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Homepage / Fin Underhill: The Importance of Staying Active to De-Stress

Fin Underhill: The Importance of Staying Active to De-Stress


Students and academics in the sports hall playing basketball

We’re all aware of stress. But maybe not so aware of what to do with it. Turns out, playing basketball with (and against) your professors and course mates is a great way to meet people, get active and de-stress!  

Seeing an invitation to a faculty basketball game light up my phone initially gave me mixed feelings: 

On one hand, it would be a fun way to celebrate the ending of our taught modules… on the other hand, I hadn’t played basketball in 10 years! 

After a bit of convincing from our mates, a couple friends and I put our names in the hat.  (Turns out we didn’t even know the rules of the game at this point but we didn’t let that stop us).

TEAM ENERGY, led by Kumar Patchigolla, Reader in Low Carbon Energy Systems with Advanced Heat Engineering and Renewable Energy students.

TEAM SUSTAINABILITY, led by Ali Nabavi, Senior Lecturer of Energy Systems with Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Advanced Chemical Engineering and Advanced Digital Energy Systems students. 

The teams were set, and so was the date! 

A couple weeks passed with no extra interest from anyone… We only had five players signed up for the nearly two-hour long game, with no subs… not good.

That is, until the morning of the game where Advanced Heat Engineering students met with Kumar to discuss our group project. That group project was the only thing we didn’t talk about! It happened so fast that I don’t remember how Kumar managed to rally the whole course together to play or at least watch from the side lines, but we soon had everyone involved in cheering on our team.  

Our resident cheerleader, Esther, brought enough enthusiasm to fill the entire sports hall with her “ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY!”… Definitely MVP! Our team started off rocky and fell behind hard in points, but thanks to our brilliant coach we managed to finish the game on a nail-biting 33-34 to Team Sustainability.

Even though one more basket would have won us the game, everyone involved had an awesome time. It was great fun to play with the professors and the teams had a good laugh together after the game! Score board. 34-33

Overall, it was a brilliant way to de-stress and celebrate the end of the taught modules for most courses. Walking around campus and bumping into the members of the other team has made a great atmosphere, and this game brought out the best in everyone involved.

A huge thanks to all those involved: Kumar and Ali for leading the teams, Mingming, Enze, Luofeng and Stefano for coaching, Wayne Coulter for the action-packed photos, Upul Kahagala Gamage and Patrick Verdin for being game officials, and last but not least to the organising committee, Abbi Legate and Michelle Starkey. 

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but we know that staying active can help you manage it. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can help to reduce stress levels, improve your mood, and promote better sleep. So, whether that’s walking, running, dancing or even playing a game of basketball with your mates. We all need to remember the importance of downtime. The time to relax, the time to have fun and enjoy something outside of study and work.

If you need any advice, support or someone to talk to. We are here for you. Our Student Advisors and Learning Support Officers are on hand to help you work through any difficulties, no matter how big or small they may seem.

Fin Underhill

Written By: Zoe Nimmo

Advanced Heat Engineering MSc 2023

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