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ISSUE #1 - AUTUMN 2013


E-mail Editor Stuart Kenny Content writers Stuart Kenny Pictures Rob Adair, Mitch Vieira, Simon Leigh, University of Stirling Thanks to David Christie, Rebecca Gracey, Jack Day, Amanda Wylie, Odhran Hussan, John Armour, Charles Lawrence, Alexandra Eadie, Chris Priddle, Jonathan Adamson, Chris Whitelaw, Jorge Guttierez, Jordan Philpot, Kris Hughes, Greg Atkinson

Sports Union Executive President

Rebecca Gracey

Vice-President Jack Day

Communications Officer Stuart Kenny

Marketing Officer Paige Turner

Secretary Amanda Wylie

Media contacts Brig Graham Swann

Brig Sport Stuart Kenny

Air3 Romain Maradan

Air3 Sport Robert Kerigan

AirTV Danny Robertson


Our new Sports Union magazine will bring you exclusive coverage from all the action on the field and work behind the scenes


ello and welcome to the very first issue of #BleedGreen, the new magazine from your Sports Union. The first month of the new semester has certainly flown in, and with the majority of teams now back to competitive ways, the student sporting life is well and truly under way once again. Of course, this means there is an abundance of action just waiting to be covered. The idea behind the creation of this magazine is that it will provide just one more way in which we can promote the success of our sports

clubs whilst getting across all the latest news from the Sports Union offices. Personally, I’ve been enjoying my first taste of the Communications Officer role since returning for term, and i’m delighted to get the first issue of #BleedGreen out already. In the following pages you’ll find a series of great interviews covering a variety of clubs that have all fired back onto the pitch in style or have a big fixture date on the horizon. If you’re looking to get behind your University, you’re reading the right publication. That’s all from me for now, so please enjoy our first ssue of our new Sports Union magazine and please do get in touch if you want your club to feature in future editions of #BleedGreen. With Thanks, Stuart Kenny Editor Sports Union Communications Officer

AirTV StirSport Jonny Shepherd

@Stuartkenny CONNECT WITH YOUR All the latest in updates from around the world of sport at the University of Stirling, as well as instant news access, in-game photographs and the latest match results at Exclusive on the go updates from the team at your sports union. Capturing the University sport scene blow by blow, 140 characters at a time @StirUniSports

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CONTENTS REGULARS 04 Rebecca Gracey An update from your Sports Union President



08 Jack Day The latest from your SU Vice-President 16 Paige Turner The column from your SU Marketing Officer 22 Amanda Wyllie The SU Secretary with her latest happenings

FEATURES 06 Stirling Snowsports gear up for Scottish and British racing 09 An update on the progress of the highly rated tennis team 10 The Clansmen look to their no excuse policy ahead of a grudge BUCS tie with Glasgow 17 Chris Whitelaw tells us about the changes this term to intramural sport 18 Men’s basketball target an all-winning season in BUCS 3A after three victories to start the campaign 21 We speak to Gaelic Football president Odhran Hussan after an opening day win for his student side


23 Charles Lawrence of the cycling club speaks on a quick start to the new club 26 Kris Hughes speaks on his training in the world of rowing 28 An update from the ladies and men’s teams over at the University hockey club



TENNIS P.9 #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 3




rts Union pre

m your Spo the latest fro

We’re broadening our horizons more than ever before and looking to develop sport for everybody at the University


t has been a whirlwind few months for the Sports Union. Our organisation has been growing with two new full time members of staff being appointed and a Sports Union Intern, who has been most helpful in communicating mes sages to our memberships. We now have over 1400 mem -bers in

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the Sports Union as well, a number which has already surpassed the amount we managed to get in last year. With all these new members then, ‘what is the Sports Union doing for me?’ I hear you ask. Well, where do I begin? We are broadening our horizons more than ever before and looking to develop sport for everyone at the University. Our Sports Teams have gotten off to a great start and we are already sitting comfortably as the second best University in Scotland for Sporting performance at University Level. A great start to the term. We have launched a club accreditation scheme called “Earn your Stripes” also, which will look to ensure that all clubs are meeting a certain standard and help make the Student experience a great one. We also endeavour to increase participation across our cam@Becca1719 pus and therefore are

excited to launch Stirling’s first ever Parasports Festival which is due to take place at the end of November. This is an exciting opportunity for us to engage with more students on Campus. With all the new and exciting projects happening we haven’t forgotten about the good old favourites that the Sports Union have become famous for. These include the Sports Union Quiz, with a soon to be released guest host, and Sports Ball, to ensure this year is the best ever. I hope you are all excited as I am to see this year unfold and witness the ever growing success of the University of Stirling on the Sporting Stage across Scotland, Britain and beyond. Yours in Sport, Rebecca Gracey Sports Union President 2013-14

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“The holiday is the best part of being involved in the Snowsports club. We’re going to Val Thorens this year which is the party destination of the Alps”


he student Snowsports club have launched back into action with a bang after selling out the first round of places for their winter ski trip. The annual January holiday is a venture well renown for providing a top time around the University, and with the destination for this year confirmed as Val Thorens – the highest ski resort in Europe and part of the three valleys ski area that boasts over 600km of piste – it #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 6

comes as no surprise that spots for the trip went fast. “We’ve already sold out a whole coach and are currently trying to get a second coach sorted out,” said club president John Armour. “The second coach would mean it’d be the biggest holiday the club has had in at least five years. “There are still plenty of people putting down their deposits and once we get that second coach we should be able to get almost 100 people in the Alps with us,

which will be amazing. “The holiday is the best part of being involved in the Snowsports club. We’re going to Val Thorens this year which is pretty much the party destination of the Alps. It’s got kick-ass slopes and great vibes and is home to some of the best nightlight in the Alps.” While the club are eagerly anticipating their January departure date to take the trip to France though, there are more urgent matters to be dealt with in the next couple of weeks for the

team. After holding their race trials in the first few weeks after coming back from summer break, Armour and the rest of the club will be heading to Edinburgh dryslope Hillend in early November for the Scottish and British Universities Dryslope Championships, known more generally as SUDS, which will take place on November 2, and BUDS, to take place exactly one week later. As well as this competitive effort, the Stirling club are continuing their work with regards to providing lessons at Xscape, an artificial snow slope at Braehead, for members of all levels who are looking to progress. Armour is pleased to see the club so active after attracting many new members this term, and is looking forward to the

busy schedule that lies ahead. He said: “We had quite a lot of freshers come along to our Give It A Go which was good and we had a great social that week which a lot of people came along to as well. “There were a couple of people going for lessons at the Give It A Go event too, which was at Xscape, so it’s always good to get people going if they are skiing for the first time after joining the club. “We’re planning on running our second block of beginner lessons after mid-semester break and we’ve got SUDS and BUDS then also, which are the two events that the Snowsports club compete in primarily. “They’ll be in the first two weekend of November, so that should be fun, and there’ll be another social to come along

to then as well.” In keeping with the enthusiasm of the President to keep his club as active as possible, the team also head along to several more unique events held at the various slopes in Scotland. “We went to an event called Snowfresh last week,” continued the fourth year student. “It’s basically an event at Xscape where there are a lot of jumps set up on the snow and there was a bit of a party until 1am after. “There were a lot of people there that are pretty good on skis and boards which is always good to see.” To get in contact with the club, send an e-mail to John Armour at or get in touch via the group on Facebook. n #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 7



ay update The day by d nt vice-preside n io n U s rt o ce of your Sp

from the offi

There are countless success stories in the union, but also clubs looking to get bigger and better. I’m passionate about helping them.


elping clubs grow with and improve is one of the most enjoyable things about being involved with the Sports Union. In my first year

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at Stirling our Gaelic football team was a bit of a shambles, a committed and fun shambles albeit, but still a shambles. We had few experienced players and focused almost entirely on drinking away our sorrow and the pain of our battered bodies from losing every single game that we played all season. Slowly over the years we’ve picked up more committed members and sponsors and begun to build the club into a decent team. This month we opened the new season by knocking off the reigning Scottish champions, showing just how far the club has come. I know there are countless stories of clubs throughout the union that have taken big steps up lead by really committed groups of members and its always great to see. However, I also know there are frustrated members of clubs who look around and know their clubs could be bigger and better and

are just looking for ways to do that. Helping out these clubs is something I’m really passionate about doing in my position this year. I can assure you it’s worth the effort - those drinks taste a lot better and the battered bodies hurt a lot less after a win! Of course all the competing that goes on across the Sports Union leads through to our end of year Sports Union Awards Ball, the ultimate victory party, which I’m working hard on making sure is the biggest event of the year. Who knows; maybe if Gaelic’s winning run continues we’ll be able to give Tennis a run for their money in Club of the Year... Ok, maybe that’d be a victory too far! Sincerely, Jack Day Sports Union Vice-President 2013-14



he University tennis club sits in a place of high power in the world of student sport, and president Jonathan Adamson is confident the club can continue their winning ways in the upcoming semester. Not only are the first team the current British champions, the second team also compete in the same BUCS Premier North elite division in which the firsts ply their trade, and are one of very few student second teams in the entire BUCS set up to compete in the highest echelons of their respective sport. With the new season now up and running, Adamson is adamant that both the first and second team will excel in the

upcoming terms, and believes the second team have what it takes to give the best of British sides a good game. He said: “It is tough to gauge [the aims] of the second team at this stage as it is new territory for them. “They definitely deserve to be in this league though and i’m sure that they’ll be looking to take points off every team and even give the firsts a run for their money. “Our first team will be aiming to retain their league title, with the main challenges likely to come from Loughborough and Durham respectively.” The eagerly anticipated league clash between the two sides will take place on October 30 in the

National Tennis Academy, and will undoubtedly see a thrilling tie in which the seconds go hard to try and grab a big scalp and some major bragging rights. Adamson believes that the club are in perfect position to maintain their fierce reputation, and insits it will only be added to in the upcoming months. “We’re very proud of the reputation that we have in British tennis and BUCS sport as a whole,” he said. “Our teams have a lot of very experienced players and captains who have been a part of the club during past successes. The confidence that these players take from these achievements is evident and translates into the younger guys too.” n

The tennis club is open to social and competitive players playing at all levels all of the game. for more information, contact club president Jonathan Adamson at: #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 9






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he Stirling Clansmen have never been a team to hide their confidence or play down their chances of success. After winning back to back Scottish Championships in the past two years, the team certainly have the trophies to back up their talk too. Indeed, the name says it all when it comes to the Clansmen. One clan, one goal, one mentality, one mindset. There has been no opposition in Scotland that have come remotely close to collapsing the dominance the club hold in their homeland in recent times. Now, with the circled 27 October date that denotes the first match of the new season drawing enticingly near, Jorge Guttierez, centre, guard and president of the Stirling Clansmen, insists the team are ready as ever for their return to action, and believes the club’s heavy training schedule and rejection of the ‘modern excuse culture’ will see them continue their claim to be the best in Scotland. “The motto this year is ‘Earned not given’,” said the six foot one Spanish international. “Some people think that our results last year were because we had American players and not because we worked hard, and that’s why we have that motto for this year. We also – like we do every year – work on a no

excuses basis. That is our main motto. “The practices are good at the moment. We had two important injuries at the first contact practice but we have a lot of rookies this year really capable of playing and showing us that they want to play.” The weekend opener, which will kick off at noon on the rubber crumb, will see a self-assured Glasgow University side travel to the realms of Stirling, and will subsequently write another chapter into a rampant rivalry described by Head Coach Rob Orr as “the oldest and fiercest rivalry in UK collegiate football.” After well-documented big talk from Glasgow last year ahead of the fixture, the students from Stirling went on to rack up a riotous win of 100-7 on game day. While Guttierez remains confident that his side will ultimately prevail again this time around, the Spaniard reckons the tie will be a closer encounter than on that century-hitting occasion, and reckons their Glaswegian adversaries will be gasping for payback. “Because of the huge win last year the people on the team are confident with themselves, but we know it’s going to be a big game and that we have to go out and earn every game win and fight for it,” he continued. “They [Glasgow] have got #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 11


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some international payers in and we know that they are making improvements to try and beat us. I think because of the number of graduate players we had last year it will be harder to get another score like we did then, but we know what is expected from us and we will do our best. “Glasgow want revenge for last year and they are going to try and humiliate us. Our job is to go down to the field and win this for us, for our fans and for this University.” While the season may not have started yet, the Clansmen have been in training for some time now, enjoying a preparation weekend in Glencoe last month and taking on several pre-season ties in the last few weeks. There is no doubt that the aims of the season will not have taken long to establish

for the side going into the new campaign with such a ferocious reputation in the world of British grid iron. Gutierrez was quick to confirm that a third successive Scottish title success is the main aim for the athletes. He continued: “The goal of the team this year is the National Championship, but it’s not going to be an easy path. We can go as far as we want to but we know there is going to be hard work between the beginning [of the season] and the Championship. “The worst enemy we have right now is ourselves. We have injuries and ill players in important positions as well. Anyway, we will work for it to give this team and this University the position that it deserves.” Indeed, if historic results are anything to go by, the Clans-

men’s upcoming campaign could well be defined by their result and performance against their closest rivals. With the Stirling students set to file out in force to watch on from the sidelines though, the men in green and white should already be able to boast the bonus of home advantage when they step on to the field. “We had 300 screaming fans last year,” recalled Coach Orr. “They drowned out the referees’ whistle. For this game we are hoping to top that.” There is no doubt that the students will indeed be out in force. The rest, though, will be down to the work rate of the Clansmen; the team’s pre-season training, need to reach for that one extra yard, and, above all, to push past any problem that could possibly call for the reason to avoid an excuse. n

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The update p

orts Union from your Sp


marketing o

The University ParaSport festival is catered to get individuals with impairments involved in sport. It’s shaping up to be a great day.


i guys! So since the summer I have been working hard to launch the University of Stirling’s ParaSport festivals! If you haven’t already heard then it is a day that is catered to getting individuals with impairments involved with sport. There are various sports available for all abilities; even those with no

impairments can get involved! Although I cannot yet confirm the sports that will be available, I can confirm the dates that they will be held on; 30th November 2013 and 30th April 2014 in the Gannochy Sports hall, with both dates starting at 1pm. For regular updates and information on the planning and everything else to do with this new exciting development of the sports union, follow us on twitter (@StirParaSport) or on Facebook by searching Stirling University ParaSport and liking our page. During our launch on twitter, we even got a cheeky re-tweet from Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, the 11 time Paralympic Gold medallist, which raised the stakes a little more for the day! It’s shaping up to be a really good day for all to take part in and enjoy! However, we need a @PaigeyAnastacia lot of people to help

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out at the event, so we are opening up the opportunity for students to help and volunteer on the day. If you would like to volunteer and help out for either or both of the dates then please get in touch via e-mail: pat00023@, or even if you just want more info. on what is going on, please, just give me an e-mail. So guys, apart from all the other jobs of trying to keep the sports board looking good and trying to keep on top of all the fantastic results we have been getting from matches and competitions so far, that’s about everything. Please do get in touch if there is anything you think I can help with - I am only an e-mail away! Regards, Paige Turners Sports Union Marketing Officer 2013-14



USIMS Digital Media Activator Chris Whitelaw answers our questions about intramural sport The University of Stirling Intramural Sport (USIMS) programme has progressed a lot this year. What is on offer for students this term?

the USIMS programme?

The simple message behind intramural sport is to promote a variety of sporting opportunities on offer including health and This year we’re offering foot- well-being programmes, and ball, touch rugby and badmin- therefore see students having ton on a weekly basis. There fun, playing sport and making will be one off events for other new friends. sports throughout the year including golf, volleyball, hockey, There has so far been keen inrounders, and ultimate frisbee. terest. Football has been popular for a long time but we feel They work by either signing up that there are other sports to as part of a team or individually explore alongside football. and simply turning up, playing and having fun. Sign ups can be What was the thinking done at the Gannochy Sports behind the development of Centre. Some sports will be USIMS for the upcoming drop-in only, therefore no need year? for registration. This will all be We simply believe that there is advertised though. much more opportunities for What would you say are students if we offer a variety of the main general aims of sports.

There is also going to be a point system this year. Along with individual sports winners there is going to be an overall USIMS individual champion. For each sport you will receive a certain amount of points for winning and your points will be tallied up between all the sports you compete in. At the end of the year there will be a champion, with the most overall points, who will receive a great prize. What does the future hold for intramural sport at the University? The only way is up. This University is full of people that love sport. With time and effort USIMS will provide more and more opportunities for students to play sport week in week out! n #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 17




fter a season past that saw the men’s basketball first team fall to relegation from the BUCS Scottish 2A, club president Jordan Philpott insists that his team have come back with a vengeance this term and have exactly what is needed to get back to where they belong. The team have opened their ambitious campaign with three wins on the trot, and Philpott not only believes that his team are good enough to take the #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 18

top prize from the Scottish 3A league, but also reckons they are capable of completing that task without dropping a point. “For the firsts, our goal is to win every game in 3A,” he said. “We were all disappointed in the performance last season and are looking to make up for that this season. “It’s very exciting to be back in action after the summer. A lot of hard work has been in over the summer and hopefully that can translate into results.

“If we can win every game and win the division then it means we can begin to move up the leagues – back to where Stirling should be competing. “We have made a great start to our goal in the first part of the season.” It has indeed been an admirable start from the sharp shooting Stirling side, who are now in a BUCS league which contains both their first and second teams. If this was always bound to toss a thrilling University derby into

the fixture list, the drama of the tie was increased further when it was scheduled for day one of the new season. The first team asserted there status as such with a 102-48 victory, and after following it up with a second league win against Edinburgh’s second team they took their talents into a Conference Cup match with a Glasgow side in the league above, coming out as 20 point underdog victors away from home. Phillpott relishes the rivalry of having two teams competes in the same division, and is confident that both the firsts and seconds have a successful season ahead. He continued: “The firsts versus second game was certainly a great experience for all involved. I think as soon as the fixtures were announced that was the one that all the players were looking forward to the most. “The game was very competitive. It was great to see all members of the squad competing and trying to impress for the coaches. There was a great crowd and a great atmosphere as well which made the game that extra bit special. “We’re hoping the firsts can get promoted and win every game as I said, and for the seconds, I believe they can easily remain in the division and continue to work hard and improve so they can challenge for the 3A title next season.” It’s not only the winning manner of the club this term that differentiates the side from their efforts last year. The student outfit now boast a new range of impressive freshers, but that’s not all that has changed. “We have a new coach this season and an exclusive partnership set up with national league #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 19


squad Stirling Knights, “ continued Philpott. “It will be a very exciting season for the basketball team. “There have been a lot of new starts this summer which is exciting. New faces means more competition for places, giving people more motivation to compete for places in the squad. It’s great to see more and more people becoming interested in basketball at the university.

“For me, I want the club to be an enjoyable welcoming place where new people can meet other people and make the transition into university life that bit easier. I want this season to be as enjoyable as possible, whether that is in the first or the second team. We are a close group of friends and I want this to remain the same way. “The basketball club is all

about enjoyment,” continued the president: “We can guarantee that you will have fun if you come to our sessions and begin to regularly get involved in the club. “As well as enjoying the sessions with our coaches, we give people the opportunity to improve their basketball skills and hopefully get involved in the games and continue to improve Stirling’s performance.” n

For any more information about the University of Stirling’s basketball club, or to enquire about getting involved, contact club president Jordan Philpott at:


“The change has been massive. If it continues like this it won’t be long till we’re challenging for Scottish and British titles”


turbulent time of adjustment is something that comes hand in hand for many within the world of university sport each September, but few teams will have seen bigger change heading into the new term than the student Gaelic Football side. After failing to record a single success last year, the club recruited in numbers and upped their game under the charge of club president Odhrán Hussan in time to field a formidable force in the opening tie of the Scottish Second Division. Up against a decorated Abertay side who secured a dominant win over Stirling last term, the students turned the past on its head to stroll to a 4-9, 2-6 victory and in doing so launch a new era for the club. Hassan is confident that the team will continue to build forward as the season draws on.

“The club has changed massively this year,” he said. “The biggest change has definitely been the amount of interest in the sport at the university, considering last year we would be lucky to muster seven lads at training and now we have around 20 at every session. That speaks volumes in itself. “In regards to the year ahead I am quietly confident. After beating Abertay in our first game quite comfortably in the end by nine points, when that same side obliterated us by 31 points last year in the British Championships, it has left me very optimistic. It was also my first victory while playing for the university in my two years here! After overcoming the barrier of marketing the traditionally Irish sport to a Scottish audience, the Northern Irishman admits he is proud of the recruitment job done within the side.

He said: “Myself and the other committee members pretty much had to start from scratch rebuilding the club. “At the start of the year I was worried we wouldn’t be able to encourage guys who hadn’t heard or played the sport to get involved, but we’ve now got around 16 non-Irish players compared to the 12 Irish lads as well who all grew up with the sport. And for the future? “Our main aim is to build a solid foundation and to gain promotion into the Scottish Division One as soon as we possibly can. “I would love to see the club consistently grow year on year in terms of membership, reputation and overall playing ability. This year is merely a stepping stone and if the club continues in this manner it won’t be long before we’re challenging for the Scottish and even possibly the British title.” n #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 21



ion secretary

r Sports Un mn from you

The colu

Coming from the Equestrian club I know how important it is for smaller clubs to get the credit they deserve. I want to ensure that all clubs feel represented.


i guys! So the semester is off to a great start for the sports union with a great turn out at the Sports Bazaar and Give

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it a Go week and lots of new members signing up! I’m really looking forward to being involved in the Sports Union this year and working alongside you guys to help clubs promote all their great achievements and work that they do, whether it be through competing in BUCS and SSS or by working in the community and helping to introduce sport to the wider community beyond our campus. Coming from the Equestrian club I know how important it is for smaller clubs as well as the larger ones to get the credit they deserve and to get all the promotion and backing they need to keep going and get new members, so I want to try and ensure all clubs feel represented. The Sports Union team have a lot of great events coming up to get involved in like our first

ever Parasport Festival, the ‘Earn Your Stripes’ Scheme, the Sports Union Quiz, Sports Ball and many more still to be announced. It’s set to be a big year for sport in Stirling, but it’ll be so much better if we can get as many people as possible excited, taking part and getting involved. If there’s anything we can do for you just let us know, and if you want to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to give me an e-mail. My contact address is a mw 0 0 0 1 1 @ s t u d e n t s . s t i r., so get in touch if you have a question and i’ll be happy to help in any way I can. Sincerely, Amanda Wyllie Sports Union Secretary 2013-14





“WE WENT TO THE SIR CHRIS HOY VELODROME TO START OUR TRACK CYCLING ACCREDITATION. THE VENUE JUST TAKES YOUR BREATH AWAY” The cycling club is a recently new addition to the Sports Union register. How has the development been coming along since the start of the term?

done very well in. On deciding to come back to Stirling for a second degree, I felt that the Sports Union was still in great need of a Cycling club, which could cater for all disciplines and help promote cycling as a The club was proposed in April sport. This coupled with being 2013 and fully commenced at present at Team GB’s Olympic the start of this academic year. success, I decided to try and The whole cycling club idea start a cycling club of which I came about after I had gradu- was successful. ated from the University of Stirling a few years ago and then The club has developed rathmoved to London, where I was er rapidly into a strong Sports lucky enough to live while the Union club that hold a large Olympics were on. Working for number of members in varied the NHS I was lucky enough to disciplines. I feel this is due in gain tickets to some of the cy- part to having a strong commitcling events in which Team GB tee, who are all dedicated to

cycling and the success of the club. Having commenced the new academic year, the club has started out strong following a good sports bazaar and has set its sights high in terms of club development for this academic year and the future. There’s been a good bit of buzz around the club this term – how was the freshers intake and what have you guys been up to so far? Yeah, I am pleased to say that there has been a lot of enthusiasm from both students and staff at the university, who have in a way, embraced the #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 23

cycling club as something that has been missing for a while and is now here for them to get involved in. In terms of a decent freshers intake, I would say we did much better than initially expected for a newly formed club. Being a newly formed club, we felt that gaining 15 members would be a success initially and we would then build from there, but in reality the club managed to recruit much more than this and far exceeded our initial expectations. I feel this is due to the committee, as the guys and girls have worked so hard over the summer to get things ready for the new academic year. I feel their effort at the sports bazaar in really selling the club showed their dedication to helping the cycle club come sprinting out of the blocks so to say. Opportunities offered to the members of the USCC are many and I can safely say I feel the club offer a lot of room to find out what is right for each new member. This is due to the flexibility of cycling and its many disciplines of which members can decide which suits them best. We offer to our members Track, Road, Mountain, and Downhill cycling, each of which has a captain who organises specific events, trips and social rides. As of 2 October the club has started sending members to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow to gain their Track cycling accreditation, which will enable them to compete in league and national events anywhere in Britain, not only in BUCS, but at a national level. Following the first outing it went down as a huge success and #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 24

leaving space for members to enjoy other aspects of university life. Training consists of spin classes and gym sessions. The spin classes as pretty self explanatory and the gym sessions are more varied. Gym sessions depend on the type of cycling you do, for example, if you ride Track you tend to do a lot more weight training and if you do Road you will tend to do more endurance and cardio exercise. Mountain bikers tend to do their own thing, which is fine as mountain is very different from Road and Track in terms of endurance and sprinting ability. Like you’ve touched on, within the category of cycling there is a world of diverse variations. How do you get on with dealing has seen more students decide with all these disciplines? to sign up for the club. The club has also decided to integrate As I mentioned there is a lot Triathlon into the club, as I had of flexibility in cycling and that seen a large demand for this I feel really gives cycling the from new members. We’re also edge over other sports. I feel very happy to announce we that having the option of Track, run our own club spin sessions Road and Mountain or Downhill which are specifically catered to provides room for members to cycling club members. find a discipline that fits them as a person, as most people Could you run is through come into the sport for example some of the times the club wanting to be a Track or Road train each week and what cyclist and then decide ‘in fact you get up to during those I feel I enjoy Mountain biking times? more than the others’. In that respect cycling really is a sport The club training sessions are that provides plenty of opportuthree times a week. The days nities to get it right. we meet are Monday and Friday, with a floating day within In terms of a main discipline, that week that is decided on I would say all are in certain the Sunday. This is due to the ways our main discipline. Each club holding Track events in discipline has their own individGlasgow on a Wednesday and ual captain who focuses specifigoing on social rides other days cally on that aspect of the club. in the week, so it’s a matter of For example I focus more on getting everything right and Road and Triathlon in the sum-

mer and then switch to Track in the winter, so in that respect I focus specifically on three areas at different periods throughout the year and vary my training to suit. The club more or less run on the same set of principles, they focus on their individual sport, but have the option to switch as the year progresses. What would you say are your main aims for the upcoming year?

tion and training, but it also has a huge social side to it that I want our members to enjoy and feel like they are part of not just a team, but a large community who all support each other. Could you tell us a little bit about your involvement with BUCS and other competitive ventures?

Cycling as a sport really is a very varied and flexible sport to get involved in, with something to offer everyone, which most sports cannot offer. Being part of the cycling club here at Stirling, I feel we offer both the physical fitness aspect of the club, which is very beneficial to your health and wellbeing, and that we offer a huge social side which cater to a very varied bunch of individuals.

In terms of BUCS the club will have some involvement, but it will be limited. BUCS, albeit a My main specific aim for the great platform in which to com- Finally, what has been your forth coming year is what most pete, is at times very unorgan- favourite moment within presidents should always be ised in terms of events held for the club so far? looking for, and that is long cycling. term sustainability. I think due I would have to say getting evto the cycling club being new to I feel regional and national eryone along to the Sir Chris the sports union, I am thinking events run by British and Scot- Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow to about this a bit more than oth- tish cycling are where our club start their Track cycling accreders at the moment, as I really will be steering towards. British itation. The venue itself just want the cycling club to be a and Scottish cycling offer more takes your breath away both off long term sustainable club that than BUCS can to our members the Track and on it, especially can provide as much as it does in terms of events and this is when banking at 40+ Mph. Evnow, if not more, in the future. due to these organisations be- eryone who went on the first ing better organised and better trip really got the buzz out of it The main aims for the club are funded. I was looking for people to get to enter as many teams into and I think the cycling bug was events as possible, get our new What would you say to any- well and truly passed on. members through their accred- one thinking about getting itation for Track cycling, and involved? I think what I am looking forjust generally help our memward to most is getting people bers reach their potential to To anyone thinking about get- entered into events to start compete at a high level within ting involved in cycling in gen- competing for the club and each discipline. Adding to that, eral, I would say get along to showing off their talent at all n the club isn’t all just competi- a local club and give it a go. levels. #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 25





alancing his time as a student with involvement in the prestigious World Class Start rowing programme, Kristopher Hughes has high hopes of one day taking to the stage at the Olympic games. The athlete, who is also heavily involved with the rowing club at #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 26

the University, undergoes a demanding training routine each week, but believes the sacrifices he makes are a small price to pay for the opportunity to be part of such a set up. “The programme is developed to help train individuals that display raw ability and characteristics that will hopefully make

them Olympic medal competent athletes in the future,” he said. “It’s easily the most intense training programme I’ve been on by far. Training is six days a week from 7:00am to 11:30am. There are sometimes night sessions too. On average we can have around 14-15 sessions a week and cover over 100km

“The Olympics is obviously a career goal. To represent your country would just be an overwhelming honour” of water rowing before you include fitness and weights sessions. The early mornings are really tough for me especially because I have further to travel than the other athletes. Having to get up around four or five am isn’t fun for anyone but it’s a small cost for such a massive opportunity.” With London 2012 gold medallist Helen Glover coming through the same programme on which Kris now trains, the prospects available to him cannot be understated. The Sports Studies and Psychology student admits that having the likes of this reigning World and Olympic coxless pairs champion in the graduate list is an inspirational driving point. Hughes continued: “Having athletes like Helen Glover coming through the process of this programme definitely motivates me to put the effort in. Seeing people from the programme win an Olympic gold gives me a lot of trust and faith in the process, so I try to take on board as much from it as I possibly can. “The Olympics is obviously a career goal as it’s arguably the largest sporting stage in the world and to represent your country on it would just be a massive overwhelming honour. I’ve not been rowing long but I believe if I can keep to the dedication and hard work levels I’ve been putting in recently that hopefully in the future I can be competent for a place in one of the squads.”

While understandably elated to be involved in such an esteemed set up, the financial demands of the programme are taking their toll on Hughes, and the athlete confesses that he has been looking for a sponsor to help out with these issues. “I’d be lying if I said I was coping financially. I don’t receive any backing for travel or anything so getting peak time trains every morning are draining my bank account. “I’ve been hoping for a sponsorship opportunity to to help with travel but these things aren’t easy to come by, especially as my place on the programme still has a slight provisional time left to go. At least when it comes to training camps in England we get a massive discounted price.” Although the bulk of his time is spent working on his World Class Start efforts, Hughes also holds down a position on the committee of the University rowing club, and he is optimistic about the progression of the team in the upcoming year. “I’m currently the social secretary. I would have loved to put myself forward for a higher role but due to my training commitments on the programme I wouldn’t be around as much as others, so I felt that they would be much better candidates. “The University team has seen quite a large intake of freshers this year which is always a great thing to see. A lot of the freshers seem to have taken

really naturally to the water as well and we can see some real potential in them to hopefully compete for us. “We’re looking to develop our freshers and the already competent seniors to get them to the highest levels possible.” After a good start to the year, there is much to look forward to for Hughes and his fellow rowing students too, with various high-status tournaments to be hosted by Stirling in the upcoming academic year. “There’s a few river races coming up that we’re looking into but most importantly we want a big turnout at BUCS to establish ourselves more as a club and make us a team that’s talked about more,” added the athlete. “We already turned a few heads last year with Gregor Maxwell taking the bronze in the single men’s novice category which was an excellent achievement that got people acknowledging that Stirling Uni won’t be pushovers when it comes to competing. “Also, we have been given the go ahead to host the BUCS indoor rowing competition this year as well as our own Viper Apps Indoor Rowing championship to replace the Scottish Indoor Championship which I hope will raise awareness of the sport among students. People are welcome to compete or come watch so they can see how physically demanding the sport is and challenge them to n try.”

#BleedGreen Autumn 2013 27


fter plenty of changes and reshuffling within the ranks of the men’s hockey club this year, the team will have been glad to have gotten back on the field to restart the playing year. The first team, who currently ply their trade in the BUCS Scottish 1A league, opened their latest campaign with a share of the points at home to Abertay in a frustrating goalless encounter. Club president Chris Priddle admits it was a dissapointing to see the team miss out on a win in a match the Stirling side dominated throughout, but believes there are plenty of good times ahead for the men’s hockey members. “The firsts team had a frustrating 0-0 draw in their first game back in BUCS,” said Priddle. “I wasn’t actually playing for the firsts in that game, I was umpiring, and there were so many changes where we thought we could’ve done better. “We could have got a few goals and although the other team had a couple of chances it was all Stirling. It’s a bit frustrating we didn’t get the win really.” With the BUCS-run Conference Cup breaking up the team’s weekly league encounters, Priddle is looking favourably upon the tournament - which starts with a group stage - as a chance for the club to launch a competitive run for some silverware. The side were drawn in Pool Three alongside Glasgow’s second team, Strathclyde seconds and Aberdeen’s thirds, and got off to a frightening start to the tournament with an elating 8-0 defeat of their Glasgow rivals last week The club president continued: “Looking at the draw that we’ve #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 28


got it looks like we could do pretty well in [the Conference Cup]. “One of our first games was against Glasgow twos, who haven’t been doing too well at the moment, and our second side did well against their threes.” Looking forward to the season ahead, with various club veterans moving up the ranks of the team’s three team structure this year and plenty of freshers arriving in force to add to the quality, Priddle believes the club is in a very strong standing in these early days of the season to go on and grab success. He added: “There are a few first team players from last year that have stayed here and a couple of lads, like myself, that have stepped up a little bit to play in the ones, but we do have a lot of freshers as well. “The twos have been playing

on Saturdays as well and have had a couple of narrow losses. A lot of the boys that were playing in the third team last year now play in the seconds and a few of the seconds moved to the firsts. “With a combination of all those factors the twos have been doing well. We’ve got so many freshers in this year too which is great – last week across the three teams in BUCS we had 27 new freshers playing which is phenomenal. “We’ve done well there. They’ve really started to step up and playing well as well.” After suffering a broken nose in a recent tie with Edinburgh - a moment captured wonderfully by Mitch Vieira above - the hockey man faces a bit of time on the sidelines, but is eager to get back into action quickly. “I’m not meant to be playing for another week or so at least,” he said. “I’ll get back soon though!” n


quick start to the season has seen the three sides operating within the ladies hockey club waste no time in getting back to winning ways. The club secured a huge eleven victories as well as one draw in their first fourteen competitive ties in BUCS and seperate Saturday leagues. After falling back to the Scottish 2A Wednesday league last season after two successive promotions, club president Alexandra Eadie believes the first team are more than capable of earning a third promotion in four years by topping their BUCS league this term. When asked if promotion was the main aim for the side, the student wasted no time in confirming the goal. “Definitely,” she replied. “We feel with the strength of the team this year promotion back to the 2A is definitely possible and something we are striving for. “From speaking to first team captain Pamela Tait I can also say that the first team are not only aiming to be promoted in BUCS, but also in their national league - from Division Three to Two. It’ll be tough but I think they’re up to the challenge. “The season has been fantastic so far. We have had a large intake of new players of all standards but which raised the general standard of each team greatly and the club is bigger than it has ever been by a long shot. We are very optimistic for the season.” As the athlete touched on with her closing statements on that point, it is certainly not only the first team at the hockey club that are setting up for a big season. While the elites of the team will aim for promotions


around the board, the second team are currently reaping the rewards of a successful past season and subsequent promotion to the Scottish 5A for this year. The third team meanwhile will look to develop those who are less experienced and work towars a further promotion. Eadie continued: “With the new intake of players the standard of play has definitely increased. “That’s helped relieve some of the pressure on our second team who after being promoted last year are in a higher and more challenging BUCS league. I feel so far we have shown we belong in this league. “The second captain Rachel Addison says their main aim is to enjoy our new BUCS league and use the existing coach and the new assistant coached we introduced this year to really

push the players to progress. “Aurora Gallacher, our third team captain, is looking to successfully introduce new players to the game, help them to work well as a team, which can be difficult for new players, and even strive for a promotion. We haven’t lost a game yet in the teams in the BUCS league.” When it comes to the intertwinement of the three teams, interaction is normally established off the pitch rather than on it. “We have the three teams to cater to each player’s ability and we feel we place the girls in the team that suits them best. “We mostly have seperate training sessions so we often bring the whole club together to socialise. Recently we had a social with the men’s hockey club and had our initiation night for the new girls to be really introduced. n Both were very successful.” #BleedGreen Autumn 2013 29

ISSUE #1 - AUTUMN 2013


#BleedGreen magazine - Issue One  

The first issue of #BleedGreen - the new Sports Union magazine from the University of Stirling. Read on for exclusive updates from all the...