CUPPERS VARSITY RESULTS BUCS SEASON REPORT OXFORD OLYMPIANS BEHIND THE SCENES FAST-FORWARDING HISTORY
CLUB SEASON ROUND-UP
“There’s a lot of emphasis on helping people develop their skills and expand their capabilities.” Rachel’s perspective on development
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CONTENTS 02 Oxford Olympians
05 IFFLEY ROAD REDEVELOPMENTS
06 BEHIND THE SCENES
Reflecting back on my four years at Oxford, I have to say that University sports clubs are quite peculiar and wonderful things. Most are administrated, led, inspired, funded and sometimes even coached by students. They are vessels into which students pour their ideas and energy. Take a bunch of intelligent people, with not enough time, not enough facilities and way too much passion and you’ve got Oxford University sport in a nutshell. Give students the responsibility for organising and leading their own clubs – a responsibility that they are unlikely to have again until much further into their professional lives – and you see something incredible. We finished 10th in the final BUCS league table, and we have an Olympic gold medallist in our midst as well as more than a handful of other Oxford current students and alumni who spent their summer in Rio. Given the constraints on our time and facilities, this is a true testament to our impressive students. I still don’t quite know what to make of it all, except that it is certainly something special. There’s a buzz that I doubt I will ever really feel again.
A–Z CLUB REPORTS
46 IMPORTANT DATES 2016–17 Fuerteventura WindsurfingTeam
2014-15 SAW THE WOMEN’S BOAT RACE HELD ON THE TIDEWAY, AND 2015-16 WAS THE WOMEN’S VARSITY RUGBY MATCH HELD AT TWICKENHAM AND WOMEN ALLOWED AS MEMBERS OF VINCENT’S CLUB. HOPEFULLY, SUCH THINGS WILL SOON NOT NEED TO BE REMEMBERED AS LANDMARK EVENTS, JUST THE NORM.
‘A huge that to all the supporters of the Sports Federation for helping us to have such a successful year, in particular the Oxford University Development Office, Oxford Limited, Vincent’s Club and Atalanta’s Society’
ALL THE BEST FOR THE CURRENT SEASON, AND I HOPE YOU MAKE THE VERY MOST OF IT. Naomi Vides
Sports Federation President 2016-17
2015-16 Sponsors Sports Federation – BP Sports Bursary Awards – BNY Melon, Blackwell’s, BP Editor: Naomi Vides, Oxford University Sports Federation President 2016-17 Contributors: Chris O’Hara, Dave de-Beger, Fay Watson Design: Andrew Harvey www.harveygraphic.co.uk Printing: Lavenham Press • www.lavenhampress.co.uk
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NEWS IN BRIEF A round-up of Oxford Sports in 2015–16
Oxford’s Olympians 12 (or maybe more) present and past Oxford students spent their summers in Rio this year. Of those, as might be expected, nine were rowers. Of the 12, seven represented GB, with others representing nations as far afield as Bermuda, New Zealand and South Africa. An impressive five of the total 18 members of the GB women’s and men’s Eights were ex-Oxonians. It is interesting to note that St Catherine’s College and Kellogg College tied at the top with three ex-Olympians apiece. Massive congratulations to our Oxford Olympians, to everyone who helped them along the way, and also to those who just missed out. These success stories are truly a testament to the well-rounded and inspiring people Oxford produces.
Andrew Triggs Hodge MBE GB, Rowing (Eight), Gold St Catherine’s College
Charles Cole USA, Rowing (Coxless Four), 7th Kellogg College
Dan Fox GB, Hockey, Group Stages St Edmund Hall
Gold medallist at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics with the men’s Coxless Four, Andy received his third Olympic gold this year, aged 37. In 2005, Andy completed an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management, and won the Boat Race for Oxford in the same year.
US Rowing’s 2011 Athlete of the Year, a graduate of Yale and Kellogg College, Oxford, and bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, Charlie came 7th with the USA’s Coxless Four this year.
Dan studied Geography at St Edmund Hall, scoring a century in the Varsity cricket match in 2004 and graduating in 2005. Since then, he has been Captain of the GB hockey team multiple times, placing 4th at the 2012 Olympics and winning bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Constantine Louloudis GB, Rowing (Coxless Four), Gold Trinity College Constantine stroked the men’s Coxless Four to gold, winning the event for GB for the fifth consecutive time. Constantine’s achievements on both the international sports and academic stages are certainly impressive. During his Classics degree, he managed to win the Boat Race four times, take a year out to win bronze in the men’s Eight at the 2012 Olympics, gain multiple other international medals and graduate with first-class honours.
George Bridgewater New Zealand, Rowing (Quadruple Scull), 4th, Oriel College After initially just missing out on qualification, the New Zealand Quadruple Scull crew were reinstated after a member of the Russian crew who placed ahead of them tested positive for drugs. Rio was George’s third Olympics rowing for New Zealand, where the team placed 4th.
Mari Rabi South Africa, Triathlon, 11th St Catherine’s College
Tom Mitchell GB, Rugby Sevens, Silver Kellogg College
Rio was the second Olympic Games for Mari, who completed her MBA at Oxford in 2012. Since leaving Oxford, Mari has battled illness to get back into shape, finishing an impressive 11th on the day.
After doing his BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Bristol, Tom studied Historical Sciences at Oxford, playing rugby at both universities. He moved onto the professional rugby scene, and captained the GB team to silver in the Rugby Sevens in Rio, the first time it had been included in the Olympics.
Michael DiSanto USA, Rowing (Eight), 4th Trinity College After rowing for Harvard, where he majored in Psychology, Michael came to Oxford to study for an MSc by Research in Psychiatry. Michael was part of the winning 2014 and 2015 Boat Race crews, and is the president of OUBC for 2016–17. Michael came 4th in Rio with the US Eight. Michelle Pearson Bermuda, Rowing (Single Scull), 4th St Cross College Shelley, a current MBA student at Oxford, placed 4th in the Single Scull event for Bermuda this summer. Training with OUWBC in a single scull, Shelley was part of the winning 2015 Boat Race crew, the first year the women raced on the Tideway with the men. Paul Bennet GB, Rowing (Eight), Gold Kellogg College Having won the Boat Race in 2013, sitting at 5 for the Oxford boat, Paul was set to do great things, his Rio Gold certainly being one of them. The tallest rower in the GB boat, Paul studied for an MSc in Computer Science at Oxford after reading Mathematics at King’s College, London.
Zoe de Toledo GB, Rowing (Eight), Silver St Catherine’s College Zoe coxed the women’s Eight to their first-ever Olympic medal in the event. Among her other achievements are coxing the GB team to silver in the 2014 European Rowing Championships, and to gold in 2015. Among the more interesting events of Zoe’s career are being the cox of the Oxford men’s Eight who lost to Cambridge in the 2012 Boat Race after the disruption caused by Trenton Oldfield and breaking an oar, and appearing as a cox in The Social Network, the 2010 film about the creation of Facebook. Zoe Lee GB, Rowing (Eight), Silver Hertford College Coxed by fellow ex-Oxfordian Zoe de Toledo, Zoe Lee was part of the silver medal-winning Eight, having only started rowing during her Geography degree at Hertford College. Qualifying for the Rio Olympics while completing her PhD in Geography at King’s College, London, Zoe is certainly proof that you do not always have to compromise.
Pete Reed MBE GB, Rowing (Eight), Gold Oriel College Peter joined Paul Bennet, having already won two Olympic golds in the men’s Coxless Four at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and then a gold medal in the men’s Eight at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He has won five gold medals and three silver medals at the World Championships.
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The Sports Federation currently consists of 82 different sports clubs, the newest of which is Oxford University Contemporary Dance, formerly known as the Broad Street Dancers.
An estimated 1,200 people were involved in Torpids 2016, an inter-college rowing race.
APART FROM A HANDFUL OF SPORTS, THE VARSITY GAMES WILL BE HELD IN CAMBRIDGE FOR THE 2016â€“17 SEASON. The top three Oxford University teams in terms of BUCS points this year were the Lawn Tennis Club with 176 points, the Fencing Club with 161 points and the Hockey Club with 151 points. www.sport.ox.ac.uk
Work has started on Phase 1 of the redevelopments of the Iffley Road site, which are planned to be completed in time for the beginning of Hilary term 2017. In the new Indoor Sports Centre, which will be located next to the Rosenblatt Pool, will be a four-court sports hall, a multi-purpose activity room and additional dry-side changing rooms. Although the development will not make for an easy 2016â€“17, it will make a massive difference in the future, bringing our facilities up to the standard of our athletes. The new build will allow clubs more training time and access to better indoor facilities.
IFFLEY ROAD REDEVELOPMENTS The new sports hall will be named after Dr Acer Nethercott, who coxed at Oxford and was an Olympic silver medallist and three-time Boat Race winner. He sadly passed away in 2013, aged 35. Future phases of the project include the construction of an Outdoor Tennis Centre, a combined Rugby and Rowing Training Centre, and a new Grandstand incorporating a Cricket School.
If you are interested in contributing to the project, fundraising information can be found here: https://www.campaign.ox.ac.uk/sports-centre
] 1 E S A [PH www.sport.ox.ac.uk
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The world of sport is one that revolves around performance and results. Flip through these very pages and youâ€™ll find reports of results: who beat who, who performed well, who broke the records and how long the records stood for. Yet these results are just the tip of the iceberg. Under the surface lie the students fitting training around their busy academic schedules, the support staff making sure nothing goes wrong and providing support and structure for the clubs and the facilities, and the coaches planning and pushing to make the clubs better.
BEHIND THE SCENES
An interview with Chris O’Hara, the Head Coach of the Women’s Lightweight Rowing Club. You’ve been the Head Coach of OUWLRC for the last seven years – does it ever get boring? A: Of course, there’s plenty of repetition in my role year to year. But it’s certainly never boring and that’s primarily because of the athletes. Even though many of our rowers stay with us for more than one year, the annual influx of new members means that each year group is different and has its own ‘personality’. It’s one reason why nearly all of my coaching has been at university level – while I really enjoy having athletes stay for multiple years so that there’s more time to develop them, the inevitable change of personnel that comes with coaching university students keeps me engaged.
What’s your favourite part about your job? A: I love to watch talented athletes developing – seeing them realise that things they hadn’t dreamed of achieving are actually within their grasp; they begin to understand how hard they can push themselves. Ultimately, of course, it’s great to see their happiness when they achieve their goals. That’s why I strongly encourage all our athletes to regard Varsity rowing as a multi-year project if they are at Oxford for more than a single year. They can achieve so much more, given time, than is possible in one Boat Race season. In the vast majority of cases they get so much more out of the sport the longer they stay in it.
What does an average week of coaching involve? A: A lot of the role is about management – a big part of that is personnel management. We have a fairly large team and my aim is to be very available to the rowers and be in regular contact with them and our coaches and support team. Like most Oxford sports clubs, we don’t have an administrator and you’d be amazed how much administration there is! So quite a lot of that work falls to me. I have to look after the boats and equipment as well, and that takes time. But a key aspect of successful coaching is preparation, so I try hard to be well prepared, but I always wish I had more time for planning and exploring new training possibilities.
And what’s the most challenging part? A: There are many challenges, some of which I enjoy very much, others less so. Ensuring the athletes can manage the training load with their academic requirements is challenging but absolutely vital – we make it clear that their studies must take priority where there is an unavoidable conflict. Personally, the most difficult challenge for me is selection of the Lightweight Blue Boat: some athletes stand out and virtually select themselves, but there is always a group fighting for the last couple of seats who are very difficult to separate. Rowing coaches are fortunate in that we work in a sport with a lot of objective data – ergometer results, on-water testing, etc. Subjective
assessment of how an athlete gels with the rest of a crew is trickier. Eventually we have to disappoint some people – not everyone can make the Blue Boat. If they are close one year and return the next year, there’s a good chance they’ll make it second time around with the right dedication. But that’s not possible for everyone. We’ve worked hard, though, to extend our programme so there are many other opportunities for squad members throughout the season – hopefully they all find it rewarding. How does technology influence the way you structure your training programme? A: I certainly like to use technology. Much of the equipment and techniques that were restricted to national teams when I was rowing, because of complexity or cost, are now available much more compactly and cheaply. Video analysis has improved massively. We use heart-rate monitors and lactate testing to track training intensity. In-boat telemetry is the latest kit that some rowing coaches are using – but we aren’t going down that route quite yet. The difficulty with all technology is knowing how to collect useful data and understanding what it means and
We caught up with some of the people involved in Oxford University sport to find out what really goes on ‘behind the scenes’ to make us what we are today.
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what to do with it – that takes time, practice and skill. All of the data in the world is meaningless if you don’t have the time or the knowledge to analyse it effectively. Having said that, sometimes the technology just quantifies what an experienced coach will, consciously or subconsciously, have already identified – but that can still be very helpful confirmation. What’s something that most people wouldn’t know is involved in coaching? A: I think that depends on what level you’re coaching at. I’m fortunate to be more or less full time with OUWLRC. That means I can do so much more than just coach – as I mentioned earlier, there’s the admin and equipment tasks, which many people wouldn’t realise exist. But for all coaches, regardless of their time commitment, communication, particularly with athletes, is vital and time consuming. What’s good about coaching at Oxford? A: Despite Oxford being famous for its
sporting contests with Cambridge, when I arrived here I was surprised by how little financial support the University was able to give to sport in comparison with many of its peers in the UK and overseas. Iffley Road was frankly a bit of shock, and it’s great to see Phase 1 of the redevelopment finally going ahead. But Oxford rowing receives so much great support – not just from OUBC alumni, who have been incredibly generous over the years, but also from so many other people, professionals who give their time for free to help us. I couldn’t do my job without that support. What are your plans for the future and where do you hope the squad will be in five years’ time? A: As well as continuing to win our Boat Race, of course, personally I’d love to see more national team representation from OUWLRC – for GB or for other countries. That might be our alumni making it to the international ranks later in their rowing careers, although we regularly have GB U23 trialists in
Why did the Sports Federation decide to start the scheme? A: We wanted to enable students to make the most of their time with us at Oxford but particularly to realise their www.sport.ox.ac.uk
➦ BEHIND THE SCENES
A delve into the Blues Performance Scheme, the Sports Federation’s new support structure for high-performing athletes, with Dave de-Beger.. In a nutshell, what is the Blues Support Scheme? A: The scheme is a combination of elements (sections/areas) that work together to see athletes enhance their performance. The scheme is funded to support Blues training players only. All elements of the scheme are aimed at Blues standard, with provision for individuals looking to enhanced support and who wish to push their own sporting career/ability. The Blues Performance Scheme is about creating a system through which athletes are able to maximise their potential and minimise their performance decrements around their academic demands.
our squad. Closer to home, I’d like to see greater recognition for the Lightweight Boat Race, whether it remains at Henley or, as has been mooted, if it moves to the Tideway. Lightweight athletes train as hard as their heavier counterparts, but have to do it with an eye on their weight, which elevates the degree of difficulty in my opinion. It’s difficult because lightweight rowing at all levels has been under pressure ever since it first became a recognised class; now it looks like the men’s Lightweight Coxless Four will be dropped from the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020, even though that race is consistently one of the closest and most exciting international events and has encouraged the growth of the sport in countries not traditionally associated with rowing. So lightweights have always had to push their case. I think we’re fortunate here at Oxford – we do get good recognition. I just hope that process continues – the athletes deserve it.
potential achievements in university sport and their future sporting career. Therefore, overarching all elements of the Blues Performance Scheme is a system designed to support athletes to perform and train at personalised capacity as required. We wanted to help students to maximise their potential, have a blueprint for continual development once their university life is over, and to have the skills to continue with a sporting and active life over a long period of time. We hope that at the end of their lives they will recognise the value of the skills and strategies that their time within the Blues Support Scheme gave them for both university and throughout their lives. How much work is involved in running the scheme? A: The scheme is growing, and with that so is the support work needed.
We started the pilot last summer with four individuals, but we have grown over the year and are expecting to be a team of around 12 staff members and consultants in a variety of part-time roles (but this number could end up being higher).
How do you hope to see the scheme develop over the next five years? A: The first hurdle is to get the scheme to be approved for more than two years of funding at a time. Then, we will start to see the introduction of levelled programmes for individuals as they move into a new academic year, break and return due to injury, or are new to Blues teams. Personally, I want to see two full-time employees with a parttime administrator looking after the scheme, with some part-time individuals (as we have now) to maximise the yearround training potential for Blues sports.
Blues Performance Scheme How many athletes will benefit from the scheme in the coming year? A: Having piloted 14 selected clubs last year (160 students), we are expecting the uptake of the scheme this year to be anywhere from 400 to 800. Only time will tell, but weâ€™re hoping that because this is the first year the scheme is open to all sports, it will prove to be popular. www.sport.ox.ac.uk
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Fay Watson explores the year in terms of equality, where we’re at and where we need to be ...
This sporting year has seen a number of strides taken towards equality between the men’s and women’s Varsity matches. First, on 10 December 2015 the Oxford–Cambridge women’s Varsity rugby match was played for the first time alongside the men at Twickenham. While it was a decisive victory for the Tabs (0/52), the day marked more than just this scoreline. With the first women’s Varsity match taking place in 1988, it has been a long wait for the well-deserved spotlight for these athletes, as it is the men in this sport who have largely taken centre stage (their Varsity match has taken place at Twickenham since 1921).
The women’s boxing side were crowned 2016 BUCS team champions
This change follows on from last year being the first time that OUWBC rowed on the same day and stretch of river as OUBC. It was also the first time the women’s Boat Race was televised on the BBC, marking a primetime presentation that had been exclusive for too long. Finally, this year also saw the women’s reserve crew, Osiris, race on the same day as the rest of the boats, an honour the men’s reserve crew, Isis, has had since 1965. However, the question remains as to whether we can really label these changes as ‘strides’. Should they not simply be expectations of equality? This is especially the case considering that these women’s teams are still not afforded the same prestige or coverage as the men’s. For instance, if you look at something as seemly innocuous as scheduling, the women are often scheduled to play or row first, giving the sense they are simply the opening act for the men. Obviously, this is not unique to Oxford University sport but is pervasive across the sporting world. Take tennis at professional level as an example, where men not only play five sets to the women’s three but also have their final at Grand Slam level on a different day – the day after, as you may have guessed, the women’s final. While some may argue this is to mark the separation between the
ATP and WTA tours, one may look no further than John Inverdale’s comment to Andy Murray after his Olympic gold win to see that they are not viewed by many as being on a par. This was also an academic year during which the sports society Vincent’s Club saw its first female members after removing the word ‘male’ from its constitution. This was a huge step of inclusion and accessibility for one of the Oxford’s most exclusive clubs, which from 1863 has only admitted men. It overthrows an antiquated rule where ‘ladies’ were only allowed into the club as guests. But, as many asked after the change finally occurred in March, why has it taken this long? The broader implications of what exclusivity really means among societies at Oxford also cannot be ignored. And here is where a lot of the problem lies in university sport, and extends into college sport, as at Oxford, sport and social aspects are too heavily entwined to be viewed separately. In questions of equality, it is not enough that we simply hail changes in venue and constitution – we must also examine the social implications that underlie these sports. Speaking to a female Blues sporting Captain about her experience, she describes her sport as an environment in which her decisions have been second-guessed far more than those of her male counterparts. One of the
biggest issues she has faced is that often decisions for inclusivity can be one-sided given ‘a very stark gender divide in the sport that’s been very much ruled by the men’, she tells me, ‘in the sense that they’ve always seemed to have the say on when they mix with women’. Indeed, there is an institutional problem in the way that within sporting societies that were initially male-only there is still a great deal of convention from which it is necessary to break away. Thus, it is important to recognise the resilience and dedication of members on both sides of clubs to push through change. However, instead of listing the few achievements as if they are indicative of the whole, we should be scrutinising the entire system more. In the past few years, there has been a significant move towards inclusivity. Often, the problem has been institutional rather than personal and this is why it has been so prevalent. However, this is also why it must be challenged. In a student population constantly attempting to challenge the institutional racism, classism and sexism of our University, I wonder why sport has not been and cannot also be at the forefront of such challenges. We have an extremely privileged position given the coverage and focus our Varsity matches attract and, as such, we should use it to bring about more change rather than simply applaud small steps. www.sport.ox.ac.uk
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VARSITY RESULTS 2015-16
American Football 07/05/16 Tilsley Park, Abingdon OXFORD 49-0 Archery 07/05/16 St John's College, Cambridge OXFORD 3455-3294 Athletics - Men 07/05/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 109-102 Athletics - Women 08/05/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 104-97 Aussie Rules 05/05/16 Horspath, Oxford OXFORD 57-54 Badminton - Men 04-05/03/2016 Iffley Road SC OXFORD 15-0 Badminton - Women 04-05/03/2017 Iffley Road SC OXFORD 13-2 Basketball - Men 27/02/16 Oxford Brookes SC OXFORD 66-54 Basketball - Women 27/02/16 Oxford Brookes SC CAMBRIDGE 42-56 Boat - Men 27/03/16 The Tideway, London CAMBRIDGE 2.5 lengths Boat - Women 27/03/16 The Tideway, London OXFORD 24 lengths Boxing - Men 05/03/16 Oxford Town Hall OXFORD 5-4 Boxing - Women 05/03/16 Oxford Town Hall OXFORD 2-1 Canoe & Kayak - Men 30/04/16 Cambridge OXFORD 6-2 Canoe & Kayak - Women 30/04/16 Cambridge OXFORD 4-3 Cheerleading 21/02/16 Genting Arena Birmingham CAMBRIDGE 56.7-65.8 Clay Pigeon Shooting - Men 23/04/16 Oxfordshire Shooting School CAMBRIDGE Clay Pigeon Shooting - Women 24/04/16 Oxfordshire Shooting School CAMBRIDGE Cricket - Women - 1 day 01/07/16 Lord’s, London OXFORD by 43 runs Cricket - Women - Twenty20 20/05/16 University Parks, Oxford OXFORD by 138 runs Cricket - Men - 4 day 05-08/07/16 University Parks, Oxford OXFORD by 103 runs Cricket - Men - 1 day 01/07/16 Lord’s, London OXFORD by 43 runs Cricket - Men - Twenty20 20/05/16 University Parks, Oxford OXFORD by 38 runs Croquet 13/06/16 Hurlingham Club, London CAMBRIDGE 5-4 Cross Country - Women 05/12/15 Wimbledon Common CAMBRIDGE 55-27 Cross Country - Men 05/12/15 Wimbledon Common OXFORD 23-38 Cycling - Women - Road 23/04/16 Cumnor, Oxford OXFORD 2:01:57 - 2:11:13 Cycling - Men - Road 23/04/16 Cumnor, Oxford CAMBRIDGE 2:34:01 - 2:42:20 Cycling - Women - MTB 06/03/16 Crowthorne Wood OXFORD Cambridge default Cycling - Men - MTB 06/03/16 Crowthorne Wood OXFORD 04:18:42 - 04:49:35 Dancesport 14/05/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 2016-1764 Eton Fives - Women 05/03/16 Eton College OXFORD 2-1 Eton Fives - Men 05/03/16 Eton College CAMBRIDGE 1-2 Fencing - Women 12/03/16 Exam Schools, Oxford CAMBRIDGE 108-125 Fencing - Men 12/03/16 Exam Schools, Oxford CAMBRIDGE 110-128 Football - Women 27/02/16 Iffley Road SC OXFORD 1-0 Football - Men 27/03/16 Craven Cottage, Fulham OXFORD 2-0 Gliding not yet held Golf -Women 16/03/16 Royal West Norfolk GC CAMBRIDGE 3-6 Golf - Men 18-19/03/2016 Royal West Norfolk GC OXFORD 10-5 Gymnastics - Women 27/02/16 University of Birmingham OXFORD 196.75-173.1 Gymnastics - Men 27/02/16 University of Birmingham CAMBRIDGE 206.5-307.35 Handball - Women 14/02/16 Iffley Road SC OXFORD 31-14 Handball - Men 14/02/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 19-27 Hockey - Women 06/03/16 Southgate Hockey Club OXFORD 2-1 Hockey - Men 06/03/16 Southgate Hockey Club CAMBRIDGE 1-2 Ice Hockey - Women 16/03/16 Oxford Ice Rink OXFORD 17-1 Ice Hockey - Men 15/05/16 Oxford Ice Rink CAMBRIDGE 1-3 Jitsu 06/02/16 Oxford CAMBRIDGE on tie break Judo - Women 27/02/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 2-3 Judo - Men 27/02/16 Iffley Road SC OXFORD 7-0 Karate - Women 06/03/16 Iffley Road SC OXFORD 60-42 Karate - Men 06/03/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 45-57 Kendo 23/04/16 Oxford Spires Academy OXFORD 3-1 Kickboxing 05/03/16 Cambridge University SC CAMBRIDGE 4-5 Korfball 28/02/16 Iffley Road SC CAMBRIDGE 10-4 Lacrosse - Women 27/02/16 University Parks, Oxford CAMBRIDGE 3-7 Lacrosse - Men 27/02/16 University Parks, Oxford OXFORD 7-4 Lifesaving 31/01/16 Rosenblatt Pool, Iffley OXFORD 5-1 Lightweight Rowing - Women 19/03/16 Henley-on-Thames OXFORD Canvas Lightweight Rowing - Men 19/03/16 Henley-on-Thames CAMBRIDGE Easily
Modern Pentathlon - Women 25-26/03/16 Modern Pentathlon - Men 25-26/03/16 Motorsport 24/03/16 Netball 27/02/16 Orienteering - Women 05/03/16 Orienteering - Men 05/03/16 Pistol - Full Bore 10/08/16 Pistol - Women - Small Bore 27/02/16 Pistol - Men - Small Bore 27/02/16 Polo 05/06/16 Pool - Women 07-08/05/2016 Pool - Men 07-08/05/2016 Snooker - Men 07-08/05/2016 Powerlifting 12/03/16 Real Tennis - Women 26-27/02/2016 Real Tennis - Men 26-27/02/2016 Riding 27/04/16 Rifle - TR 07/2016 Rifle - MR 07/2016 Rugby Fives - Women 20/11/15 Rugby Fives - Men 20/11/15 Rugby League 04/03/16 Rugby Union - Women 10/12/15 Rugby Union - Men 10/12/15 Ski & Snowboard - Women 04/12/15 Ski & Snowboard - Men 04/12/15 Squash - Women 20/02/16 Squash - Men 20/02/16 Swimming - Women 27/02/16 Swimming - Men 27/02/16 Swimming - Channel Swim 04/07/16 Swimming - Women - Open water 13/07/16 Swimming - Men - Open water 13/07/16 Table Tennis - Women 28/02/16 Table Tennis - Men 28/02/16 Taekwon Do - Women 28/02/16 Taekwon Do - Men 28/02/16 Tennis - Women 2-3/07/2016 Tennis - Men 2-3/07/2016 Trampolining 28/02/16 Triathlon - Women - Sprint 15/05/16 Triathlon - Men - Sprint 15/05/16 Triathlon - Duathlon 16/11/15 Ultimate Frisbee - Women 28/02/16 Ultimate Frisbee - Men 28/02/16 Volleyball - Women 20/02/16 Volleyball - Men 20/02/16 Waterpolo - Women 27/02/16 Waterpolo - Men 27/02/16 Windsurfing 28/02/16 Yachting - Dinghy 29-30/06/2016 Yachting - Fleet Race 19-21/03/16
Tonbridge School Tonbridge School Rye House Circuit Iffley Road SC Sutton Park Sutton Park Wantage, Oxford Wantage, Oxford Wantage, Oxford Guards Polo Club Oxford Oxford Oxford Cambridge University SC Lord’s, London Lord’s, London Brooksby Equestrian Centre National Shooting Centre, Surrey National Shooting Centre, Surrey St Paul’s St Paul’s Hon. Artillery Company Twickenham Twickenham Val Thorens Val Thorens Royal Automobile Club Royal Automobile Club Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Dover - Calais Henley-on-Thames Henley-on-Thames Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Moor Park Moor Park Cambridge University SC Emberton Country Park Emberton Country Park Castle Coombe University Parks, Oxford University Parks, Oxford Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Iffley Road SC Grafham Water, Cambs. Stanford Lough, NI Port Solent
CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE DRAW OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD OXFORD CAMBRIDGE OXFORD CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE OXFORD
2-1 37-34 47min 15s 69min 26s 1536 2135-2077 2166-2157 19-0 24-26 56-34 24-12 2279-2503 1-5 0-6 61-137.5 1118.81-1166.128 781.43-858.79 clean sweep clean sweep 70-0 0-52 12-6 1-2 2-1 5-0 5-0 48-42 41-49 8hrs 54 - 9hrs 28 0-10 5-5 4-1 5-0 11-10 11-7 407-443 03:25:06 03:05:41 3-2 8-5 13-11 3-0 3-1 6-7 10-7 11-4 WIN 28-37
congratulations 1 to all winning teams www.sport.ox.ac.uk
14 I OXFORD UNIVERSITY I SPORTS REVIEW 2016
BUCS Roundup Oxford maintained their status as a top-ten finisher in the overall BUCS table for the second year in a row. The table consisted of 144 institutions, with the usual suspects of Loughborough, Durham and Edinburgh at the top (1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively). Oxford finished six places ahead of Cambridge, who dropped five places in comparison with their 2014–15 league position. Oxford’s success was due to a combination of excellent planning and consistent performances, alongside the ability to adapt to last-minute changes. Oxford retained 4th position out of 28 institutions within the Midlands region, which includes the likes of Loughborough, Birmingham and Nottingham. Students crossed the country to compete in knockout rounds and individual events, proudly sporting their Dark Blue colours while representing their University at the highest levels of inter-university sport.
BUCS Leagues and Cups
52 Oxford teams competed in BUCS leagues and knock-out rounds on a weekly basis. The hard work of Oxford teams returned a huge number of league and cup victories, including men’s Seconds (M2) Rugby League and M1 Volleyball that both did the double by winning their league and cup competitions. M1 Tennis won Premier South after a tough battle at the end of the season, while women’s Seconds (W2) Lacrosse won Midlands 1A despite only playing nine of ten games (and beating Cambridge, who finished in 2nd by one point). W2 Football won Midlands 3A by a huge eight-point margin and W3 Hockey won all ten of their league matches to finish top of Midlands 3A. Mixed (Mx) American Football had a fantastic season, winning all seven league matches and finishing runners-up in the Southern Conference Cup. Overall, Oxford won the following:
League and Cup Winners Mx1 American Football – South East 2A W1 Badminton – Trophy W2 Football – Midlands 3A W3 Hockey – Midlands 3A W2 Lacrosse – Midlands 1A W2 Netball – Midlands 3B M2 Rugby League – Midlands Conference Cup & Midlands 2B M1 Squash – Midlands 1A W2 Squash – Midlands Conference Cup M1 Table Tennis – Midlands Conference Cup M1 Tennis – Premier B South W2 Tennis – Midlands 2A M1 Volleyball – Trophy and Midlands 1A Notable Runners-up Included: Mx1 American Football – Southern Conference Cup W1 Cricket – Midlands 1A M1 Fencing – Premier South Oxford MCCU – Premier A W1 Table Tennis – Midlands Conference Cup
The individual events create opportunities for success in a vast range of sports, and Oxford continued to enter competitions in sports such as cycling, modern pentathlon, pool and snooker, and rowing. With so many excellent performances and limited space to write, it is very difficult to choose the best ones!
Boxing improved on an already excellent performance in 2014–15 to bring home four golds and one silver. The gold medal count included last year’s Sports Federation President and editor of the 2014–15 annual review, Lucy Harris. Gymnastics were the victims of a tumultuous conclusion to their competition, after they were incorrectly ranked in 4th position. After a re-count of points in the following days, however, the team were awarded a bronze medal! Archery continued to demonstrate their prowess at the BUCS Championships. Charlie Birch finished 2nd in the Lady Recurve, while Sherman Ip finished 3rd out of 178 competitors in the Indoor Gent Recurve. 477 competitors took part in the men’s Short Race at the Cross-Country Championships, with Luke Cotter and Aidan Smith finishing 11th and 16th respectively. Oxford Men also finished 3rd in the men’s Short Race Team Championships, out of 99.
Oxford eagerly awaits the completion of the new facilities, with an estimated completion date of Autumn 2017. The wait for these muchneeded facilities will finally be over, which will increase space and opportunities for BUCS matches and training. This is fantastic news for all students; however, the long wait will be slightly too long for some players who will leave at the end of the 2016–17 season. The new build creates a huge potential for those who continue to play sport at Oxford to progress to even higher levels and for clubs to broaden their membership base alongside their participation levels. Students will no doubt return to Oxford to play sport in years to come, and cheer on their teams in as many BUCS matches and events as they can.
Cuppers ResulTs 2015-16 Overall College Scores Catz 53 Magdalen 42 LMH 40 Balliol 39 Worcester 39 Queen's 39 Brasenose 36 St Anne's 34 Wadham 32 Jesus 31 New 30 Univ 29 St Hilda's 27 St Hugh's 27 Oriel 27 Christ Church 26 St John's 25 Teddy Hall 22 Hertford 21 St Peter's 20 Pembroke 20 Keble 20 Lincoln 13 Mansfield 12 Corpus 12 Linacre 10 GTC 9 Trinity 8 Merton 8 St Antony's 7 Wolfson 6 Osler House 5 Regent's Park 5 Exeter 5 Somerville 4 St Cross 3 St Benet's 1
ALTS Archery Athletics Badminton - Women Badminton - Men Basketball - Women Basketball - Men Canoe & Kayak Cheerleading Cricket - Women Cricket - Men Croquet Cross Country - Women Cross Country - Men Cycling Dancesport Eton Fives Fencing - Women Fencing - Men Football - Women Football - Men (1st team) Football - Men (reserves) Football - Men (5-aside) Golf Gymnastics Handball Hockey - Women Hockey - Men Hockey - Mixed Karate Korfball Lacrosse Lawn Tennis - Open Modern Pentathlon Motor Drivers Netball Octopush Pistol Polo Pool & Snooker Powerlifting Equestrian Rifle Rowing - Summer Eights - Women Rowing - Summer Eights - Men Rugby Fives Rugby - Union Ski & Snowboard Squash - Women Squash - Men Swimming Table Tennis Triathlon Ultimate Volleyball Waterpolo Yachting - Dinghy
Mansfield Corpus Christ Church Worcester Catz St Cross LMH Catz Jesus St Anne's LMH Queen's/ St Peter's Univ St Anne's LMH/ Magdalen Balliol Queen's Hertford/ Somerville St Anne's/ St Hugh's New/ Jesus Wadham/ Catz Balliol Magdalen St Anne's St Hugh's St Peter's Trinity Catz Balliol Univ/ Corpus Hertford Brasenose Oriel Magdalen Catz Jesus Univ LMH Christ Church Univ LMH Queen's Teddy Hall Magdalen Jesus Worcester Wadham St Peter's LMH Hertford Univ Christ Church St Peter's Queen's Wolfson Catz Worcester Mansfield Brasenose Teddy Hall Wadham Regent's Park New St Peter's Catz Wadham Worcester Magdalen Corpus New Queen's Univ Christ Church/Oriel/Magdalen St Hilda's Trinity Worcester Queen's/St Hilda's Catz/St Hugh's Worcester/Keble/Teddy Hall Worcester St Hilda's Lincoln/Christ Church St Hilda's Worcester Keble/Teddy Hall Linacre Magdalen LMH Magdalen LMH St Anne's New Lincoln Catz St John's Queen's New Queen's Brasenose Pembroke Balliol Teddy Hall New Catz Worcester Keble/ Wadham Lincoln St Hilda's Wadham Jesus St Hugh's LMH Brasenose LMH/ St Antony's Brasenose Catz Pembroke Wadham Univ/ Exeter Hertford Keble Linacre Pembroke/ St John's Balliol St Anne's Worcester Wadham Pembroke Univ Oriel Christ Church Keble Teddy Hall Brasenose Magdalen Osler House St Anne's/ St John's Balliol Oriel Jesus GTC Merton Oriel Wolfson/ Brasenose Magdalen Pembroke Balliol Oriel Mansfield/ Catz St Hugh's GTC St Hugh's Merton Balliol St John's St John's St John's Balliol/ St Antony's Christ Church St Anne's Hertford Brasenose New St Hilda's
Linacre New St Anne's Magdalen St Hugh's Teddy Hall Corpus St Peter's Queen's Wadham Keble/Hertford Worcester Jesus Keble St Benet's
Somerville Teddy Hall Christ Church Lincoln Catz Trinity Worcester St Anne's Balliol Oriel St Hugh's/Catz Hertford Magdalen Pembroke Pembroke Exeter
St Hilda's Pembroke LMH Teddy Hall
Vincent's Club The Vincent’s Club Award Scheme was created to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Club. Applications are welcome from all members of the University, and those who are about to come up. The scheme is designed to encourage and support outstanding scholar athletes. Scholarships are generally awarded for the entirety of a student’s time at Oxford, bursaries for particular needs. Both are worth up to £2,500 p.a. The awards are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who display qualities including: Strong academic attainment coupled with sporting achievement and potential. Strength of character, fellowship and leadership potential. An interest in participating in broader activities, including outreach and the promotion of sport at Oxford. A commitment to helping those less fortunate.
Evidence of financial need is also an important criteria of selection. Details can be found in the application material on the Vincent’s website: www.vincents.org In 2016, the third year of the award scheme, Vincent’s Club awarded 4 scholarships and 5 bursaries totalling £18,000.
Vincent’s Club and Atalanta’s Society also run an Outreach programme, establishing a regular summer camp for local Oxfordshire children in the final years of Primary Education, in addition to engaging in Outreach activities in the local and wider community. These programmes aim to encourage the scholar athletes of the future, promoting the important role that competitive sports play in a balanced lifestyle. For more information please peruse the website (http://vincents.org/outreach/) or contact our Outreach Officer (email@example.com).
VINCENT'S CLUB, 1A KING EDWARD STREET, OXFORD OX1 4HS
CLUB REPORTS AIKIDO This has been a productive year for the Aikido Club, with a good spirit in the dojo and great development among the regular members. We have been fortunate to have regular visits from Kanetsuka Sensei, chief instructor of the BAF, and his detail-oriented teaching has been much appreciated by the club. Training alongside the Oxford city club provides access to many senior instructors and great support for University students, including Peter Megann, one of the highest-ranking instructors in the UK, who has continued as our senior local instructor. Individual classes run by Nick Belshaw, Richard Martin, Graham Jones and Bill Jackson each offer a different perspective on aikido and allow students to learn in a way that suits them. The beginners’ class on Monday has a great feeling, with a good mix of attendees and much opportunity to learn from one another. The mixed class on Saturday mornings is popular with students too, and lunchtime classes on Friday have provided dedicated attendees with excellent focused tuition. Members of the club have travelled to represent Oxford at special training courses around the south of England, and we have hosted several national courses at weekends, bringing in attendees from all over the UK. Four members of the club undertook grading in February, continuing the formal development of aikido at Oxford, and providing a benchmark for new members to strive towards.
We held two meetings of the members this year, the usual AGM and an EGM to discuss changes to cuppers. We ran a cuppers tournament, which was won by the Mansfield team the Mansy Ducks; it was encouraging to see the turn-out of 24 teams from eight different colleges. We have implemented a new software program to increase the speed at which we can sign participants into each session; this has helped reduce late starts and helped the society to cope with the increase in numbers.
AMERICAN FOOTBALL The past year has been a great one for American football at Oxford University. In our most successful season to date, we were able to finish the season as undefeated champions of Division 2 (South East) with a 7–0 record. Throughout the season, the team showed dominant performances against ARU, Canterbury and Essex, setting new team records for points scored and points conceded. The highlight of the regular season, however, was beating cross-town rivals Oxford Brookes twice, which means the prestigious Cavaliers Cup remains at Oxford University for the second year in a row.
Mariners, beating them decisively with a score line of 32–4. Not only did the victory constitute the first play-off win in the Lancers’ history, but it also directly qualified the team for Division 1, where the Lancers will compete next year. In the subsequent play-off final, we fought for the title of the best Division 2 team in the South, and came within inches – literally – of beating the highly favoured Portsmouth Destroyers (final score: 15–19). A final challenge awaited the team in Trinity term: the Varsity match against Cambridge. Having lost all of the last four encounters, the stakes had rarely been higher for the Oxford Lancers. Fortunately, the team was able to continue its year-long dominance and
Having secured the division crown, the Lancers continued their successful run in the playoffs. In the first game, we dominated another undefeated division champion, the Greenwich
With a wide selection of courses planned in the year ahead, the Oxford Aikikai is looking forward to another successful year, and we hope to see many new faces in the dojo in the coming months!
ALTERNATIVE ICE HOCKEY We had a large turnout this year, in comparison to the previous three years, which we attribute to word of mouth rather than Freshers’ Fair, as the number of sign-ups we got there were fewer than last year. We have replaced a lot of outdated and damaged equipment such as gloves and sticks.
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defeated Cambridge 49–0, a historic win for the Lancers and the highest score in Varsity history. Looking ahead to the next season, we seek to build on our success and prove that we have what it takes to permanently compete in Division 1. American football at Oxford is still a nascent project, but the past season has proven that the Lancers are here to stay.
ARCHERY This year we changed the model for our beginners’ course, increasing the subscription fee slightly for new members but providing a much higher level of coaching. By doing this, we hoped to improve the experience of new members and improve retention through to the outdoor season and the second year. As part of this, we also carried out a major overhaul of our novice equipment, disposing of a large number of very worn and outdated bows and replacing them with more modern equipment, which is more interchangeable and more easily maintained. Our outdoor venue at Pembroke College Sports Ground has now provided us with some permanent storage space at their pavilion as well, and we decided that it was worth investing in some high-performance outdoor bosses now that they can be stored at the range. These should last for a number of years. This meant that we spent a large amount on equipment and coaching this year and had expected to deplete our reserves somewhat. However, this expenditure was partially offset by some additional grants received from the University and from the national governing body (archeryGB). Furthermore, our membership returns also remained steady this year, although we had feared they might have dropped due to the increase in subscription fees for beginners. These factors meant that our reserves were not depleted as much as was feared. Next year we anticipate consolidating the
changes we have made this year. Some more expenditure on equipment will probably be necessary to address any gaps that were identified during this year’s beginners’ course, although it should not be anything like as much as this year.
ATHLETICS At the Freshers’ Varsity match there were a number of strong performances from the new members of OUAC, with both the men’s and the women’s matches going to the wire with the 4x400m races. Cambridge came out on top on the women’s side, but a storming last leg by Alex Grundmann secured the men’s victory. The indoor FEAR (Field Events And Relays) fixture against Cambridge was the first opportunity for the clubs to see the talent of the opposing team for the coming year. With several team members absent on the day, we were unlucky to lose both men’s matches, but the women more than made up for this by comprehensively taking the women’s field trophy and securing a deserved draw on the track. The most successful and well-attended warm weather training in memory saw 52 members of OUAC travel to the Algarve in Portgual in April to make the most of the sun. The team atmosphere was one of unity and determination to put in the last block of big training before the Varsity match. BUCS was well attended by OUAC this year, and there were some promising performances both on the track and in the field. The annual Varsity match was held at home this year, and after last year’s debacle OUAC were out for revenge. Plagued by a few last-minute injuries to key athletes, including men’s Captain Louis Rawlings, both Blues teams narrowly missed out on victory. However, with no Blues leaving next year on the men’s side, and with over two-thirds of the women being new OUAC recruits this year, the teams will be back next
year as favourites to win. In the Seconds matches (again lost by devastating margins last year), the two teams performed above and beyond, claiming hard-fought victories in both matches. Particularly memorable was the men’s Seconds win, something they have failed to do for the past 11 years. Overall, the club is in an infinitely more healthy position than last year, and the outlook of all of the athletes going forwards is one of huge positivity. With a very strong new committee, we look forward to OUAC’s true return to glory next year.
AUSSIE RULES 2015–16 was an extremely successful year for OUARFC, in a year that followed a tough Varsity loss to Cambridge, the first for around ten years. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the year was the first-ever full season for our women’s team, which culminated in a resounding win on Varsity day against a combined Universities side (Cambridge has no team). Other highlights included: • regaining the Varsity trophy in an extremely tight and exciting match in Oxford • reaching the semi-finals of the University Championships in Birmingham • record membership numbers • record involvement of non-Australian players on the field and on the committee • successful integration of the women’s team into the club on and off the field • media coverage including BBC, Australian ABC radio, AFL England and AFL Europe websites • playing all our home games on the Horspath playing fields, which permitted full 18-a-side matches • a successful post-season trip to play the Amsterdam Devils. Future plans include securing a permanent home ground, consolidating the women’s team, finding a new sponsor and developing an expanded schedule of matches against visiting international teams.
BADMINTON OUBaC has had another very successful season, which culminated in a clean-sweep home Varsity victory. Our men’s Blues finished 3rd in Premier South behind the traditional champions Bath, narrowly missing out on 2nd to Hertfordshire. In the BUCS Cup, they progressed to the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by Loughborough, who went on to win the competition. Our women’s Blues finished 2nd in Midlands 1A behind a strong Loughborough team, and they performed exceptionally well to win their BUCS Cup competition, beating Edinburgh 5–3 in the final, which was a fantastic achievement. Our men’s Seconds finished 3rd in Midlands 2B as well as reaching the last 16 of the Midlands Conference Cup, losing to Coventry, who finished as runners-up in the tournament. Our women’s Seconds and men’s Thirds faced tough seasons in the top flight of their respective local Oxfordshire leagues. Both teams were promoted into the top flight at the end of last season, and struggled against some of the best players in the county, even with help from higher Oxford University teams. Both teams have now been relegated and so will have a chance to thrive next year. The mixed team consolidated their position in the top flight, coming 4th in the league. At the BUCS Nationals, Ira Banerjee reached the semi-finals of the women’s singles, and also the semi-finals of the women’s doubles, playing with Claire Weaver. Claire reached the quarter-finals of the women’s singles. Claire and Jun-An Tan reached the quarter finals of the mixed doubles.
two separate teams, there was one large pool of players. This allowed coaches the opportunity to thoroughly understand what talent they had to work with and choose the weekly teams accordingly. Moreover, it also meant that those players of M2 standard were constantly being pushed by training with better players. Both M1 and M2 have seen great results this year. Part of this is down to the new system. M1 finished in the top eight in the country, beating Salford in the knock-out stages of BUCS and heading to the Super 8s for the first time in four years. M1 were also invited to a competition in China. W1, under the instruction of a new coach, gradually got into their season. Most of their matches were fought up to the last whistle. Their team spirit made up for a few disappointing results, and, with the core players returning next year, they have high hopes for the 2016–17 season.
BOAT – WOMEN OUWBC has enjoyed another successful Boat Race season with a win over Cambridge in the 71st women’s Boat Race on 27 March. Horrendous weather conditions made the water more difficult to row on than any of the Blue Boat crew could have anticipated, but our reliance upon fundamental technical unity and consistent base speed, as well as the courage and quick decisionmaking of our cox, Morgan Baynham-Williams, enabled us to dominate the race. We were keen to express our respect for the Cambridge Blue Boat in their determination to complete the race despite their near-sinking and the Umpire’s red
flag. Osiris faced the unfortunate loss of one of the key members of their crew due to injury less than two weeks before the Osiris–Blondie race; the crew was beaten by Blondie by three-anda-half lengths, displaying great resilience and intensity in extremely challenging conditions. Four members of the Blue Boat were back on the water only a few days after the Boat Race, training for Final Trials as part of selection for the national team, and the rest of the squad followed shortly afterwards. We sent a range of crews to compete at the BUCS Regatta in Nottingham, including a Development 8+ of aspiring rowers from this season’s Emerging Talent Group. OUWBC came away with two medals: gold in the Championship 2- and silver in the Championship 1x. We also sent several crews to Henley Women’s Regatta; one of our athletes won the Elite 2event in a composite crew with Reading RC, and our Emerging Talent 8+ had several phenomenal performances and made it through to the final of the Academic 8+, missing out in a close race to Newcastle University. A composite crew consisting of four OUWBC athletes together with several young athletes aspiring to break into the GB Rowing team successfully qualified to race at Henley Royal Regatta in early July. They had an exciting race in tough weather conditions but were eventually well beaten by a crew of USA senior team athletes racing for the Princeton Training Centre, who went on to win the event by an impressive margin.
The highlight of the year was the Varsity match, in which all five teams competed over two days. The five Oxford teams all won, yielding a record-breaking overall victory of 60–15. The men’s Blues won 15–0 while the men’s Seconds avenged last year’s defeat to win 13–2 (the second-best result in their Varsity history). The men’s Thirds also produced a record victory of 10–5. The women’s teams continued their success against the Light Blues, with the women’s Blues winning 13–2 and the Seconds winning 9–6. In addition, Oxford cleaned up in the mixed Varsity games, with the Firsts winning 8–1 and the Seconds winning 6–3.
BASKETBALL OUBbC finished the year with one of its best Varsity performances in years. Whether it was the memory of last year’s four crushing defeats, or the teams’ commitment, it was a weekend to remember. For the first time since they have contested a Varsity match, W2 won. They have shown high commitment this year, and, with many players remaining, we are looking forward to seeing this ethos reaping results next year. Their win was followed by convincing victories for both M1 and M2. Only the strength of Cambridge’s W1 prevented us from taking a clean sweep. This season the men’s teams operated under a different system to normal. Rather than having
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out to the eventual winner. Town vs Gown saw 11 new boxers take the stage. Tom Scott (incoming Captain) saw off his Town opponent with a second-round TKO in his debut against an undefeated opponent. The highlight for the men’s side was, as ever, the Varsity match, which Oxford won 5–4 to regain the Truelove Bowl as well as the lead in the overall score 53–52. This year’s Varsity match also marked 60 years since Honorary President Terry Adams was men’s Captain; his contribution to the growth of the club has been invaluable over the years. The Varsity match saw sterling performances from many of the men, with Alec Murphy defeating his opponent with a secondround TKO and Tian Xu deciding the overall outcome with control and precision. With many boxers returning next season, we look forward to building on our successes and, with the help of our coaches, continuing to move forwards and grow as a club.
CANOE AND KAYAK BOAT – MEN This year’s Boat Race was a day of mixed emotions. Isis won its sixth consecutive race and ninth in ten, but the Blue Boat came up short in the blue ribbon event, losing by two-and-a-half lengths to a favoured Cambridge crew. Despite many setbacks throughout the season, the Blue Boat came together nicely during the final two weeks of training and was primed for an upset victory. However, in what proved to be some of the worst Tideway conditions in Boat Race history, the crew was unable to show its true speed and succumbed to the rough water on the outside of the Surrey bend. While the Blue Boat was unable to maintain Tideway bragging rights, the club as a whole demonstrated that it is still the leading men’s rowing programme in the country. This can be put down to a number of factors, including the unrivalled expertise of our coaching team, the commitment of our athletes and the generous sponsorship of BNY Mellon. This year, BNY Mellon also generously donated the title sponsorship of the Boat Race to Cancer Research UK. Along the way, the club raced hard at the Fours Head and had one of the most tightly contested Trial Eights in recent years, with Pleasure getting the better of Business by no more than a canvas. This experience gave the whole squad invaluable experience over the Boat Race course and laid the foundation for a productive training camp in Bordeaux. The very fine gradations of rowing ability between members of the squad created a very competitive atmosphere for final selection, and this was reflected in the fixture results of both Oxford crews. Looking ahead, the club is primed for success in the 2016–17 season. With a large portion of
the squad returning and a strong uptake of new recruits, the Dark Blues will produce a formidable crew come 2 April.
BOXING This has been a landmark year for OUABC. Oxford started with strong performances in the ABA National Development Championships in October, followed by 11 first outings in Town vs Gown and five BUCS finalists, and culminated with a Varsity match victory for the men and a draw in the first women’s team Varsity match. The women’s side were crowned 2016 BUCS team champions, with five women in the national finals, taking home four gold medals. A special mention should go to Lucy Harris, who came back from a contentious BUCS silver medal in 2015 to be crowned champion this year. Another notable performance this season came from Justine Ryan, who was crowned BUCS champion with two TKOs in her first competitive season. The Oxford women faced their Cambridge counterparts on five occasions this season, with Oxford coming out winners in three of these matches. The first women’s team Varsity match saw a draw on the night. Having retained her BUCS title against a Tab (with two first-round TKOs along the way), Claudia Havranek (President 2015–16, Captain 2013–14) provided a convincing Varsity victory on the night. Jessica Sandelson was awarded the title of Most Gallant Boxer, for her tenacious Varsity performance. The men’s side has also excelled this season, led by men’s Captain Matt McFahn, who was crowned Home Counties Champion for 2015, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the National Development Championships, losing
OUCKC has had another exciting and productive year. It all started with the doom-and-gloom prospect of losing our beloved club shed at Port Meadow, a scenario thankfully averted with the successful negotiation with Keble College of a home for the club for the foreseeable future. As always, we have run numerous weekend trips throughout the year and competed in a wide range of paddling competitions. Here in Oxford we have held regular canoe polo training and recreational paddling sessions, both on the Thames and up at the Harcourt Hill indoor pool. Early-morning marathon training continues to run on a weekly basis thanks to our partnership with the Falcon Canoeing Club. Michaelmas term saw the freshers’ trip hook some new members by introducing them to the joy of Welsh white water, with a well-attended second trip seeing promising improvements in everyone’s paddling. We also had several opportunities to train up our canoe polo teams against some stiff competition in locations such as London, Warwick and Stratford. In Hilary, we ran another two white-water trips to Dartmoor and North Wales, alongside wild-water racing and freestyle competitions. Trinity term began with the BUCS canoe polo weekend, and the Varsity marathon and canoe polo matches in Cambridge. We have had a successful year in terms of competition results. Our ladies’ canoe polo team obtained bronze medals in a tournament at Warwick University in November, and our men’s team placed a respectable 14th at the BUCS tournament in April, an encouraging improvement on last year. At the BUCS Wild Water Race event held on the River Washburn, our men’s team of Chris Booth, Matt Coulson and Thomas Leissing narrowly missed out on medals with a very impressive 4th-place finish in the team race. At the National Student Rodeo, one of the UK’s largest freestyle kayaking competitions, our ladies’ Captain Helen Tatlow placed 2nd in the
women’s expert category, a fantastic achievement. Finally, we beat Cambridge in no fewer than seven of the eight Varsity canoeing matches, with particularly well-fought victories in the men’s marathon (23–22) and ladies’ canoe polo (5–4). All in all, this has been a terrific year which promises great things to come in the future of the club.
CAVING This year has been another active year for OUCC, with trips every other weekend to the Mendips, South Wales, Yorkshire and the Peak District, including a Varsity meet with Cambridge. Highlights have included a trip to the intensely decorated Upper Flood, a wander through Box Mines, many days in the labyrinthine Ogof Ffynon Ddu and of course the annual freshers’ trips. Our new members have learned well, doing advanced caves and long trips, often caving outside of term time. We welcome our new committee members Nick Adams and Will Ivison and look forward to another year’s worth of trips.
CHEERLEADING We have seen a particularly large increase in interest this term due to our taster sessions, which were followed by cuppers. We also had a great turnout during our taster sessions in Michaelmas, enabling us to have a stunt group in addition to two full squads. This year we had a level 3 co-ed squad comprising 21 members, an all-girl level 2 squad comprising 31 members and a level 3 stunt group. We took part in both national and regional championships, with both our level 3 stunt group and our level 3 whole squad placing 2nd in the regional competition: ‘Legacy Just Believe’.
The Oxford Sirens have been working on becoming more recognised within the University, featuring in both the Cherwell and the Oxford Student for our achievements throughout the year. This year we competed in our fifth Varsity match, in which the scores from both our level 2 and level 3 squads are averaged against the Cambridge level 2 team, leaving us at a slight disadvantage. Although this year we unfortunately brought home a loss, we managed to increase the difficulty level in both routines from last year, which reduced the gap between our scores. In order to prepare for the Varsity match, we held our second-ever showcase, which gave us the opportunity to perform our routines for members of the University and served as a very successful fundraising event. We also held our third cheerleading cuppers tournament, which has seen an increasing amount of interest year on year. The popularity of the sport has exploded in the past few years and we are definitely noticing the benefits. Not only are we attracting more people than in previous years, but growing recognition of cheerleading throughout the UK is also contributing to a more realistic public image of what we do. If we can keep the current trends going, we are confident that we will be able to further build on our skills to achieve our best results yet in the upcoming year.
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING OUCPSC has enjoyed another year of growth. We now shoot every week comfortably and have reaped the rewards in terms of increased participation and increased competition. We have struck a number of new sponsorship and partnership deals, and will hopefully build on this
to become a more significant competitive force in the year to come. We shot well at competitions this year and competed in five instead of our usual two. At BUCS, we achieved a middle position in the university rankings, with our best individual shooter finishing 19th out of more than 300. We have awarded our first Half Blues to men and are pleased that this status has allowed us to attract more participants. We spent most of the last year raising the profile of the club nationally, by participating in many more competitions than usual and by pursuing high-impact sponsorship arrangements that we believe will help us attract more competitors and give us a higher profile. We expect the benefits of these efforts to be felt mostly in the coming year, with more invitations to competitions and increased enrolment.
CRICKET – WOMEN The 2015–16 season began strongly with record turnouts to training during Michaelmas and Hilary and the return of some key county-level players. Otherwise, the Blues squad enjoyed good continuity from the Varsity-winning side of 2014–15 and were very ably captained by Immy Brown. In the BUCS Midlands 1A competition, we had a broadly successful season, easily beating all but one of our opponents. The only blemish was a heavy defeat in the championship final at the hands of a very strong Loughborough side. In the Varsity matches, Oxford continued their domination. The T20 match, played in the University Parks this year, saw Sian Kelly (102*) and Tina Gough (52) make impressive scores which set up an easy 162-run victory for Oxford. Bad weather threatened to cancel the one-day fixture at Lords, but after a considerable delay, play commenced with each side given 30 overs to
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prove their mettle. Oxford again batted first, and Sian Kelly and Tina Gough again made the most of loose Cambridge bowling, notching impressive scores of 118* and 71* respectively. With an eye on the weather, Oxford made the unorthodox decision to declare at 206–0 after only 25 overs, in the hope of forcing a result before the rain returned. Cambridge were put into bat and never threatened the tight bowling and fielding of the Oxford team. Sarah Attril’s 4–11 deserves special mention. After 30 overs, Cambridge had limped to 58–7. Alongside the Blues, the development squad – the Originals – enjoyed several fixtures against local teams in the Oxfordshire midweek competition. Thanks largely to the efforts of longterm coaches George Setterfield and Toby Cowley, great improvements were observed in the quality of the cricket played by all members of the squad.
CRICKET – MEN The Blues squad had a serious point to prove, having lost 2–1 in the Varsity tri-series against Cambridge in 2015. Johnny Marsden led the Blues team on a pre-season tour to Bristol, where they won all three of their games. The BUCS season did not quite go as planned; with a large majority of the team being final year students, commitment was slightly lower than hoped for. However, the Blues narrowly avoided relegation to stay in BUCS Division 1. OUCC also welcomed some fantastic opponents to the Parks in Trinity term, including the Free
Foresters (win), the Harlequins (abandoned) and the MCC (draw). The annual game against the Duke of Norfolk XI this year resulted in a heavy loss due to a wonderful 200 from Australian international Jordan Silk. This year’s Varsity campaign was extremely successful, with the Blues winning 3–0 in the tri series – a feat that had never been achieved by an Oxford side since the T20 game was introduced. The T20 preparation saw games against the RAF (win) and the Army (loss), and a narrow defeat to the Oxford MCCU. In the T20 Varsity game, Matthew Hughes put in a Man of the Match performance of 75 to help Oxford win the game. The one-day Varsity match was held at Lords cricket ground and another successful Oxford performance took the Blues back to the Parks looking to make it three wins in three. The four-day game had a thrilling finish, with hero Dan Escott claiming six wickets and scoring a debut first-class hundred to win Oxford the game with only four minutes left in the day. Many congratulations to Johnny Marsden for such a successful season both on and off the field.
CROQUET The 2015–16 season has been a good season for the club. Membership has stayed the same, around 40 people, with applications still coming in. The club won the Southern Federation Handicap League (Northern Division) last year. After a successful play-off against the Southern Division winners in early October, we once again qualified for the national Secretary’s
Shield competition, to be played during the long vacation in 2016. The club had also made it to the Secretary’s Shield in 2015, but this time we were able to win, for the first time in over three decades. In Trinity term, the club again participated in the regional Handicap League. Within Oxford, cuppers has been a great success, with a full 512 teams taking part. Unfortunately, for the first time since 2002 the Oxford Varsity team were the underdogs, and we lost to Cambridge 5–4 overall, in what the referee called the closest Varsity match in his 30 years as referee. One player, Jordan Waters, had the necessary handicap of six or below to qualify for a Half Blue, which he fully deserved after beating ex-Oxford player Will Gee, who has participated at World Championship level.
CROSS COUNTRY This year was one of OUCCC’s most successful in recent years. With an overall Varsity win by four matches to two, including a clean sweep in the men’s matches, a new Oxford dynasty has begun. The men’s Blues match saw an impressive win for Miles Unterreiner, backed up by fellow Oxford runners William Christofi, Alex Howard and Jamie Parkinson, a score that was impossible for Cambridge to beat and the best from any team since 1993. While the women’s Blues match saw a team victory for Cambridge, Oxford took home the 2nd- and 3rd-place tankards with great runs from Sophia Saller and Bethanie Murray. All of the women’s team will be back next year to try and turn the score around. The men’s Seconds victory was equally impressive, as they were led home
by Joe Selley. Sadly, the women’s Seconds match was marred by a Cambridge runner losing the course, so no overall score was declared, but the Oxford girls crossed the line in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th on the day. The men’s Thirds and mob match were both easy wins for the Oxford teams but the women’s mob sadly lost out to a very strong Cambridge team. Hilary saw our biggest-ever contingent at BUCS Cross Country, with nearly 60 Oxford runners competing. Club Captain Bethanie Murray led the women home in 26th in a race that contained 583 runners. William Christofi was the first Oxford runner in the men’s A race, coming a very impressive 14th, closely followed by Oxford Sportsman of the Year Jamie Parkinson in 20th. A solid team performance secured the team 5th overall (with Cambridge coming in 6th). The men’s B team produced an incredible performance in the mud to take home a bronze medal thanks to Luuk Metselaar in 7th, Luke Cotter in 11th, Aidan Smith in 16th and Oliver Paulin in 33rd. The team pushed distance-running powerhouse Birmingham University into 4th and Cambridge down to 9th. 25 runners travelled to the English National Championships in Donington Park, where once again our top runner was William Christofi, who finished in 14th. If OUCCC had counted as a club in the senior championship, we would have been the 5th-place team in England. OUCCC also took victories in the men’s and women’s races at Hyde Park Relays and the women took the Teddy Hall Relays title for the third year in a row.
CYCLING The Cycling Club has continued its strong resurgence from 2015 and enjoyed a further progression in results during 2016. The BUCS season began with the Hill Climb early in Michaelmas, to which we sent a strong squad of men and women. The men smashed
the performance of last year, taking 5th in the individual standings and securing silver in the team classification. The women also were outstanding, taking 4th in the individuals and bronze in the team standings. While the road squad took their winter racing break, the MTB riders kept on pushing themselves to get ready for their Varsity match, which took the form of a cross country race in March. The women continued Oxford’s dominance in this event and secured a confident win. For the men, the question was who would win the race, with Dark Blue riders eventually filling all three spots on the podium to ensure a comfortable victory in the MTB Varsity match. In March we sent a small squad to the BUCS Track Championships and then, as the weather got nicer, the road riders emerged ready to take on the series of BUCS Time Trials in April. There was heated competition for places in the teams this year, making the Cuppers Time Trial (with Bryn Davies claiming the individual title and LMH the College prize) an especially important selection event. At the ten-mile event in Cambridge, Tamara Davenne replicated her strong showing from last year to take 4th, while in the men’s event Daniel Alanine achieved 12th in a highly competitive field.
In the BUCS Team Time Trial in Bath, the men improved hugely over their 2015 performances (17th in 2015 to 9th in 2016), taking minutes off the previous times on the same course. The women came in as defending champions but were forced to settle for silver this year. The road Varsity match was contested at the BUCS 25-Mile Time Trial held in Oxford. The women exploited the home roads advantage to handily win the Varsity match and take the bronze in the BUCS teams competition, while the men came up against a viciously strong Cambridge team and weren’t able to take their Varsity, but did significantly narrow the margin from last year.
DANCESPORT Our network of dance styles has continued to expand and we have offered tailored competitive technique classes and medals classes across our dancesport genres: three hours of classes every week in each of salsa, rueda and bachata to cater for the full spectrum of our alternative rhythm dancers as well as a number of classes across acrobatic, non-acrobatic and authentic RnR. Outside of our core dance styles, we have run two very popular classes a week in Zumba, an hour
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women’s team, this year was always going to be a tough challenge, especially due to the loss of some senior players. Despite this, the team came runners-up in the Universities, quarterfinalists in the U21s and semi-finalists in the Ladies Nationals. Unfortunately, they lost a hotly contested Varsity match 2–1, but the Seconds showed the strength the club now has with a dominant performance. Especially encouraging this year has been the increase in participation and quality of Fives, thanks to an enthusiastic recruitment team and our coach. With the help of a bursary from the EFA, we continue to have a coach once a week to improve all aspects of our game from beginners to seasoned players. The future of the club looks bright for next year.
FENCING Early Trinity 2015 saw OUFC’s beginners preparing for the Novice Varsity match mid-term. In a nail-biting match, Oxford won 61–60! Around 100 people attended our start-of-year taster session, with 30–40 starting the beginners’ course. and a half of Argentine tango, and – an addition for this year – specialist dance fitness classes, the aim of which is to promote a high level of competitive skill for our teams. OUDC has strengthened its position within the competitive university dancesport circuit with a resounding victory at the first Inter-Varsity competition of the year and a very strong 2nd at this year’s Inter-Varsity Dancesport Competition, losing to the Cambridge A team by only oneand-a-half points out of 3780. Our RnR team and rueda Komrades have also had a very promising year: the former has fielded accomplished teams at both the Southern Universities’ Dancesport Competition and IVDC, while the latter proved to be commendable ambassadors of OUDC at the Reading Salsa Festival. Unfortunately, we were not able to win back the Varsity or Challenge titles at the 2016 Dancesport Varsity. The committee wishes to congratulate its teams for their many successes this year. To further solidify OUDC’s position within the university circuit, the club has rekindled the Oxford Invitational Dancesport Competition, a venture that promises to be of great benefit to the club as a means of renewing our links with other Inter-Varsity Dancesport Association members.
ETON FIVES The 2014–15 season saw a significant change of personnel for the men’s team, as three of last year’s top six players, including two ex-captains, left us for warmer climes. However after a strong recruitment drive, we managed to plug that gap and field extremely competitive Firsts and Seconds as we were joined by several promising
freshers and seasoned veterans of the game. The litmus test for our progress was of course the Varsity match, and the Seconds continued their imperious form by comfortably seeing off their Cambridge counterparts. The Firsts were unlucky to come away with a 2–1 loss, especially in the tightly contested second pair match. All in all, however, these results represented an improvement on last year’s performance and other highlights included reaching the semi-finals of the EFA trophy and the Mixed Universities. The Town vs Gown was won 2–1. A source of optimism for the men’s team was Beginners Fives: several beginners have reached a very good stage already after two terms of practice! Next year looks to be very positive for the club, especially since our scouts tell us that several successful Fives players will be joining next Michaelmas. After a very successful season last year for the
The men’s Blues had a fairly strong season, beating all teams except Cambridge in the Premier League, finishing 2nd. They knocked out Newcastle en route to the semi-finals, where they lost to UCL 134–114. The women’s Blues had a tough season, losing three of their top fencers.
They were defeated by all teams except Exeter in the Premier League, finishing 5th. For the women’s team’s first knock-out match against Durham, given they were missing two-thirds of their sabreurs, a 114–105 defeat was a respectable result. The men’s and women’s Blues finished 3rd and 9th respectively in the Premier Leagues. Our Seconds teams had a tough year, losing fencers through leaving or promotion to the Blues. They finished 6th and 5th respectively in the Midlands 1A league. Among OUFC’s 19 BUCS individuals entries, we congratulate Sam Bradley and Valentina Pegolo for their bronze medals in the men’s epee and women’s sabre. Maddi Pearce and Hannah Schneiders finished 5th and 9th in the women’s foil and women’s sabre respectively. Congratulations to Hannah Schneiders on her top-50 women’s sabre national ranking, to Campbell Thomson for his top-16 result at the men’s epee British Nationals, to Justin Bewsher for his top-30 national men’s foil ranking and to Maddi Pearce for fencing with the winning England Five Nations team. This year has been notably strong for OUFC’s intermediates. Kat Badiola, a beginner last year, won the National Novices, and six intermediate fencers medalled at the London Regional Tournament. Hosting the Varsity matches dominated this year. While all four teams were defeated, we showed off our team spirit and sportsmanship. The committee’s fantastic event featured Olympic kit,
plasma screens and commentated live stream. We will count the many lovely comments we received a victory despite not having one en-piste! Congratulations to St Peter’s College, cuppers winner this year, and to Maddi Pearce and Justin Bewsher, Mistress and Master of Arms. We were part of the pilot for The Sports Federation’s Blues Support Scheme, through which our squads have benefited from subsidised lessons with club coaches Tomek Walicki and Rob Cawdron. These are invaluable in improving technique, especially for 2nds team fencers stepping up to the Blues team. Tomek and Rob have been excellent in thier coaching and support throughout the year – they are an inspiration to OUFC’s fencers.
FLOORBALL The Oxford University Floorball Club went from strength to strength in 2015–16. At the start of this committee’s term, we organised our inaugural cuppers tournament between 2nd Week and 4th Week of Trinity term 2015, attracting 25 players over four teams to play floorball over three weekends. The tournament received good feedback, and will be organised by the incoming committee in 5th Week of Trinity term in 2016. In Michaelmas of the new academic year (2016), we expanded our membership after a very successful Freshers’ Fair, recruiting 11 new undergraduate and postgraduate students, while also managing to attract a further three experienced floorball players living in Oxford, bringing our total number of members to 26, despite losing several experienced players who were leaving after graduating or moving out of Oxford. Unfortunately, this also meant that the team was relatively new and had not trained together for the start of our United Kingdom Floorball Federation (UKFF) season which began in October 2016, resulting in poor early-season performances that ruled us out of the Nationals play-off positions. In addition, the high number of players of varying skill levels made coordinating
training sessions difficult, due to the lack of hall time made available to the club. Nevertheless, team performances picked up exponentially through the Michaelmas and Hilary terms of 2016. We finished the season strongly, achieving a 2nd-place finish in the ten-team British Universities Floorball League (BUFL) tournament and a respectable 3rd-place finish in UKFF Division B. To handle a larger club membership, the club decided to create the elected position of Social Secretary. As a result, there was greater variety of social events including watching an Ice Hockey match, trips to the ice rink and team barbeques. This went a long way towards helping build camaraderie among players from different countries and of backgrounds and skill levels. With a new executive committee in place, and a greater number of undergraduates to provide some continuity in the Firsts, the club can look forward to a brighter start to next season’s UKFF competition and continue to build on the solid foundations already laid down.
FOOTBALL – WOMEN OUWAFC Blues began the season as a new team with only a few returning players. Initially, we had a few ups and downs due to several injuries but the team gelled quickly and, due to the unwavering dedication of the girls and our new coach, we claimed many good results including some hard-fought victories. Highlights of the season included our impressive 6–0 win over local rivals Oxford Brookes in the annual Brookes Varsity match. The evening was a fantastic success with the girls playing showcase football in front of a large crowd. Our cup run this year was a rollercoaster ride, with the Blues deservedly taking victory seconds before the final whistle against Canterbury in the last 16. Unfortunately, in the quarter-finals the Blues crashed out against Loughborough on penalties after 120 incredibly tight minutes. The season ended on a high with our closely
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fought Varsity fixture seeing the Dark Blues retain the trophy yet again. The second half was a nail-biter, as we tried to hang on to our early lead. It was a game won on spirit and determination, which reflected our season well. OUWAFC’s Seconds (the Furies) performed a miracle, quite frankly, this season – almost Leicester City-esque! They finished in last position in the Midlands 3A league last season. After many hours of hard work and graft, in addition to an influx of talented players, the Furies went on to smash that same league this season with eight wins, one draw and one loss, finishing seven points clear at the top – an incredible achievement! They were unlucky to come up against a strong Coventry side in the early rounds of the cup before the team had properly gelled – We would love to have seen this match replayed four months down the line. The improvement this squad has shown this season is incredible. Moving on to the Varsity match, the Furies were unlucky to lose on penalties to Cambridge after an intense 120 minutes. The girls will be back stronger next year looking to get their hands on more silverware!
FOOTBALL – MEN This season has been solid, if unspectacular. All three teams have remained in their BUCS
divisions, while two out of three won their Varsity matches. OUAFC will be looking forwards to building on that next year in the teams’ respective BUCS leagues, and the prospect of a doubleheader Varsity match with OUWAFC to look forward to. A particular highlight was the Blues’ 2–0 win over Cambridge on Boat Race Day at Craven Cottage. It culminated in what was a fantastic end to the season for the Blues side. It also meant Oxford have now won the last two Varsity matches and will be looking to carry on the trend next year. Narrowly avoiding relegation on the last day of the season was fully deserved for a team with far too much quality to go down. The Blues also enjoyed a fantastic ten-day tour to the West Coast of America playing against the Universities of Stanford, Berkeley and others. The Seconds (the Centaurs) also managed to avoid relegation on the last day of the season, somewhat miraculously. Having been bottom of the league for most of the year, they turned it around after the Christmas break. No doubt boosted by a tour to Amsterdam, the team started to play an attacking brand of football and came into their Varsity match full of confidence. Managed superbly all season by Nathan King, they completely dominated the match and deservedly won 1–0 against a good Cambridge team. The Thirds (the Colts) were coached by Anthony
Beaumont and were expecting a difficult season, having just been promoted. However, the side started superbly and at Christmas were comfortably top of the league. Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite keep up their early-season promise and faded a bit in Hilary term. A couple of losses meant they eventually finished 2nd and unfortunately lost their Varsity match on penalties. The Development Squad are the Oxford Fourth team and do not play in a BUCS league. They were managed this year by the Football Sabbatical Officer, Fergus Morgan, who did a fantastic job. They played six matches including two against the Colts, surprisingly winning both! Overall, this year has gone well for OUAFC, with all four teams playing an attacking brand of football and victories claimed in two of the three Varsity matches.
GLIDING This year has been a phenomenal year for OUGC. We are proud to have won the annual Varsity competition against Cambridge for the third consecutive year in July 2015. The competition was held at Bicester, and saw five of our best pilots defending our trophy. They finished with an outstanding combined score of 740 against Cambridge’s 692.
OUGC is also proud to have won the 2015 InterUniversity Competition. This competition was hosted by University College London Gliding Club in August. Nine skilled OUGC pilots participated in this annual friendly competition between seven UK university gliding clubs. Points were awarded for cross-country flights, soaring and progression. Our pilots managed to earn the highest combined total score. This year has seen an influx of keen new members, many of whom are now regulars on the airfield. We now have about 100 members. We’ve also been very happy to have seen many of our members make tremendous progress. Over this past year, five members progressed to solo and six achieved their Bronze Badges – an outstanding accomplishment. Anthony Landau and Ashley Cheng both completed a leg of their Silver badge (duration and height gain respectively), while Chris Ballance and Dinant Riks both completed their 300km flights in FEF, for Gold Distance and Diamond Goal. Numerous members of the club have participated in multiple exciting trips throughout the year. We’ve had short trips to Long Mynd (in Shropshire) and Talgarth (in Wales) during Hilary term. During spring break, we had not one, but two expeditions – the usual one to Portmoak (in Scotland) plus another to Camphill (in the Peak
District). In September, we’ll have an international expedition to La Cerdanaya (in Spain). There have been challenges managing our aircraft fleet, but we have been able to overcome these issues. Our single-seater glider HYX was affected by a BGA directive pertaining to structural glue inspections of wooden gliders, and as a result the club decided to sell the aircraft rather than undertaking the prohibitively costly refurbishments required by the directive. Moreover, our loyal two-seater glider GAM was involved in a very unfortunate crash last summer. Fortunately, the pilot was unharmed. However, the aircraft was written off by the insurer. The club has purchased a replacement two-seater of the same make and model.
GOLF – WOMEN Oxford University Ladies’ Golf Club has had another fantastic year. With five new members joining in October, we were able to put together a strong team for our 2015–16 golfing season. OULGC was privileged to be invited to some of the best golf clubs in the south of England, where we enjoyed competitive golf and generous hospitality. The highlight of the season was certainly the Varsity match, both our last and biggest
fixture. This year it was held at Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, a challenging but enjoyable course that tested the skill of all players. The foursome matches had Oxford leading 2–1 in the morning, with the winning combinations: Friederike Reuter and Carina Prunkl, and Emma Whiteley and Jennifer Jones. In the afternoon, Cambridge presented very solid singles matches. However, our team did not back down and held up a fight to the last few holes of each match, but overall Cambridge won 7–2. This 19th ladies’ Varsity match was a show of excellent golf from both sides, with everyone being enthusiastic about the year to come. Special congratulations go to Friederike Reuter, for achieving her first Full Blue, a very special achievement, as well as to the rest of the team for achieving Firsts colours for their performance and dedication throughout the year. Emma Whiteley will succeed Estelle Beguin as OULGC Captain for 2016–17.
GOLF – MEN OUGC had a big task ahead of them in the 2015–16 season. Coming off the back of a sixth consecutive Varsity match win the previous year and with many of the star players moving on
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to pastures new, the emphasis of the year was always going to be on rebuilding the squads and searching for a seventh straight win over Cambridge at the end of the year. The Blues got off to a fast start in their regular season. With several new faces coming into the team, as well as several more making the step up from Divots to Blues golf, any gaps that were left from the previous year were well and truly filled. Michaelmas term saw the Blues play a full set of fixtures, with a couple of strong wins including one over Rye Golf Club. After the Christmas break, in Hilary term the Blues were able to get in a multitude of fantastic fixtures at some of the country’s most prestigious courses so as to sharpen their games for the 127th University match at Royal West Norfolk at the end of term. Oxford got off to a quick start, leading after the first day with 3–2. The match was a closely contested one, going all the way to the wire during the Saturday singles, but Oxford eventually prevailed by ten matches to five to make it six consecutive Dark Blue wins. The Seconds, the Divots, also enjoyed a full and prosperous season. Many new names appeared in the squad this year, but all seemed to gel instantly, forming a level of team spirit that the Divots have become renowned for. After achieving mixed results in their regular season matches, the Divots turned up to Delamere Forest full of confidence before their match against the Cambridge Stymies. This confidence and team spirit showed as they managed to secure their first win over the Stymies in seven years.
GYMNASTICS Congratulations go to all of our gymnasts for a very successful season. We welcomed an exceptionally strong women’s A team, whose hard work paid off to bring home apparatus medals from the Loughborough Open, the BUCS Nationals and the Varsity match; all five also achieved very high individual placings nationally. As a team, we also placed a historic 3rd at the BUCS Nationals. Oxford completely filled the individual medals podium at the Varsity match and our huge 20-mark victory over Cambridge was a great way to end the season. It was also lovely to see a very successful competition for our women’s B team, who lost out to Cambridge by less than one mark but still managed to win individual medals and score highly on their pieces of apparatus. We also congratulate our men’s team for their hard work and dedication this year, and some impressive personal improvements, as some gymnasts joined the club with little prior experience of gymnastics. Despite losing the Varsity match to a very strong Cambridge team, we know they will come back fighting next year and afterwards. We are proud in the club to welcome members of a huge range of abilities, with some ex-national or international competitors, right down to complete beginners. Not only this, but we have seen a diverse set of skills being displayed in training, with sports acrobats, rhythmic gymnasts,
trampoliners, divers, dancers, performance artists and more being able to make use of their skills as well as the artistic gymnasts. We hope to build on all of this and the experience of our members in the upcoming season.
HANDBALL This was a historic year for Oxford University Handball Club. We celebrated the 15-year anniversary of the foundation of our club as well as the 10-year anniversary of our men’s team winning the first league. Especially for our women’s team, this year was a highly successful season. After coming very close in the last two years, our women’s team won this year’s University Championships. In a nervewrecking final, they beat Bournemouth by one goal after overtime and a penalty shoot-out. Our women were able to celebrate a much clearer victory in the Varsity match, where they beat Cambridge by a ten-goal margin. In the Regional Development League, where our women get the chance to play against many well-established city clubs, they won the main round by points and only lost against Cambridge in the final of the following knock-out round, finishing 2nd overall. They thereby qualified for the play-offs to the Super 8 League, the highest handball league in the UK. Unfortunately, we are not able to take up this place due to logistical reasons, but will continue winning in the RDL. Our women also achieved another significant success in the history of Oxford University handball through gaining Half Blue status.
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After originally suffering from a loss of players from last season into this season, we had to rebuild our men’s team. The beginning of the season was thus challenging for our players, but they, too, finished their season strong. After unfortunately losing the Varsity match, our men were able to take a strong 3rd in Division 2 of the University Championships. They finished their season on a high by winning the League Cup and we are hopeful they will continue this upward trend over the following seasons. For next year, in addition to the league, University Championships and Varsity match, our women will play in the National Cup. This will give them an opportunity to play against Super 8 teams (and even a chance to play internationally). After a oneyear break, our men will rejoin the league as well as playing in the Varsity match and the University Championships. Once our men’s team returns to its former strength, we will be seeking Blues recognition for them as well. Overall, OUHaC had probably one of the most successful seasons in its history and we are excited for the next season!
HOCKEY The 2015–16 season has been one of ups and downs for the Oxford University Hockey Club. The women’s Blues had a mixed season. They had a disappointing season in BUCS, placing 5th, but were able to avoid relegation by beating local rivals Brookes. On a Saturday, they were unable to keep the momentum up from the year before, when they finished 3rd, instead ending up 8th. In the Varsity match, in a well-fought comeback, the women’s Blues were able to overturn a 1–0 deficit to secure a 2–1 win. The men’s Blues had a tough season after losing some key players. With a team half-full of freshers, they had to adapt quickly. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get any early momentum in BUCS and South Premier 1. This led to them finishing 6th and 10th respectively, and they were unfortunate to be relegated from both leagues. In the
Varsity match, they lost a hard-fought fixture to Cambridge 2–1 after equalising and taking it to 1–1. They will be looking to put in some strong early performances next season, and striving for double promotion. Both the men’s Occasionals (the Seconds) and Infrequents (the Thirds) showed their dominance in the Varsity matches again. The Occasionals were able to earn a convincing 4–1 victory against Cambridge. However, they were unable to retain their position in London League 1 and will be looking to get promotion back up next season. The Infrequents were also able to ‘shoe the Tabs’. Another convincing 3–2 win and another two wins on the trot showed the depth in the club. They also outclassed the Occasionals, reaching the semi-finals of the BUCS Cup. The women’s Mavericks (the Thirds) had an outstanding season culminating in promotion in BUCS. They were also able to reclaim Varsity honour with a 1–0 win over Cambridge and kick off a great day for Seconds and Thirds Varsity. The women’s Radicals (the Seconds) built on last year as well. They showed a strong performance on Saturdays, achieving mid-table in the Regional Premier. They were unable to achieve last year’s success in the Varsity match,
however, and despite controlling the game for long periods were beaten 2–1. In other club news, OUHC has also recently voted in a men’s Fourths, which will be around from next season. We will be hoping to expand the club even further and provide more hockey for the students of the University.
ICE HOCKEY We started the year with a successful nomination at the Sports Federation Awards night, winning Club of the Year for our achievements in the 2014–15 season. Timothy Donnison was also shortlisted for the Norman Bryce Smiley Trophy. Also early in the year, the men’s and women’s Blues were both upgraded from Half Blue status to Discretionary Full Blue status. The women’s Blues finished 4th of six teams in Division 1 Non-Checking of the British Universities Ice Hockey Association. At the National Championships in Sheffield, the women could not repeat their historic performance of the previous year, but nonetheless impressed the commentators and crowds with their abilities. A comfortable 17–1 Varsity victory again reinforced our dominance
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to the next Varsity, national and international competitions. Thanks go out to all of our members who continue to train hard and to our amazing instructors for all of their time and dedication.
over the Tabs and our status as the best women’s ice hockey team in the BUIHA. This year also saw the return of the Oxford Vikings. Though they may have struggled to fill their bench throughout the season, they were nonetheless a competitive Division 2 Checking team. In a heart-stopping Varsity match against the Cambridge Eskimos, the Vikings came close to victory, losing narrowly 8–7. The men’s Blues had a tremendous season, finishing 2nd in Division 1 Checking, only one win behind the winners, Cambridge. In a close and hard-fought Varsity match, they fell to the Light Blues 3–1, despite their grit and determination. An exciting victory in April also made the men’s Blues the 2016 National Champions of the BUIHA in their annual tournament. Finally, this year – for the second year running – OUIHC sent a mixed squad abroad. We headed to the beautiful Lake Bled amid the Alps in Slovenia to take part in a local tournament. While we did not win, it was a great opportunity to travel, meet other ice hockey players from around the world and strengthen bonds across the constituent teams of OUIHC.
JITSU The Oxford University Jitsu Club has had a busy year with three regional gradings, two national competitions and the recent Varsity match against Cambridge. In terms of advancing through the belts, the club has seen a wide range of advancement. Particular praise goes out to Jacques Gallois and Peter Tudor, both Oxford students who have achieved their purple belts this year and begun the process of becoming assistant instructors. We have also had many other grading successes, including a 100% pass rate in Hilary term grading and doubling our number of green belts. In the national competitions, we have brought
home one gold medal, three silvers and two 4ths. To add to that, we placed joint 1st in the men’s BUCS Team Cup at the Atemi Nationals; this was the first time the club had entered the BUCS competition and was an amazing success and our best performance as a club to date. It was a great experience for those who didn’t win medals as they got to test their mettle against some great fighters and put on a really good show. As club bonding goes, nothing is better than pitting ourselves against another club, university or town. Our recent Varsity match in Oxford sadly ended with a victory for Cambridge, but it was a very close and hard-fought contest. Cambridge fielded their best squad in years, but Oxford rose to the challenge and took the match to an extra tie-breaker round. Unfortunately, this did not go our way, but we will return to face Cambridge on their home turf next year and bring back the trophy thanks to our work ethic and talented instructors. As a club, we’re now back in training for gradings at the end of term, as well as building both technique and fitness while looking forward
OUJC has had an exceptionally strong year and laid foundations for future success. The men’s A team extended its Varsity winning streak to keep the Matsudaira Cup in Oxford for a sixth consecutive year. All seven judoka in this team were current or former internationals and the quality was undeniable. Both the men’s A team and B team flattened Cambridge, winning all 14 of their fights. Our women’s team was further strengthened this year, fielding a full team, and came away with a narrow 2–3 loss to Cambridge (an improvement on our 1–4 loss from last year). Overall, Oxford came away with three of the four Varsity trophies (a record in recent years). Oxford was able to take a record number of players to compete at the BUCS Nationals, and came away with a record haul of medals. In the high grade category (those competing for BUCS points) we came away with five medals (two golds, two silvers and one bronze), placing us 2nd overall in the BUCS League for judo (narrowly behind Bath, which trains full-time judoka). OUJC had four players selected to compete in the European University Games in Croatia this summer. Our lower grades also performed exceptionally well on the Sunday, coming away with four medals (one gold, two silvers and one bronze). In the teams competition, OUJC men’s team won the silver, and the highlight for the OUJC women’s team had to be winning against Cambridge. Individual highlights from the year include Pete Miles winning the British National Championships and the Welsh International Open, and taking multiple medals at European Cups. Vidar Skretting took some fantastic results, including silver at the Welsh International Open.
Rachel Wheatley medalled in many GB ranking tournaments, improving her ranking to within the GB top 15 Senior Women U63. Daniel Mayhew won some fantastic medals over the course of the year, the highlight of which had to be silver at the Commonwealth Games (U21) in South Africa this spring. Our less experienced members, including beginners, have also made their mark on the competitive scene, with players winning multiple medals at the London Universities Open, the Warwick Invitational, Kyu grade cups and the Southend Open. OUJC continues to invest in its members to ensure success. Our men’s B team, which wiped the floor 7–0 against Cambridge, consisted of four players who took up judo at Oxford. Commitment to early-morning fitness and gym sessions, and to training in general, has been remarkable, contributing to a cohesive and supportive atmosphere in the club.
KARATE Oxford University Karate Club has had yet another successful, fulfilling year. In what may have been both the closest and highest-quality Varsity match yet, Cambridge narrowly won the trophy, after many hard fights and great katas. The Oxford women’s team dominated their opponents, taking back the women’s trophy they had won two years ago. The mixed B team performed well, with many close fights, but in the end the advantage went to Cambridge. The men’s Firsts competition was an extraordinarily close affair, with the team kata event (in which Cambridge won 1st at BUCS) ending in an exact tie. In the end, one fight decided the entire match, and Cambridge happened to get the better of it. Seeing how close this match was and the quality of the karate displayed has only made the squad more determined to succeed next year.
– so large that the format had to be changed to accommodate all of the competitors. It was particularly refreshing to see new members perform well, with new member Laurena Hu dethroning Carlos Rios Ocampo in the individual kata competition and new novice Mitchell Gooding taking 3rd on the men’s side. The majority of the squad are staying on for next year, and it will only get better with experience and new members. All in all, this year has been great fun and very successful for OUKC, and the future looks even brighter.
The Varsity match was not the only competition that saw great performances from the Oxford team. Just after Trinity last year, Carlos Rios Ocampo and Mitchell Gooding were able to claim two silver medals and a bronze medal between them at the JKA England Nationals, which often attracts JKA teams from abroad. BUCS was very successful this year, with almost every member advancing at least two rounds in individual events. Stand-out performances include the men’s team reaching the quarter-finals of the team kumite event despite fielding fewer than the usual five members, and Laurena Hu’s gold medal for winning the women’s senior individual kata competition.
The Kendo Club has continued its growth and success in national team and individual competitions this year.
Gradings have carried on as usual, with many members climbing the ranks. In particular, this year has seen many colour belts, and it is good to see so many members newer to karate stay on to continue their journey.
Apart from competitions, the club members have all had personal success through gradings. The club has had a fantastic year and we look forward to further success in the coming year.
On the lighter side of competitive karate, our annual cuppers competition was a great success, with possibly the largest turnout for a few years
At the British Taikai (tournament), Oxford’s Firsts came 1st and Seconds came 3rd. This was the first competition for many members and they did admirably well. We also performed strongly in Mumeishi 3s and won the Varsity competition against Cambridge, in which Theo Keeping and Shuping Dang came 1st and 2nd respectively in the beginners’ competition. Also, Rick Collins and Junko Takata represented GB in the European Kendo Competition and performed extremely well, getting into the quarter-finals.
KICKBOXING This year has seen a continuation of the hard
work of last year’s committee and OUKbC continues to garner a lot of University-wide interest through word of mouth. Despite a large number of potential recruits from Freshers’ Fair, we did not sign up as many new permanent members as expected. We did, however, have a lot of continuation in membership from last year, which built tighter group cohesion, we have developed a brand new website and our socials remain a popular part of club activities. Our members participated in a sparring exchange in Windrush and some competed in a tournament in Marston. The highlight of the year was the Varsity match held in Cambridge, where our fighters narrowly lost by one fight. Building on this commendable result, we hope to regain our title at next year’s Varsity match, which will be hosted here in Oxford. Besides training and sparring, our club has had a number of successful socials. Pub nights have generally been held twice a month. With the increasing interest in kickboxing among British universities, we hope to start participating in more local and nationwide competitions next year. We would like to give special recognition to our coach, Jan Treska, whose tireless coaching, training and organisational efforts maintain the club’s vibrancy and popularity.
KO KRAV The Oxford KO Krav Club has had a very promising season. Our main project this year was organising Oxford’s first inter-university Krav Maga competition, which was held in Hilary term against the Imperial College London Krav Club. It resulted in a win for the Oxford Firsts and the forging of new connections between the clubs.
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The event was highly successful and hopefully is the first of many. On the home front, we experienced an early surge in membership numbers and finally secured a bigger and better venue for regular practice, allowing us to expand our training in exciting ways and securing our finances. With several members training to be future instructors, a newly formed committee showing commitment to the club and a promising increase in membership levels, we look forward to next year’s challenges.
KORFBALL This season was one of excitement and success for OUKoC, with many new faces joining the club. The Firsts placed the highest they have for several years in the BUCS competitions, finishing 12th nationally after qualifying for the BUCS Championships. Throughout the BUCS tournaments there were incredible performances from all players, with the team playing some of their best korfball. Unfortunately, this was not reflected in the scoreline in the Varsity match, with the Firsts losing despite a valiant effort. However, the Seconds, one of the strongest the club has had, put in an incredible performance, beating Cambridge 10–0. The alumni match was nail-biting to watch, with a goal in the final second of the match from Oxford securing a well-fought draw. In the Oxfordshire korfball league, the Firsts defended their position in Division 1, putting in some outstanding performances in the play-off matches. The Seconds finished 4th in Division 2 – a fantastic result! Individually, both Alice Thompson and Helen Davies have been selected for the Welsh squad, making the club extremely proud to have two international players on the team! Liz Heard was also named Most Valuable Female Player in the BUCS preliminary round and Alastair Glennie has broken the record for the most goals scored by an OUKoC member in club history!
LACROSSE During the 2015–16 season, once again Oxford University Lacrosse Club has continued to go
from strength to strength. With this year seeing the 100th Varsity matches being played, it has been a great opportunity to look back at the history of the club, and see how OULC has thrived. What started out as being a small society just over a century ago, has flourished into a dedicated sports club, with five teams and some 150 members. Throughout the year, the three squads (men's, women's and mixed) have been training for 30 hours a week, which highlights the dedication and commitment that prevails throughout the club. As well as the growth of the current clubs, the development of the alumni network has also been considerable this year. For example, not only has the connectivity between both the old and new alumni been improved, but this year saw the first Varsity Alumni matches bring arranged for both the men and the women. In terms of the results, there has been success across the board for the teams. The women's Swifts were undefeated in the league this season, and only narrowly lost out on a cup semi-final place to Exeter, losing 14–16. Once again, there was considerable success at the varsity matches, with wins from men's Blues, men's Seconds and women's Blues. A very tightly contested game saw the mixed team lose on golden goal, and the women's Blues lost by a four goal margin. As a whole, the year has been extremely successful, and it is with much anticipation that the club looks forward to an equally successful 2016–17 season.
LAWN TENNIS As well as aiming to repeat the on-court success of the 2014–15 season, off-court ambition was the theme of 2015–16 for OULTC. We rebuilt our website, re-ignited our alumni connections, reconsidered the future of the Iffley Road site and elected sponsorship officers to lead us through the next stage of the club’s development. Alongside this, the men’s Blues and women’s Seconds won their BUCS leagues, and the men’s and women’s Blues had a double success in their Varsity matches for a second year. Thanks to the hard work of our newly appointed alumni officers, we hosted the first alumni dinner in recent memory at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London. The evening was hugely enjoyable and we hope that this event, and our wider alumni connections, can grow in the future.
The support of our lead sponsor Morgan Stanley ensured that we continued to expand the club’s activities, giving us access to great facilities and coaches. To build the best relationship possible with our sponsors, we have recently appointed two sponsorship officers. We also appointed a Facilities Officer who was given the formidable task of determining how to improve the facilities at Iffley Road. The Larry Bachmann pavilion is in the process of being renovated and refurnished, giving the club’s home a much-needed lift. After much thought, discussion and deliberation, we are hopeful that our proposed plans for the courts can be delivered soon, enabling better year-round training facilities. Lastly, with help from connections of OULTC, we updated our website to provide a more functional online home for past, present and future OULTC members. On court, we have been just as busy. We once again competed strongly in BUCS, contributing more BUCS points to Oxford’s total than any other club! Fighting for every match was key as the women’s Seconds secured their league title and promotion on set difference. In preparation for the Varsity matches, the Blues, Seconds and Thirds all went on tour to Portugal during the Easter vacation. This was the first time that the women’s Seconds and Thirds had joined the boys on tour. They had a great five days in the Lisbon sunshine, honing their skills on the somewhat unfamiliar clay courts. The Blues followed the Seconds and Thirds to Lisbon before heading on to the Algarve. The tours are a highlight of the year for all who are lucky enough to go on them and we look forward to seeing where the teams will go next year. All of the teams enjoyed a great summer, with fixtures against formidable opponents including the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the International Club of England and the alumni. On the last weekend of term we welcomed Cambridge to Oxford for the reserve team Varsity matches. We could not have predicted the strength of the Cambridge players who arrived and all of the teams had tough matches, with Cambridge claiming wins in five of the six matches. The highlight of the weekend was the nail-biting victory by the women’s Thirds, the
attend due to timings and availability. We hope to attend more competitions next season so we can push ourselves higher up the league, all the while gaining more practice and experience in order to ensure we retain our Varsity title next year. Overall, it has been a successful and promising year for the club – but we feel that we can go even further next year, so we look forward to the season ahead.
LIGHTWEIGHT – WOMEN OUWLRC ran a large and successful Development Squad after Summer Eights, with over 50 athletes involved, cumulating in entering an eight at Henley Women’s Regatta. Returning athletes learned or improved their sculling and raced at Henley Women’s, Kingston and picked up a number of pots at Reading, Molesey, City of Oxford and Henley Town and Visitors. The season began with around 30 athletes who became a working squad of around 20. A number of athletes gained a great deal of experience from competing in Pairs Head, Fours Head and the British Championships. Pairs Head was particularly successful, with wins in both the Elite Lightweight and IM3 2x categories. We also sent two athletes and a cox to GB trials. Swifts, as they clinched the final rubber in fading light to claim an 11–10 victory. It was great to see the introduction of a men’s Fifths Varsity match and we are hopeful that a women’s Fourths match can follow next year. In the words of Captain Laura Herd, ‘Often described as “keen”, what W4 lack in hardcore tennis ability, they make up for in demonstrating a genuine enjoyment of and enthusiasm for tennis’. We must thank outgoing University Tennis Co-ordinator Max Smeets for all his hard work with these teams over the last two years. We finished the year at Moor Park with the Blues Varsity matches. Having seen off a Cambridge charge on the second morning to secure an 11–7 win, the boys decided that they’d rather watch the girls than play their last three rubbers. Arriving with the match tied at 9–9 and on-court scores of 6–0, 6–1 and 4–1 to Cambridge, things did not look good. However, it was here that the girls’ incredible never-say-die attitude came to the fore, as they turned around the match to claim an amazing 11–10 victory and cap off another great year for OULTC.
Blue status we earned for our women in Trinity last year, so we went into our Varsity match as a Half Blue sport for both men and women for the first time in many years. In the Varsity match in early Hilary, our mixed Firsts succeeded in gaining the trophy back from Cambridge that we had only closely conceded last year. In addition, Tom Oldfield and Chris Mason performed excellently to achieve their Half Blues, a great recognition of their performance not just this year but over their whole time at Oxford. We also competed in the BUCS League over the course of the season, achieving an overall position of 11th. However, we were greatly limited in the number of competitions we could
At the end of Michaelmas, two boats were selected for Trial VIIIs, which took place on the Henley Reach. After Christmas, 17 rowers and three coxes travelled to Ourense, Spain, for our ten day winter training camp where we began selection for the Blue Boat and Tethys. Both the Blue Boat and Tethys were able to gain valuable side-by-side experience from a considerable number of match fixtures against a number of clubs including Molesey (3rd at WeHoRR), Imperial, Oxford Brookes and Headington School (9th at WeHoRR). This year saw one of the closest and most exciting races in Lightweight Boat Race history, with our Blue boat coming back from ¾ of a length down to win by a canvas. It takes real grit, determination and mental strength to come back from so far
LIFESAVING Lifesaving saw promising interest at Freshers’ Fair, gaining a number of new members – both experienced lifesavers and complete novices – who have contributed greatly to the club over the season, with several taking up committee positions for the coming year. In Michaelmas, we were successful in achieving Half Blue status for our men, to go with the Half
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Women's Blues Cross Country
behind and for that reason I believe that this year we produced a truly exceptional crew. This year’s Boat Race also saw the first official Lightweight Pairs Reserve Race. Despite our loss by ¾ of a length we were very happy to have been given the opportunity for two of the Tethys athletes to race on Boat Race day and we hope that this continues. Following our boat race win, we had a number of strong performances at the BUCS Regatta. A Blue Boat/ Tethys composite picked up a silver medal in the Championship Lwt 8+. We also picked up bronze medals in the Lwt 4- and Lwt 4x and saw an impressive performance in the Lwt 1x (7th). The bronze in the Lwt 4x has qualified us to represent GB universities at EUSA in July.
LIGHTWEIGHT – MEN We started in September with around 35 rowers and coxes. During the first term, we didn't do much racing, instead focusing on getting the miles in and making some initial cuts. We also moved into the new Fishlock boat shed which was a big morale boost. Michaelmas term finished with Trial Eights in which Rebellion beat Empire in a very close race. Over the Christmas break, we went on a training camp in Soustons, France, which was a highlight of the season and we got some good rowing done with the Blue Boat starting to take shape. In Hilary term, we set about getting some match-racing experience with match races against several clubs including Upper Thames and Quintin BC. The Blues Boat was selected at the end of January. At the end of Hilary term, we moved to Henley for the week before the Henley
Boat Races. At this time, the spare 4x also raced against Cambridge for the first time in a few years. Unfortunately, they lost by one length but it was a good effort given they only started sculling together two weeks before the race. Next year, this will be a more permanent fixture that we can target rather than a last-minute bonus. The Boat Race took place on the 19 March in terrible conditions (similar to the ones we'd been training in all week). Unfortunately, something snapped on the day and we didn't perform anywhere near our potential, losing by a large margin. After a week's break we started training again for BUCS at the beginning of Trinity with a reduced squad due to academic commitments. We trained and then raced in a 4- and a 2x at BUCS.
MODERN PENTATHLON OUMPA’s has been a successful season, culminating in a 3–1 overall Varsity match win against Cambridge. Michaelmas Term began with a strong early showing against Cambridge at the Army Pentathlon; the OUMPA women were particularly dominant in taking the top two places. Equally impressive were OUMPA’s newest recruits: after only a few weeks of training in this challenging, multi-disciplined sport, they took all top three places in the men’s competition and 3rd place in the women’s at the Novice Varsity. Hilary term, and the prospect of a rapidly approaching Varsity match, produced two top-three finishes at BUCS, from Rosa Chrystie-Lowe and Hugo Fleming. OUMPA’s A team were unlucky to miss out on 1st place in the mixed team event to a strong Cambridge side. Last year’s outstanding 4–0 victory, close finishes at BUCS, and new faces across
OUMPA’s teams anticipated an exciting competition at Varsity 2016. Strong fencing by both the men’s and women’s Blues gave them convincing initial leads. Despite a match record by a Cambridge athlete in the swim, solid performances across OUMPA's teams saw the men’s Blues cling onto their lead and the women’s Blues extend theirs. The showjumping’s usual thrills and spills did not disappoint; the men’s Blues demonstrated incredible nerve to win by 900 points, while the comparatively more experienced riders of the women’s Blues saw their previously convincing lead slip away after some unfortunate and difficult rounds. The combined event arrived with the men set to cruise to victory, while the women had everything to play for. In the end, the men’s Blues, captained by Jonathan Bentham, won their match by an impressive margin, destroying Cambridge on the run and showcasing the hard work in training all year. Equally determined running by OUMPA’s women meant that they ultimately won three out of five disciplines, but Cambridge’s strong shooting was enough to hold off this final Oxford challenge, the women’s Blues losing what was an agonisingly close match. Women’s Captain Dani Chattenton can be proud, however, not only of her individual 1st place, but of her own and her team’s efforts in giving their all against an experienced Cambridge side. Both Reserves teams also celebrated Varsity wins, and with many reserves and Blues for whom it was their first Varsity match, or even their first season of pentathlon, we look forward next year to building on this success, and celebrating the 60th anniversary of our Varsity match!
MOTOR DRIVERS 2015–16 has been a breakthrough year for OUMDC, competing in the British Universities Karting
Championship (BUKC). Throughout the previous year, the A team showed plenty of potential by claiming several race wins; however, they never managed to string together sufficient good results for a challenge for the championship. In contrast, this year, the A team went into the final round lying in 2nd overall, with a chance to clinch the title. Unfortunately, due to a combination of bad luck and a slight lack of experience, their hopes were dashed and they finished in 6th overall, which is still very respectable and a vast improvement upon last year. Once again, Captain Callum Hughes led by example, taking several wins and receiving the BUKC Driver of the Year award. Solid performances were seen down the ranks too, in the B team competing in the main championship, and the C and D (for the first time) teams competing in the Rookie Championship. The club clearly has far more strength in depth than last year, which is very promising for the years to come. With most of the A team drivers returning next year, hopefully they can continue their upward trend and have another attempt at winning the BUKC. The club was also active in organising its own events this year. Trials took place at the start of term, and Freshers’ Karting returned to previous levels of popularity. The event is aimed at those new to the club, and took the form of a two-hour endurance race in teams of four at an indoor circuit near Leamington Spa. The all-important cuppers event took place during Hilary. It was also a two-hour team endurance race, held outdoors under floodlights at the fantastic Whilton Mill circuit. Balliol came back with another strong team and surprised nobody by taking a convincing victory for the third year running. This year also saw the reclaiming of the Varsity trophy from Cambridge in dominant fashion. The team travelled down to a wet Rye House in Hertfordshire, Cambridge’s home circuit, and put on a masterful display, with Oxford drivers finishing 1st and 2nd.
OUMC made a strong showing at the BUCS bouldering competition at the Climbing Works wall in Sheffield in February, with special mention to Edward Gow-Smith for taking 16th out of over 200 competitors in the men’s individual rankings. Due to the presence of some strong climbers on the Cambridge side, we lost out in the Varsity match this year, despite a strong showing from the women’s team. Some climbers also attended a new student lead-climbing competition in November, placing in the middle of the table. Other OUMC activities have continued as usual, with internationally renowned mountaineers visiting Oxford to speak to the club, subsidised skills courses on such subjects as first aid and ropework, and numerous socials. Outside of the club’s official programme of events, groups of OUMC climbers have been all over the world, from mountaineering expeditions in the Alps, the Himalayas and the Atlas Mountains to sun-soaked sport climbing in France and Spain. Hopefully, we can maintain our record of supporting mountaineering achievements and developing novices into fully fledged climbers and mountaineers in the year to come.
NETBALL OUNC had a strong season this year, with wins in a home Varsity match for both the Blues and the development squad. The Blues match was particularly memorable, as both sides presented very equally matched teams, culminating in a narrow three-goal win for the Dark Blues. Although the Roos suffered a defeat in the Varsity match, they took the Midlands 3B BUCS league by storm, coming top of the league and securing promotion for next year. The Blues had a somewhat disappointing result in their BUCS league, with a series of very close defeats resulting in them ending up bottom of the table.
For the first time in recent history, OUNC embarked on a tour, heading to London for a series of games in early January. This replaced Hilary pre-season and the three games were a great way to blow off the cobwebs, gain match experience and get to know each other even better. The mini tour was enjoyed by all and the progress the club made during those few days was substantial. This will definitely be something to continue in the future. The development squad did not play in the Oxfordshire league this year, but instead benefited from a series of friendly games against various local clubs and colleges. This squad had a remarkable depth to it this year, and OUNC will look forward to developing these players over future years, as they progress into the Roos and the Blues.
OCTOPUSH All in all, 2015–16 was a solid year for the Oxford Octopush club, despite some challenges! A trial cuppers tournament was held during Trinity 2015. It was a great success with over 30 participants from five colleges; the tournament was eventually won by Lincoln. However, plans for an inaugural Varsity match fell through at the last minute as a result of the Cambridge team dropping out. The new academic year started promisingly with a large number of sign-ups at Freshers’ Fair; however, the pool management were unfortunately only able to allocate the club three training sessions during Michaelmas term due to high demand for pool time across the University. The club attempted to share session time with the Underwater Exploration Club, but the collaboration proved difficult. Unfortunately, this led to a crippling of the club’s recruitment drive and resulted in the expected expansion of
Overall, it was a fantastic year for the club, which saw great success and showed much promise for future years. Exciting plans are in place for next year, including the return of the Oxford Karting League and Formula 1-related events.
MOUNTAINEERING The OUMC year started well with three very busy freshers’ trips giving around 50 aspiring mountaineers their first taste of outdoor rock climbing on Peak grit and Portland limestone. Outdoor meets continued all over the country and throughout the year, come rain or shine (or occasionally snow). Many more new members attended the weekly indoor climbing sessions at the Iffley Road bouldering wall and the Oxford Brookes climbing wall, with many learning to belay and lead climb within a few sessions of joining.
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the club not occurring. However, despite this, the club was able to once again organise a financially successful Mixed Kraken Winter Meet tournament at Iffley (with participation from Portsmouth, Imperial and York Universities), in which Oxford finished 2nd.
Overall, we finished 3rd behind Sheffield and Edinburgh. Particularly impressive performances came from Jamie Parkinson and Aidan Smith, the latter earning a place in the GB team for the forthcoming World University Orienteering Championships.
On the back of that success, the club had a successful Hilary term, with the future core of a promising First team emerging. Weekly training in half the pool at Iffley occurred throughout the term, and during 6th Week the team took the long journey north to Leeds for the BUSC Nationals. Oxford ultimately placed 10th in the tournament, winning and losing an equal number of games Although this was not as good a result as had been hoped previously, it was a respectable showing as the squad sadly suffered a number of bad injuries in the lead-up to the event, resulting in some high-profile absentees.
The club has been well represented locally, with weekly trips to nearby events. Members have enjoyed success at various regional and national events.
Since the Nationals the main aims of the club have been to push on, securing regular training at Iffley, organising a formalised cuppers and establishing the long-elusive Varsity match. For the first time in recent history, the club now has a core of experienced players and, with a successful recruitment period during the 2016–17 season, will flourish in the future.
ORIENTEERING This year’s Varsity match was held in Sutton Park. The men excelled, with an individual victory for Jamie Parkinson and an Oxford podium lock-out. This sealed a ninth consecutive Varsity victory for the men. The women lost, but there were some strong individual performances that can hopefully be built on next year. BUCS held many successes for OUOC this year.
PISTOL OUPC has, once again, enjoyed a successful year on all fronts. Cuppers was a great success in Trinity 2015, with more than 60 non-experienced shooters competing across 20 colleges. The eventual winners were Jesus, although the competition was extremely tight. Our full-bore shooting, although less successful, is continuing to improve. Most notably, we won the McGivern Cup inter-university match at the 2015 Imperial meeting, preventing another clean sweep by Cambridge. Unfortunately, we lost the full-bore Varsity match, but the gap continues to narrow year upon year, leaving us in good stead for the future. In Michaelmas, nearly 200 individuals attended our try-out sessions; it’s safe to say that the interest in pistol shooting as a sport remains consistently high. Our training regime has continued to be very successful, culminating in the award of three new Half Blues at the 2016 small-bore Varsity match and an Extraordinary Full Blue for competing on the international stage. New members agree to a relatively high level of commitment to the club, giving them the best possible chance of reaching the high
standard required to shoot against Cambridge. We won all three small-bore matches against Cambridge, with our A team equalling the record score of 2166 out of 2400.
POLO OUPC had one of the most – if not the most – successful seasons in its history. Thanks to hard work by the committee, our membership has increased to over 60 active members, most of whom attend lessons on a weekly basis. Our squad consists of 12 players, with members trying out at the start of each season (winter and summer) and being selected by our Coach and Captain. This year we secured a major partnership with La Martina, one that has allowed the club to enter a new era – most obviously in allowing the purchase of new kit and equipment for our squad and those playing for Oxford in matches, but also in bringing about a significant improvement in our financial position, which will allow the club to further subsidise its activities, ensuring we can go into the future with more certainty than before and continue to work to make the club more accessible. La Martina’s partnership also brought with it a reinvigorated Varsity day. Without doubt, most notable on the day was our Varsity team’s historic 19–0 victory over Cambridge. Our team of George Pearson, Louis Maddison, Vere Harmsworth and Charlie Hitchman showcased the heaviest defeat of the Tabs in the Varsity match’s illustrious 138year history. This year polo is finally a Discretionary Full Blue sport, a real milestone in the club’s history, and fitting given our historic Varsity victory. Our first Discretionary Full Blue will be awarded to former Captain George Pearson, who was also awarded the Most Valuable Player prize this year and last by Guards Polo Club. The weekend of the Varsity day was also one of the busiest we have had in recent memory. Aside from hosting the Varsity day, this year the club relaunched the Atlantic Cup, between Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford, last played in 2009. Though three teams – Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge – all won two matches each, Harvard and Cambridge could not catch up to the enormous goal margin created by Oxford on the Friday and Saturday, leaving Oxford as victorious champions of the Atlantic Cup! Aside from these two major fixtures, OUPC fielded 18 Dark Blue teams in many fixtures over the year, both home and away, and across all divisions, from complete beginners to squad level. This year the club also held a Winter Varsity match for the first time in Oxbridge polo history. Socially, too, the club has been very active, with our social membership standing strong. Most notable was our white-tie ball at Blenheim Palace, which has now become an annual fixture
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in the OUPC calendar. This year the ball was sponsored by Wanda Group and over 280 people attended, from polo clubs across the country.
POOL AND SNOOKER This year has been another difficult one for the club. It began with the loss of a number of important players due to graduation but also three key members due to rustication. We started off with a promising Freshers’ Fair but a poor return at our freshers’ events at the start of term. We finished Michaelmas in 2nd (out of eight) in the newly established league behind a strong Exeter University team (who won pretty much everything available this year across pool and snooker). Michaelmas also saw New win the college league, fighting off the big names of Balliol, Brasenose and St Catherine’s. Hilary term saw us take part in Southern Universities’ Pool Tournament, where we were defending champions. The Firsts ended up 4th and the Seconds made it to the last 16 before both being knocked out by Exeter again. We then had the (somewhat familiar) occurrence of our home venue shutting down, which meant we had limited practice space before the Nationals. BUCS Pool saw the Firsts finish (disappointingly) 3rd in their group and then get knocked out of the Shield by Exeter Seconds. The Seconds made it to the quarter-finals of their event, a decent result. The women’s team put up another outstanding performance to pick up another bronze medal with a relatively inexperienced team. On the snooker side, we made it to the quarter-finals of the Midlands Cup but travelled to Leeds for the BUCS Nationals with a team of four debutants. Although we fought hard, one draw and three losses did not see us progress through the ‘group of death’. We moved into Trinity term in high spirits with cuppers finals and the Varsity match ahead of us. Strong performances in all three Varsity matches (men’s pool and snooker and women’s pool) saw us win two comfortably (56–34 and 24–12 in men’s pool and snooker respectively) and fall to a narrow 26–24 defeat in the women’s match. Brasenose beat St Catherine’s in the team cuppers final and James Palmer beat Sam Eardley in the pool singles final. As ever, the club fought through difficult times incredibly well due to the perseverance of a number of key individuals. We continue to struggle without a permanent, easily accessible and cheap practice venue, but there is no doubt we will continue to battle on through this with a strong incoming committee and a number of great players coming through the ranks.
POWERLIFTING OUPLC saw its best year ever and we intend to improve again!Membership increased again with 51 members now involved in the club, including local residents, staff members and Oxford
Brookes students. Socials were run consistently every week to ensure food and/or drinks were organised, allowing the members to meet each other and socialise outside the gym. OUPLC apparel was expanded and now includes ties from Walters and personalised singlets from Kitlocker. Discount and sponsorship deals were expanded to include SBD, MyProtein and Cane Osteopathy. The OUPLC website (www.ouplc. club) was redesigned and now includes records and past competitions. Significant money was spent on new equipment for the club members including Bench Blokz, Sling Shots, deadlift blocks, fractional plates, chains, and chalk for every member. The cuppers competition was hotly contested, with 11 teams and 25 athletes competing in the newly refurbished powerlifting room at Iffley. Wadham College won the team competition and Atamli-Ahmad Reineh was the best individual lifter. Atamli achieved the second-highest Wilks score in the club’s history with 413.56! The Varsity competition was fierce, with the standard on both sides increasing yet again. Unfortunately, Cambridge took the win (2503.5– 2279.2), bringing the overall score to 5–7 in favour of Cambridge. The women’s Blues standards were lowered to better reflect the standard of women’s powerlifting in Britain; the new standards are 300 Wilks points for a Half Blue and 340 Wilks points for a Full Blue. The men’s standards were unchanged at 340 and 375 Wilks points for a Half Blue and a Full Blue respectively. Overall, four Full Blues were awarded to the men and one to the women; six Half Blues were awarded to the men and three to the women. Morio Hamada and Jamie Vickers were the first undergraduates in the club’s history to be awarded a Full Blue. BUCS and the Varsity competition were combined this year and held at Cambridge. Notable achievements included Claire Sear, Katie Holder and Atamli earning silver overall in their respective weight categories. Matthew W. Noble and Atamli earned gold and silver in the bench press respectively and Atamli earned
gold in the deadlift, both competing in the 93kg category. The men’s team finished 4th overall and the women’s team finished 1st. The women’s team qualified for the inaugural World University Games and sent four lifters (Claire Sear, Lily Erskine, Lily Goodyer Sait and Zoe Clark) to Minsk in Belarus.
REAL TENNIS 2015–16 was a good year in terms of the number of students participating in real tennis, and as usual there was good interaction between students and senior members who enjoyed playing against each other. However, we recorded disappointing results in the Varsity contests against Cambridge, whose men’s and women’s squads were both stronger. The prospects for the coming year are good for both men’s and women’s teams. The Senior Club subsidises student tennis and is happy to continue doing so to encourage more students to play the game.
RIDING At the beginning of the year, the second Varsity Horse Race ran down the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. The squad of nine rode out at professional racing yards throughout the year, trained on mechanical horses with ex-jockey John Reid and undertook extensive strength and aerobic fitness training. Five riders from each of Oxford and Cambridge then went head to head in an event none of us will ever forget. The coming years will see the race go from strength to strength, becoming one to keep your eyes on. All five Oxford squad members were awarded Half Blues for their outstanding training efforts during the summer and performance on the day itself. We also had Firsts and Seconds competing in the BUCS league throughout Michaelmas term and Hilary term. The teams in the mini leagues had been changed for this year and the Firsts in particular faced tough competition in the form of strong teams from Reading, Bristol
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saw us suffer the heaviest Varsity loss on record, and while there was the potential to start the year on a negative note, every member of the team saw this year as an opportunity to right last year’s wrongs. This positive attitude was aided by a crop of talented new players, most notably Sid Bhushan, Tom Owen and Harry Hutchinson, who made valuable contributions to the team both on and off the court. Our season comprised the usual combination of weekly fixtures and a series of tournaments. Regarding matches, highlights included a resounding victory over the Executioners Fives Club at an away venue, and an incredibly wellfought match against St Paul’s School which we lost by a narrow margin (119–97). and Oxford Brookes. Nevertheless, Anna East managed to win the Oxford Brookes competition and Firsts Captain Katie Paul delivered a very strong performance in all matches, securing her the individual victory of the league. Katie thus qualified for the Regionals for the second year in a row and earned another Half Blue. In addition, Caroline Le Clerc and Sarah Waldman managed individual BUCS match wins. For the very first time this year we had Thirds competing in the Varsity contest, which was hosted by Oxford. With this new format we were hoping to better integrate less experienced riders into the club and allow them to experience the competitive side of riding. We had a fantastic day but unfortunately Cambridge took the wins in all three matches. We had difficulties financing training for the teams this year, and so hope to gather more funds for this purpose and to improve results with better-prepared teams next year. Our annual cuppers event had a lot of interest this year, especially because we integrated an optional showjumping course into the competition for the very first time, which made the event even more fun and enjoyable. Throughout the year, the club has again provided weekly lessons for OURC members with the help of Victoria Donnelly at Hall Place Equestrian Centre, and we had a variety of social events organised by Sally Schwartz, such as yoga sessions, dinners or crew dates.
RIFLE OURC began the year still in search of a new small-bore range. Shortly before term began, however, we secured the use of a range owned by Summer Fields School. We have continued to use this new range throughout the year, providing us with a solid base from which to train and develop our club. The procurement of a new range has evidently improved our abilities, as exemplified by our victory in the ladies’ small-bore Varsity contest, the Bentata (Oxford 725–717 Cambridge). Abi Howell topped OURC’s team with a score of 193,
earning herself a Half Blue in her first Varsity appearance. While we were not as successful in the mixed small-bore Varsity contest, the Heslop, we nevertheless put in a strong performance (Oxford 1462–1515 Cambridge). Our full-bore training camp over the Easter vacation was well attended as usual, and provided excellent training and practice for the Imperial meeting over the summer. During the meeting, Andy Brooker placed in the top 50 competitors in the Queen’s Prize, earning himself an X-rank in target rifle shooting. The Imperial meeting is also when our full-bore Varsity contests take place, with new recruits for OURC representing the University in both matches. Katherine Lightbown top-scored in the match rifle Varsity contest, the Humphry, with a score of 205.14v, earning a Half Blue in the process. Other new Half Blues included Peter Morrison and Chris Cockerill, neither of whom – like Katherine – had shot in the Humphry before. Despite these performances, though, Cambridge still managed to come out on top (Oxford 781.43v–858.79v Cambridge). Conditions for the target rifle Varsity contest were perfect, with little wind at all to speak of, leading to some truly outstanding scores on both sides, with Andy Brooker top-scoring for Oxford with a score of 146.16v. Furthermore, Sean Gordon and Tom Frame scored well enough to earn themselves Half Blues. Cambridge, however, put down some brilliant scores as well, and edged ahead of OURC by 48 points (Oxford 1118.81v–1166.128v Cambridge). OURC’s new relationship with Summer Fields School puts us in good stead for the coming year; it provides us with a great facility at which we can both recruit and train new shots, as well as develop our returning members. Our victory in the Bentata this year illustrates our potential, and we aim to both retain this title next year as well as add some more silverware to our cabinet.
RUGBY FIVES This year has been a successful season for the Oxford University Rugby Fives Club. Last year
The club put in an impressive performance at the BUSF universities’ tournament, with Captain Francis Thomas punching above his weight to knock out the 8th seed. However, we struggled to show the same conviction at other tournaments, and, although we were not helped by some extremely unfriendly draws, we sadly failed to progress to the later stages of subsequent tournaments. With that said, these tournaments proved invaluable in helping us to prepare for the Varsity match, which was held on 20 February. Levels of intensity at this year’s Varsity match were particularly high, and every spectator could tell that the hunger was real. The odds were stacked heavily against us, given that three of Cambridge’s top IV are ranked in the top ten in the UK, but that did not stop some fantastic performances from the Dark Blues. Notable performances came from our former Captain who managed to take seven points off his opposite number, and Bertie Mills and Will Yates, who were indefatigable in their doubles games. The final score was a 284–120 loss for Oxford, which, although a vast improvement on last year, caused inevitable disappointment. With that said, we are extremely proud of the spirit displayed by the team, and I received numerous messages from spectators and patrons of the sport praising that spirit. This year was also a historic Varsity in that that there was an Oxford vs Cambridge women’s IV fighting it out alongside the men, making it the biggest Varsity to date. Although we suffered another loss here, Louisa Hotson was able to put all of her opponents to shame. We look forward to continuing and expanding this tradition of the ladies’ Varsity match. The Player of the Season award goes to Will Yates for his constant improvement and tireless commitment to the club.
RUGBY LEAGUE With a strong recruitment drive and pre-season camp to start the year, the 2015–16 season looked promising for OURLFC. With a large squad and some good performances in pre-season friendlies, both the Blues (the Firsts) and Maroons
(the Seconds) were confident going into their respective BUCS leagues. The Blues were entered into the Midlands 1A division with high hopes of gaining promotion back into Premier South given the number of returners in the squad. Similarly, the Maroons were set to take on a strong Midlands 2B division, featuring local rivals Brookes Bulls. Both teams made strong starts to their leagues, winning their first six competitive games of the calendar and setting the tone early for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, the Blues could not capitalise on this start and lost two games leading up to the vacation, going into Christmas 4/6 and 3rd in the league. In contrast, the mighty Maroons continued taking apart every team put in front of them and were 5/5 and sitting pretty at the top of the table at the end of Michaelmas term. By the time Hilary rolled around, the lads had already completed a heavy fitness plan and were ready to take on another term of rugby. The Blues proceeded to go on a seven-game unbeaten streak, which included a fixture against league leaders Nottingham and a huge 106–0 victory over 2nd-place Coventry. When the league came to a close, the Blues sat 2nd with a 6–1–3 record, while the Maroons continued their fine form, comfortably winning Midlands 2B and confident in their chances with the following BUCS Cup campaign. The Blues were then unlucky to be put out of the BUCS Cup by a controversial coin toss after a cracking 24–24 draw against York St Johns. However, they made amends with a win in the Town vs Gown match against Oxford RL,
and followed it up by beating a strong Oxford Brookes side in a pre-Varsity bash and claiming a comfortable 72–0 win in the 2016 Pcubed Varsity match. Overall, a great season has been had and all returners are excited for next year.
RUGBY UNION The men’s Blues created yet another piece of history at Twickenham in December 2015 when they won a sixth consecutive Varsity match 12–6 in a very tense encounter, and in the process narrowed the overall gap to just two behind Cambridge in the 134 matches played to date. This was the first time either side had won six in a row, so the club is rightly proud of that achievement! In the other men’s Varsity matches, the Greyhounds produced a strong performance to defeat the LX Club 50–5 at Iffley Road and the Under 20s also won in style 27–3. Unfortunately, the Whippets (the Thirds) did not get to play a Varsity match as Cambridge were unable to raise a side. The Colleges XV also beat their respective Cambridge opposition 54–5 at Grange Road, ensuring a clean sweep of victories in the men’s matches. The big news of 2015 was the decision to take the women’s Varsity match to Twickenham in December, to replace the U21s match as the curtain raiser to the men’s Varsity match. In a year when the women’s Boat Race successfully took to the Tideway and a year after the England women’s team lifted the Rugby World Cup, this was another huge step forwards for women’s sport and a big statement for sporting equality
by Oxford University. Alongside this move was the decision of the women’s club to merge with OURFC to create one club, which further helped to raise the profile and standard of women’s rugby across the University, and the two sections are now working hard on the integration process. Once again, the OURFC men’s coaching team did an outstanding job in not only preparing the players for their respective Varsity matches but also looking to the future development of each individual. Fortunately, James Wade will be continuing to head up the coaching structure in 2016–17. For the women’s teams, the positive news for 2015–16 was the appointment of successful former England women’s coach Gary Street to head up their coaching team; he was assisted by Ali Mortimore and both will continue into the 2016–17 season. Ian Williams and George Cullen have signed with Championship clubs Rotherham and London Scottish respectively, while Matt Janney has joined the Georgian Sevens squad for the summer European series.
SHORINJO KEMPO This year has been a relative success. Freshers’ Fair went well with a reasonable number of new starters becoming regulars. That being said, not many of our beginners or middle graders are consistent in their appearances, but we nevertheless always have enough attendees to ensure a good session. Representatives of the club have attended several seminars this year, mostly in the UK but also in Germany, Poland and Sweden.
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University Ski Championships, with notable performances from Helena Pickford (9th in slalom) and Joshua Deru, incoming Captain, 11th. The contest also served as their Varsity match; the team impressed with a variety of tricks and won overall. The freestyle team also had an eventful year, with a notable appearance on BBC’s The One Show.
SQUASH 2015–16 was one of the most successful seasons for OUSRC, certainly in recent history. After narrowly missing out on promotion to BUCS Premier for a number of years, the men’s Blues stormed their league. Four returning Blues were boosted by PSA player Phil Nightingale and the team won all ten league matches and their playoff with Sheffield, only dropping three of 55 strings in the process. The women’s Blues had another solid season, finishing 2nd in BUCS 1A and losing a close promotion play-off with Birmingham.
We have had more successful gradings this year than previously, with at least half of the members advancing. Particularly worth mentioning is that one of our long-standing members achieved her black belt in Trinity. We are planning to host an international seminar next year as well as an event in conjunction with the charity Branch Up.
SKI AND SNOWBOARD In early September, the season started with the annual summer training camp in Hintertux in Austria. The club had the privilege of being trained by Chemmy Alcott, GB’s ex-number one skier and three-time Olympian, who implemented a rigorous training programme with full-day gate training, fitness and video feedback. The freestyle team were able to join us for the trip, making use of the freestyle park in Hintertux and the softer summer snow to land new tricks. As ever, the racers trained on slalom gates and the freestylers on rail grinds and airs at the indoor snow domes throughout Michaelmas term. Thanks to a new sponsor, the first in over four years, OUSSC was able to fund and implement a new fitness programme, working on leg and core strength and overall fitness, as well as buy muchneeded equipment such as a wax and edge kit. Thanks to unexpectedly good snow conditions, the Varsity match was able to take place on the Stade, the main race piste in Val Thorens. Here the team trained intensively for three days on and off snow prior to the main trip’s arrival. The men’s Firsts entered with an almost full team from last year and won with an aggregate time difference of 24 seconds, with newcomer Joshua Deru winning GS and overall best performance. The men’s Seconds were similarly strong, with Thomas Ash putting in a notable GS performance
to come 3rd. Unfortunately, an unusual course layout in slalom led to two disqualifications and a third team member fell, meaning that despite their similarly huge time advantage, they lost by Disqualification. The men’s Thirds weren’t as unlucky and won. Sadly, women’s Captain Helena Pickford broke her leg two days before the Varsity match; this was a big factor in the women’s Firsts’ defeat to Cambridge, whose two best skiers carried the bulk of the team. However, this meant that our women’s Seconds were very strong and overcame Cambridge without too many difficulties. The women’s Thirds won by forfeit as Cambridge were unable to provide a team. Similarly good results came from the British
The 85th Varsity match was held at the RAC, with both teams entering full of confidence from their league performances. The men were looking to build on last year’s 3–2 victory, while the women wanted to bring back the trophy at the first time of asking. In the event, Oxford pulled off a remarkable Varsity result: both men’s and women’s Blues defeated their Cambridge counterparts 5–0, a first in Varsity history. The club bids farewell to women’s Captain Emily Peach, former men’s Captain Owen Riddall and Club President Andrew Lindsay; all three have been with the club since matriculating in 2012. Squad depth was demonstrated by 5–0 victories for the women’s Seconds (the Ferrets) and Thirds in their Varsity matches. The Ferrets featured a number of freshers, which bodes well for the future. The team also won the BUCS Conference Cup, while coming 2nd in Division 2A. The men’s Seconds (the Squirrels) lost their Varsity match 1–4, but the Thirds won 5–0. The Squirrels, led again admirably by Jon Andvig, finished 3rd in Division 2A.
The teams are thankful for the high-quality coaching provided by Ben Rosec, as well as President Andrew Lindsay, who coached the Ferrets. The club is grateful for the strength and conditioning sessions delivered by Mark Webster. Friendly fixtures with the Jesters, the Escorts and RAC have become a norm to test the players, while additional matches were arranged with Chesham Bois and Kenilworth, with the latter fielding top world-ranked opponents. Membership has remained strong with over 90 full members, a thriving ladder and box league competition. The club again provided the ‘Big Hit’ scheme to offer professional coaching for beginners, while the Blues continue to offer weekly coaching to recreational players. The club is also thankful to the Sports Federatino for their continuous support and Iffley for the refurbishment of the courts, which no doubt contributed to team success. We look forward to building on the recent years’ progress into the 2016–17 season.
SUL KI DO It has been a successful year of training for OU Sul Ki Do. Cyrille Thinnes has achieved the rank of 1st Dan black belt, gaining his first instructor-level qualification, which enables him to be recognised as an instructor within Oxford Sul Ki Do. Instructor seminars continue to be held in London, attended by instructors and senior students (red belt and above). They are run by master black belts and provide intensive and focused training, with the aim of strengthening the quality and consistency of teaching within the martial art.
SURF The 2015–16 season has been a great one for the Surf Club. We’ve nearly doubled our membership and increased our efforts to
reach across all areas of the University from undergraduate freshers to graduates. On our recent Morocco trip, we had an age range of 18–26 and it was a great group. We kicked off the year with a successful BUCS weekend down in Newquay, where two of our surfers earned places in the second round. Unfortunately, the swell died after that and the subsequent rounds were cancelled, but it was still a fun weekend with like-minded surfers. We followed up with a great weekend down in Newquay, taking 21 people down at the end of 4th Week for some killer waves. The biggest trip of the year took place at the end of Hilary, when we went to Morocco for a week of sun, surf and culture. Last year was the first time this had been attempted and we took nine people; this year the trip was oversubscribed and we ended up taking 21! It was a good week with surfers of a range of abilities but a strong sense of camaraderie. We’ve also had some fun socials this year, cementing a strong following of surfers across
disciplines, years and abilities. We look forward to building on all of the successes of this year!
SWIMMING It has been another fast year in the pool for OUSC, with a strong intake of freshers replacing the old guard and adding new depth. Matt Courtis and Holly Winfield took the helm as Captains, picking up from the legacy left by Xander AlariWilliams and Rachel Andvig and adding their own twist. We were sad to see ex-swimmer and coach Rebecca ‘Chay’ Bushell go, but we came under the masterful eye of Graeme Spence, with great experience in Varsity meets, having swum for Cambridge some years ago. We are very grateful to each of Matt, Holly and Graeme; they have given themselves over to the OUSC cause, and our results to date (and today as well) are testament to this. The racing year began with the annual Oxford Friendly Gala, in which we hosted Nottingham, LUST, Southampton and Warwick at the Rosenblatt Pool. The meet witnessed some
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outstanding early-season swimming from OUSC, with a win on points and a dominant showing in the post-meet social. Next up were the BUCS Short Course Championships, which saw a number of finals berths for our men’s and women’s teams. Old salt Kouji Urata represented OUSC in the 200m fly final, while the women came 5th and 6th in the 4x50m medley and freestyle relay B finals respectively. The new year started in Torremolinos, with one of the most gruelling training camp regimes for years. Swim, eat, swim, sleep was the order of the day. Onwards to 3rd Week, Oxford hosted the inaugural ‘local Varsity’ against the Brookes swimming team. There were Blues times aplenty as swimmers vied for a spot on the Varsity team. We lost the Varsity match in a close result, 89–91. The win was still up for grabs in the last leg of the last relay but Oxford didn’t quite get there. Many long-time supporters of the Varsity match commented that it was the most exciting they’d ever seen. Special mention must go to Kouji Urata, this year being his eighth and final Varsity match for Oxford. He has made a remarkable contribution to the results and spirit of the club. The Biennial Varsity Channel Swim took place early in the summer, with Oxford’s team completing the crossing in an impressive 8h54 to Cambridge’s 9h28. Ex-Captain and President Naomi Vides became the first Oxford female swimmer to have competed twice in the event.
TABLE TENNIS OUTTC has had an extremely successful year, attracting new players ranging from total beginners to highly experienced competitors. We have continued to grow the college table tennis league we founded last year, and participation in cuppers has remained strong. The standard of the men’s squad rose dramatically this year with the arrival of a number of top players, such that a series of extremely competitive Varsity trials were required to select the final eight. The men’s Seconds lost 1–9 to Cambridge, but the Firsts ended Cambridge’s 12-year winning streak with a gritty and hardfought 5–5 draw, coming within a few points of victory. However, the highlight of the season was the men’s team winning the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup, with strong performances from Michael Hahn, Jens Pushhof and Sai Ma throughout the campaign. The women’s team also enjoyed a good season, recovering from a Varsity loss to a very strong Cambridge side to finish runners-up in their BUCS Midlands Conference Cup. The women also recorded an outstanding 12–0 win in the traditional Town vs Gown match earlier in the season. We have improved the facilities again this year with the purchase of a new table and court surrounds, largely thanks to a generous legacy from the late Mr Christopher Kirk Greene, for
which we are very grateful. The club remains in a very strong financial position and we look forward to improving Oxford University table tennis again, ready for another successful year in 2016–17.
TAI CHI This year has been a very interesting one for the Tai Chi Club, with our dedicated members making a great deal of progress. To improve our skills, those of us with the time available this year entered the national tai chi competition. Jen Handsell won a silver medal in the women’s moving-step push hands, and Andrew Sheard won gold in the men’s open-weight moving-step pushing hands. The experience was not only fun but informative for all – we all left knowing new areas of our technique to work on.
TAI KWAN DO 2015–16 has been a successful year for OUTKD. With many previous members leaving, we had a strong showing at Freshers’ Fair and welcomed many new members to our club, both beginners and experts. Our hard-working committee organised many enjoyable social events throughout the year, helping to build a strong sense of club community.
We had many competition successes throughout the year, including at the UK and English Opens, both of which saw us take home six medals. There were also many successful grade promotions and members attending training seminars throughout the year and at all levels. Our annual training camp was held in Oxford at the beginning of Hilary. This was well attended and involved two days of targeted sparring training to build up to the Varsity competition. The next two months saw an impressive effort by our members at the extra sparring sessions held for Varsity preparation. This strong preparation served us well for our home Varsity match against the Cambridge team. Oxford convincingly dominated the Varsity competition, winning both A team sparring categories with some very impressive fights. Oxford won the men’s B category by default as Cambridge were unable to field a team. We thus retain the overall shield and extend our Varsity winning streak to nine years.
TRAMPOLINING OUTC has had a successful year, sending a large number of its members to a variety of competitions. Alongside Varsity and BUCS competitions, the club has continued to be involved in the Southern Universities’ Trampoline League. Bristol’s competition in particular had a high OUTC turnout, and here Phoebe Barnett
triumphed in the SUTL 2 section. The British University Championships in Sheffield had a lower turnout than usual from us; however, those who did attend competed at advanced levels, achieving personal bests and high results. Emily Annand reached the finals of the BUCS 2 competition; her achievements in BUCS and Varsity competitions this year moved her up from Half Blue to Full Blue status! Many members have acquired judging and coaching qualifications this year, with Verena Schenzinger and Corinna Joerres going on to complete Level 2 coaching courses this summer. Our Varsity competition this year was held in Cambridge. There was a wonderful atmosphere and, though we had to hand back the trophy, we were extremely pleased with the day’s achievements. A mixed-uni ‘Russian Roulette Synchro Competition’ added to the fun, with our President Verena Schenzinger and her Cambridge partner achieving 2nd. Particular congratulations go to Hannah Glover, Benjamin Rudling and Edward Carroll, new members who had never competed before but who all did us proud. Phoebe Barnett narrowly missed out on 1st, and there were multiple personal bests, making it a very successful day for OUTC.
TRIATHLON 2015–16 was a fantastic year for OUTriC. Our increasingly popular annual Novice Aquathlon in October saw plenty of new members join the club. As well as building on our double Varsity victory from last year, we were also particularly keen to increase levels of novice participation in our races. With a few setbacks in the duathlon season, including defeat to Cambridge in March’s Varsity duathlon, motivation for Trinity was at an all-time high. It couldn’t have started much better, with our women’s Blues achieving an exceptional 3rd-place team finish at BUCS Sprint. The men were 13th in a field stacked with quality. The Varsity match was perhaps the most successful ever in the history of OUTriC; our Blues teams dominated, and the depth in our squad was
enough to see us win 5–1 overall, only narrowly losing out on the clean sweep as Cambridge won the women’s mob. On the men’s side, having 16 of the first 19 overall finishers was testament to our hard work over the year. The BUCS Olympic was the final race of the year, and a 4th-place team finish for the men was a great way to round off an incredible year. The most pleasing aspect of these results has to be the number of novices who contributed to such fantastic performances – an excellent reflection on the hard work put in by everyone at the club this year.
ULTIMATE FRISBEE It has been a successful year for OW! both in terms of results and recruitment. We’ve retained or bettered our standings in all but two tournaments and remain one of the highestachieving university ultimate teams in the UK. ‘Spirit of the Game’ is one of the core values in our sport, and our club is recognised as one of the most spirited in the country, winning five of these trophies this year. This is credit to the sportsmanship of our players and especially of those who lead us. OW! was able to send a record number of teams to the regional tournaments this year and the indoor season started strongly, with regional titles for the mixed and women’s teams, and the men only narrowly missing out in a sudden-death final. Our teams went on to place 3rd, 13th and 4th in the mixed, men’s and women’s national competitions respectively. The annual Varsity games took place in February. Iffley played host to the four indoor matches in the morning; Cambridge were victorious in all but the men’s Firsts match. The more important, title-deciding outdoor matches took place in the afternoon at the Marston Road fields, where cold and gusty conditions meant that both sides needed to use their heads as well as their hands to win; fortunately, IQ was something neither team lacked. There were brilliant plays from both sides which made for a very exciting afternoon and for the first time in history, we simultaneously won both the men’s and women’s titles! Unfortunately, the transition of the men’s outdoor division to BUCS weekly matches did not work in our favour; our inability to field our strongest team each week resulted in some unfortunate losses and we finished 5th in our division. The women were crowned regional champions again but it was a fiercely fought series of matches that only go to show the rising standard n women’s ultimate in the UK. For the mixed division there are no outdoor Regionals so the tournament is run in a Swiss
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draw format. This meant that OW! had the opportunity to play teams from corners of the country that they had not encountered before and it was a great weekend to learn different strategies and also to build new connections with the other gender. We had some strong wins but also a couple of frustrating losses and finished 7th in a tournament of 32. The men triumphed at the outdoor Nationals, winning all of their games and taking home the Division 2 BUCS Trophy Prize. Interesting seeding resulted in a very tough pool for the women but they held their ground to finish 9th. OW! has really grown this year and there are many new talents whom we are very excited to develop as ultimate athletes.
UNDERWATER EXPLORATION The club has had a very successful year, with membership continuing to increase. The season began with our annual Easter training trip down to Cornwall, with some fantastic diving conditions. Following that, we dived in the shark tank at Chester Aquarium and then had more conventional trips to north Cornwall, St Abbs, the Farne Islands and Pembrokeshire, among other places. At Christmas, the club went to Thailand, the furthest it’s ever been. We also did much diving around Plymouth, where our beautiful boat Seahorse is kept. Our longstanding partnership with marine archaeology charity ProMare, who greatly helped with maintaining the boat, came to an end this year. We had around eight people do their Ocean Diver and Sports Diver courses this year. We’ve offered a wide range of advanced training courses. For already qualified divers used to warmer climes, we now run drysuit courses, which have proven to be very popular. Members have also attended marine archaeology courses and some looking to dive a bit deeper have taken accelerated decompression courses. Furthermore, two members have qualified as diver coxswains, and many more have begun boat-handling training. Members have also begun
and continued their instructor training in order to help train future divers! We purchased four new drysuits for the club, which – along with generous donations of drysuits from former members – will enable us to rent out suits to new members, something we’ve never previously been able to do. We look forward to another year of diving, with trips already in the calendar to places ranging from Brighton to Penzance, Scotland to Egypt.
VOLLEYBALL This has been a very successful year for OUVC. The men’s Firsts finished 1st in the BUCS Midlands 1A division by winning all of their league matches. They also repeated this achievement by winning the BUCS Trophy unbeaten. By keeping a strong core from the previous years and recruiting some exceptional players, the men’s Blues had one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history. The season culminated by achieving 3rd nationally in the Volleyball England Student Cup. The women’s Firsts had a successful season as well. The team finished 4th in the BUCS Premier South division and qualified for the BUCS finals, where they finished 7th nationally. Taking into account the fact that the women’s team consisted of several new recruits adds an additional weight to this achievement. The women’s Firsts also performed well in the Volleyball England Student Cup, finishing 8th nationally. OUVC’s Seconds teams are competing in the local Berkshire Volleyball Association (BVA) League. Both men’s and women’s teams retain a core of enthusiastic and committed players. M2 finished 2nd in Division 2 and were fighting for promotion, but they narrowly lost the knock-out match. W1 were competing in Division 1 among some very experienced teams and finished 6th, so they were sadly relegated. The Varsity match has been an astounding success for OUVC. This year, both men’s and women’s Blues teams won their games for the
second year in a row, recording decisive 3–1 and 3–0 victories respectively. The men’s Seconds also put on a strong performance by winning 3–1, but the women’s Seconds had a difficult time and lost 0–3. In addition to the student teams, OUVC also participates in the National Volleyball League (NVL). After some initial trouble, the men had a good season and finished 3rd in Division 3. The women’s NVL team, on the other hand, had an exceptional season, finishing 2nd in Division 1, and were even fighting for promotion into the top division, but sadly the knock-out match did not go their way. Overall, the NVL provides a great platform for students to play against experienced teams and improve their volleyball skills.
WALKING 2015–16 has been a successful one for the Oxford University Walking Club. We organise five to seven hiking trips every term in addition to local walks around Oxford every weekend during term. Our membership numbers are very high and we see a comparatively large fluctuation in members as we attract many visiting students and also nonstudents. We also provide our own first aid and orientation training and provide subsidies for mountain skills training courses. We organise two to three social events every term (such as ceilidhs, a Christmas dinner or punting) that are also very attractive for prospective new members.
WATER POLO It has been another successful year for OUWPC, with several exciting events that made the 2015–16 season one to remember – from our women’s team working with the Victoria Pendelton Active Girls Camp in June, to hosting the 125th Varsity match in February. From the beginning of the season, the signs were promising. Our cuppers event in Trinity attracted eight teams and almost 100 participants, bringing fresh faces eager to step into the shoes of our
many leaving finalists. Michaelmas brought with it talented players – including some internationals – as well as a new co-coach for the women’s side, Tim Whitwham, who has worked with the GB teams. The impact of this was quickly felt, with all three teams achieving strong results. 2015 saw our men’s Seconds team entered into the BUCS league for the first time in the club’s history. Although this involved throwing many new players in the deep end (quite literally), they challenged other universities’ Firsts, securing 7th in the league and a second-round trophy finish. Our women’s team finished 3rd in the Midlands in BUCS, behind strong teams from Warwick and Nottingham. They also came 3rd in UPolo, where many Oxford players were among the league’s top scorers. The men’s Firsts competed in BUCS Premier South and – following a run of five back-to-back home victories at the season’s end – travelled to the semifinals in March, where they came 4th in their group. Building on a successful training camp in 0th Week of Hilary, all three teams approached the Varsity matches in fit, fighting shape. Several last-minute injuries left our Seconds without a full bench, but they held Cambridge to the end, barely losing out 11–10. Our women suffered a similarly close defeat, 7–6, in a game that could have gone either way. Our men’s Firsts, however, closed out the event by beating Cambridge 10–7, echoing the Oxford victory in the inaugural match of 1891, and securing a Varsity win for the first time in six years.
The day itself was a huge success, with incredible support from friends, family and alumni. The 2015–16 results only hint at the development and growth within the club that will undoubtedly come to fruition in the near future. With an enthusiastic squad and incoming committee, and our coaches returning next year, we are confident that OUWPC will continue to flourish.
WINDSURFING We started this year with a successful beginners’ day at Farmoor Reservoir. It was a good introduction to windsurfing, with six members attending and some impressive improvements made. In November, three members of the club attended Aussie Kiss in Cornwall, organised by the Student Windsurfing Association. It was a really windy weekend and a great time was had by all. In the run-up to our Varsity race, we ran a training session in Hilary, getting some good preparation in. The Varsity race took place this year at Grafham Water (Cambridge), where six OUWC members competed. In really difficult conditions, both the Firsts and Seconds were beaten by Cambridge. The club then went to windsurf in Fuerteventura with Cambridge University Windsurfing Club. Four members went for a week in March 2015 and honed skills on the waist-deep lagoon, with advanced sailors tackling the open water. Although
the wind didn’t want to play ball, the beginners made good progress and the advanced had a chance to develop their skills. This trip was organised together with CUWC, and with two great instructors from Get Windsurfing, the eighth year that we have been with them. We ended our year with another beginners’ day. This was very popular, as the weather was warmer, and so it was a great chance for us to get lots of people out and enjoying windsurfing. Throughout the year, active members of the club have continued to use the club kit and facilities at Farmoor in their own time, having some really good and windy outings.
YACHTING 2015–16 has been a year of exciting new opportunities for OUYC. In July 2015, we were the only university taking part in the Royal Yacht Squadron’s bicentenary celebrations, competing in the team racing event against teams from prestigious yacht clubs across Europe and the USA. In August, the dinghy side finished their season with a firstever victory against the Squadron in their annual match. The yachting side ran a very successful summer offshore campaign onboard Talisman. This culminated in the club’s first-ever Fastnet race, coming 72nd in class, a great achievement. Following on from their best-ever result at the 2015 BUCS Yachting Championships, the club rode the wave of momentum all the way to the Student Yachting World Cup in France and secured a fantastic 7th. Despite some tricky training conditions over the winter, both sides were determined not to let the poor weather dampen their spirits. The dinghy Firsts took part in a one-day event at Bough Beech in early November, competing against some of the very best alumni teams in the country and ending up mid-table. This set the tone for the rest of their season, which included winning their BUCS qualifier comfortably and coming 4th (of 17) at the Cambridge Cup and 5th (of 8) at the Oxford Invitational Trophy. Unfortunately, a lack of experience meant they couldn’t maintain this standard over the three days of the BUCS team racing finals. The yachting side’s hard training really came to fruition with a decisive victory over Cambridge in their Varsity match in March, beating them in seven of nine races in the series and ending the Tabs’ threeyear winning streak. In the unusually light conditions at the BUCS Yachting Championships, however, they struggled and only managed 16th. The team racing Varsity matches took place at the Royal Southern Yacht Club in June, and while the mixed team struggled against the BUCS-winning Cambridge team, the women took the fight to the Tabs but eventually lost 4–3 to a more experienced team. Not to be disheartened by this, a joint dinghy– yachting J/80 crew put in an incredible performance to come 3rd at the Women’s Open Keelboat Championship, beating a number of world-famous professional sailors in the process.
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COME AND SUPPORT OUR BLUES TO VARSITY VICTORY!
For the latest details please go to www.sport.ox.ac.uk to see an up-to-date list of fixtures and results!
IMPORTANT DATES 2016–17 DECEMBER 2016
7–13/11/2016 This Girl Can Week, Oxford 3/12/2016 Cross Country Varsity Match, Wimbledon Common 8/12/2016 The Varsity Match, Twickenham Stadium, Rugby Union (OURFC)
17–19/02/2017 BUCS Nationals, Sheffield 18/02/2017 Squash Blues Varsity, RAC 26/02/2017 The 133rd Football Varsity Match, Kassam Stadium, Oxford
MARCH 2017 1–4/03/2017 3/03/2017 8/03/2017 10/03/2017 22/03/2017
APRIL 2017 2/04/2017
MAY 2017 www.sport.ox.ac.uk
Torpids Regatta, Oxford The Pcubed Rugby League Varsity Match, the Honourable Artillery Company Neptune Teddy Hall Relays, Roger Bannister Running Track The 110th Boxing Varsity Match, Cambridge Corn Exchange BUCS Big Wednesday, University of Bath The Cancer Research UK Boat Races, the Tideway Athletics Varsity, Cambridge