Being part of the Hong Kong Society Cheerleading team gave me the chance to visit Nottingham, which has been one of the best experiences during my time at Durham University.
Let me first give a bit of background. I have participated in the Hong Kong Society Cheerleading team for two years (this is my second year at Durham University). The Cheerleading team only participates in one competition, which is the Nottingham Game organised by the Hong Kong (HK) Society at Nottingham University.
Yes, this is a sport event for Hong Kong students who are studying in the UK. It is regarded as the biggest sport/ joint university event for HK students since almost all HK students will attend the event: either joining the competition like me or
going along to reunite with old friends.
The Nottingham game usually starts in November and this year it was held on the 7th.
We were panicked at first because the game doesn’t normally start at the beginning of
November. We could totally feel the time pressure, but we had managed to get the job done. We had been practising day and night in the school dance room as well as a studio room in the gym nearby. On the day of the game, we got on the coach at 4am and after three and a half hour of bus ride, we had arrived at the Nottingham University Sport centre.
As well as the Cheerleading competition, our Society also participated in badminton
and football matches, so all of us had to arrive there in the early morning even though
the Cheerleading competition didn’t start until 7pm. To think more positively, team members who are from Durham main campus had to catch the 3am bus, so I was quite lucky comparatively.
The competition didn’t start until evening, so what should we do there? Shopping! HAHA!
We shopped in ZARA and Urban Outfitter, which can’t be found in Stockton nor Durham. We literally spent half a day in the large shopping mall and the high street since we got so excited visiting a big city like this. Most importantly we visited a Chinese restaurant for a tasty meal. We called it Yum Cha (the act of going to a Chinese restaurant for dim sum). We ordered numerous of dim sum (small dishes) and it was extremely satisfying to see our table full of tons of Chinese food. We went little bit crazy because we haven’t gone to Yum Cha for a while. We loved the steamed barbecue pork buns and little egg tarts so much! Anyway, the point is that we got to explore the city of Nottingham before and after the Nottingham game which was a great experience in the first term of the year.
After eating some yummy food and carrying loads of shopping bags, we went back to the competition to get ready for our performance. The girls toilet had transformed into a battlefield where every girl was busy applying mascara and contouring their faces. Some even brought iron curlers to curl their hair. Someone was shouting “give me back my eye-liner” on one hand while someone was asking if their dark eye circles are fully covered on the other hand. Actually that was quite fun to watch.
Unfortunately, we lost the game. It was a bit disappointing but it’s ok because we had so much fun throughout the performance. Plus, to be fair we had done our very best; everybody sang out loud and our teammates rarely made any significant mistakes, which was good enough really. Although we didn’t win the game, I was still grateful because I got to meet up with my old high school friends!
I am so glad that I joined the Cheerleading team. I actually didn’t really care about winning first place or not. I just enjoyed dancing and hanging out with my friends. I have made lots of new friends and I have had opportunity to expand my social networks to other university, for instance a girl from Birmingham University praised my hairstyle after the performance and we have become friends ever since.
If I hadn’t joined the team, I wouldn’t have even thought of visiting Nottingham. It is so amazing how much a little Nottingham Game has impacted on my life.
Theresa is studying Marketing at Queen’s Campus.