Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Ultimate fair game

By Liz Bourne

University isn’t just about going to lectures and hanging out in the library. It can also be a great opportunity to try something new. You may want to join a sports club, but what if the usual football or netball clubs don’t appeal?

Ultimate Frisbee is played between two teams with a Frisbee (or ‘disc’ as players prefer to call it). It is a bit of a mix between netball, in that you can’t run with the disc, and American football because you score by throwing it to a team mate in your ‘endzone’ (end of the pitch). You gain the disc by intercepting it or if the other team drop it. The winning team is the first to reach an agreed number of goals. It can be layed by single sex or mixed teams of 5 (inside) or 7 (outside).

One of the most unusual features of Ultimate is that there are no referees. If you believe you’ve been fouled, it’s your responsibility to say and the game stops while the players discuss it. This ‘spirit of the game’ stresses fair play, honesty and respect and means teamwork and communication are essential. Players often introduce themselves to their marker and at the end of each game the captains compliment the opposing team.

Josephine Griffiths studies Criminology and Forensic studies at the University of Portsmouth and is passionate its Ultimate club. We chatted with her to find out why…

Were you into sport before going to university?

I didn’t play much sport at school. I never excelled enough to be part of any team. I was more the kind of pupil to be involved in performing arts.

What attracted you to Ultimate?

I wanted to do something that wasn’t as ‘big’ as other sports. In a club with fewer people, the existing members take time to get to know the freshers (first year university students) personally. I also wanted to try something different, that not many people would be excellent at straight away.

What do you love about the sport?

Everyone is treated equally, no one is given special attention for being good and no one is discouraged from training, even if they’re not the fastest learner. Everyone I know who has joined Ultimate has fallen in love with it and is committed to the game.

What would you say to someone interested in trying it out?

Go for it. Before university, I wasn’t very sporty and I’m definitely not the most physically fit, but this doesn’t matter as you can improve as a team. There’s no pressure to be the best player and constantly perform 100%, but when you get into the training and start attending tournaments, you’ll want to get better, play the best you can and bring home all the trophies!

Did you know?

  • The word ‘Frisbee’ is copyrighted by the Wham-O company which popularised the flying disc in the 1960s.
  • The game was invented by college students in 1967 in New Jersey, USA.
  • Ultimate is played at the World Games and recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
  • A disc holds 3 pints of water.
  • Thundercatch in Gosport are one of the longest running junior teams in the UK.

Find out more at

So you want to be a writer…

By Tom Gorman

Do you picture yourself as the new JK Rowling or Roald Dahl? How do you go about getting your stories published? How do you know if they will sell? Where do you start?

These are a few of the questions all new writers, including myself, ask themselves at some point. Whether you have a completed masterpiece ready to be shared with the world, or are interested in creative writing and short stories, here are my top tips for budding authors.

Get it reviewed
At some stage someone is going to have to read your work, and this way you can get some idea whether or not you’re on the right track and your work appeals to others. Your English teacher at school might be a good place to start, or friends and relatives who are interested in books. Try not to worry if they don’t like your first attempts, at least you’ll know if you need some different ideas or need to fine tune your storytelling skills.

Join a group
Your school or community centre might have a creative writing group or club, and if they don’t, then why not start one yourself? You can get feedback on your writing, practice different techniques, bounce ideas around and read some books as a group to help fire your imagination.

Eyes on the Prize
There are hundreds of on-line literary competitions for writers of all ages, so don’t be shy and have a go. It’s a great way to get recognised and you never know, you might win some dosh. Before entering make sure they specialize in young writers in your age group.

Read and read…and read some more
The more books the better. If you’re interested in writing about science fiction, crime, vampires, historical figures or pop stars; read as many books as you can on your favourite subject. This will give you an idea of different writing styles and techniques to see what works.

Do it yourself
There are a wide variety of self-publishing websites like Createspace, Lulu, Smashwords and MagCloud, to name just a few. Submitting your work can be fiddly so you may need a teacher or parent to help with this. The costs vary. Some (like Smashwords) are completely free but others are expensive, so always get permission from your parents first.

We all love social media
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the forums where your potential readers hang out. Nearly 85 percent of all book sales are direct from the internet so this is where you publicise your work, get all your friends to like it, buy it and share information with others.

Last but not least, don’t give up! It took me three years from completing my first novel to finally getting a publishing contract, so be patient and keep on writing.

Tom grew up and went to university in Bristol. He’s had a wide range of jobs from auction room porter to local government manager, and now works at the University of Portsmouth to supplement his writing. He has written one volume of poetry called Transition Island Songs and his novel, Underclass, is the first part of a trilogy.

  • More information about working as a writer is available on the National Careers Service website.
  • Thinking of entering a writing competition? The Book Trust has an extensive list.

Jumping hurdles to chase the dream

Lauren Thompson loved studying criminology and forensic studies at university, but what really took off was her athletics career. Not only was she awarded a sports scholarship at Portsmouth, she then received one to go to America to study a Master’s* course. UP for Uni caught up with Lauren to find out about it…

(*A Master’s is more specialised study after your degree) (more…)

Get hands on – Skill UP with work experience

By Katie Holloway

I’m from the Isle of Wight and studied marketing at university. When most people hear the words ‘work experience’ they picture themselves in a dull office doing the tedious tea run or not so fun filing. Although this may be the case some of the time, putting up with these tasks can lead to some fantastic opportunities and you’ll have a great time along the way.


The best job in the world

Ever wondered what the best job in the world would be? For Ben Southall from Petersfield, it was ‘Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef’ in Australia. He beat 35,000 other hopefuls from around the globe to win the ‘Best Job in the World’ competition in 2009.

What was it like? It was one of the best periods of my life. The sheer number of new experiences, from diving with sharks and skydiving to sailing on mega-yachts, meant that it really was simply the Best Job!

Why did you apply?  When the advert came out I’d just got home from driving round the entire continent of Africa. During that time I climbed five mountains and ran five marathons, as well as rode an ostrich, crossed the Sahara and lived with a Masai tribe. This gave me an incredible collection of photos and videos which I shared on my website.


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