how do i join a sports club?

Simply go to and find the club (or clubs) you would like to join. Click on the clubs name and it will take you to their web page. On this sports club page will be the option to 'Add' a membership to your club basket. There will be various membership options for you to choose from, with a description for each. Select 'Basket' from the top right of the screen and follow the instructions to complete your purchase. You will need to also join the Essex Blades before your membership can be processed, but this is completely free and can be done at the Checkout stage. Some clubs may also require a Blades Pass or Essex Sport membership to access their faciities.

how much does it cost to join a sports club?

Basic membership to all of our Sports Clubs is free; however there may be additional costs that you need to pay depending on your level of membership. If you simply want to be a social member of the club and not play in matches for example, your membership to that club would remain free. However, if you wanted to attend club training, represent a team within that club in BUCS or another competition you may have to pay an additional membership fee. This is to help cover the cost of training, equipment, coaches and competition fees.

can i join more than one sports club?

Of course! You can join as many sports clubs as you like, but please do ensure you have a membership for each club.

why do i have to join a sports club if it is free?

There are lots of reasons why this is important, but one of the main ones is your safety. If you are injured whilst at training, a match or competition representing that Essex Blades sports club, you are covered by the Students’ Union insurance policy if you are a member of that club. Sadly, if you are not a member of that club you are not insured to play. Additionally, being a member of that club allows you to stay up to date with the latest information on that club and the Essex Blades as a whole, as well as allowing you to vote or stand in Club Executive Committee elections.

how do i order club leisure/training kit?

You can order a large range of Essex Blades training kit and leisurewear by clicking the following link: LINK

how do i run for a club committee position?

Club Executive Committee elections are held during the 2nd term of each academic year. Any current member of that Sports Club can nominate themselves for a position, or positions within next year’s committee. Nominees are recommended to submit a manifesto of why members of the club should vote for them in that election. Members of the club then cast their vote for who they would like to elect. All votes are counted and verified by the Students’ Union Sports Staff. Any unfilled positions are re-opened later in the year.

i have an issue with another member of my sports club. who should i report this to?

Please email your concern to where it will be dealt with confidentially by Students’ Union Sports Staff. Alternatively, you can email for confidential advice on the matter. You can also anonymously report any issues the University with the Report and Support initiative. All reported issues will be dealt with.

i am concerned about the welfare of another member of my sports club. who should i report this to?

Liaise with the club welfare officer to see if this is a problem noticed by them as well. If this is not possible, please email your concern to where it will be dealt with confidentially by Students’ Union Sports Staff. Alternatively, you can email for confidential advice on the matter. All reported issues will be dealt with.

I'm the president of a sports club. how do i request a change to our training times?

If there is an issue with your training times, please email However, training times are very difficult to organise due to other bookings so a change may not always be possible.

how do i pay money into our sports club accounts?

You can pay cash into your club via the Students’ Union Reception. If you are looking to pay in a large amount of money via bank transfer, please email who help process this.

how do i pay money to a charity on behalf of the club?

If you have raised money for a charity, please email who will be happy to help you get this money over to the charity.

how do i get back a sports related expense?

To get a refund on your sports-related expense, please collect a Sports Expense form from the Students’ Union Reception. You must complete the form with full details of your expense (e.g. Date, costs) and have it signed by your President or Treasurer before you hand it back into the Students’ Union Reception. Expenses will be signed and ready to collect within 48 hours of submission. However, during busy periods this may be longer.

does my expense form need to be approved before i get my money back?

Yes. All expense forms must be signed and approved by the Club Treasurer or President. Expense forms are then reviewed and counter-signed by Students’ Union Sports Office staff before they are ready to collect.

do i need evidence of my expense to get my money back?

Yes. All expense refund claims need to have proof (e.g. a receipt). Unfortunately without proof of this expense you will be unable to claim your money back, so ask for a receipt for everything and keep them!

if i drove to an event, how do i prove how far i travelled?

Travel by car is refunded at 25p per mile. This is often more than it would have cost for petrol, but also goes towards the cost of any wear and tear on the vehicle from this trip. Locate the Start and Finish post codes for your journey. Using Google Maps you can work out how many miles your trip was. Multiply this by 0.25 and you will have final figure. Put all of this information on your expense form as this will be checked before being signed off.

how long does it take to get an expense back?

Expenses will be signed and ready to collect within 48 hours of submission. However, during busy periods this may be longer.

will my refunded expense be paid in cash or by bank transfer?

Expenses are refunded in cash at the Students’ Union Reception. However, in exceptional circumstances a bank transfer may be possible (e.g. large expense), although this will increase the wait for a refund. If you require a bank transfer please email  

how many volunteering opportunities does our sports club need to take part in to achieve each club standard?

During an academic year, clubs must take part in 2 volunteering events to achieve Bronze Standard, 4 volunteering events to achieve Silver Standard and 5 volunteering events to achieve Gold Standard.

i can't find any volunteering opportunities. Can you help?

Of course. You could email to see if there are any one-off projects your club would like to get involved in, help out with an SU/University open day or event, or even speak to local charities or organisations and volunteer your time with some free coaching or help with one of their projects. If you’re not sure of anything, or want to check if an idea is suitable please email

how many people would count as the 'club' volunteering?

A volunteering event with 3 or more club members taking part will count towards club standards applications.

how much money does our sports club need to fundraise to achieve each club standard?

During an academic year, clubs must fundraise £200 to achieve Bronze Standard, £500 to achieve Silver Standard and £800 to achieve Gold Standard.

can i be reimbursed for the costs related to our charity and fundraising event?

Yes, however these costs must be taken from the money you raise. For example, if you are selling donuts that cost you £50 in total, and you have sold them for £200, the total amount you can donate to the charity/club you are fundraising for is £150.

can we fundraise for our sports club?

Of course! We strongly encourage our clubs to fundraise for themselves to help them grow and improve the experience they offer. If you have a certain project in mind that you are fundraising for, then Click is perfect for you. The money you raise is matched by the Alumni Fund up to a certain amount. To find out more, please follow this link:

we are struggling for fundraising ideas. Can you help?

Get creative! Everyone sells donuts and cakes. So much so that people stop buying them…

You could have a themed training session where for a small fee members can where fancy dress, sell themed items (e.g. roses near Valentine’s Day) or fundraising socials (e.g. Charity Shop Social). Alternatively, you can help out at University Open Days and similar events, and receive £25 per person (maximum of 6 people) for your club. If you do want to sell food on the Squares or at an event, please ensure you have completed your Food Hygiene certificate. 1 member of each Sports Club can complete this accredited course free of charge, and if you interested please email

If you’re not sure of anything, get in touch!

how many social events does our sports club need to put on to achieve each club standard?

During an academic year, clubs must hold 4 social events to achieve Bronze Standard, 8 social events to achieve Silver Standard and 12 social events to achieve Gold Standard. These must be varied social events, including a mixture of alcoholic and non-alcoholic events.

what social themes are banned?

Socials are supposed to be a positive, safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. Clubs must ensure discriminatory language, chanting and behaviour (e.g. racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic) is banned/avoided. Please consider the implications of any fancy dress themes. You may not deem them as offensive, but others may do. A list of some potentially offensive themes are below:

White T-Shirts – BANNED. These are banned by the Students’ Union and all SU venues due to the often discriminatory language written on the T-Shirts. Clubs found to be engaging in this social event will be subject to disciplinary action.

‘Gender Bender’ – avoid using offensive terms such as these to label your social event.

Cultural themes (e.g. Greek/Toga’s, Mexican) – we have a very diverse, international campus and students may be offended seeing their culture associated with drinking, nudity, anti-social behaviour etc.

Initiations are also a banned activity, as per the Students' Union Alcohol Policy.

can we hold socials anywhere?

No. You must seek permission to hold your social at a particular venue, including University accommodation. If you would like to put on a social in a University room, please ensure you book a room with the Central Timetable Office. Holding socials at venues without permission is prohibited.

can sports clubs be held responsible for what happens at their socials?

Yes. Individuals and Sports Clubs can face disciplinary action based on actions at your socials. We’ve put together a some good practice for socials, which you can find here: LINK

i have an issue with something that happened at a sports club social event. where can i report it?

Please email your concern to where it will be dealt with confidentially by Students’ Union Sports Staff. Alternatively, you can email for confidential advice on the matter. You can also anonymously report any issues the University with the Report and Support initiative. All reported issues will be dealt with.

i'm interested in doing some sports coaching. is there anyway the students' union can help me?

If you are interested in gaining a coaching qualification, we may be able to help fund it in return for you coaching some sessions voluntarily. To find out more, please email

we are looking for a coach for our sports club. who should we speak to?

There’s lots of ways to find a new coach for your club. Speak to local clubs in the area to see if they have anyone interested, your Local Governing Body (e.g. the FA) or do some advertising on social media. Please note, only coaches with recognised qualifications can be paid for coaching the club. An agreement must be made with the Students’ Union Sports Office, the club and the coach before the coach can begin working with the club.

what is a walkover?

A walkover essentially means conceding the match to the opposition. This can be due to a number of reasons (e.g. lack of players) and results in penalties from BUCS. The minimum penalty for conceding a walkover is -3 league points and losing 50% of BUCS points earned by that team, however this can increase to fines up to £750. Clubs conceding walkovers in BUCS matches will also be subject to a club fine.

can i speak to the opposition captain before a match to arrange/cancel a fixture?

No - we don’t recommend it. All communication related to BUCS fixtures must be completed by Students’ Union/Athletic Union staff members. Captain’s may potentially agree to something against the rules and unwittingly concede walkovers. If you are not sure of anything, please email or call 01206 863211.

our team does not have enough players for our fixture this week. what can we do?

If you are struggling for players for a particular fixture, please contact the Students’ Union Sports Office immediately by emailing The earlier you get in touch, the more likely we will be able to help you recruit players or re-arrange the fixture. Clubs who concede walkovers will be fined.

i'm interested in entering a bucs individual competition. who should i speak to?

Excellent! Please email with the details of the competition you would like to enter and your experience in that Sport.

what is a club standard?

Standards are an award given out to clubs who have clearly demonstrated their commitment to not only their sport but to the development of their club. Clubs are also rewarded for providing volunteering, fundraising and social opportunities for their members. There are 3 standards; Bronze, Silver and Gold - with each standard requiring greater club commitment to achieve. Being recognised for any club standard is a fantastic achievement, but it takes a truly exceptional club to achieve gold standard.

how do we apply for a club standard?

Complete the Club Standard application form, which can be found here

i would like to start a new sports club. what should i do?

All new Sports Club suggestions will start as a Just Play session to see if the interest is there from our students. If these Just Play sessions are popular we can then begin the process of establishing a new Sports Club. To make a suggestion, please email

i like playing sport, but not competitively. is there anything for me?

There is, and it’s called Just Play. It’s our social sport programme based around getting active, making friends and having fun. You can find more information here.

how do i find out more about just play?

To find out more, visit or email any questions to