hosts of the Euros. Clashes between fans were a regular occurrence with the main perpetrators being the Russian hooligans. Despite this it became apparent that the English hooligans were drawn into many of the altercations.  

Personally, I’m unable to remember the time in which an incident has been involving the fans of a rugby game. Steve Bradshaw, a steward at the game stated, “My jobs rather easy, I’ve only ever had to remove one person before, apart from that it’s been a breeze. It’s good to see both sets of fans alongside one another.”  In my opinion the key reason as to why there is such a divide between the fans is due to the way in which they are separated in to away and home supporters. If people are unable to interact alongside one another then they should not be at the game as they clearly are not there to enjoy the aesthetics of the wonderful game of football.  

 

Rebecca Dunning “We are a long way off”

Women are a long way off.” It’s the message that as a society we are trying to prevent from being heard. However, in the field of sport it seems a shocking but expected reality. Football has faced many restraints in getting to the position it is today and they have received inadequate support. Rebecca, an ex-West Ham United player, explained to me how women’s football has dramatically impacted her life for better and for worse.  

Rebecca decided from a young age to contradict the stereotypes that lurked around her. However, she was un aware of the implications this was going to cause her childhood. Rebecca reflected on this by stating that she suffered from a large amount of stigma.  

She said: “Yes, I have faced this from a young age,  

“I did get a lot of comments from opposition teams. It was often just ‘girls can’t play football’ or them laughing at my team for having a girl on the team. I experienced this right through to Under 18 level when I had to stop playing for the boy’s team” 

In 2018 it was understood that over half of girls dropped out of sport by the age of 14. Having to deal with these added strains, Rebecca defined the odds and persisted in following her dreams of becoming a professional footballer.  

She explained: “I also play as I want to get as high up as possible in the women’s game, with the hope of playing Women’s Super League football in the years to come. I get a buzz turning up to games and seeing my name on the back of my shirt, hung up in the changing room, it makes the late nights and extra sessions worth it.” 

Her determination to achieve her goals have come from pure passion and desire to achieve the success that many doubted her of achieving.  

Over the past decade it has become apparent that the FA have made it their defining aim to increase the success and media coverage of women’s football. When asked about the developments within the women’s league Rebecca conveyed how there is obvious changes.  

She explained: “Being involved in playing football and working behind the scenes with the FA, I know that we are far from being as popular as the men’s game. However, in the past five years, women’s football has gone from strength to strength, 

“The Super League is now a fully professional league where all players are being paid and will spend 20hours a week with their club. As well as this, the Women’s World cup topped 750 million viewers, which is amazing. We are a long way off, but we are getting there.” 

In 2010 the men’s world cup dragged in 3.2 billion viewers across the world, thus demonstrating the vast difference in popularity between both men’s and women’s football.  

However, Rebecca still believes that women’s football should be given the viewing time that it deserves, “Women’s Football deserves more air time, 

“People clearly want to watch women’s football as proven by the viewing figures of the World Cup. Attendances at stadiums are also increasing significantly. Women’s football is getting bigger and bigger, however young girls deserve to see their role models on the TV as it encourages them to participate and shows them that they can play football professionally now.” 

The problem however is not with the coverage, instead, the greatest impact on the development of women’s football comes at grass roots level. Children are heavily impacted by the society they are raised in. 

For many their society around them has never taken the idea and concept of women playing football seriously, or even considered the great bearings to subtle criticism. Rebecca said: “The people who don’t take women’s football seriously or say degrading things about women’s football, have probably never sat down and watched a full 90 minutes of a game, 

“I would probably tell them to think about their own daughters/sisters when criticising the women’s game as well as to go along to a Super League match and see the quality of players which is only getting better and better.” 

Despite the growing progress and prosperity within the women’s leagues the message that had been portrayed is that not only the quality on the pitch but the support off the pitch needs to be improved immensely. In the day an age of progressive equality there should be organisations striving and getting behind women’s sport not just with football. 

Rebecca finished the interview by explaining what she would like to see in the future, “We need more funding and more support from the public as well as the major clubs. For me, every professional/championship/national league side should have a women’s team who they support fully and help to aid financially. We also need our games shown on SKY or BT or the BBC. We need the support from these organisations to increase awareness for the women’s game. 

Super Jan helps Tottenham’s Triumph

Tottenham secured a magnificent three nil win against Bundesliga Leaders Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night.  

Prior to the match neither side could feel confident in securing a win, with both teams missing their top strikers in Harry Kane and Marco Reus. Both teams were desperate for players to step up and Jan Vertonghen was Tottenham’s man to do this 

Potchetino made some speculative changes with Vertonghen starting at left back following his successful performance against Newcastle.  

The first leg of the champions league last 16 between the two had a very slow start with both teams holding back. Sancho demonstrated his attacking flare against Tottenham’s defence and on many occasions Sanches was unable to contain the youngster’s skill.  

At half time the result remained 0-0. 

Tottenham began the second half with great promise. In the 47th minute, Vertonghen delivered a perfect ball finding Heu Ming Son in the box who took the ball on the volley with great finesse. It was the best start to the second half that Tottenham could imagine.  

The goal meant that Dortmund was now backed into a corner, like a wild animal, they had no other option but to attack. Consequently, this would become the turning point in the game for Dortmund, with the pace of son it seemed counter attacking was our only option.  

However, no body was expecting the pace from Vertonghen burning through the middle of Dortmund’s vulnerable defence. In the 83rd minute Sissoko robbed the ball from Götze and played it wide to Sergei Aurier who was making the most of Wembley’s width. Aurier whipped the ball to the far post in which Vertonghen was able to get on the end of and lash the ball into the back of the net. This was Vertonghen’s first goal for the club in the champions league and what a pivotal time it came at. 

By this point Tottenham had secured the home win but it was now crucial for them to maintain their clean sheet and not allow them to give an away goal to the visitors.  

Moura who had put in and outstanding performance was rested and on came Llorente, hoping that his attacking hold up play could run down the clock in the closing stages.  

In the 86th minute Tottenham secured a corner, rather than opting to playing it safe and holding it in the corner, Eriksen made the decision to utilise the height of Llorente in the box. Its not a regular occurrence that Eriksen delivers a corner past the first man however he managed to deliver it perfectly into the box. Llorente, who had only been on the pitch for 2 minutes caressed the ball gently sending the ball into the side of the goal.  

The first leg ended 3-0 to Tottenham, meaning an away goal at Dortmund would surely guarantee them success into the quarter finals.  

 

Three Steps to Getting Fit

With the summer soon approaching and our social media flooded with super models looking as slim as ever and men with more lines on their abs than Escobar’s glass table, we’ve never felt so much social pressure in getting in the right shape. We are exposed to multiple diet plans and quick slim programmes; however, these never seem to work. The only way, to exercise more and to eat less. Simple right? Well no. The daunting thought of entering the gym stands in many people’s way, it’s the imaginary wall preventing so many from reaching their goals. So, what does it take to push aside all the fears of hitting the gym?  

Rule #1 Find a Gym 

The key to finding a good gym is the location. If you are not able to find a local one, then you will succumb to making excuses. If you can also fit it into your daily routine this will help. For example, a university student who attends the gym on campus will be able to go after or before lectures, thus preventing them from going out of their way to attend. It will also be very beneficial to attend a gym which has a range of facilities. A sports centre that has a swimming pool will be attractive when trying to escape the monotony of lifting weights. After a hard workout, the thought of relaxing in cool pool will be the perfect remedy to your aching muscles and aid recovery. 

Rule #2 Create a Set Programme  

The crucial contributing factor to many giving up on going to the gym is not having a set routine. You’ve probably overheard the men roided to their eyes talking about ‘leg day’ or ‘chest day’. Well in fact by giving yourself set days then you can make sure that you have targeted all areas of your body for each week, helping to achieve that dream body. So, the next time you hear one of those gym freaks mentioning set days you’ll now understand 

Rule #3 Change Eating Habits 

Now this is a challenge in itself. Eating habits are probably the hardest to perfect. Many people will be surprised with what I’m going to say. Don’t change your eating habits, as long as you’re not scoffing McDonalds left right and centre it will be perfectly fine. As soon as people attempt to change multiple things at once such as food and the amount of exercise it will begin to become too much. Naturally, our bodies would not be able to handle the increased altercations made to your routines and therefore would gradually lead to you falling out of a habit. 

 

Listen, if you stick to these three rules, who knows you might make it to the summer with a six pack. No, not a six pack of beers from the off license.  

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