ANNUAL SPORTS REVIEW 2007 Sponsored by Vincent’s Club RUGBY UNION
RUGBY – WOMEN’S OUWRFC’s season started in September 2006 with a pre-season tour in Oxford. Although not the most glamorous of locations, a fun and productive week was had laying the groundwork for the coming season. In January, OUWRFC embarked on its midseason tour to Galway, Ireland for ﬁve days. Conditions and facilities allowed excellent training, and the week culminated in a convincing win over Galway WRFC, just what the team needed to kick-start preparations for the Varsity match after a slow start to the season OUWRFC had a very successful league season, with the Blues gaining a comfortable 35–7 victory over Cambridge and also ﬁnishing eighth overall in the BUSA league. OUWRFC is looking forward to an equally successful 2007/08 season.
Liz Lennox on the attack for Oxford en route to Varsity victory
The club enjoyed a successful season overall, winning three out of the ﬁve Varsity matches in December/December 2006. Unfortunately, the Blues failed to win in the showpiece game at Twickenham. The Greyhounds had a tough season in BUSA Premier South A and were relegated to South B for the forthcoming season. The under-20s failed to reach the quarter-ﬁnals of the National under-20s competition after their success the year before, winning one out of their three matches. Former Australian International World Cup Winner (86 caps), Joe Roff (Harris Manchester), was elected captain in February 2007. He and the players have been working hard on their strength and conditioning since April, in their quest to win the Lehman Brothers Varsity Match at Twickenham on Thursday 6 December: kick-off will be at 4.00 pm.
Oxford’s cricketers celebrate a wicket
CRICKET – MEN’S The 2006/07 season’s results have been a mixture across the board for Oxford cricket. The Oxford Universities Centre of Cricketing Excellence (UCCE) has produced a number of promising results coupled with some disappointing performances. The side ﬁnished fourth in the inter-UCCE competition and failed to regain the momentum from last year’s victorious ﬁnish, when they won the UCCE competition and the UCCE one-day ﬁnal. There were a number of good performances from individuals and a majority of the team will be continuing their studies, which will increase expectation for next season. The UCCE side started their campaign in early April and played several strong county sides. Against Warwickshire 2nd XI the UCCE team was set a high target of 370. Oxford did not fare too well with the bat though and Warwickshire took a comfortable ﬁrst innings win. The arrival of Middlesex saw them notch a large ﬁrst innings score, with Oxford ﬁnding wickets hard to come by. Pete Wilshaw (Brookes) scored a creditable 38 but the side lost their last seven wickets for 50 runs and this gave Middlesex a comfortable victory. Glamorgan were the next 1st Class visitors and the highlight of this ﬁxture was the partnership between opener Hooper (79) and Bradshaw (96). Glamorgan then scored a high total and the early order Oxford batsmen started a promising second innings only to lose the last ﬁve wickets for 22 runs, leaving the opposition to win by a large margin. Leicestershire were the third and ﬁnal 1st Class visitors to the University Parks, but despite a
solid 64 by Tarique Kalam (Brookes), who batted as night-watchman, Leicestershire scored an easy win by an innings. In the UCCE championship funded by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Oxford had a difﬁcult season. Scoring a good victory over Leeds/Bradford, the side then lost to Durham and had matches abandoned against Loughborough, Cardiff and Cambridge. This meant that Oxford ﬁnished fourth in the UCCE Championship table. The 1st Class Varsity match saw Oxford University Men’s Blues set out to add to their four successive victories, but the side was thwarted, not by Cambridge but by the repeated lengthy periods of rain. Batting ﬁrst in difﬁcult conditions, Oxford posted a modest ﬁrst innings total of 189. Thomas Howell (New), scoring his maiden 1st Class half-century on his debut, posted a score of 82. Cambridge then scored 258 all out and this seemed to give Oxford renewed impetus, with Oliver Sadler (Oriel) and Alex Ball (St Catherines) featuring in an unbroken secondwicket partnership of 113. Unfortunately, the heavens then opened again and after several lengthy breaks for rain the Varsity match ended in a draw. In the one-day Varsity match, held at Lord’s, Oxford ended the season on a winning note. Cambridge lost the toss and were put into bat ﬁrst. After being 70 for seven wickets at the halfway stage of their innings, Cambridge recovered to post 135 all out, with all Oxford bowlers performing well. In reply, Oxford also struggled and the match was evenly
Women’s cricket captain Beth Wild accepts the cricket Varsity trophy in the Long Room at Lord’s
poised halfway with Oxford’s score at 66 for four wickets. Nevertheless Spencer Crawley (Exeter), with 40 in 41 balls and Ball 40 not out, guided Oxford safely home to victory, with ten overs to spare and now lead Cambridge 7–4 matches in the one-day Varsity matches. Sadler capped an excellent season by topping both the Blues batting and bowling averages and has been elected as next year’s Blues captain. CRICKET – WOMEN’S Building on the foundations laid during the Sports Federation Team of the Year awardwinning 2006 season, OUWCC has been able to make further progress – both in the development of women’s cricket at Oxford, and with respect to results. Winter and summer training have been well attended, which has increased competition for places, and subsequently improved playing standards all round. For the second consecutive year the club has reached the BUSA ﬁnal, against Loughborough. After a brilliant bowling performance, when Loughborough were dismissed for 170, the batting reply unfortunately did not rise to the occasion. However, it is widely apparent that the talent exists within the club to create a real challenge in next season’s ﬁnal. Finally, at this years Varsity clash at Lord’s, OUWCC convincingly won for the ﬁfth consecutive year, this time by nine wickets, and with notable individual performances from Yvann Young, who took 6 for 18, and Beth Wild, who scored a quick-ﬁre 50 not out. LIGHTWEIGHT ROWING – MEN’S Michaelmas saw a disrupted start to the year for OULRC. With the departure of head coach Andy Nelder, the start of training was delayed by two weeks while a permanent replacement was sought and short-term arrangements were made. The absence of a permanent coach meant that the heavy responsibility of managing the squad and on-the-water coaching fell largely on the shoulders of President James Stanier, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude. After Pete Bannister took the helm as temporary coach, the squad recorded solid scores at the British Indoor Rowing Championships, taking eight of the top ten places in the BUSA lightweight category. Michael Smets earned a bronze medal and Andrew Rogers took home a gold. After Karl Reid had taken
over as head coach, attention was focused on selecting squads and getting all-important racing practice done, despite persistent inclement weather at home. Unfortunately, these conditions would prove to be a recurrent factor throughout the season. The HORR race was cancelled after several boats were swamped. It also appeared as if the Henley boat races would be put in jeopardy. However, it turned out to be the conditions that were the making of the Blue Boat. While Cambridge decided to stay away from the rougher water at Henley, the Blue Boat was braving the worst the Thames could throw at them. Come 1 April, the Blue Boat was ready for anything that Cambridge or the conditions could muster. After Nephthys had rowed over to claim the reserve boat race crown, the Blue Boat defeated Cambridge by a length over the shortened 1400-metre course. After six victories in a row and a rather stressful season, OULRC is looking forward to the 2007/08 season and the defence of their winning run. LIGHTWEIGHT ROWING – WOMEN’S In races this year OULWRC achieved a variety of successes, culminating in a well-deserved Varsity victory. Among these, Sarah Cornick and Tamara Simmons went on from winning gold in Lightweight Pairs at BUSA to compete at the European University Championships in the British Universities Squad. The same pair also secured a bronze medal in the Openweight pairs at Gent International Regatta. Last June, OUWLRC joined forces with OUWBC to win the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Cup, at Henley Women’s Regatta. Another composite crew from the two clubs won a silver medal at National Championships in Strathclyde, to ﬁnish the season on a high. The top scullers from OUWLRC and OUWBC joined forces in December at the Pairs Head to win Senior Four Doubles, another ﬁrst for the club. At the Fours Head in December, OUWLRC met Cambridge for the ﬁrst time in the 2006/07 season and appeared to be a nose ahead, narrowly missing out on the Senior Three University pennant. The OUWLRC Blue Boat trained hard in the remaining weeks before the Boat Race, which paid off, resulting in a length’s victory against Cambridge in the race that counts. Linda Reynard and Alice Millest from the Blue Boat won a silver medal as a pair in BUSA, missing out on the gold by less than a second. A four then raced at Metropolitan Regatta in Senior Two Coxless Fours, coming third, and now prepare for Lightweight Coxless Fours at Henley Women’s Regatta at the end of June. ROWING The 153rd Boat Race saw Cambridge win a titanic battle ﬁrmly in line with the 21st-century tradition of classic Tideway contests. The signiﬁcantly smaller and lighter Oxford crew led for the entirety of the ﬁrst half of the race, but, in the end, Cambridge succeeded in making their superior size, strength and ﬁrepower tell. Oxford has made a habit in recent years of turning out crews whom the newspaper pundits and the bookies stamp as “underdogs”, yet winning regardless. This year’s build-up was no
different from recent times, and Cambridge’s ﬁve returning Boat Race oarsmen (against Oxford’s one), two World Champions and one Olympic gold medalist prompted no change to this recent trend. When Cambridge dominated the scales at the weigh-in ﬁve days before the race, in the eyes of many the gulf between the two Blue Boats was merely conﬁrmed. If Oxford was going to win, it was going to have to upset the form book once again. And so to race day. On a beautifully sunny Easter Saturday on the banks of the river Thames, Oxford won the toss and President Robin Ejsmond-Frey chose the Surrey station. Cambridge was late to the start, receiving an umpire’s warning as a result, but when the contest ﬁnally got under way the two crews were inseparable, neck and neck out of the blocks. With the Cambridge cox steering her crew off towards Middlesex, Oxford cox Nick Brodie was soon able to hog the centre-stream and send his Oxford crew on the attack. And attack they did, and attack they did hard. Imperiously led by the aggressive stern pairing of Ante Kusurin and Terence Kooyker, the Oxford crew’s pace was relentless. First it rendered Cambridge’s advantage at the Fulham bend obsolete; and then, as the two crews swung round onto the Milepost Straight, it propelled the Dark Blue bows into the lead. A one second advantage at the Milepost was seized on, and attack after attack was ceaselessly thrown at the Cambridge crew. Three minutes later, one minute into the Surrey bend (in Oxford’s favour), the Oxford boys had Cambridge on the ropes. Three-quarters of a length down and on the outside of the bend, the Light Blues found themselves in a mightily perilous position. However, as the umpire warned the race over to Surrey, Oxford was unable to land that ﬁnal knock-out blow. Already going ﬂat out – and having been going so since the start seven minutes before – there was no more speed to be had. The killer move to gain that critical clear-water needed in Boat Race racing could not physically be made. And so, after seven minutes of exemplary racing – suicidally brave, relentlessly attacking racing – the Oxford crew found themselves with no more gears left to shift up through. Cambridge, however, did have something else in their arsenal. They took their rating up by two strokes a minute, and slowly they began to creep back. With the majority of Oxford’s Surrey bend now over, the Cambridge crew ﬁrst drew level and then, for the ﬁrst time after more than ten minutes of racing, they inched their bows into the lead. As experienced Boat Race watchers could see, the writing was now on the wall. But this Oxford crew refused to give up or acknowledge when it had been beaten. When Cambridge got to three-quarters of a length ahead, the Light Blues shifted gears once more, taking their rating up again in order to break free to clearwater – yet still Oxford refused to roll over and die. They harried and harassed Cambridge all the way to the line, stunning most observers in crossing the ﬁnish just a fraction over a length
Lightweight rowing women’s – winning crew 2007
down on their opposition. James Cracknell’s post-race analysis had it that the signiﬁcantly more experienced and stronger Cambridge crew should have won the race by much, much more. He suggested that the Light Blues, as a result, should be disappointed with their performance. He did not seem to be alone amongst the pundits in holding this view. However, the Boat Race is a two-horse race in which there is a Winner and a Loser – and Cambridge won. As such, Cambridge had nothing to be disappointed about. What such comments stand testament to, though, is the phenomenal performance the boys in Dark Blue put in. Bullish and aggressive from ﬁrst to last, they did everything right and nothing wrong. The only thing missing, of course, was the victory. Regardless of the perfection many recognised in their performance, they had come up against a faster crew. Half an hour before, Isis (the Oxford reserves) had lost to Goldie (the Cambridge reserves) by four lengths. The OUBC congratulates CUBC – and in particular their President, Tom James, who ﬁnally won in this, his fourth and ﬁnal Boat Race, after three previous loses. All at Oxford are at work already to return to the Tideway next year and prove that there is a reason why the Oxford University Boat Club has won the lion’s share of the races so far this century. WOMEN’S ROWING OUWBC had an eventful time at this year’s women’s Boat Races on 1 April, with mixed fortunes. Because of the wind, the ﬁrst half of the course was deemed unrowable and the race was shortened to 1250 metres. Osiris had a storming race, beating Blondie, the Cambridge women’s reserve crew, by half a length. The Blue Boat battled against a series of bad luck: a collision resulted in the ﬁrst boat being written off; then, they wrestled with equipment failure on their ﬁrst start. In the end, the Blue Boat lost by half a length to Cambridge. Despite the events of race day, OUWBC has had a good year, performing to an excellent standard in all of the Tideway Heads, which were the only entered races that were not cancelled. The beginning of September saw a small but determined squad returning. With high streams and dangerous conditions, this year, more than most, relied on this single-mindedness to push though the training without the excitements of racing. In the ﬁrst race of the year, Pairs Head, OUWBC won pennants in all three divisions entered before putting in a strong performance at Fours Head.
This strength was also displayed in the Ergo Championships, where ﬁve athletes were in the top ten and took home a silver medal. At the Women’s Head of the River race, both crews performed well, winning the University Pennant. The Blue Boat landed in sixth place and broke the University course record. In BUSA we came home with two gold, three silver and a bronze medal, and OUWBC enjoyed wins at several other regattas. On behalf of OUWBC, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the squad over the last year, for which we owe our success: our coaching team, Ian Shore, Megan Patrick and Chris Reid; Rachel Quarrell and our Steering Committee; Cathy Miller and Windrush; Rich Stock and OURCs; OUBC, Barbara Wilson and the OUBC TF; and ﬁnally our generous sponsors Merrill Lynch. ATHLETICS The 2006/07 season was a mixed one for OUAC. The club was blessed with a talented and enthusiastic intake of freshers, which was apparent as both the freshers teams cruised to victory in their respective Varsity matches. However, we were unable to follow up the outstanding Varsity successes of 2005/06, and had to be content with sharing the spoils at both FEAR (the Field Events and Relays Match) and Varsity. In BUSA, Oxford continues to rank among the very top non-lottery-funded teams. The club had one individual BUSA champion – Garrett Johnson in the shot put, who extended the championship record by more than 3 metres to 20.15 metres. The seventh place overall ﬁnish indoors and the strong performance outdoors were especially pleasing in light of the fact that a number of potential medallists were unable to compete because of injury, and the BUSA relay teams also held their own amongst the lotteryfunded universities in qualifying for ﬁnals both indoors and out. At FEAR, honours were shared: the men were victorious in the ﬁeld but lost on the track, while the women won on the track but had to be content with a 4–4 draw in the ﬁeld, an agonising 2 centimetres from outright victory. In light of the continuing inclement weather, OUAC is working with CUAC to try and make arrangements to move the match indoors for 2007/08, to the new Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre. At the Varsity match, the men’s Blues were unfortunately unable to extend their nine-year winning streak into a tenth year. The 2006/07 season has been a transitional one for the team, with many Blues leaving in 2006 and not yet
being replaced. Cambridge proved formidable, ﬁelding a team that included a GB international, and many of their athletes produced PB performances at Varsity to seal victory. On a positive note, the women’s Blues team won for the second consecutive year despite an outstanding performance from Cambridge’s GB heptathlete, Phyllis Agbo, who won 7 of the 16 individual events in the ﬁxture, two of them in match record times; but an Oxford team depleted by injuries produced a stunning team display to win the ﬁxture in the very last event of the match. Trailing by one point going into the 4 x 400m (which had a 3-point advantage for the winners), the women’s Blues dug deep in a relay as closely fought as the match itself to secure a nail-biting victory. As the women’s Blues retain all their athletes going into the 2007/08 season, as well as welcoming back injured and new athletes, the squad is undoubtedly in its best shape in its 33-year history. Off the track, the club was saddened by the sudden death of its short sprints coach, Bernard Henry. Bernard had served the club for a number of years and will be greatly missed. Also away from competition, OUAC was delighted with the track-resurfacing project undertaken during summer 2006 and noticed an immediate beneﬁt, with the number of athletes complaining of shin splints and similar impact-related injuries dramatically down. Fundraising for further improvements continues to be of central importance to the club, as it looks to fund the installation of a hammer cage in time for the home Varsity match in 2008. Alumni are being encouraged to donate through a variety of initiatives, including ‘Buy a yard of the track’, standing orders and one-off donations. The 2006/07 season has been one of transitional success, and OUAC approaches the 2007/08 season determined to encourage its athletes to continue developing. The club is yet more determined to win all four Varsity trophies. BOXING 2006/07 has been a very successful and positive year for OUABC. At BUSA championships the club shone once again, with Fred Brown and Kaleen Love gaining gold medals. Kate Stinson also won a silver medal and the other boxers each did the club proud. The main Town vs Gown event held in Hilary term served as fantastic preparation for the Varsity match in March. The Oxford Union was once again packed to the rafters, creating a tremendous atmosphere, and the feedback from all spectators was very favourable. Not only was the event an organisational success, but also the Oxford team was victorious, with 10 out of 15 bouts going its favour. This success was then repeated a month later in the 100th Varsity match, which was held in the traditional home of British boxing, Bethnal Green’s York Hall, where Oxford retained the True Love bowl, winning the match 5–4. The club has a much stronger team base than previously and the team spirit is inspiring. The effort put in not only by the Varsity team but by the whole squad was excellent and nothing more could
have been asked of anyone. The foundations are there for a very successful future for OUABC, with increasing numbers at training, and boxing’s popularity rising in Oxford, also due in part to the success of Blue Blood, a documentary about the club. However, it is mainly the success in the ring which has led to the success outside of it, and with a number of returning Blues next year, the ingredients are there for the club to be able to continue to prosper. CYCLING Again, the Club has had a remarkably successful year, which culminated in OUCC winning Sports Fed Club of the Year 2005/06 and Rachel Hughes and Danny Axford both being runners-up in the sportswoman and sportsman categories respectively. There were many visitors to our stand at the Freshers’ Fair, which helped to attract lots of newcomers out on the Freshers’ Ride. The club is thriving, represented by membership ﬁgures that have increased from 100 last year to approximately 150 this year. A range of training and social rides were offered throughout the ﬁrst two terms, including two rides every Saturday: a training ride and a ‘development ride’ for less experienced cyclists. The various BUSA events this year yielded great success – in the Hill Climb, OUCC riders came second in the men’s and women’s categories; in Team Time Trial, the men were placed third and the women won. BUSA victories for the women were also enjoyed in the 10- and 25-mile TT competitions, with the men sharing top three spoils in both. Developing riders were given the opportunity to tour around the Isle of Wight, a track introduction session in Newport and a beginner’s road race in Chertsey. Individual success stories abounded, with Marcie Reinhart, Rachel Hughes, David McGaw, Dean Robson, Xavier Disley and Katie King securing abundant medals for OUCC and competing more than respectably on the national level. Varsity was another winning affair, with both men and women overcoming Cambridge, although MTB Varsity saw the men defeated, while the women’s result is still pending an enquiry. The year was a resounding success which OUCC hope will be repeated in 2007/08. LAWN TENNIS The season 2006/07 was a particularly successful one for OULTC. At the social level, our Saturday coaching sessions, organised by the members of the men’s and women’s blues squads, continued to be well attended. In more competitive climes meanwhile, the club enjoyed a number of great successes. Following on from their comprehensive victories in the same ﬁxtures the previous year, both the men’s and the women’s third teams ran out comfortable winners in their respective Varsity matches, played this year in Cambridge. The depth of the club could also be seen at second team level, with both men’s and women’s teams recording victories in what were largely one-sided matches. This year also saw a milestone as it marked the
ﬁrst year that any club team outside the main Blues squads had embarked on an overseas tour. The generosity of the club’s alumni, combined with the hard work of the respective captains, allowed both the men’s second team and the women’s thirds to enjoy successful tours of Germany and Spain respectively. The Men’s Blues had an extremely successful BUSA campaign maintaining a clean sheet against all the teams in their league and dropping no more than one or two rubbers in any single ﬁxture. This achievement heralded an excellent BUSA knockout run, reaching the semi-ﬁnals after beating Manchester (a Premier Division team) 8–2 in the quarters before losing out to a semi-professional London Met team who subsequently went on to win the competition. Over Easter the club toured to the east coast of Florida, training at Ed Scott’s Kiwi Club and playing ﬁxtures against Flaggler College, Florida Tech and the Kiwi Club’s ﬁrst team, all of which were won quite comfortably. Marc Baghdadi played some very impressive matches at number one, dropping only a handful of games over the whole tour. After ﬁnishing top of the division the Blues came back after Easter to play Bournemouth in a playoff for a place in the Premier division. Previous defeat was avenged with a 10–0 win (Marco Hernandez playing a particularly impressive singles match and James Spooner and Marc Baghdadi taking an excellent early doubles rubber). This rounded off the most successful BUSA campaign for any Oxford tennis team to date, with 2006/7 due to be fondly remembered as the year that the men ﬁnally delivered on their prior promise and made the push into the top ﬂight of student tennis. Summer was also very successful for the men, winning ﬁxtures against Wimbledon, Queens Club, the Old Blues and Camden Hill, and looking very strong going into the Varsity match. By all accounts the ﬁrst day was a disaster, Oxford trailing 9–3 at its close. However, Oxford took the ﬁrst four singles rubbers on the second day and brought the match well within their grasp. A couple of very tight matches then went against the men who ended the match defeated. The women’s Blues were also celebrating at the end of the season after overcoming a stubborn Cambridge side to win the Women’s Varsity match for the ﬁrst time in ﬁve years. HOCKEY Having lost a number of key players from the previous season, the Blues looked to rebuild the side at the start of the year. Oxford welcomed to their side, for the ﬁrst time, fresher Ben Battcock and the more seasoned Chris Burgess and Chris Sibley, all three of whom, play in defence. second years Nick Randel and Mark Kinder also made the transition up from the men’s second team and we acquired a couple of recruits from Brookes. With so many new players it was testament to the hard work put into training that the Blues had the best defensive record in the league at Christmas. However, scoring proved to be a real problem, as our indisputably talented forwards seemed to lack a clinical edge in front of goal. A hard fought 1–0 victory over league high-ﬂyers
Brighton and Hove was a highlight of the ﬁrst half of the season. As the year progressed, the team failed to build on the promising start as fully as expected. Oxford ended in a slightly disappointing tenth position in the league, though relegation was never on the cards. Promotion in BUSA was a priority this year, as the Oxford team had languished in the lower divisions for far too long. The whole squad contributed, with players from all men’s teams involved resulting in an unbroken succession of usually overwhelming victories. The team went on to win the relevant cup competition and to waltz the promotion play-offs with little difﬁculty. The Varsity match was always going to be a close affair this year. Cambridge went 2–0 up very early on as Oxford started exceptionally slowly. However, in a typically determined display, Oxford evened the game at 2–2 before half time. Oxford was unable to take the lead, despite having chances, and paid the price, losing 4–3. With few leavers from the team at the end of this season, coach John Shaw can look forward to building on what the team has achieved this year. This year, the ladies Blues have continued their run of great success. Under the direction of their coach, John Shaw, the whole team has worked as hard as ever to produce an excellent set of results this season. As always the team incurred some losses, particularly to its defence, but the ﬁrst years who stepped into the team have all made a very positive contribution and the remaining old guard assumed responsibility well. The Blues kept up their record of high achievements, winning their Saturday league to gain promotion and putting in some scintillating BUSA performances, progressing to the last four of the national championship, another exceptional achievement at this highest level of inter-university competition. Key players in the women’s squad, instrumental in many of Oxford’s victories, included captain Victoria Bryant, who has played mixed hockey for England and is a member of the English Universities squad, Hannah Bowe, a Senior Ireland International, and Beth Wild, who has represented England at U-21 level. It was no surprise that Varsity was a onesided affair, with Oxford winning 3–1, a score line which does not reﬂect Oxford’s dominance throughout. With a number of core players leaving next year, it will be a real challenge for John Shaw and the ladies to emulate this season’s feats in BUSA and more. All involved will be looking forward to next season immensely. OUHC’s men and women descended on Barbados this summer for their biggest tour excursion of the year, overcoming their national team and coping well with the challenge of participating in extreme heat and unfamiliar conditions. With much work to be done to build on or maintain last year’s successes, OUHC is looking forward to another season under the expert tutelage of John Shaw and with the guidance of incoming captains David Cresswell and Vicky Anderson.
FENCING This has been another very successful year for Oxford University Fencing Club, which was very happy to secure a Varsity men’s Firsts victory for the ﬁrst time in nine years, winning at Cambridge 115–92. The other Varsity events yielded losses but there was much BUSA success to celebrate – the men’s ﬁrst team came second in its league, and reached the indoor ﬁnals. These were scheduled on the same weekend as Senior World Cup leaving Oxford with a rather depleted team which nonetheless reached the ﬁnal. The women’s ﬁrst team also came second in its league and reached the ﬁnal, with Sophie Troiano winning the fencer of the ﬁnals award. Individual international successes also abounded – Sophie Troiano, Sara Green, Matt Baker, Matt Dodwell and Jamie Kenber all fenced for Great Britain at internationals and Jamie reached the last eight of the Senior Commonwealths. At the BUSA individual championships, Andy Caldwell, Justine Aw and Georgina Osborne all achieved top three placings in their respective events. The club has also continued to be busy doing outreach work, has trained with Oxford Fencing Club and sent members to referee at the Public School’s Fencing Championships – the largest event on British Fencing’s calendar. With the club going from strength to strength, it looks forward to another successful year.
DEVELOPMENT SPORTS FOOTBALL The 2006/07 season was an eventful one for the Blues. Success in BUSA was, unfortunately,
JUDO Oxford Judo prospered this year, with both competitive and non-competitive success securing them the position of one of the top university judo clubs in the country. The men’s A team won back the Varsity trophy and the women returned with their trophy after a nail-biting ﬁnal ﬁght won by captain Sarah Haigh. Players who had never stepped onto a mat before December fought valiant and technically proﬁcient ﬁghts in the B team, and mustered two stunning wins. BUSA success came from all avenues and was the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work. Rebecca Bayliss and Brookes’s Douglas Heller achieved Dan grade silver medals and Ifor Capel won a Dan grade bronze. The men’s BUSA team easily dispatched the opposition in their pools and Henry Winney went on to earn his BJA ﬁrst Dan black belt on the way to an incredible silver medal. Our representatives came home with a stunning eight medals from the BJC nationals in December and the club prospered in noncompetitive areas with the qualiﬁcation of two new student coaches. The aim for the club over the next year is to secure itself within the top three university judo clubs in the country for both men’s and women’s judo with the current squad and to attract top players of the right academic calibre to Oxford.
The combined women’s hockey squad after facing Barbados’s national side during their summer training camp
not matched in the 2007 Varsity Match at Loftus Road, with Cambridge retaining the C B Fry trophy. However, with so many young players remaining at Oxford for the 2007/08 season, the club appears to have a bright future. The Blues began the season in BUSA Midlands Division 2B, which they won last year. The reigning champions were denied promotion the previous season after losing a play-off to the University of Worcester, and they therefore started the season as favourites. Victory at home to Nottingham II’s was followed by the set-back of a 3–1 defeat to the University of East Anglia. Loughborough II’s, who ﬁnished second to Oxford the previous year, then left Ifﬂey Road the following week with a point after a goalless draw. With only four points after three games, the Blues title defence appeared to be stalling, but a run of seven straight wins meant that they retained their BUSA title. The highlight of the league season has to be the 2–1 victory away to Loughborough II’s, with Tom Ovington taking the starring role, scoring the ﬁrst and providing the second. The 123rd Varsity Match took place on 17 March at Loftus Road. The match itself ﬁnished in a 1–1 draw and, for the ﬁrst time in Varsity history, it was decided by a penalty shoot-out, which Cambridge won 4–3 to retain the C B Fry trophy. With several key players remaining at Oxford next year, success in BUSA and in the Varsity match are a strong possibility for Paul Rainford’s team, and the creation of an OUAFC sabbatical ofﬁcer means that the club can only go from strength to strength. FOOTBALL – WOMEN’S This season has certainly been an eventful one for OUWAFC, full of new challenges and achievements. Chief among these is an exciting and brand-new venture organised in conjunction with the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. Having successfully fundraised to support the ﬁrst Kenya–Oxford Women’s Football Initiative, OUWAFC’s intrepid contingent spent time at various different venues (schools, youth centres, etc.) in some of the slums around Nairobi, working in collaboration with students of USIU. There we held a number of sessions with local girls, focusing on different aspects
of personal well-being, holding highly insightful small-group discussions on women’s issues – predominantly AIDS/HIV awareness – and, of course, organising football coaching sessions to promote the myriad beneﬁts of sporting activity. Soon after our return, another English season rolled around, which turned out to be quite possibly the wettest on record. The new Blues squad emerged to take their new surroundings of the BUSA Midlands Conference 1A by storm. After narrowly overcoming Loughborough seconds, no one else came close to challenging the Blues, who went from strength to strength to take the league. The Furies had the satisfaction of securing their preservation in the Midlands Conference 2B by defeating local rivals Brookes by an impressive ﬁve-goal margin and sealing a very creditable fourth-place position. At February’s Varsity match, the Furies narrowly lost 3–4 having been 2–0 and then 3–2 up. The Blues match which followed ﬁnished goalless after extra time. Oxford’s Blues were inevitably the more conﬁdent in a penalty shoot-out (with their Icelandic international between the posts) and easily turned around the morning’s scoreline with a 4–3 win on penalties to secure Varsity victory. VOLLEYBALL The 2006/07 season was another great OUVC year, even though it saw mixed levels of success. The club currently boasts almost 60 members at both competitive and recreational levels, structured around ﬁve teams: a men’s and a women’s student team competing at national student level, a men’s and a women’s team playing in the non-student-based National Volleyball League (NVL) and a mixed student team. The two students’ teams play in the BUSA Midlands competition. The women won the league, beating all teams, including rivals Cambridge and Loughborough, saw further triumph in Varsity and came fourth in the Volleyball England Student Cup. The men had lost many of their players after last year and came third in the BUSA league before losing the Varsity match to a very strong Cambridge team. In the NVL, Libero Denis Zuev was awarded the Most Valuable Player award of the second division.
OUVC has also been awarded development sports status and a development grant, hopefully for the next three years, by the Sports Federation, which will help it to achieve its objectives of high achievements and high participation in volleyball to overcome the perennial problem of insufﬁcient facilities for adequate training at this level. Along with success in beach volleyball, the club also extended its activity into the Home Nations tournament with an Oxbridge team, defeating all the national representatives as a guest side. Moreover, OUVC has started up an accreditation process to obtain Volley-1 accreditation (the same as Clubmark) with Volleyball England. This accreditation will help the club to improve the way it operates, raise its proﬁle and gives the opportunity to apply for some grants. GLIDING 2006/07 has been a good year for OUGC, kicking off with an impressive Varsity win to reclaim the title lost the year before. We also sent pilots to the following national and regional competitions: Junior Nationals (5th place), Northern Regionals (14th place), Bicester Regionals(6th and 12th), and the Interuniversity Soaring Competition (3rd overall, 1st cross country, 5th progression). Thanks goes to the development ofﬁce as the help from the development grant has been used to upgrade our ﬂeet, making it possible for more pilots to enter competitions this year. DANCESPORT There were several changes to the club classes at the beginning of the year. Among these, Salsa was incorporated into our extensive programme and proved to be very popular – in fact, all our classes continue to be particularly well attended and some positively oversubscribed. Excellent Cuppers turnout, with 35 entered teams, is further testament to the ongoing strength and popularity of the club. Our coaching is a major strong point, with a new Latin teacher hired boasting ex-world champion credentials, who supported the club through many competitions and in developing our pupils. We maintain a high number of members and are still among the biggest of the University sports clubs. LACROSSE This year has been extremely successful for the women’s teams. The Blues came second in the BUSA South Premier League on goal difference. The Swifts performed well in the Midland’s BUSA conference, losing only one match during the BUSA league stages, and ending up fourth in the league. The Blues reached the semi-ﬁnals of the BUSA championship, and were unfortunate to be defeated by a more cohesive Birmingham side. The Swifts were unlucky to lose their Varsity match, but the Blues team was successful, beating Cambridge 10–9 in a close-fought game. The men’s team’s success in being the ﬁrst university side to be promoted to the premier league has meant that the team has faced tough opposition this season, ﬁnishing last in their league and being demoted to the eastern conference, where they will face Cambridge next
season. Despite thrilling second-half comebacks, both the Blues and the Iroquois lost their Varsity matches. The men’s team was thrilled to be awarded a further two Full Blues this season, meaning that four Blues can now be awarded, in addition to a number of Half Blues. The mixed team has had another successful season, ﬁnishing top of their league by winning ten matches and losing one. The team also reached the semi-ﬁnals of the Clubs and Colleges Mixed Lacrosse Tournament. BASKETBALL OUBbC had a fantastic 2006/07 season. The men’s second team again competed against other universities’ ﬁrst teams but was nevertheless placed second in the BUSA men’s second division. They lost to the future Shield runnersup, but beat Cambridge in style at the Varsity match (90–65). A women’s second team entered BUSA for the ﬁrst time and did very well, qualifying for the Shield competition. The women’s Blues were beaten by Cambridge at the Varsity match (54–43) and ﬁnished second in the BUSA Division 1A, but stormed through the post-season to win the national trophy by beating Shefﬁeld 62–57 in the ﬁnal. Men’s Blues had a slow start in the regular season, losing a few close games and ﬁnishing ﬁfth in an extremely competitive Premiership South. However, they turned their season around by beating Cambridge 68–65 and went on to upset third seed Northumbria to qualify for the national championship tournament, dispatching Brunel 86–75 in the quarter-ﬁnals. The Blues’ spectacular run was stopped by London Mets in the semi-ﬁnals (93–64), but they ended the season by beating Birmingham 75–71 to clinch the third rank in the nation. OUBbC has also been extremely active off the court in 2006/07, with major revisions of club administrative documents, participation in numerous outreach programs and revival of an alumni scheme. Deloitte was OUBbC’s kind sponsor for the season.
VARSITY GAMES BADMINTON The club has had a very successful year and has expanded its competitive squad while continuing to attract large numbers of people who are playing for fun. This year’s Varsity match was played in Cambridge, where the hosts took the overall trophy despite resilient performances all round. The women’s seconds and ﬁrsts lost 11–4 and 10–5 respectively, and the men’s seconds agonisingly lost 8–7. The one bright moment came as the men’s ﬁrst team stormed through 11–4 against a particularly strong-looking Cambridge team. The overall result was therefore 33–27 in favour of Cambridge. In the leagues, the men’s ﬁrsts ﬁnished third in the BUSA Premier South despite having points deducted, while the men’s seconds ﬁnished fourth in the Midlands Conference Men’s 1A. The women’s ﬁrsts topped an excellent year by ﬁnishing third in the Midlands Conference Women’s 1A. This past year, the club has also expanded its
presence in the local area with the inauguration of a men’s third team competing in the local Oxfordshire badminton league. The players have been picked from the Club Night, and we are excited at the prospect of greater court time and training for more of Oxford University’s badminton players. KARATE The 2006/07 season has been a very positive one for OUKC, with more people training with us at every level making competition for Varsity places ﬁerce. Unfortunately, this year we lost all three Varsity matches. The men were outclassed and our new captain, Junaid Mohammad, was one of the only ones to triumph. The women’s match was far closer and was only lost in the last round of Kumite after a close kata competition. BUSA was a learning experience for all of us and showed up the potential in the squad, with two bronze medals and a hard-won fourth-place placing rounding off an excellent weekend. The club has also gained new Dan grades and a new Sandan – congratulations are extended to all. OUKC is also saying farewell this year to one of our beloved ex-presidents and now instructor, Francis Mussai (Sandan). He will be leaving to take up an exciting new role in the United States and we wish him every success for the future. KORFBALL Early recruitment of new players allowed the club to enter two full teams in the local Oxfordshire league and in student tournaments around the country this year, which is testament to the ongoing development of the club. The ﬁrst team beat old rivals UEA to win the southern competition before placing fourth in the BUSA Nationals in February after some extremely tough matches. In the local league the ﬁrst team came an excellent second, while the second team was highly competitive against the more established teams and ended up a proud eleventh at the 2nds Nationals. At Varsity, both teams retained the trophies from last year. The club has participated in many tournaments this year, giving all players valuable match experience and the opportunity to socialise with other korfball clubs from around the country; and competition is not over yet as the club looks forward to a summer tournament in Belgium. With luck, 2007/08 will prove to be an equally successful year, in which the Korfball Club hopes to continue to develop by the introduction of a third team. LIFESAVING The Lifesaving Club (OULSC) has had another enjoyable year. As a result of various circumstances, OULSC has only competed in one competition this year, which was Varsity. Unfortunately, we lost this ﬁxture, but a great day was had by all. OULSC has been very active socially, with the Christmas dinner and the preAGM meal being our main two events. During Trinity term, OULSC ran a Bronze Medallion
TABLE TENNIS This year, the men’s team ﬁnished second in BUSA Division 1 Midlands, winning all but one of their games. This qualiﬁed them for the knockout competition. After a comfortable ﬁrst round victory, they lost to a strong Cambridge team, which went on to ﬁnish second. The University also ﬁelded a women’s team this year, which competed in Division 1 Midlands. They ﬁnished joint top with two other teams, but were placed third on game difference. In the Varsity match, all the teams struggled, with the men’s ﬁrsts, seconds and women’s losing 9–1, 8–2 and 9–1 respectively.
NETBALL The Roos have had a brilliant season, remaining undefeated in all BUSA league matches and achieving promotion for the second consecutive year. They then got through to the quarter-ﬁnals of the knock-outs for the Plate, but were knocked out by Cardiff Medics who went on to win. Unfortunately, the Roos lost the Varsity match despite playing well. The Blues had a slight blip at the beginning of the season, losing to Cambridge and Beds, but since the arrival of their coach, Sandra du Plessis, they have been undefeated. On meeting Cambridge and Beds for the second time, they avenged the earlier loss, but unfortunately this was not enough to take them to the top of their division. This meant that the Blues went into the Varsity match with one loss and one win against Cambridge, which made it even more exciting as they went on to beat Cambridge convincingly. After Varsity, the knock-outs for the BUSA trophy began and, maintaining their clean record of wins, the Blues beat four more teams and won the competition. This was matched by victories in the annual Town vs Gown and Old Girls’ ﬁxtures. This term, OUNC have also taken part in some outreach work, with the plan of continuing this throughout next year. PISTOL The past year has been another busy and successful one for OUPC, seeing both increased
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course, which three members of the club successfully completed. All members are looking forward to another exciting year, with the aims of taking part in more competitions and attracting more members to increase the club size.
OU Pistol Club member takes aim
membership numbers and attendance down range. Hilary term saw some of the most competitive shooting yet experienced by the club in competition for the Varsity teams. This year the Varsity match itself was shot on Cambridge turf, and despite excellent performances from all involved, we were unable to retain the clean sheet of victories we obtained the previous year, the A team narrowly losing their match to a much improved Cambridge squad. The women’s and B teams made up for this by winning their respective matches, and, back on our home turf, we will hope to build upon the successes of year. Next year we hope to introduce inexperienced members to competitive shooting even earlier in the year to ensure an closer-fought battle for Varsity squad selection; in addition, in the current absence of a BUSA air pistol discipline, we are trying to strengthen links with other university pistol clubs in the country, with the eventual aim of forming a competitive inter-university pistol discipline.
ULTIMATE FRISBEE This year has been a development year for the club, after many experienced players left last year, and new players were taking their places on the ﬁrst team. From the Loughborough beginners’ tournament, to which the club took two teams, through showings at two ladder league competitions, and all four London winter league events, OW! has maintained its attendance at competitive tournaments throughout the year. Mixed nationals in Newcastle offered the team a chance to play its ﬁrst mixed tournament. Indoor Varsity pitched the men’s team against a strong Cambridge side which claimed victory comfortably. Our women’s team fared better, outclassing their opponents on both offence and defence. Outdoor Varsity told a similar story, with Cambridge taking both the men’s and women’s games. Regionals saw the ﬁrst team qualify for Nationals Division 2, at which they were able to take fourth place. The opportunities given to new players to compete at a high level have put the team in a good position for next year.
SCHOLARSHIPS 2007 This year’s Sports Federation scholarships showcase another talented crop of recipients, whom we are proud to support in their training and competition commitments alongside their academic rigours. Our only continuing scholar from 2006/07 is Beth Wild (St Hilda’s), who retains the Faulkner-Browns Scholarship for the forthcoming year. Despite an injury-blighted season, Beth has managed to lead OUWCC to another BUSA ﬁnal, another Varsity win and scored the Lord’s half century that narrowly eluded her last time around. For Oxford, she has, as usual, excelled with the bat, repelling all comers and notching up a BUSA semi-ﬁnal century and an impressive 65 against the MCC. While maintaining her strict UCCE training regimen, Beth has again received acknowledgement from cricket’s loftiest selectors, maintaining her place in the England Academy Training Squad and, at the time of writing, is preparing to face New Zealand’s senior side as part of the MCC team. The Sports Federation’s Dark Blue Scholars are again funded by royalties from our cherished Dark Blue clothing range, available to
the full gamut of Oxford clubs and teams. Our recipients this year are Ifor Capel (Univ) and Marcia Reinhart (Wadham). Ifor has excelled for Oxford judo this year and has managed to ﬁt in training and Varsity representation with the U-21 and Whippets rugby sides alongside his martial arts commitments. At representative level, he is part of the Welsh Institute of Sport, and has represented Great Britain in judo as part of the BJA Cadet Squad and World Class Start programme. At the Welsh Senior Open in 2007 he won a gold medal, and for Oxford has been among the BUSA medals in team and individual events. Marcia is a cyclist who has also been lauded at BUSA, notching up a gold in this year’s team time trial to add to her mountain bike medals. In addition, during the British National Mountain Bike Series she achieved gold and silver medals in 2007 and is undefeated at Varsity. Marcia, like Ifor, is also a multidiscipline sporting star, having represented Canada in biathlon during the 2005 World University Games. The Eliza Blackwell Sports Scholarship was established by the Blackwell family in
memory of Eliza and Richard Blackwell, excellent students and sportspeople both, and was this year awarded to Richard Hildick-Smith, a Teddy Hall modern pentathlete who has also achieved a Swimming Blue and Athletics Half Blue. His varied talents have put him on the British Olympic radar, placed him on the World Class Potential Squad scheme and given him a senior ranking of third in modern pentathlon in 2006. His inclusion in the GB squad has endured since 2002, and his talent has taken him to innumerable international competitions in this exceptionally demanding sport. This year’s Vincent’s Scholar, ﬁnally, is Lincoln’s Matthew Dodwell, a fencer of prodigious talent who is ranked eighth in Britain as a senior and who competed in the British Senior World Cup team this year. Undergraduate Matthew helped turn Oxford fencing’s Varsity fortunes around in 2007 when he helped them record their ﬁrst win over Cambridge in nine years. The Sports Federation and the supporters of the individual scholarships wish all of our athletes the greatest success for their forthcoming seasons.
ROUND-UP AMERICAN FOOTBALL The Cavaliers had a great start to the season, with a convincing win against the Staffordshire Stallions, one of the toughest teams in the league, but their inconsistent later form meant that they needed to win their last game to make the play-offs. Facing a tough, long trip to Aberystwyth, they failed to get going quickly in rough playing conditions. A few late drives failed to turn the game around, and they ﬁnished ﬁfth in their division, missing out on the play-offs by one win. It was a good overall season, with plenty of rookies gaining valuable game experience ready for the next season. Individual highlights included Stuart Lowe’s selection to play for the Southern Wildcats AllStar Team, and James Cavanagh representing England in the youth championships. ARCHERY The new Varsity venue of the University Club provided shelter for spectators from this year’s rain, from where they saw Cambridge take deserved victory. Elsewhere, Archery achieved some excellent rankings this year: fourth in BUSA and third in BUTTS. The OU Indoor Tournament, in the Easter Vacation, was enjoyed by all participants and next year alumni members who turn up to watch will be persuaded to compete. AUSSIE RULES FOOTBALL The Aussie Rules Club retained Varsity again this year after a strong season. The club had a good range of players and a number of quick midﬁelders, even though they lacked experience and height. The boys trained hard throughout Michaelmas becoming very closeknit, and even featuring on the BBC. Coach Alexander put discipline in the team and set a suitably aggressive game plan. The match, in Cambridge, was scrappy; after building an early lead, we lapsed into scrappy and wayward form, but had thankfully done enough to win as Cambridge’s inaccuracy persisted. BASEBALL The Oxford Kings competed in the British Base-
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Charlie Paterson clashes with Cambridge in Ice Hockey Varsity
ball Federation Premier Division South, ﬁnishing with an overall record of 9 wins and 11 losses. Highlights of the season included Derek Kelly’s 12 strikeout shutout performance against Essex and an opening day victory over the Richmond Knights. The Kings recorded convincing victories over Enﬁeld, Southampton and Croydon, putting them at the top of the league halfway through June. As in previous years, old members have been joined both by already experienced players and by people new to the game, and the team is aiming to sustain its current good form throughout the rest of the season and, hopefully, into the play-offs. CANOE/KAYAK Throughout the year OUCKC has run sessions teaching basic skills and rescue techniques and offered practices for Canoe Polo, before enthusiastic members develop onto more advanced skills. The Varsity white water competition in Michaelmas resulted in Oxford victories in both the men’s and women’s events, a success matched in Trinity with a much improved BUSA performance in Canoe Polo, yielding a men’s seventh and women’s eighth place. This progress continued apace, leading to men’s Varsity victory for the ﬁrst time in more than eight years. In the Marathon Varsity match, both sections triumphed again, completing a full set of wins in all disciplines and rounding off a very successful year for the club. CHEERLEADING The Oxford Sirens had an exciting year in 2006/07, as they built on the success of the previous year and continued to improve as a squad and to raise their proﬁle in Oxford. The beginning of the year brought lots of eager new members for the committee to train from scratch. The Sirens were able to show off their new squad during halftime performances at the Oxford Cavaliers and OURFC games. Hilary term saw preparation for the three squads competing in the BCA National University Cheerleading Competition. All the hard work paid off, with a fourth place for All-Girl Partner Stunt and a ﬁfth place for the same team in the Midland Classic the next day. Well done, girls – and here’s to continued success next year! CROQUET Though the club was greatly disappointed about Cambridge pulling out of the Varsity match this year, the UK Student Championships yielded great success with the Oxford ﬁrst team winning the team event and Marcus Evans winning the singles. Cuppers has seen more entries this year than ever before, featuring 160 teams, with Magdalen the eventual winners. CROSS COUNTRY The 2006/07 season was mixed for OUCCC. The big disappointment of the year was the Varsity match; in the week of the event both the men’s and the women’s Blues teams lost the strong favourites for individual victories to injury. A strong women’s team was involved in a desperately close race, with the ﬁrst ten runners ﬁnishing within 40 seconds of each other, but
unfortunately losing out to a spirited Cambridge team. The men’s Blues team were facing the strongest Cambridge team in years and despite excellent runs from most of the team lost out in a close and exciting race. In the other big race of the year, BUSA, OUCCC again had to contend with much weakened teams in both the men’s and women’s races. Jon Blackledge, last year’s Varsity match victor, was missing for the men’s team, which still managed sixth place. Ben Moreau performed excellently to be placed sixth individual, within 10 seconds of third place. The women’s team was led home by Courtney Birch and managed seventh overall. Oxford’s higher placing meted out a measure of revenge to Cambridge for the Varsity defeats. Elsewhere, Ben Moreau won the UK cross challenge series, reﬂecting the excellent season he has had. The season ended with a comfortable victory for both men’s and women’s teams at a very successful Teddy Hall Relays, which saw record entries for the third year in succession. FLOORBALL This year the ﬂoorball club made further progress in establishing the sport at Oxford. As one of the newest additions to Oxford’s extensive portfolio, the club was pleased to increase its member base considerably, particularly amongst undergraduate students. Taking part in the summer school allowed the club to introduce the sport to many prospective Oxonians. Playing in the national league, the ﬂoorball club ﬁnished a respectable fourth in the second division, showcasing plenty of promise along the way. GAELIC ATHLETIC Following on the resounding success of last year, when OUGAA recorded a record three out of four Varsity wins, we made further progress – securing a sponsorship deal with Anglo Irish Bank in the early part of the year and proceeding to recruit on a wider scale, boosting membership. Both the men and the women competed in BUSA for the ﬁrst time, and hosted the ﬁrst ever Gaelic Cuppers Tournament, with Christchurch defeating Exeter in a nail-biting ﬁnal played before an impressive attendance at Ifﬂey Road. The club continues to go from strength to strength and is intending to participate in the French Gaelic Football Championship to be held in Rennes in the near future. GYMNASTICS This year has been a good one for OU Gymnastics, although team training has been difﬁcult because of the loss of a permanent base in Aylesbury. Alternative venues in preparation for competitions had to be found (the nearest being Basingstoke). Nevertheless, in the Varsity match the women’s ﬁrsts gained back the team trophy and saw Ellie Marques and Faye Cadman placed ﬁrst and second individually. The men’s team only narrowly missed out to a very strong Cambridge side, which contained former Commonwealth Games athletes. In BUSA, the women’s team was placed seventh overall, with Cadman coming 10th and Marques 27th individually.
HANDBALL In 2006/07 the women’s handball side was dominant at the student championships but struggled in the English League, ﬁnishing ﬁfth after a tough season. The men performed consistently well across competitions, winning the student championship but losing in the semi-ﬁnals of the British Cup. They have again been invited to the EHF Challenge Cup to play international opponents and develop the club ahead of the 2007/08 season. ICE HOCKEY This year has been one of the club’s most successful thanks to kind sponsorship by Deloitte and sponsorship of the women’s practice camp by Larry Tanenbaum, co-owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Both the men’s and the women’s teams won their Varsity matches convincingly and the men’s seconds (traditionally a rout) was the closest game for many years. The men’s Blues once more went to Meribel for a tournament as the guests of John McBain and the women’s Blues went to Nymburk in the Czech Republic for a pre-Varsity camp. The teams have also participated in outreach this year, something greatly enjoyed by the children who take part and also by the members of the club. JITSU The Jitsu Club has had a very successful year. Nearly 1,000 people took part in the Atemi Nationals competition, and four out of our ten entrants reached the ﬁnals, giving Oxford a ﬁnalist in half of the eight highly contested categories. At the December grading, much individual progress was made and in March at the Randori Nationals competition Oxford brought home four gold medals in men’s and women’s competitions. KDS OUKDS enjoyed another successful year in 2006/07. After a good and steady ﬂow of beginners, the year’s training has been hard but extremely worthwhile. The particular highlight was the hosting of the Oxford Karate-do Shotokai national course in March, with more than 20 clubs attending from around the UK, and an excellent level of practice overseen by Marie Kellett, Tony Lima and Roy Margetts, senior students of Harada Sensei. As the year drew to an end, all members of the club, and especially the beginners, could look back on a good year’s progress in their technique and ability, and have high expectations of the international summer school in Canterbury over the summer, where their skills would be pitted against the whole of the KDS under the tutelage of Harada Sensei himself.
KENDO This year the club has seen participation in a great number of Taikai events (entering both individuals and teams), with one of our members representing Britain in Scotland, Taiwan and Portugal. As for the Varsity match, in the group competition Oxford won one, tied in one but lost three. In the individual tournament, Oxford achieved victory. In addition, membership has swollen and there has been some great success in grading which bodes very well for the 2007/08 season. KICKBOXING The Kickboxing Club has now been up and running for nearly a year and a half and in that time more than 100 members have trained. It’s been so popular that at one point we even had a waiting list. All levels have been welcomed and the club has developed from its beginnings as a small group of mates to what we have today, with multiple training and sparring sessions. During the academic year, the club made its ﬁrst forays into ﬁghting on the bigger stage. In March, there was a successful trip to the University Championships in Canterbury, where one of our ﬁghters, Valentina Iotchkova, was crowned champion in the women’s under 63kg category. The ﬁrst ever Kickboxing Varsity match took place in Cambridge Union, starting with two show ﬁghts and the Captain’s match, which our Zac Etheridge won comfortably. After a succession of scintillating and hard-fought bouts, Oxford won the inaugural competition 3–2, with one draw recorded. Supporting our fantastic year was valuable Deloitte sponsorship and the dedicated services of Zac, our coach, to whom the club is greatly indebted. KITESURFING The club was formed in Michaelmas and proved to be very popular at Freshers’ Fair and soon enough was taking its ﬁrst trip to Cornwall to the Aussie Kiss Kitesurﬁng and Windsurﬁng Festival. This proved to be very successful, with the maximum places offered (15) ﬁlled very quickly. More excursions to the south coast occurred with our three fully qualiﬁed instructors, and at Easter we joined the SKA in Tarifa, where 20 Oxford kitesurfers enjoyed a highly successful trip. The club is now thriving with a strong core of support which will be exploring avenues for expansion into the new year. MODERN PENTATHLON The 2006/07 season has been a very active one for the club, starting with a variety of strong team performances and individual excellence. We took two team medals at National Tetrathlon and narrowly missed being placed at BUSA even with our two-star athletes away. At the Varsity match, we comfortably secured our 12th successive annual victory in the men’s event and showed extraordinary team spirit in the women’s event. A particular highlight has been the arrival of Richard Hildick-Smith, a national-level pentathlete, fulﬁlling a long tradition of top-level athletes on the OUMPA roster. Hildick-Smith took the top spot in the Juniors
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One of the prominent aspects of the club this year had been the friendly and social atmosphere in the general training sessions, which are for all club members. We hope to increase membership further and build on the increasing popularity that gymnastics has within the University.
OUCCC runner strides away from the chasing pack
at both the National Triathlon and National Tetrathlon before smashing the individual record at this year’s Varsity match. Logan Martin went from ‘watch that one – deﬁnite cause for concern’ amongst the lifeguards to breaking the sub-four barrier in the pool; meanwhile, newcomer Kaitlin Vadla regularly shot well into the 170s and Georgie Gould fenced well at Varsity after just a few weeks’ training. Our connection to Old Blues remains as strong as ever, and all bodes well for the next season. MOTOR DRIVERS In the 2006/07 season, OUMDC took many important strides forward, culminating in being awarded Half Blue status by the Men’s Blues Committee. During this, Oxford’s most successful season in the British University Karting Championship, we eventually ﬁnished ﬁfth, having been placed second for the majority of the championship, an improvement on the previous best of ﬁfteenth. Oxford also recorded its ﬁrst victories in both the individual and team categories. The Varsity match was won by Oxford by the biggest margin of recent races and was the third straight victory for the Dark Blues. The race saw the ﬁrst ever Half Blues awarded to the eventual winners, James Harvey (Captain/President) and David Tan. A second, non-competitive race against Cambridge is organised for the start of 9th week. Off-track, the club’s proﬁle in the University was raised signiﬁcantly thanks to excellent coverage in the student papers, including fullpage reviews and photos. The teams enjoyed the usual mix of socials and club meetings to wind down after races. MOUNTAINEERING The club has been as active as ever this year, especially with the inﬂux of freshers who were already climbing at a high level. At the ﬁrst ever climbing Varsity competition in February, we successfully beat Cambridge, and we came sixth in BUSA in March out of hundreds of teams. Club trips have taken place nearly every weekend throughout the year, with day trips being especially popular. Over the holidays, club members have been particularly active, and a large group went ice-climbing in the Alps
over the New Year, where they made the best of poor conditions. Over Easter a team put up many new routes in Morocco and several individuals completed the Classic Cuillin Ridge on Skye in one day. Eddie Barbour also put up a new E7 route at Fairhead, now the second hardest route in Northern Ireland. Amongst other things, this summer has seen an expedition to the Himalayas, with big plans for unclimbed peaks, as well as a large group spending one month in Mallorca for deepwater soloing. I hope the club can continue to offer University members these exciting opportunities for climbing and mountaineering in the UK and abroad. ORIENTEERING OUOC has had an extremely good year, with a series of successes in competitions at interuniversity and national level, the organisation of several open events and the extension of the club’s involvement in the local orienteering community. Success on the biggest stages has been achieved by Joe Mercer (awarded an extraordinary Full Blue this year), Ruth Holmes, Helen Gardiner and Alison Crocker, and closer links have been forged with our equivalent club in Cambridge, contributing to a busy year in this growing and highly successful club. REAL TENNIS The Merton Street Club has recently been refurbished through the generosity of the Broadbent family. All the work was completed in late 2006, and in February 2007, to coincide with a visit to the UK by Bill and Camille Broadbent, a celebratory evening took place at the Club. This included a tense match which featured 12 players representing USA and England and which ended in a remarkable 3-all draw. William Broadbent Jnr played at number one for Oxford in the Varsity match at Lord’s, remarkably after only a year in the game. Sadly, he could not repeat his heroics of the previous weekend (when he took the deciding rubber in the Varsity squash match) and despite a number of valiant performances, we were well and truly beaten by a superb Cambridge team. The women (playing at Lord’s for the ﬁrst time) also lost – for an unprecedented second time in a row. We will be back!
RUGBY FIVES Fives has had an excellent year in Oxford, culminating in a ﬁne and well deserved win in the Varsity match. The club is as ever lucky with the facilities available to us. We were disappointed not to pick up any silverware at the BUSA championships in December but we saw success in the U-25s with Jack Furniss and Ed Ronan winning the plate doubles. Jamie Pendergrass as ever posed the greatest threat to opposition, especially in the singles game, and he will be sorely missed during his travels next year. With such a high turnover of players at the end of this season, it is reassuring to have so much talent in the squad to ensure that the club will continue to excel in the future. RUGBY LEAGUE The Rugby League club has had an exciting year of change over the 2006/07 season. The players have enjoyed a thrilling win in the televised Varsity match, in which they turned around a 44-point deﬁcit from the previous year. The game was watched by a 2,000-strong Twickenham crowd and many thousands more at home watching the game live on Sky. The changes at the club have seen membership levels swell and after the Cuppers tournament, which Keble won, the club is ready to ﬁeld a full second team in the coming season. The club now regularly competes against professional academies and lost narrowly to both Harlequins and the Catalan Dragons academy, whom they played as part of their pre-varsity tour to France. The success of the side is in no small part due to the old boys’ network ran by John Hobart. We thank them for their continued support. SKI AND SNOWBOARD The Oxford and Cambridge ski and snowboard clubs joined forces to organise the most successful Varsity Ski Trip so far, taking 1,400 students to Les Deux Alpes in December 2006. This event hosted the Varsity Races (slalom and giant slalom), which were a huge success for us. Oxford swept the board, winning all the men’s and women’s races. This year the club has increased its presence in the British dry-slope, real-snow and
OURLFC’s Andrew Benger shrugs off a Cambridge defender during Oxford’s 20–14 victory in the 2007 Rugby League Varsity Match
freestyle scenes, with great individual results at BUSC, BUISC and other events. We are also proud to have upgraded skiing from a Half Blue sport to Discretionary Full Blue, which reﬂects its growth in the University. This has been a good year for achieving our long-term goal of making skiing and snowboarding accessible to every member of the University, and to provide for every standard. Alumni should contact the club if they are interested in club ties, veteran Varsity races or any other matters. SHORINJI KEMPO The Shorinji Kempo club has had another successful year, with a number of gradings and a programme of club excursions for seminars at various British venues. All in all, it has been an action-packed year and we will be sad to see the departure of a number of valued members from the club. We now await the opportunity of a fresh intake of beginners next year. SQUASH The 2006/07 season has been a very successful one for OUSRC. The men’s Blues and women’s seconds teams were able to maintain their positions in Midlands Division 1A of the BUSA league, where the men’s Blues managed to reach the knock-out competition for a play-off to reach the premiership division. They were there beaten by a very strong team from Leeds. The men’s second team also managed to maintain its position in Midlands Division 2a. The women’s Blues, new to the premier division, managed to maintain their position in the league and ﬁnished sixth out eight, a big achievement for the ﬁrst year in the division. The women’s Blues also progressed to the quarter-ﬁnals of the BUSA knock-outs, narrowly losing to UWIC, which progressed to the ﬁnals. The local Oxfordshire League competition also proved successful for the Blues teams, with the women’s Blues maintaining their position in the top division after being promoted in December. The men’s Blues also enjoyed some success in their ﬁxtures against the London teams. They suffered a 6–2 loss in the Town vs Gown match in December, with the Town – as is customary – putting out a very strong side. There were some fantastic results for OUSRC in the Varsity matches this year. The men’s Blues managed their ﬁrst win in ten years, with ex-Harvard player Will Broadbent managing to overcome the current Scottish number two, Harry Leitch, to give the Blues a 3–2 win. The women’s Blues managed to overturn last year’s 5–0 defeat to win 5–0 with strong performances from all the players. The women’s seconds and thirds lost their Varsity match 7–3, although this was a good result with a team of mostly new recruits. The men’s seconds lost their Varsity match 5–0, but the thirds managed a 3–2 victory. OUSRC is very grateful to OLSWANG, which continued to sponsor us this year, and to Barclays Wealth for sponsoring the Blues’ Varsity matches. Our thanks also go to our coaches, Jason Martin, Jim Lynn and Richard Callaghan, for all their hard work and support this year.
SULKIDO OU Sul Ki Do had another highly successful freshers’ recruitment campaign and this initial enthusiasm has translated into consistently high attendances throughout the year. With hard work on the part of both instructors and students, members at all levels have made rapid progress, sending large groups to both the UK Sul Ki Do Federation gradings, with excellent success rates. The social side of the club has also ﬂourished, with events including dinners, bowling, dog-racing and punting. SURF It has been another successful year for Oxford Surf Club, with more and more surfers entering the water and fantastic BUSA results. This year’s men’s A team came 23rd, with impressive competitive surﬁng from Guy Kingham. The men’s B team came 39th and the women’s achieved 13th out of 40, with an impressive effort from Rachel Lambert who made it through to the quarterﬁnals. This year also sees the ﬁrst trip abroad for the club, which is taking eight members to Lanzarote. SWIMMING The Oxford University Swimming Club has enjoyed a thoroughly successful and eventful year. The 2006/07 season was our inaugural year as an ASA-afﬁliated club, which was the culmination of several years’ worth of careful planning. As a consequence, OUSC has competed in a whole host of competitions this year, gaining valuable race practice, 8 gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze medals in the process, placing Oxford University on the map of British amateur swimming. We have also increased the number of hours we spend in the pool and enhanced our training regime. As of this academic year, team members can train up to 16 hours per week. Termly lactate testing sessions were also introduced, which allowed for the accurate assessment of our progress and ﬁtness levels over the course of the season. To complement our enhanced training regime, we incorporated a greater number of training camps into the yearly programme. The combined effect of more rigorous training and increased race practice made for some fantastic performances in the BUSA Short Course and Team Championships as well as one of the most closely fought Varsity matches the OUSC has witnessed in recent times. Over the course of the year, over half the squad managed to gain a Full Blues and no fewer than 11 Blues records were broken. TAI CHI Following the battling of interminable venuerelated bureaucracy, the OU Taijiquan Association succeeded in inaugurating the academic year 2006/07 with the victorious occupation of the Pilch Theatre on Jowett Walk. This was effectively the success of George Matthews, who, living in the attached residential complex, was able to pull the necessary strings at Balliol. This mastery on George’s part of the kind of behind-the-scenes artistry so vital to any practical enterprise was rewarded by his being elected in Hilary term to the position of secretary, a position made available by the unexpected departure from Oxford of the
former occupant of that post, Ivor Houlker. Thus, and with the purchase of substantial new training equipment, the Taijiquan Association, replete with a brand shiny new committee, looks to a new generation of freshers with enthusiasm.
on trip organisation, although the usual packed schedule was happily maintained, with weekends away to the Lake District, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, Exmoor and the Peak District and day trips to closer locations proving as popular as ever.
TRAMPOLINING This has been another successful year for the Trampolining Club, the high point bringing home the Varsity Cup after defeating Cambridge 3–0. We also had a successful BUSA competition in Hilary term, with one competitor qualifying to the ﬁnals to compete in the Elite Category. As well as normal training, we have run some very successful KEEN sessions over the course of the year, which we look forward to repeating. This year we have also invested in high-quality new equipment and we look forward to improving on our competition successes next year, as well as continuing to provide a friendly environment where performers of all levels can enjoy the sport.
WATERPOLO This season’s results fail to show the true calibre of either the men’s or the women’s teams. Both teams were drawn in what could easily be described as the toughest groups in the ﬁrst round of BUSA and consequently yielded disappointing results. Varsity also proved frustrating for both teams this year. The men and the women faced fairly equally matched Cambridge teams but both narrowly lost out. A broad programme of friendly ﬁxtures yielded heartening success for the club and culminated in a resounding Town vs Gown victory for the men. Both sections are looking forward to a summer tournament due to be played in a Derbyshire lake against stern opposition from universities and the national league. With these strong team performances, the increasing proﬁle of the club within Oxford (as evidenced by a better attended Cuppers competition and great fresher interest) and notable national and international individual successes, both teams can take many positives from the season and aim much more highly in the coming year.
TRIATHLON It has been another brilliant year for OUTriC. Membership numbers are at their highest level ever, currently standing at more than 80 and facilitating unprecedented race entries – the club had 29 entrants for the BUSA and Varsity triathlons. At BUSA, a team of our fastest two men and women on the day ﬁnished sixth. This was an excellent performance considering that Oxford comfortably beat Cambridge and was the fastest team not to receive external funding to operate as a centre of sporting excellence. The Varsity Triathlon was again held at the beautiful Blenheim Palace. Our women dominated proceedings and retained their trophy by over ten minutes. The men were up against an exceptionally strong Cambridge team and were unlucky to lose by less than two and a half minutes. UNDERWATER EXPLORATION This year, as well as the usual pool sessions and lectures on alternate Tuesdays during Michaelmas and Hilary terms, OUUEG incorporated two successful extra training weekends in sheltered water (Stoney Cove and Horsea) to expose the novices to outside conditions before the Easter Training (ET) trip. At the end of December, OUUEG ran a trip on the club boat to Weymouth especially for people who had signed up to the club with existing diving qualiﬁcations, and in December it held a sponsored swim at the Rosenblatt Pool (covering the distance of the channel between 22 members) which raised £350 for the RNLI and the same amount for the club. At the end of Hilary term, OUUEG ran its ET as a four-day affair in Weymouth rather than the usual ten-day trip to Cornwall, allowing six novices to further their qualiﬁcations ahead of the summer programme of expeditions. WALKING Oxford University Walking Club has had another very busy year and remains one of the University’s biggest and most active clubs. Times have been somewhat changeable for the club, with dwindling leader numbers putting some strain
WINDSURFING The club has had an extremely successful year and is growing in size and numbers. Many students enjoyed amenable conditions at the Aussie Kiss 5 festival down in Cornwall and the ﬁrst Varsity match abroad was contested in Dahab. Oxford narrowly lost despite good performances from much of the travelling contingent. At top division BUSA Nationals, our best ﬁnish was an impressive eighth from 80 individual racers, and the team event yielded a spectacular fourth-place ﬁnish overall. On the strength of increased interest and the forging of links with the kitesurﬁng club, our windsurfers can look forward to an excellent year with more overseas trips in the ofﬁng for 2007/08. YACHTING On the National circuit, OUYC performed well as ever. The experienced ﬁrst team ﬁnished top at many events throughout the season, while the women, second and third teams all showed they were learning the ropes, quickly taking some notable scalps as the season progressed. The second team did well to qualify for the BUSA ﬁnals, to ensure that Oxford was well represented. The ﬁrst team entered the BUSA ﬁnals as ﬁrm favourites, but was devastated to lose out in the semi-ﬁnals to the eventual winners Bristol. Meanwhile, the women fought hard, trouncing Edinburgh in the semi-ﬁnals and narrowly losing out to the ever-strong Southampton in the ﬁnals. The end of Trinity term saw the Varsity match at Cowes. The women’s team showed nothing but dominance in the testing conditions, winning 4–0. The open team, however, was not so fortunate: despite the closest racing in years, it ended the season on a low note with the ungainly scoreline of 4–1.
Men’s Full Blue Athletics Basketball Boat Boxing Cricket Cross Country Football Golf Hockey Lawn Tennis Rugby Union Squash Swimming Modern Pentathlon Yacht
Cambridge Oxford Cambridge Oxford Oxford Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge Oxford Cambridge Oxford Cambridge
130–80 68–65 5–4 43–35 1–1 aet, 4–3 pens 81/2–61/2 4–3 12–9 15–6 3–2 50–40 4–1
Men’s Half Blue Archery Badminton Canoe & Kayak Croquet Cycling Dancesport Fencing Gliding Gymnastics Ice Hockey Judo Karate Lacrosse Lightweight Rowing Orienteering Pistol Real Tennis Rugby Fives Rugby League Skiing Table Tennis Ultimate Frisbee Volleyball Water Polo Windsurﬁng
Cambridge Cambridge Oxford
Oxford Cambridge Oxford Postponed Cambridge Oxford Oxford Cambridge Cambridge Oxford Cambridge Oxford Cambridge Oxford Oxford Oxford Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge
Oxford Cambridge Cambridge Cambridge
Cambridge Oxford Oxford Oxford Cambridge Oxford Oxford Oxford Oxford Oxford Cambridge Cambridge
122–110 0–0 aet, 4–3 pens 6–3 3–1 60–42 10–9 13–8 36–24 37–7 5–0 42–38
Women’s Half Blue Archery Badminton Canoe & Kayak Cricket Cycling Cross Country Gliding Gymnastics Ice Hockey Judo Lightweight Rowing Orienteering Pistol Real Tennis Skiing Table Tennis Triathlon Volleyball Water Polo Ultimate Frisbee
Cambridge Cambridge Oxford Oxford Oxford Cambridge Oxford Oxford Oxford Oxford Oxford Oxford Cambridge Oxford Cambridge Oxford Oxford Cambridge Oxford
22–14 Postponed 13–1 3–2
9–1 3–2 6–4
Mixed Half Blue 20–14 9–1 3–1 11–8 33–44
Women’s Full Blue Athletics Basketball Boat Dancesport
Fencing Football Golf Hockey Karate Lacrosse Lawn Tennis Netball Rugby Union Squash Swimming Modern Pentathlon
Lacrosse Lifesaving Korfball Trampolining Yacht
Oxford Cambridge Oxford Oxford Oxford
Other Aussie Rules Football Gaelic Games Kendo Triathlon (Men’s)
Edited by Lisa Ravenscroft, Sports Federation President; designed by the Public Relations Ofﬁce; and supported by Vincent’s Club. www.sport.ox.ac.uk
Oxford Oxford Cambridge Cambridge