25 June 2015

Old Girls Nostalgia

Last weekend I went back to my old university (when I say old I don't mean that old, I only graduated last summer) for an Old Girls Hockey Day and a Red Leicester Reunion night out. The hockey day is a tradition that we try to keep every year, where those from the university hockey club who have graduated return to see all the current students and members of the club, and play a game of hockey.

In recent years the tradition has run a bit dry but this year we managed to have a proper game. The reason for this, other than the fact that we all deeply miss student life and wanted to see our friends, was that it fortunately coincided with the Red Leicester Reunion event. For those of you who didn't go to Leicester, I'll give you a bit of back story. Red Leicester was a student night not so subtly named after the cheese that first started in 2005. Obviously the music played was always cheesy, 90s music that all the old folks dance to at weddings such as 'The Macarena' or dance mat classics like 'Cotton Eye Joe'. Red Leicester was always on a Wednesday, after BUCS sports matches, and accompanied by an outrageous fancy dress outfit.

Well last year, after we graduated, the company that runs student nights at our university (or ex-university) decided to cancel Red Leicester! Nooo I hear you scream, but it's true, it happened. The institution that had been running for 10 years came to an end.  Apparently the first years joining couldn't relate to 90s music.. So instead they replaced it with LetsDisko (if anyone knows why they chose the 'k' speak now or forever hold your peace).

Anyway long story short (or actually long maybe) they decided to bring the night back for a one-time-only event on a Saturday so that all us working people could come and spend our hard earned cash on VKs and Food Factory.

The hockey in the daytime was fantastic! Although we only managed to convince 4 official Old Girls to kit up and come play, we had some great fourth year medics and some strong third years join our side. So we managed a 10 players v 13 players game. It was clear early on that neither side was keen to lose. Also, neither team had a goalie so this made the match a bit controversial, not to mention the umpire for the first half was on our (Old Girls) team.



After conceding a number of goals early on we paused at half time 4-2 down to the current hockey girls. However after a quick refresh we managed to up our standard significantly and some how pull off a 5-5 draw (if I'm honest I think we were very lucky there..) This was quickly followed by a afternoon pub dinner and some drinks, then off to host houses to get ready for the evening event!!

Georga and Grace's amazing retro outfits
In standard ULLHC (Uni of Leic Ladies Hockey Club) style we had a fancy dress theme - it wouldn't have been Red Leicester without one. And in remembrance of the night's beginnings a 90s gym wear theme was chosen. There were some absolutely cracking costumes on display from leopard print leotards to Barbie blue unitards.

Before attending the main event of the evening, we all went for drinks at the Loaded Dog, our traditional pre-Red Leicester pub and current sponsor. This was a nostalgic and fitting start to the evening with the usual hockey chants and games played. For me at least, it felt like we'd never left.

Another excitement was the arrival of some REAL Old Girls. I mean girls who had graduated before the oldest members I knew from the club had even joined! Some girls were talking to us who had graduated in 2007! I was still at school then! It was so nice to see that people who left that long ago still treasured hockey as some of their best moments of university life.

From here on the night played out as expected! There were some crazy events going on in hockey corner (yes we have our own designated space - the bottom left corner of the club dance floor), a lot of VK drinking (sugary, disgusting alcopops which come back to haunt you the next day), unusual dancing and we even managed to break one of the lights at some point but none of that mattered because we were all there, together, having fun.

The next day we were awoken by the harsh reality that we're not 18 any more and hangovers need to be short-lived because we have to be back to full fitness for work on Monday at 9am. The cure? A ceremonial breakfast with the girls who could make it out of bed by 11am followed by a long journey home and an early night.

It was so nice to go back to Leicester, a place where I've had so many great memories. There are rumours that they might do another Red Leicester night next year and I'm undecided whether I'd be interested or not. Being a student is really an incredible experience and probably not one I'm ready to leave behind just yet...


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