So here we are again at the start of a fresh term all raring to go both academically and in your sport, right? Erm, whilst I’m sure we all start with the best of intentions in the New Year, them moment you step onto those training pitches on a freezing cold Monday evening is never a good one. Still, we’ve all got leagues to win and Derby Day too so there’s no letting up just yet.

Away from the bubble of University sport there has been plenty to talk about so far in this New Year. A big talking point at the moment is the outburst of information relating to depression in sport in the wake of Gary Speed’s tragic death. With the recent release of Freddie Flintoff’s ‘Depression in Sport’ it really highlights to the public the susceptibility of sports stars to these mental breakdown’s that you would not necessarily associate with someone earning money through their dream job. However, the pressures that all sportsmen are under is immense and I for one think it’s fantastic that sport is becoming ever more candid in exposing these realities to a naïve public which is otherwise ill-informed on such issues. I would highly recommend Bruce Halling’s article below for a more insightful look into the effects of depression from a man that it wouldn’t necessarily be expected.

Back out on the playing fields/courts and British tennis is back in the news again. When I say British tennis, obviously I mean Andy Murray’s quest for his first Grand Slam title in the Australian Open, although the other 5 British competitors did get some coverage after all being knocked out in the first round! As for Murray though, he has brought in the expertise of a new coach Ivan Lendl on a rather part-time basis. Now it seems to me that all Murray ever uses a coach for is to vent his somewhat pent up anger when playing like a classic Brit and folding to the pressure, however Lendl (known in his playing days for his ruthlessness) can hopefully bring an edge to Murray’s game to finally get him over the finish line. Anyway, the hard court is always his best shot so let’s keep our fingers crossed and see.

I can’t finish without mentioning the start to the most hectic part of the football season; the January transfer window. With inflated player prices and keen buyers with innumerable blank cheques in the pockets this annual circus is always a fun time for me and may be even more so with QPR’s new owners being openly willing to splash the cash, although it could be somewhat misguided with, at one point, talks of buying Wayne Bridge and his heft £90k a week salary. Still, anything to wind John Terry up, right?

So the best of luck to you all with the latest of your fresh starts and I hope you’re all building up to the inevitable thrashing of UEA come Derby Day!