UKC Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

On 28 January, UKC Dodgeball Society initiated what its founders hope to be a successful and enduring society. In what Allie called a “spur of the moment thing”, President Alex Corrigan, and Chancellor Ben Bradly decided to fill the niche of a hugely popular sport and begin the University’s only dodgeball society. The new club’s first official meet-up on the following Monday was an “absolutely brilliant experience”. The sizable turnout was not predetermined and the club, on many occasions, faced cancellation.

President Alex Corrigan and Secretary Ben Bradly were initially inspired by an adrenalin filled charity dodgeball game, hosted by the Fencing and Kick Boxing societies. Preparation for the society began four months before the 2018/19 academic year. Kent Union, however, was slow and preparations in bringing the sport to UKC ground to a halt. Ben said that: “Originally we were not confirmed, in fact we were rejected the first time.” Only through dogged determination and a large number of emails to the Union was the dodgeball committee able to push through their aptly named ‘D.U.K.C’ (Dodgeball University of Kent Canterbury). The success of the application, however, came as a surprise to Alex and Ben. In fact, both were unaware of their approval until one week before freshers. In all, the society sat on the bench for eight months.

Understandably the president and secretary were concerned about the success of the society, they would have to wait until the two taster sessions on the 14th and 21st of December to find out. Alex described the experience as “scary as hell” going on to say, “we didn’t know if too many, or not enough, people would show up.” Despite a relatively slow first hour, the first taster was promising.

The second taster was well received and despite one accidental headshot the event was “incredibly fun, energetic and competitive.” With the 28th looming, the pair were concerned that the society would be caught out by a low attendance. Payed membership was fairly low, so the first official session was by no means a guaranteed success. Still the planned session went ahead, over fifteen members and non-members attended, who were split into four groups of four (Ben filling the last spot) for smaller matches and training, this was followed by a large eight versus eight match. The premier event went “really well”, following the pattern of a fairly slow first half hour and then an excellent remaining hour and a half.

The two founders predict that the society will be large enough come next year to participate in inter-university tournaments and matches through the UK DBA (UK Dodgeball Association). From there they hope that in two to three years their fledgling society will participate in Varsity.

The Society is still open to new members and are very keen for new recruits, for those unsure the two would like to invite anyone along for a free trial session. Those interested need only to message Ben or Allie through the Facebook page UKC Dodgeball. The practices are held 5pm to 7pm Monday evenings in Sports hall three. Whether you are an avid fan of the game, just curious or looking for a way to brighten up your Monday, this could be a sport that you don’t want to dodge.