Student life away from the parties: Lund’s unofficial sports nation

- in Föreningen, In English, Nationer

Lund’s 13 nations are a big part of the town’s student life. But did you know that Lund got a new “nation” in 2020? Lundagård joined Örebro’s Nation for a game of golf to learn all about the nation outside of the established 13.

Filip Agnevall is the founder
of Örebro’s Nation.
Photo: Alexandra Roslund

On a cloudy and windy afternoon, Lundagård met members of Örebro’s Nation. They had gathered at Lund Akademiska Golfklubb to practice. A 20 minute bus ride away from the rush and noise of the town’s famous student life, they meet weekly to play and to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The unofficial nation was founded by Filip Agnevall in 2020 and is organised through a group on Facebook.

After Halland’s Nation broke free from Gothenburg Nation back in 1928, a “no new nations”-rule was set by Lund University. It aims to prevent the establishment of too many nations and to provide continuity. Thus, Örebro’s Nation will never be a “real nation”, which is not Filip Agnevall’s goal anyway. The group wants to continue their successful social media strategy, keep barriers and bureaucracy low for the members and provide an open environment for everyone. Filip Agnevall explains that they have never had any legal problems despite their slightly misleading name. 

Malcolm Sten – one of
Örebro’s Nation’s first members.
Photo: Alexandra roslund

“The reason I created Örebro’s is because I thought the nations and faculties didn’t have that many sports I wanted to play, so it wasn‘t for any fame or my CV”, he tells Lundagård. Wanting to fill that gap, he initiated the sports project two years ago. However, Filip Agnevall adds that there was a second reason behind this step: “I wanted to join the sports committees of Lundaekonomerna and Göteborgs Nation, but they didn’t accept me. I got pissed off and created my own.”

Örebro’s Nation are registered at Skatteverket and finance themselves. Each member has to bring their own sports equipment, which can be a barrier preventing people without the necessary gear to join. “It’s hard to find a solution”, admitted Filip Agnevall. “Our success is that we focus on sports for everyone, which is something other nations struggle with. [All our members, editor’s note] have to pay for trips and events. But there’s no fee for joining.”

Since its foundation, Örebro’s Nation has turned out to be very successful. Over 1.300 members are part of the Facebook group and a solid core of them gather at the weekly activities. They offer a selection of sports, such as, golf, football and padel tennis. With a laugh, Filip Agnevall admitted that some others accuse Örebro’s Nation of cheating since their activities are so popular.

So, what‘s the secret of the sports group? One part of it might be its’ open membership-policy. “There are people from different nations [and places, editor’s. note]”, Filip explains. “We have doctors, we have people who study physics, a railroad engineer and teachers. You don’t have to be an active student in Lund. We’re not a nation, we just wanted to call it ‘Örebro’s Nation’ so it would be easier to spread the word like: ‘Have you heard of ÖN?’.”

Ida Brorsson joined
Örebro’s nation at the
beginning of the semester.
Photo: Alexandra Roslund

It was this word-of-mouth approach that caught Ida Brorsson’s attention, when she arrived in Lund some weeks ago.  

She got a warm welcome to Örebro’s Nation. When Lundagård joins the golf-playing group it’s the first time that Ida Brorsson attends one of their events. However, she’s the only girl in the group that day. Despite this, she seems like a year-long member already and talked shop eagerly with others. “I only have positive expectations”, she states. “I think it will be really fun. I’ve looked through social media a bit and it seems like those who arrange it are very active.” Ida Brorsson looks forward to becoming a permanent part of the “nation”. “It’s nice that they are so social and that it‘s very easy to become part of the gang”, she explains happily.

Ida Brorsson has played
golf for most of her life.
Photo: Alexandra Roslund

In the Facebook group, 60 percent of the members are male, while the remaining 40 percent are female. However, the majority of attendees at activities hosted by Örebro’s Nation are boys.”The events are for everyone, but there is a tendency that girls don’t show up”, explains Filip Agnevall. ”I believe there are many reasons for this, but the main one is because the events are held by boys. We had events where girls have been responsible with more girls joining.”

Filip Agnevall admits that getting more of the female members involved is the biggest challenge for Örebro’s Nation. However, he insists he will not give up on this goal and that there are more all-female activities planned for the future.

Jakob Falk just joined Örebro’s Nation.
Photo: Alexandra Roslund

Another new member is Jacob Falk, who studies finance in Lund. “The reason I joined was basically to play golf”, he explains. Since student life was shut down due to Covid-19 the previous year, Jacob Falk  lost touch with the nations, who could not offer any sports at that time. Now, he enjoys being outside on the golf court even more. “The overall impression is that it’s a very nice group and we’re having a good time”, he points out. Just like Ida Brorsson, Jacob Falk has already decided to keep attending Örebro’s Nation‘s activities in the future.

Jakob Falk heard about the group from his friend Malcolm Sten, who is one of the Nation‘s first members. “We have an environment where no matter if you are terrible at sports or extremely good, everybody is welcome”, Malcom Sten claims. By playing kubb and brännboll from time to time, the sports group has created a popular mix of competitive and more casual games. Malcolm Sten regularly invites friends as well as others who are interested in sports to the Facebook group.

Malcolm Sten has been
a part of Örebros Nation
since the beginning.
Photo: Alexandra roslund

Filip Agnevall points out that he does not think that other nation’s approaches to sports are wrong: “It’s just hard to gather enough people because everyone just wants to party. The party culture in Lund is so big. I want more people to meet each other in a more relaxed way. It’s hard but we’ve actually made it.” The founder of the sports group adds that it is his dream to play competitive tournaments against the official nations and student unions. 

Recently, Örebro’s Nation hosted their first ball where they presented their official song. The event was a huge highlight for the founder, but his favourite memory with the sports group is a different one: “This summer, we actually arranged a surf trip to Portugal with 35 people from Lund University! It was awesome, probably the best week of my life.”

They had surfing lessons in the mornings and afternoons. The remaining hours of the days were spent relaxing and just ”hanging out”. After the trip, the community of the regular members seems stronger than ever. 

Filip Agnevall has big plans with Örebro’s Nation and sees endless opportunities for it. “It is really nice, there are so many possibilities”, he said at the end of his talk with Lundgård and laughed. “If someone wants to do a ski trip one day, we could actually arrange that.”

Jakob Falk out in the ruff of Lund Akademiska Golfklubb.
Photo: Alexandra Roslund

This is an article which was previously printed in Lundagård #6 2022. Since the printed version the following corrections have been made:

  • Filip Agnevall’s last name was misspelled in the previous version.
  • A previous version said that Ida Brorsson was one of few female members of Örebro Nation, this is however incorrect and two paragraphs explaining the divide between female and male members has been added to the article.