Oxford is a city in the South East region of England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With an estimated population of 170,350, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is situated 57 miles (92 km) from London, 69 miles (111 km) from Bristol, 65 miles (105 km) from both Southampton and Birmingham and 25 miles (40 km) from Reading. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two "ancient universities" are frequently jointly referred to as "Oxbridge". The university is made up of a variety of institutions, including 38 constituent colleges and a full range of academic departments which are organised into four divisions. All the colleges are self-governing institutions within the university, each controlling its own membership and with its own internal structure and activities. Being a city university, it does not have a main campus and instead its buildings and facilities are scattered throughout the city centre. Most undergraduate teaching at Oxford is organised around weekly tutorials at the colleges and halls, supported by classes, lectures and laboratory work provided by university faculties and departments. The university operates the world's oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world and the largest academic library system in Britain. Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 28 Nobel laureates, 27 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and many heads of state and government around the world. Oxford is the home of the Rhodes Scholarship, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious international scholarships. This is what Wikipedia says (Oxford, University) and down bellow is what we asked Felix Westeren, president of Oxford university Floorball Club :
What is a name of your club?
Oxford University Floorball Club
How many and what teams do you run within the club?
We enter a team in the UKFF South League, as well as participating in friendly matches and tournaments. That way we ensure everyone who wants to represent the club gets a chance to do so, either in the first team in League games or in friendlies.
What is the club's story? Tell us about club's history a bit.
The club was founded in 2004 by students and staff at the University. At first, the club consisted mainly of research staff; today, we are a mix of students, staff and residents of Oxford and nearby towns. The club played its first competitive game in 2006 in Loughborough, facing a team from Bath. During the 2006-07 season the club also entered the League for the first time, finishing fourth in the Second Division. After finishing fifth in the same division the next year we were for some years unable to enter a team into the League due to low membership numbers. The club resumed competitive floorball in 2012 with successful games against other university teams, and re-joined the League in 2013, this time in the Midlands division. We made it to the National Finals in 2014, finishing 6th, and qualified for Nationals again in 2015, this time finishing 12th. We are now a leading university club, and competitive on the national level. Meanwhile our membership continues to grow, and we introduce new players to floorball through events such as our annual Cuppers tournament for Oxford colleges. In 2017 we decided to move from the Midlands to the South Division, providing us with a new challenge.
How do you get new players?
Most of our members are students and staff at the University of Oxford – we recruit them through advertising at the university Freshers’ Fair, as well on various university websites. We also try to recruit university members through our Cuppers tournaments, which are open to all who want to try the sport while representing their colleges. We also attract members without a connection to the University, often people who live nearby and have a prior interest in floorball.
What do you think is the biggest challenge to run a floorball club in the UK?
The biggest challenge, I feel, is the fact that the vast majority of people here have never heard of floorball. Clubs in other sports can attract members who perhaps have thought about trying the sport for some time, and at least have seen others play it. It is a bigger step to try something you haven’t even heard of before.
How was your last season and how you getting on this season?
Last year, we finished 6th in the Midlands League, just missing out on a place at the National Finals. Still, we played better floorball than we had for some time and took great steps forward. Ahead of this season we moved to the South League, where the level has been very high. Despite playing, at times, some very good floorball, we have some work to do in the latter half of the season.
How do you run your trainings?
Our trainings are usually run by Johan Cassel, our tireless Club Captain. We tend to have time to run a few drills aimed at improving players’ technique both with and without the ball, and then we do also make sure we have time to play; often 4 against 4 or 3 against 3 – the additional space gives players more time to think about what to do with the ball.
Do you know what's going on in other teams?
In addition to playing in the South League and getting to know the teams there we also take part in recreational tournaments and play friendlies, especially against other university teams.
What do you think about floorball in the UK?
Floorball in the UK remains small and there is not enough awareness of the sport. Still, there are many dedicated people working all over the country to further the game, introducing it, in particular, to more and more young people. That’s going to be key in the coming years.
Tell us more about your trainings. How often do you practice?Are you happy with a venue you use?
We normally train three times a week at the University Sports Centre in Oxford (UKFF page of the venue : here). We are open to all levels of experience and commitment; some players attend all our sessions, but others only come once in a while. As a University team we are in the lucky position of being able to use the Sports Centre for free.
Tell us more about how you fund your club/team? Do you have any sponsors/partners?
We are supported by the University and by the small membership fees we charge every year. We are also always open to sponsors, and are actively looking for new ways to fund the club.
Tell us about yourself. What is your position in your club?
I have now been Club President for almost two years, having joined the Club in 2015. Floorball has always been a huge part of my life – I have played for almost 15 years now, and played in the Finnish under 21 championship as well as the men’s 2nd division before moving to the UK. I have also been a referee for five years. I was absolutely delighted when I learned that there was a team in Oxford too. Would you give any advise to people who want to start a new club?I think the best advice is to reach out to other established clubs and to the UKFF, who no doubt will be happy to advise and help.
UKFF : thank you for your answers Felix!
Oxford University Floorball Club contacts :
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/oxford.floorball
Do you run a club/team in the UK, want to introduce it to the public and not been contacted by us yet?