The beginning of the week brought back memories to my time running the sciences association back in Adelaide, as I would spend a lot of it sitting on a stall trying to convince people to try a thing. After having a private real tennis lesson on Monday morning, I headed out to the Sports and Societies Fair in the Sports Hall in West Cambridge. All of the University sports teams had a stall, and were trying to convince people to sign up to their respective teams. I was sitting on the real tennis stall. They had placed all of the racquet sports near each other, so we sat inbetween lawn tennis and rackets, and opposite badminton, table tennis and Eton and Rugby Fives. Consequently, many people saw the sign for rackets and thought that it simply meant the racket sports section, and saw our sign saying tennis and thought that meant we were representing lawn tennis, giving us a chance to pitch the sport to them, which resulted in a number of people signing up with us instead.
That evening I headed to college for more Fresher’s week activities, this time it was the Darwin Societies Fair held in the college dining hall. I was representing, as captain, the college cricket team. I brought along a bunch of my equipment to advertise the fact, and it seemed to work. In addition to the dozen players from last year who agreed to continue playing, we got another dozen sign-ups. Most of them were very easy; people who had played the sport in school and grabbed the pen and signed themselves up before I could even say hello or launch into a pitch.
Then on both Tuesday and Wednesday I went along to Parker’s Piece where the main CUSU Societies fair was being held. Again, I was representing Real Tennis, but now instead of competing with just other sports clubs, we were against all other clubs in the university. Still, we got a few names signed up who agreed to come to our taster session the following week, and by the end of it, we had a healthy group of freshers who will hopefully challenge for the Varsity team over the next few years. On Wednesday, I also made it into college to sign in my visa registration for the year.
On Thursday, Jacqueline was visited by Evelyn, a friend from Vancouver. To show off Cambridge, we went out punting down the river past all the old colleges. I had met Evelyn before when we visited Hong Kong, and we went out for food at a local Thai restaurant.
Thursday and Friday went by smoothly and to routine, but by Saturday I headed out to the tennis club for the East Anglia Pennant Playoffs. The Pennant is a winter-long competition between Cambridge, Newmarket, Hatfield and Prested Hall. The Playoffs were the try-out session for the Cambridge team. However, only Alan and I had applied to play for our division, so we would both end up on the team, and the day was more of a practice session for the two of us to improve our singles and doubles play. Alan is very consistent in his stroke, but doesn’t hit many winners, which can be frustrating to play if you make a lot of mistakes yourself. Finally, the week ended on Sunday with a quiet day at home, without too many stresses to distract me.