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WELCOME // OLLIE DEVON

It is with great pride and huge anticipation that I welcome you to the 16th year of the Welsh Varsity – one of the undisputed highlights of the student year! Varsity offers a truly unique opportunity for students to demonstrate their pride in their university, as Cardiff students don their colours and join Team Cardiff in an action-packed day of sport. It is the one day in the year when all Cardiff students unite as one with the same common goal – to defeat the arch-rivals Swansea. Cardiff have never lost the Varsity Shield and myself and everyone at Cardiff are hoping that this year is no different! Swansea have the bragging rights over the Varsity rugby cup in recent years, but our team looks strong this year; there’s no doubt it will be a great encounter at the Millennium Stadium. Lastly, I would like to thank in particular Cardiff University and Cardiff Students’ Union, especially Vanessa Thomas, Marion Coxshall and Martyn Fowler, without whom the whole day would simply not happen. On the night, we will see a truly fantastic spectacle with a bigger attendance than ever before. The Welsh Varsity looks set to have a very bright future.

  

  

  Hey guys and welcome to the Undod Varsity Guide. All of us in the AU Executive cannot

it epic. We created this guide as a way for all of the AU clubs to showcase what incredible successes each sport has achieved over the past year, culminating in the face-off against our longstanding rivals, Swansea. Today, Varsity, is a chance for you to show the rest of the student body what sport at Cardiff University is all about and how fantastic your club is. Regardless of whether you’re a small fringe sport or a huge and long-standing sport, we should all be proud of what we have achieved this year. If you’re reading this as a spectator, go and support your peers with pride and have fun doing it; if you’re competing, enjoy the experience and show your friends what sport at Cardiff University is all about. event, so let us know what you think.

Lauren Smith xxx




      OLLIE DEVON AU President aupresident@cardiff.ac.uk

PENNY CHALLANS AU Vice-President Rowing

LAUREN SMITH Undod Editor Volleyball/Cheerleading

TOM PARRY-JONES Proof Reader Gair Rhydd Sport

PHILIPPA AKO Cheerleading

JAMES FOOKS American Football

UNDOD Magazine Designed by: Lauren Smith Produced by Cardiff Student Media t: 02920 781438 e: undod@cardiff.ac.uk www.issuu.com/undod

6 RUGBY 7 FEATURE 10 FEATURE ROWING 12 PULL OUT POSTER 20 30 MEDIA 38 CHEERLEADING : The ones to watch

: Interviews with Sam Warberton and

Jamie Roberts

: WRU extends Varsity contract

: Varsity Teams

: How your Student Media is covering the

event

:


   

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WIS Tae Kwon Do WIS Ultimate Frisbee Pontcanna (4) Golf Vale of Glam Golf Club Netball WIS Tennis Cardiff Lawn Club Men’s Lacrosse Pontcanna (3) American Football Pontcanna (4) Ladies’ Rugby Pontcanna (1) IMG Football Pontcanna (2) Men’s Fencing WIS

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Ladies’ Fencing Ladies’ Basketball Ladies’ Squash Men’s Squash Ladies’ Hockey Men’s Football Freshers’ Rugby Ladies’ Football Ladies’ Lacrosse Men’s Basketball Men’s Hockey

     Varsity is a day that means so

Stadium, with over 14,000 stu-

difmany things to so many dif

dents cheering on their respec-

ferent people. A highlight of

tive sides in 2011. This year a

the student calendar year, it is

larger turn-out is expected, with

one of the few occasions where

Cardiff University boasting one

everyone in the student body

of the most successful rugby

unites for a common cause

teams in their recent history.

and against a common enemy.

Finishing 3rd in the top BUCS

Regardless of whether you

league places the Varsity side

are a member of the AU, Var Varsity is a chance to throw your your-

as the top Welsh university rugby team in the 2011/12 season.

self into a day of sporting ex ex-

Both teams have had their

cellence. With a healthy rivalry

share of the spoils in recent

between Cardiff and Swansea

years, with Cardiff winning the

University, the best sides from

2008 and 2009 competition, and

over 20 different sports fight it

Swansea winning back the Cup

out for the honour of holding

in 2010 and 2011. Competition is

the Varsity Shield for the next

fierce and the stakes are high.

academic year – an honour that

Can Cardiff University re-

Cardiff University is yet to lose.

peat their past success on the

The day culminates in a face-

ground where so many rugby

off between the universities’

greats have gone before them?

rugby teams at the Millennium


   

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Since the first Varsity match was held back in 1997, the game has graced many fields including the Cardiff Arms Park, St. Helens, the Brewery Field, the Liberty Stadium and, of course, the Millennium Stadium. With the rugby returning to the Millennium this year, there is no doubt that this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before! The game being played on such a large scale this year is true testament to the passionate students from Cardiff and Swansea, who create an atmosphere better than any in student sport.

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       What does the Welsh Varsity mean for you and the boys? It’s the culmination of a season’s commitment, representing Cardiff University, an opportunity for most to play on the biggest stage in their rugby careers. It’s a shop window for some to showcase their talents in front of the many coaches in attendance. From my perspective, it’s an indicator of all that’s great in student sport; two university teams playing an exciting, expansive game in front of their peers, families and friends in one of the best stadiums in the world, generating a unique and one-off atmosphere. Given the results of the past two years, how are you feeling going into this year’s Varsity? Varsity is a one-off game very much akin to a cup game. On paper, given the two Premier League victories over Swansea this year, we’re in a much better place than last year. That said, the similarity of Swansea’s Wednesday league team to the one selected for the Varsity matches differs so greatly it’s difficult to predict what team will be selected by their coaching staff. After such a successful season, do you feel there is a certain pressure on the boys to live up to expectation? Given the resources, support, academics and the sports courses the university club enjoy, they are in a position to recruit a greater number of talented players/students from a wider academic pool. Subsequently, their strength in depth is far superior; they also have ability and a willing-

ness to select from a number of regionally based players at Varsity time. There is certainly no pressure on this team; however, Swansea University are perennial Welsh Varsity favourites. Some are saying this is the best rugby team Cardiff has seen in recent years; what are your thoughts?

That’s a broad statement, given some of these players may have played for three- to four-year periods. In my tenure, this squad is potentially in the top three. From a BUCS league perspective, they’ve performed very well, finishing above UWIC and Swansea as the highest-placed university rugby team in Wales. There are most certainly a few players that would secure a position in the best squad we have had over recent years. It’s a great opportunity to spend the day with your friends, having a laugh and watching the sporting excellence Cardiff and Swansea have to offer.

“

Liam Williams Llanelli Scarlets

“

Varsity only comes around once a year, and for many it’s a highlight. It’s a great stage for grassroots rugby, and I hope the boys enjoy playing on a ground as special as the Millennium Stadium.

“

Gethin Jenkins Wales, Cardiff Blues


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&(*//&23(5*%&405(#9 The goal of rugby is to score by either running the ball into a designated goal area or by kicking it through a pair of ‘H’-shaped goal posts. During play, each team has a maximum of 15 players on the field, who are numbered depending on their position. Forwards are numbers one through eight, and backs nine through 15. Forwards are generally larger and stronger players whose main job is to gain possession of the ball; backs are smaller and faster, and are used to receive the ball from forwards and try to move the ball up the field. There are three ways to move the ball: running, passing and kicking. Players are allowed to run the ball until they are tackled or run out of bounds. Players

can pass the ball to an open team-mate. However, the ball can only be passed sideways or backwards. Players can move the ball forward by kicking it. There are four ways to score in rugby. If a player is able to run the ball into the opponent’s in-goal area – known as a try – the team gets five points. After a try, the team has the opportunity to gain two ‘conversion’ points by kicking the ball through the goal posts. Teams can earn three points from a drop goal, which can be attempted from anywhere on the field during the course of play. After a major foul, a team can try for a penalty goal, where a player can try a kick from the spot of the foul; a penalty is worth three points.


 

    

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Cardiff have threats right across the pitch. Richard Lancaster

Arthur Ellis

(Bridgend) is a great football all-rounder, intelligent in open play and a real attacking threat for Swansea to deal with. In addition, the

Jake Cooper-Woolley

(Cardiff RFC), is Cardiff captain, prop known for his ball-carrying skills, but he brings so much more to the table; he is a hard worker on the pitch, great in scrummages and a real corner-stone for his

James Thomas

(Pontypool RFC, Welsh Students) is team. Number 8 noted as the up-and-coming big thing, and was captain of the Wales squad for the U20 Six Nations in 2010.



Ross Wardle

Centre (Bedwas RFC, Welsh Students) is an all-round athlete, but doesn’t rely on his physicality to play; he is a great baller who came into

Will Jones

his own in the Welsh Students game. Keep your eye on wing (Wales Students), who made a mockery of Swansea defences last year.

   

“

“

Forwards are very much their strength this year. Martyn Fowler

  

Rhodri Clancy (Neath RFC, Wales Students) is a real livewire for me and last year’s man of the match. In addition, the two huge men in the second row, Joel Galley (Scarlets) and John Barley (Scarlets, Welsh Students). Keep your eye on Number 8 Reuben Tucker (Wales under-20 & Cardiff RFC), a barnstorming aggressive ball Hooker

carrier. Finally, a man who is potentially the most talented player on the team and a full-time pro, openside flanker

Sam Lewis (Ospreys)



Tom Rowlands

(Cardiff RFC, Welsh Students), the Keep a look out for scrum-half 2011 Man of the Match; he is deceptively quick, providing a multi-threat option from the base.

Lewis Chance (Swansea RFC) is a strong, powerful runner, the go-to

Also, centre man in midfield.

“

          Dan Ryan-Lowes, Swansea AU President

“


 

    

          

Why do you think Varsity is such an important event in the student calendar?

Jamie, what are your personal experiences of CURFC and Varsity?

JR: Culminating with rugby at the end of the day, it’s an opportunity for the two main universities in Wales to go headto-head in all sports and have a great day. It’s obviously very competitive, and with these guys putting a lot of effort into their extra-curricular activities, as well as university, hopefully they’ll reap the rewards of a victory on Varsity day (and a great night out as well).

JR: I had a game with Cardiff University when I was coming back out of a shoulder injury. I played one half for the Cardiff University RFC, for my sins as I’m actually a medic; I got a lot of stick for that. I’ve never played in Varsity, but I’ve watched it every year. It’s always been a great occasion. You see all the Swansea fans descend upon Cardiff, it’s pretty mental, they’re there to have a good time, the crowd get pretty wild. We see a few streakers every year, which is my highlight.

What do you think Varsity does for the profile of student rugby in Wales? SW: I’ve been to Varsity a couple of times to watch and I thought the standard was great. It’s fantastic for students and I remember the MVP of last year had people knocking on his door with professional contracts afterwards. It’s great exposure for the students and it’s something that a lot of them won’t ever experience again, which is why it makes it so unique. How do you feel the contract Varsity now has with the Millennium Stadium has added to the day? JR: For these guys, 99% of them won’t get the chance to play in the Millennium Stadium again. Varsity becomes the pinnacle of many players’ sporting careers within university. If that can be at the Millennium Stadium, like for the rugby, then it is pretty special. I’m sure the boys don’t need any motivation to play on hallowed turf as such, it’s a great chance for them, so they should make the most of this opportunity. SW: I agree with Jamie. Especially off the back of the Grand Slam, people have seen such superb rugby in the Millennium Stadium this season, it makes it even sweeter to go out and play there. It’s an extremely rare opportunity to play on that ground. It’s probably one of my favourite places in the world, to be honest with you. I love training there, team runs and games. It’s a very special place and it’s great for other people to have that experience as well.

Have you got any tips for the boys going out to play on Wednesday? SW: Just treat it like another game really. I think if they start thinking about it as the biggest game they’ll play this year, then they might force things and not play their natural game. It’s just another game of rugby, go out and just express themselves as they normally would do. JR: The same as Sam. It’s another game, but the occasion is very special, and as I said, they have this opportunity at the Millennium Stadium and it only lasts 80 minutes, so make the most of it. Do you think the Varsity match has any appeal for those deciding to come to Cardiff University? SW: The Varsity game becomes a pull factor for those looking to choose universities, if they can play on a stage like the Millennium Stadium at the Varsity match, rugby could become the deciding factor. JR: For students, the appeal to come and study at Cardiff University sometimes comes from Varsity as it’s such a major calendar event. The Varsity match, ultimately as a rugby player, but also in other sports, could become a big draw when deciding between universities.


 



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  The Welsh Rugby Union has signed a new agreement with Welsh Varsity to bring the annual rugby showdown between Cardiff University and Swansea University back to the Millennium Stadium until 2014. The two-year deal will ensure talent, which has included British & Irish Lions stars Alun Wyn Jones and Jamie Roberts, will return to the home of Welsh sport for the showpiece event of the Welsh Varsity sports day. The teams meet next at the iconic city-centre venue on Wednesday, May 2 for the cord 14,000 rugby fans to Varsity match last season. Roger Lewis, Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, which owns and operates the Millennium Stadium, said: “Last year’s game was a ing, entertaining rugby. It was a great evening’s feast of rugby. doubtedly will feature some of

our future club players, coach-

played at the home of Welsh sport for the foreseeable future. “The event attracted a record crowd to the Millennium Stadium last season and I’m sure that the organisers will be pulling out all the stops to make the upcoming events bigger and better, not only for the students and alumni, but all fans of rugby in Wales. I am delighted that the WRU continues to support Welsh student rugby.” The event has also attracted a broadcast deal with S4C for the free-to-air media rights of 132,000 individuals across the UK tuned in to last year’s Varsity coverage on S4C. S4C’s Director of Commissioning, Geraint Rowlands, said: “We are delighted to be broadcasting the Welsh Varsity match live this year for the second captured the imagination of our -

mitment to broadcasting rugby.” Welsh Varsity has grown year on year since it began it 1997 and matches were held alternatively at Cardiff Arms Park and Swansea’s St Helen’s. The match was played on neutral ground from 2003 – at Bridgend’s Brewery Field and Swansea’s Liberty Stadium – before the inaugural Millennium Stadium clash last season. With a few days to go until the big day in the city centre, Welsh Varsity organisers are selling tickets, priced at £10, and they have been snapped up quickly by students, alumni and rugby fans. A spokesperson for the Welsh Varsity teams said: “The atmosphere in the Millennium Stadium during the 2011 Varsity match was electric. There’s a healthy rivalry between Cardiff University and Swansea University, and students relish the opportunity to see in such a prestigious venue. “


 





 

      

Given the results of past years, how are you feeling going into this year’s Varsity? Last year, the senior men won by six lengths, which is quite a feat. This year, we are looking to maintain the result – winning that is. We have transitioned from the winter to the summer season earlier than in previous years, which means we are better prepared for Varsity than in the past.

      

What does the Welsh Varsity mean for you? It’s a good opportunity to showcase university rowing within Wales. For us, it’s an opportunity to get valuable side-by-side racing experience before the regatta season starts, as all we have had up until this point is time-

based trials. How has your BUCS season gone so far? Fairly well; we have placed in most competitions we have entered, which is a great sign for the summer season. What is your top tip for aspiring rowers? Dedication and mental attitude are key to being a successful rower. What would you say to freshers looking to take up rowing next year? If you’re enthusiastic, we would love to have you. It is one of the few sports where you can start as a complete novice and go on to row in an Olympic and national squad. Come along, give it your all and enjoy it.


  

The first Welsh Boat Race, held in 2006, saw men’s and women’s crews race nearly 2km down the River Taff. Cardiff won both races to convincingly beat the newly formed Swansea University Rowing Club and continued this trend for the next two years. It was only in 2009 that the Welsh Boat Race became the racing spectacle that it is now, with the addition of two new races for fresher men and women, as well as excitement and controversy in the Senior Men’s race. Having maintained a slight lead from the start, Cardiff looked set to secure another win for the Reds; however, tragedy struck just 100m from the finish line, when aggressive steering from both the coxes around the final bend caused a collision. Cardiff came off worst, and as with the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race a few weeks ago, the favourites were left with a broken oar and it was seven men for Cardiff against eight from Swansea. The Greens

sped past a limping Cardiff and claimed a well-deserved first race win for Swansea. The following year, Varsity moved to Swansea and the Welsh Boat Race was raced on the River Tawe for the first time. With a gorgeous sunny day and a huge crowd in support on the final bridge, Cardiff hoped to reclaim wins in all four races. The first three races saw the Cardiff Fresher Men, Fresher Women and Senior Women gallop over the finish line with convincing wins, but it was a strong team from Swansea that claimed the Senior Men’s race once more. In 2011, the Welsh Boat Race was held on the same day as Varsity for the first time (it normally clashes with BUCS Regatta) and Cardiff fought back on their home river with wins in all four races. This year the race is held on Saturday, April 28, with Cardiff favourites to bring home the trophies once more.

“

Cardiff offers facilities for all; whether you want to row socially or competitively at the university club, or want to push for international selection with Welsh rowing. For an area that is small on the rowing map, it’s gaining attention from new, talented rowers, while also working on developing promising novices, such as myself 18 months ago. The Welsh Boat Race is a great way to showcase the talent on display at Cardiff and Swansea, and with it being an Olympic year, hopefully this will convince a few more to pick up some blades and join in! The more the merrier! Josh Bugajski (left) GB U23 World Championships

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  Last year’s Varsity football match saw Swansea clinch a victory after an unofficial penalty shootout. The officials abandoned the game, which finished in a 1–1 draw, after the hundreds of student spectators stormed the pitch. Swansea and Cardiff decided to continue with the shoot-out despite a distinct lack of referees, space, and attention to the rules.

The season has not been the best for the boys; having already lost to Swansea 1-0 at home and 3-1 away, they see themselves entering the game as underdogs. Nevertheless, despite being relegated with just two wins all season and a goal difference of –13, this has not diminished the enthusiasm of our Cardiff team.

After the madness of last year’s game, Matt Foreman, this year’s Varsity captain, is looking for a cleaner, more organised game this year – and of course a Cardiff victory, something that he has not witnessed in his three years playing Varsity football.

“Seven of the team are final years; this is their last chance to win a Varsity,� explained Matt. “Having lost the past two years, we will all have something to prove on the pitch come Wednesday.�

         

What does Varsity mean to you and the boys? In terms of league positions, it’s irrelevant, but its always nice to play well against your arch-rivals. We see Varsity as a chance to finish a difficult season on a high and personally, for me, to crown the three years of playing university football with a win against Swansea. What do you think Swansea will bring to the table this year? They’ll bring confidence because they’ve had a great season. They’ll be fit and organised and well-prepared for the match. Hopefully, we’ll be able to exploit some weakness of their team on the day. What are you anticipating for the future? This year, we introduced a 6th team that played in the IMG leagues. What we hope to do next year is develop this idea by introducing a further 7th team that will compete against the 6ths in the IMG leagues. What we want is to accomadate the growing interest in the football club so everyone has a chance to compete. In addition, we are aware that next year might see a merger with the Medics Football Club, which is quite an exciting prospect as it would introduce more talent into the football teams. If you could choose a highlight of the year, just one, what would it be?

In one of our matches away to UWE, we came back from 1–0 down then again from 2–1 down to win 5–2.

What do you think Varsity is doing for the profile of student football in Wales? From my three years of university football, I feel that there’s a lot of demand to watch the football, and at the moment the university isn’t exploiting the revenue they could earn from the football game. They could put football as a build-up match to the rugby, perhaps at Cardiff Arms Park, at a time when such a large amount of people can watch safely. There are a lot of English students and football is very much a primary sport in England and there is a high demand. Hopefully, in the years to come, this will be realised and the exposure will increase.

Zak Shayler

Swansea

Men’s captain predicts a Swansea win




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$2859%56-7;7)%0 A rigorous trial process to pick the best squad of 16 players from 30 IMG football teams at Cardiff has been ongoing over the last month. After two fantastic trial sessions, seeing players from many different teams try to gain their place in the biggest welsh Varsity to date, places have been hard fought, with many talented players just missing out on making the squad. At time of print, the players who have made the 2nd phase squad are listed opposite. This group will be cut down to the final 16-man squad chosen to represent Cardiff IMG in Varsity 2012. There are several warm-up games planned in the build-up to the big game and competition is fierce with such a wide pool of talented players. A lot of hard work has been put into the organisation of the squad selection by Jon Morse (EarthSoc) and Iestyn Scourfield (Law A). It is interesting to note that current

champions EarthSoc have a number of players in the second phase squad, understandable considering their impressive unbeaten streak recently within the IMG league. A new kit will be revealed and undoubtedly crowds will gather at what will be one of the most fiercely fought clashes of the day!

;285-0+9%56-7;6)/)'7-21648%( Rhys Batcup (COMSC FC) Mark Cox (Uni 6ths) Jon Morse (EarthSoc) Greg Lynch (EarthSoc) Scott Gregory (KLAW) Iestyn Scourfield (Law A) Joe Peskett (EarthSoc) Tim Scheller (Uni 6ths) Sia Tahai (EarthSoc) Josh Walter (Carbs) Matt Stevenson (Carbs) Dave Vincent (EarthSoc) Adam Cornish (EarthSoc) Richard Peskett (EarthSoc) Ben Johnson (Carbs) Sam Pritchard (Carbs) Milo MacKean (Uni 6ths) Jack Wellington (Law A) David Garner (Law A) Rohit Chandegra (Dent-History) Andy Jenkins (PharmAC) Umar A. Abubakar (Your Mum’s Athletic) Matt Huggan (Carbs) Nick Smallman (EarthSoc) Adam Parkinson (Dent-History) Matt Quigley (Uni 6ths) James Carter (Port Fail) Gav Evans (EarthSoc)


   

   

   The day started with a high level of optimism, enthusiasm and excitement. Cardiff and Swansea supporters arrived in droves at the Welsh Institute of Sport, where most of the sporting encounters occurred to mark the 15th anniversary of the games. The weather did not dampen spirits, with the usual banter perpetuating throughout the afternoon. The freshers’ rugby team kicked off proceedings, attracting the bulk of the supporters, with around 500 spectators. Captained by Morgan Browne, the game began with some big tackles, and hard-nosed running. Swansea failed to control the dominant scrum and lineout of Cardiff, but had the talent in the back line to take a half-time lead. The second half started strongly in Cardiff ’s favour, with a period of around 10 minutes within Swansea’s half. However, due to some basic mistakes, Swansea held a lead of 10 points with 20 minutes left on the clock. As a result of the large field of spectators, and growing tensions as the game began to near a conclusion, tempers were flaring as line-outs were being disrupted by ‘overenthusiastic’ Swansea fans. Subsequently, the police were called and arrived promptly to rectify the situation. Once the game continued, the rest period seemed to ig-

nite a Cardiff response; Adam Fields ran in a 40-metre individual try, which was subsequently converted by the resolute Rory Andrews. The next 10 minutes saw Cardiff sustain pressure upon Swansea, with a strong contestable scrum, and flawless line-out. Cardiff marched Swansea towards their try line, which suggested that a try was imminent. However, poor discipline from the Swansea defense resulted in a Cardiff penalty, providing an opportunity for Cardiff to equalise. Rory Andrews maintained a cool head and slotted the penalty. The final moments of the game saw a strong finish from Swansea, but a knock-on meant they were forced to accept a 13–13 draw at the final whistle. The excitement was mixed with confusion, as both teams were unaware of whether the fixture would remain as a draw or be decided through a drop-kick competition. In the spirit of Varsity, and typical Cardiff grit, the team accepted the challenge. After four kicks the teams were squared, with three from four being successful. Back row forward James Van Tuyl can be commended for bravely stepping up and slotting one straight between the post. Unfortunately, the next drop goal was missed by Cardiff, and Swansea capitalised on the mistake to win.

  

  

The Varsity fixture is a major event in the student calender; this side of the Severn Bridge, it is the university grudge match. For the boys playing in the rugby match, it’s a great opportunity to play on an international stage, something that many people will never achieve in their lifetime, and these guys are only 18 to 22. It’s a key moment in their lives as it has become a main stage for the boys to show off their talent and develop their rugby careers, some going on to the professional arena. My favourite bit about the day is definitely the atmosphere; last year, it was absolutly briliant. You see the entire university turn out to back their fellow scholars and that is rare to witness. Ex-Welsh international, Blues player and Varsity ambassador

  

Varsity is an event that only comes round once a year and it is an event that all students can enjoy and be a part of. Whether the play sport or are just their to spectate, everyone gets involved. My favourite memory of Varsity was winning at the Brewery Field in front of thousands of drunken students as a fresher. looking back it helped my development as a rugby player as it taught me to deal with the pressures of large crowds and big occasions. If I had any tips for the boys going out on the field on Wednesday, it would be GO HARD OR GO HOME! Spectators keep your open for Arthur Ellis, I played with him in Bridgend, its very rare to find a hooker who has good feet.. Ex-Cardiff Varsity player and Ospreys scrum half

 




   

  

  



   For Cardiff Ladies’ Rugby, this year’s season has seen plenty of ups and downs. After a successful debut season in the Premiership last year, the team was hopeful that they could put in some more good performances. For fresher members, this meant adjusting to playing at an intense Premiership level, when, for most, rugby was an entirely new sport. The start of the season was far from ideal, with the team losing out to Oxford and Chichester. However, after this initial disappointment, the team rapidly improved, progressing and developing throughout the season. Particularly notable was Cardiff ’s performance against Exeter; although the end result of this game was a 27–19 win to Exeter, the team put in a tremendous effort against a formidable team that went on to finish second in the BUCS league table, below UWIC. By the end of the season, Cardiff Ladies had transformed into a confident team who were enjoying playing, and, crucially, were enjoying winning games. They surprised Oxford, winning fairly comfortably against the visiting team (27–15), who had, by their own admission, an-

Cardiff University Ladies Football 1sts have maintained an impressive season, remaining undefeated in all 12 games. The ladies dominated most matches, striking a remarkable goal difference of +50 for the season, and fighting off top-spot contenders Glamorgan twice, which has secured them promotion into the Western 1A league. Their most impressive win was made in only their second game of the season, when the Reds hammered a 21–1 away win against Swansea 2nds, showing the potential they were going to serve up for the rest of the season. Cardiff also reached the semi-finals of the Western Conference Cup. In the last two years, Cardiff Ladies have won both Varsity fixtures. Last year, they achieved a triumphant

ticipated a win after beating Cardiff at the start of the season. Cardiff Ladies ended their season on a high, winning away at Bath. The team, then, have built an excellent foundation, and can look forward to going into the Varsity match with the aim of maintaining their winning form. Captain and top point-scorer Meg Tudor commented: ‘We’ve had a challenging but rewarding season, playing at Premiership level with a developing squad, but our efforts have been rewarded in that we have stayed up in the Premiership. We look forward to maintaining our undefeated record at Varsity.’

Historically, as Tudor points out, the ladies’ team has been consistently successful in the Varsity match. Last year, the team stormed to victory, beating Swansea 54–5. This year’s

team boasts many talented and dynamic players, who will undoubtedly look to play some explosive, exciting and entertaining rugby. Players to watch include internationals Tash Doyle and Claire Molloy. Flanker Molloy represented Ireland in this year’s Six Nations campaign, scoring a try for her country against Italy’s women. Fresher forwards Anna White and Maria Waghorn will present Swansea with a formidable threat, having consistently put in outstanding defensive efforts throughout the season. Cardiff also has plenty of speed and skill in the backs: ‘utility players’ Kiri Shuttleworth and Rosie Lewis, for instance, will aim to attack Swansea’s defensive line at pace and make strong ball-carries. Captain Meg Tudor will, of course, be looking to continue her excellent form, and is certain to play a decisive role in the outcome of the game. Tudor summarised: ‘We have some excellent players who will be playing their last game for Cardiff University (including myself), and I know that this game means the most out of any of the season, so the spectators can expect a brilliant game of rugby from Cardiff Ladies.’



   7–0 win while also missing a hatful more chances. The previous year, in 2010, was no less impressive, with Cardiff beating Swansea 5–2 at Sketty Lane. Striker Emily Davies has been on top form this season, working tirelessly in the top third of the pitch, pressing play and causing trouble for Cardiff ’s opposition. Cardiff needed a consistent scorer to reward their efforts and Davies certainly fitted the bill, scoring 24 goals in only ten games. Centre-forward Susie Davis can run rings around the opposition with her speed and agile footwork, often running the ball through two or three players at a time. Never afraid to put in a solid tackle and take on players, Varsity is the ideal match for Davis to show her full potential.

   Goalkeeper: Fliss Carroll Right-back: Bryony Baker Centre-back: Laura Braithwaite Centre-back: Frances Dalton Left-back: Caitlin Tew Right midfield: Claire Couzens Centre midfield: Hannah Mills Centre midfield: Ellie Davies Left midfield: Sophie Gidley (C) Centre-forward: Susie Davis Striker: Emily Davies


 

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  Danny Wills plays number 13 and centre mid, controls the passages of play. His most dangerous weapon is his aerial and drag flick. With short corners, Danny has an incredibly high return of goals to short corners, scoring 15 times. His drag flick is a key source to goals, and the team looks to exploit it whenever they can. Jack Carr Playing right midfield, this Wales U21 player is absolutely rapid, consistently beating the opposition left-back, and drawing the fouls that result in Cardiff winning short corners. His pace could be crucial to a victory. Rupert Shipperly Rupert plays national league at the weekend, and is arguably one of the club’s best players. A combination of skill, pace and intelligence sees Rupert drift past players, and he can easily embarrass the Swansea defence. Andy Hughes Andy won this year’s ‘Player of the Year’ award and is goalkeeper. He is an outstanding player, and has kept Cardiff in many big games thanks to his great saves. A very vocal player, he commands the defence and midfield, and without him the team would struggle greatly.

Men’s Hockey will be slaughtering Swansea at the Welsh Institute of Sport at 4pm, but let’s have a quick look at what really makes them the better side. The boys are gearing up for a season when they make a return to the BUCS Premiership, and after an impressive performance against major rivals Bristol, they have shown that they have the class to be there with the big teams. With the largest intake of freshers in its history, Cardiff University Men’s Hockey Club’s First XI had an abundance of new faces and sought to integrate them to become essential members of the squad.

History never lies. Our Men’s First XI has never lost a match against Swansea, and beat them earlier in the year 5-3. This year we won the Welsh Cup, a competition that includes all the hockey clubs in Wales. This effectively makes them the best team in Wales!

  Swansea Men’s club captain

Varsity is the biggest day in the sporting calendar. It’s like a cup

ning of the year. We have had a good season, pushing for promotion in both the Saturday and BUCS leagues. The last time we faced Cardiff we lost 5-3, but it was a hotly going into Varsity this year.

  The Cardiff Uni Ladies’ 1sts have had a brilliant season. They have been more driven than ever and this has definitely paid off. With a new intake of freshers, the team has had a reshuffle, and with the help of their new coach, Ben Croxall, this has proven advantageous. The girls have reached promotion stages in BUCS, are the top of their Saturday league and, for the first time ever, competed in and won the Welsh Cup. Recently, a number of the team qualified for the British Universities Championships, a great privilege, where the girls attend a three-day training camp and compete against teams comprising students from England,

Ireland and Scotland. Varsity is one of the biggest events in the hockey calendar. A lot of hard work and preparation goes into the run-up to Varsity. The last two years of Varsity have unfortunately been disappointing for the girls, but, this year the girls are fitter, more determined and completely focused, thanks to the hard work of Ben Croxall. Ben is a new addition to the ladies’ hockey club this year. He has created a dynamic, well-skilled and organised team and has coached the girls to their most successful season in years, giving them the confidence to really go out there and win Varsity this year.


 

 

 

Despite traditionally being a summer sport, cricket is played at Cardiff University all year round. Cardiff University Cricket Club participates in both indoor and outdoor competitions, the indoor taking place during the winter months, before the outdoor season kicks off in April.

lar impact with his leg spin. A team cannot succeed on its bowling alone, though, and it will fall to batsmen like Andy Leering and Tom Hamilton, whose century helped Cardiff to a friendly win over Newport CC recently, to score the runs to keep Cardiff competitive.

This season, Cardiff first entered the BUCS Indoor Championship, overcoming Swansea and Kingston University to reach the semi-finals, before losing out to UWIC and Exeter. The club has also entered two teams in the Cardiff Indoor Cricket League. The league is split into two divisions, one of which is led by a team from Cardiff University. The result of that league will be determined in the coming weeks.

This will be the first Varsity cricket game for three years, but if past results are anything to go on, Cardiff should have no trouble picking up a win in the quest for the Varsity Shield. This year’s contest will be played at Llanrumney on Monday, April 30, two days before the rest of the Varsity sports, but it is hoped that a good crowd will come down and take part in the sledging (banter) for which cricket is renowned.

Meanwhile, the 1st XI were due to kick off their outdoor season on April 22 with an away match against Bournemouth’s 2nd XI, but the match was - surprise, surprise - rained off. This means that, after we go to print, the season will begin with a trip to Swansea on April 25 for a preview of the Varsity game, before finally travelling to Bournemouth four days later to play Bournemouth 1sts. Despite it being a 50-over game, as opposed to the Twenty20 format being used for Varsity, club president Iestyn Scourfield believes that the upcoming game against Swansea will give the team a valuable sneak-peek at their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. He is cautious, however, regarding the result: “Come Varsity day, it’s a different occasion altogether, so we cannot take too much for granted.� Nevertheless, Scourfield has identified a number of key areas where Cardiff will likely hold the upper hand over their South Wales rivals, notably in terms of their spin bowling attack, which he referred to as “class�; Pranav Arora is expected to make a particu-

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What does Varsity mean to you? For me, Varsity has always been a guaranteed win, a big social and memorable celebrations for the club. Varsity for the Squash club is always all celebrations, never commiserations. How did you get on in Varsity last year? My memory is a little hazy, but I’m pretty sure we won 5–0. How has this season gone so far for Cardiff squash? Bit of a ‘mare in BUCS, to be honest, but we have performed very well in the National League. What preparation have you put in ahead of Varsity? Not much really, I have been taking it easy on the exercise since the end of the season. Would you care to make a prediction for the final result? I guarantee a win this year! If we lose, I will happily do a filthy drink of the club’s choice! I want to end my time at University with four Varsity wins in four years.





feature // 22

sabBs' Suggested routes saBbs'

#1

#2

The sightseer's route

good pub guide route

Wake up nice and early and stroll through Bute Park on your way to WIS 09:30 Badminton WIS Main Hall Head up to Pontcanna fields, follow the beautiful Taff river and check out international cricket ground Sophia Gardens 12:30 Men’s lacrosse Pontcanna (3) 14:30 Ladies’ football Pontcanna (2) Cross over the river and take North Road back to town through Cathays Park and past the old Welsh Assembly. Head towards the Millennium Stadium, home of Welsh rugby, via Cardiff Castle. Finish the day by watching the Men’s rugby team take down Swansea in style.

Have a bit of a lie in to sooth the hangover from the day before, then head to The Woodville pub on the way to WIS 12:00 Taekwondo WIS Main Hall Head up to Pontcanna fields on the road via The Cricketers pub and Halfway public house. 13:00 IMG football Pontcanna (2) Slowly wander back to WIS and pop outside for one at Y Mochyn Du 14:30 Men’s football WIS Main Pitch Finish the day by pub crawling to to the Millennium Stadium via Dempsey’s, City Arms, Zero Degrees and the Queen’s Vaults.

interview with

Ollie Devon

AU P resid ent So, Ollie, are you excited for this year’s Varsity? Yes, I’m incredibly excited for this year’s Varsity. Having such an important role in this year’s event make me realise just how much planning and preparation goes into making such a fantastic day happen! Having worked in the AU all year, you must have some predictions to share with us... I do. A lot of the games this year are very hard to call, but there are a number of Cardiff teams that I predict are guaranteed to win: ladies’ rugby, men’s and ladies’ hockey, netball and men’s lacrosse. These are just a selection of the teams that have shone in the BUCS season and I expect them to shine even brighter on Varsity day! Have you got any advice for spectators? My three top tips: 1. Get there early 2. Pace yourself 3. See as much as possible Why do you think this day is the biggest event on the student calender? It’s the single day of the year when all Cardiff students are gathered in one place. It’s a showcase of why sport is so important to a student’s university experience. What are your memories of Varsity over the years?

I’ve been to every single one. In my first year, we were at the Arms Park. I ripped my T-shirt early on; that was really upsetting. I didn’t really understand Varsity until I turned up. In my second year, I played against Swansea in American football down at Sketty Lane in the blazing sunshine; Cardiff came away with a victory of about 50 points. Then last year, I did an all-day trip round the day games and particularly enjoyed watching the ladies’ rugby and the men’s football, although it was chaos at the end.

What are you going to do this Varsity? My mission this Varsity is to see as many sports competing as possible, cheering Cardiff on to victory and making sure that all the teams know where they are supposed to be. I’ll pop off to play in the American football game at 12:30 and then watch the remaining games in the afternoon.

How do you feel about the men’s rugby match this year? Men’s rugby have had a fantastic season and I have been really impressed. At the start of the year, I think a lot of people would have expected the team to be relegated because its such a tough division, Prem A, the level of team spirit and the amount of leadership shown by key members of the club means that, for me, they will be favourites heading into the Varsity match.


feature // 23

#4

#3

American dreams route

ladies man route Have a lie in; you’ll need your beauty sleep to impress the girls today. 12:00 13:00 13:30 14:30

Netball Ladies’ rugby Ladies’ basketball Ladies’ hockey

WIS Main Hall Pontcanna (1) WIS Main Hall WIS Astro

If you’re a fan of sports that are making it big on the other side of the Atlantic, then follow the AU President’s route. 11:oo 12:30 14:30 15:00

Finish the day by getting down to the Millennium Stadium to check out the cheerleaders in the half-time show.

Ultimate Frisbee Pontcanna (4) American Football Pontcanna (4) Ladies Lacrosse Pontcanna (3) Mens Basketball WIS Main hall

Finish the day by getting down to the Millennium Stadium to watch the Cardiff Snakecharmers “Bring It On”

Past results: varsity Shield

1997: Cardiff 1998: Cardiff 1999: Cardiff 2000: Cardiff 2001: Cardiff 2002: Cardiff 2003: Cardiff 2004: Cardiff

2005: Cardiff 2006: Cardiff 2007: Cardiff 2008: Cardiff 2009: Cardiff 2010: Cardiff 2011: Cardiff 2012: ?

Say hi to Ollie for me; tell him to make sure my shield is polished

Dan Ryan-Lowes

Swansea AU President

NO PRESSURE!!!! Just remember, Cardiff have never lost the shield since I have been here Marion Coxshall, Cardiff AU coordinator

@Thewelshvarsity Sport is like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired you quit when the gorilla is tired.

#overheardatthepub “you pay loads to see the 100m final and it lasts 10 seconds... For only £15 I can watch 80 minutes of sporting excellence and a lash full of zwack bombs and regret” #overheardatthepub #overheardatthepub welsh varsity is definitely bigger than the Olympics. Or at least more important!


Badminton // 24

Badminton At Varsity this year, most Cardiff University students will be looking forward to the main event; the rugby. The day, however, will start at 9am for 10 Cardiff University students and their supporters. For the second year in a row, the badminton will commence the day of competition at the Welsh Institute of Sport. Last year resulted in a victory for Cardiff, and hoping to repeat history is another sterling Cardiff line-up. The odds are favouring the Cardiff crew, who have been on top form all season. The men’s team have been destroying their competition all season to win a place in the play-offs and a chance for promotion to the Premier League. Also boding well for May 2, the lads have already beaten Varsity rivals Swansea twice this season, with a convincing 6–2 and an absolute beating of 7–1! Sadly, the Cardiff ladies’ team haven’t beaten Swansea this term, but that’s because we are a whole league above them we don’t even play them! The girls have also been doing Cardiff proud, and after earning promotion to the Premier League last season, the

By jess shotton

ladies have successfully retained their place in the top league. Faced with the likes of Bath and Exeter, it was a battle, but the ladies are still where they belong!

With a track record like that, you would think the badminton boys and girls would relax and slack off a bit, but oh no, we’re dedicated athletes! Training has been intensified with specialist coaching sessions led by Matt Hughes, former Welsh national champion, top 20 in the world and current Welsh team coach. Matt has been working with the team to ensure maximum skill and fitness is brought to the Varsity table. Alongside weekly matches, training has been a combination of shot drills, cardio endurance and perfecting those doubles partnerships. So when you’re getting drunk at breakfast on May 2 (don’t pretend you’re not going to), spare a thought for the badminton bunch kicking off the day smashing Swansea… start as we mean to go on, eh?

Ladies' team

Men's Team

Roshani Mann (C) Jess Shotton Olivia Payne Cerys Hickinbottom Charlotte Wigston Jenny Brealy

Yee Wai Lim (C) Darren Wong Huw Bowen Dominic Brown Nick Ward Rich Townsend


netball // 25

Netball

By rosanna Hill For Cardiff University Netball Club, Varsity is not just one day of netball. The hard work began in March, following the selection of the Varsity squad, in the hope of once again beating their green rivals from down the road. The BUCS 1st team squad, despite all their efforts this season, have been relegated from the Premier League, and hence the Varsity squad are keener than ever to thrash their Swansea opponents to finish the netball season on a high! At Varsity in 2011, Cardiff was faced with a tough first half of the game; accurate shooting from Swansea meant they were keeping up to speed with Cardiff ’s score. The second half, however, was a different story and Cardiff almost doubled Swansea’s score due to excellent play by all the girls on the court. Rapid movement of the ball down the court, long arms in defence and superb shooting produced a final score of 57–35. Cardiff University Netball Club were victorious and celebrated in style for the rest of the day! Coach Bev Powell has invested a lot of time and effort into training for the squad. She has introduced new concepts of the game, set-plays and styles of playing that the squad are set to use and adapt according to their rivals on the day. The squad this year will be led by this year’s 1st team captain, Angharad Williams, and consists of Welsh U19 player and Welsh University squad member Hannah Jones, along with other Welsh University representatives, Lydia Jones (vice-captain), Hannah Jones, Nicole Goddard, Steph May, Vicky Webb and Ellie Hughes, as well as Emma Clayton, Jenny McKeon, Rosie Hill,

Carys Howell and Elin Huws. Training for the big event started in March, when the squad reset their alarms for 7.30am training sessions – something not for the faint hearted – as well as friendlies against some physical (to say the least!) teams to stand us in good stead for the big day. Training recommenced after Easter and included friendlies and training to polish off our tight game. This year, the club hopes for an equally good, if not better performance compared to last year. Since Swansea have also experienced relegation from BUCS Western Division 1A, the Cardiff team will be taking no prisoners against a team whose only chance of something to show for their season is this game. But Cardiff Netball are determined to take the Varsity crown once again and leave Swansea crying over relegation AND Varsity! To follow, the netball club are looking forward to supporting their fellow clubs throughout the day! Sophie Flanagan, player, committee member and Olympic torch-bearer, is excited for Varsity: “The Varsity netball squad of 2012 have been training hard and I’m sure they’ll kickstart the day with a winning performance, which will add to yet another year of sporting victory over Swansea! All of the CUNC girls will be proudly showing our support and giving Swansea some of our best banter from the sidelines. Come on Cardiff !” The netball game kicks off at noon in the Welsh Institute of Sport. All support is greatly welcomed and much appreciated!


basketball // 26

Men's basketball by tom parry-jones

The Cardiff Men’s Basketball team will come into Varsity this year as the runners-up of the Western Conference Division 1A, finishing behind only a dominant Bath team that did not lose a game and amassing a points difference of +266 (Cardiff finished with only +54). Cardiff ’s only other defeat came at home to Southampton Solent, who pushed them hard for 2nd place. Cardiff men’s basketball have consistently finished well in the BUCS competition, coming 2nd twice and 3rd once since they gained promotion from Division 2B in 2008/09. This year’s Varsity match will be a preview for the games between Cardiff and Swansea next season, after Swansea went undefeated in the entire year to secure their own promotion from Division 2B. Cardiff have won the last five Varsity basketball games, their biggest win coming by 25 points last year. Led by instrumental coach Nick Bartlett, Cardiff have had a good season defensively this year, which comes as a result of good all-round teamwork on that side of the ball. On offense, the player to watch is almost certainly going to be Ioan Nickson, who is liable to provide the crowd-pleasing slam-

dunks for which basketball is celebrated. Club vice-president Anthony Olowo also highlighted Indrek Bauer as a potential threat for his ability to “score from anywhere on the court including whilst falling out of bounds”! Eight of the Welsh Universities squad for a tournament in Nottingham this month came from the Welsh Varsity teams

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AU pres Predicted MVP Ioan Nickson


basketball // 27

Ladies' basketball Cardiff University Ladies’ Basketball club is made up of two BUCS teams, with players ranging from beginner to national league level. We have training sessions three times a week that often integrate both teams, and compete in BUCS games most Wednesdays. Having welcomed several beginners to the sport, we have organised friendly games against local teams that were extremely enjoyable and rewarding for those playing in their first ever basketball game. Aside from the basketball, we also enjoy socialising as a club on Cardiff ’s notorious Wednesday night sport socials. Our sponsors, the Vulcan Lounge, continue to provide our players with a great venue for such events. This season, our first team dominated the top UK Western division but lost their final game to finish runners-up of the league, being denied

Your Varsity team Amy Braddel Jen Burnham Mel Demiray Catherine Earnshaw Frankie Fair Lisi Fritz Ilona Lipp Jenny Musgrave Becky Roberts Vicki Summers Magda

by Becky Roberts

top spot on goal difference. Winning six out of eight league games with minimal players on the bench was a great achievement in itself. The second team has improved its position greatly this season in the UK Western second division, coming fourth place overall, with old and new players performing together at their best. This was a remarkable achievement, considering the other eight teams in the league were all first teams. Many of our first and second team players are in their in final year now and have been central to the club throughout their Cardiff University experience. We have bonded closely as a team on and off the court and it will be very sad to say goodbye to such great friends. Our first team have played Swansea University twice in the BUCS league this year, winning one game and los-

ing the other by a mere one point. We also met them in the BUCS Trophy Cup, in which we suffered defeat. So after a three-match rivalry with victories and defeats at both ends, we are ready to end the season with a Varsity victory on our home turf ! With a near-full squad preparing for the game, we are hoping to steal the win and claim back the Varsity title after missing out on it last year. For many of us, this will be our last Varsity, so we are determined to end on a high…. LET’S GO CARDIFF!


physio // 28


VOLLEYBALL // 29

Volleyball

match report

Potato squad v UWIC

The match could not have started better with three of Cardiff ’s ‘experienced’ players finding the net with their serves – IDEAL, you just can’t teach that. However, the team did not drop their heads and instead continued to challenge UWIC throughout, with Sabrina ‘Can Ya Dig It?’ Revell showing everyone how she receives. Then ‘Tall Pete’ stepped up to the baseline and hammered in serve after serve putting UWIC on the back foot and earning himself yet another revolutionary nickname from the Smith sisters: ‘The Serve’. Brilliant. Later on in the match, further examples of genuine volleyball ability shone through with Yaz ‘Spike’ Langley getting in amongst it and getting on the end of some beautifully crafted sets from Meg ‘Chunder Dragon’ Smith, who was not only controlling the ball with perfection, but also controlling herself from disgracing the floor of the UWIC sports hall. The team once again looked strong, with Jennifer ‘Don’t

Yo u r v a r s i t y t e a m s Laura singleton (c) lauren smith Gaia Pisani steph clarke ola sygnowska Nnx colomer sabine raunch bella gougsa Lisa Te Molder

ROSS MOLERO (c) JAMES STOTT NICK WARD Salman Matar RALPH BUSIER WEE HOU CHONG Dimi challomas roberts kurmis

by Andrew Oakley

Panic’ Camilletti really getting to grips with the position of Offset and Graham ‘Bringing the’ Payne blocking and hitting from all angles. A passer-by was overheard saying “Cardiff are really making it rain out there”. The guidance and quality gameplay provided by Lauren ‘Jubs’ Smith and Laura ‘Midget’ Singleton really helped the team when they were both on and off the court, proving that nothing beats an experienced girl. Andrew ‘Jack of all trades but master of none’ Oakley was seen all over the court, proving to be without a doubt the worst volleyballer Cardiff University has ever seen. The match finished as another glorious defeat for Cardiff but overall the match was a great laugh and a good experience for all involved, although it has to be said, the post-match lunch at Café 37 was quite clearly the highlight of the day.

Our Year

Cardiff University Volleyball Club is a club that has gone from strength to strength over time, with membership steadily increasing over the years. The club currently has four squads; men’s and women’s first team, men’s seconds and the mixed development squad (lovingly known as ‘The Potato Squad’). We also hope to add a women’s second team next season. At the advanced level, CUVC has had great success in the past with the first team men coming 3rd in the BUCS finals. This is an exceptional achievement for the self-coached men’s team, as they were competing against teams who compete in national leagues, have full-time coaches and players with university scholarships to play volleyball. This year, they also competed in the Student Cup Finals. The women’s firsts have consistently been strong competitors in the BUCS Wales and South West Division. Although volleyball has its serious side, the club also has a thriving social volleyball aspect, with the club attending friendly tournaments at Warwick and Aberystwyth Universities. This is a great experience for all involved, being able to watch volleyball at all levels and meet lots of players who love the sport and have a good time while playing it. Looking to the future, CUVC would love to see more people trying out the sport. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London on the horizon, the profile of volleyball in the UK is set to rise, with both the Indoor and Beach GB squads showing great success over the past year.


Media // 30

Media Coverage

When you are playing for @TheWelshVarsity Cup, it's not a matter of life or death. Its more important than that.

By Jamie Evans Gair Rhydd Sport will be covering every square inch of Varsity with interviews, commentary, match reports and full analysis of every sport taking place on the day, culminating with the showpiece rugby game against the green-and-whites in the evening at the Millennium Stadium. We will be printing an extensive preview for

Xpress Radio are live from the Millenium Stadium, broadcasting every second of the action live and as it happens. There is coverage all day from 9 till 12, starting with your last-minute build-up and ending with top punditry covering all of the fall-out. You’ll hear from us first who’s in the lead and on course to win the Varsity Shield, and you’ll know first who has won the Varsity Trophy. As opposed to last year, this year’s coverage will be truly Cardiff-centric, giving you the top Cardiff pundits from Xpress Radio. Tom Gerken and Chris Browning will be with you throughout the day to give their top analysis on everything as it unfolds. Joined by a different pundit every hour, including the likes of Pete Robertson and Martyn John, Xpress will bring you every update when it

not only the rugby, but for as many sports as possible that will be representing Cardiff University at Varsity. We wish Cardiff University the best of luck and let’s hope we can once again have a successful Varsity and beat Swansea in as many sports as we can. GO CARDIFF!

happens. Xpress’ top roving reporters will even call in live to update you on every sport happening in the biggest rivalry this side of Newport. Also, expect some special guest appearances from top figures from all of the sports in question, giving their analysis moments before kickoff. Xpress Radio: Your City, Your Soundtrack, Your Sport. You can’t get this anywhere else.

By Tom gerken

re phe is s o atm ng. Th e h t ar, y buzzi er and e y l g st “La bsolute be big teams a e ly was will on h all th .” s k year r! I wi t of luc e s bett the be


media // 31 By Beckie Saunders

Once again, Varsity 2012 sees Cardiff Union TV heavily involved in the excitement of the day. Last year, we worked alongside the Millennium Stadium team for the first time, putting our members pitch-side to catch the atmosphere of the game, as well as producing a motivational film for the Varsity build-up. Check out the Sports section on the CUTV website to see a bit more of the Varsity preparations so far. This year, CUTV are going to be at the stadium again, working alongside S4C to film the match, as well as sending our own cameras to the day games to make sure we catch as much of the day as possible. Look out for our camera crews during the day – the highlights will be screened at the stadium in the evening. S4C are broadcasting live and there will be some exciting live broadcast announcements from CUTV in the next few days! Keep an eye out on www.cardiffunion.tv

Make this the best day games yet. I know you will all do your best as always.

@Thewelshvarsity Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. – Michael Jordan

Marion Coxshall, AU co-ordinator

@TheWelshVarsity, not only a great day out a wonderful motivator to get your coursework done

Abby Carlisle


surfing // JiU Jitsu // 32

The Varsity surf competition is always a hotly contested battle in the water to crown a champion from the two major South Wales universities, as well as uniting the clubs as teams on the beach in support of their surfers. We have dominated previous years, but with a strong Swansea side and a younger Cardiff team, 2012 is set to be a tightly matched and fierce competition. With the 2012 event being held at Cardiff ’s local surfing beach, Rest Bay, our team has the advantage of local knowledge: key in the oftentricky conditions. Ones to watch in this year’s team include the women’s Charlotte Bayliss, currently leading the British Student Surf Tour, as well as Frankie Pioli, Julie Royer and Alice Brown. The strength of our current women’s team gained Cardiff a third-place finish in this year’s BUCS. After Cardiff ’s men’s team finished 2nd in the 2010/11

BUCS, albeit with a disappointing performance this year, surfers such as Mark Thompson and Sam Joyce will be pushing for our success in Varsity with added commitment to prove their skills.

This academic year has seen big changes in university surfing, with the establishment of the Student Surf Tour (SST); as well as the oneoff BUCS surfing competition in Oc-

Jiu-JITSU

tober, a series of nationwide events are held under the SST, raising the level of participation in the sport and its profile on the university stage. As well as improving the competitive side, the tour provides the basis for a year-long social and travel schedule, aligning surfing with the more typical sports. Further to the competition side, this year has seen beginners’ trips to the local beaches; these have garnered a loyal following, developing the club from its roots and offering everyone – from social member to national competitor – the chance to get involved.

The prospects for the surf club are exciting, both in this year’s Varsity and the line-up of events for next year. If you’d like to get involved, feel free to ask any questions via the club’s Facebook group, or come have a chat at September’s AU fayre.

By tom major

BY JOSH THORN

Kime: not the naan – although it is delicious, this page is not dedicated to the starchy, almond and coconut stuffed accompaniment to many curry dishes. It is, in fact, dedicated to the impressive efforts and achievements of Cardiff JiuJitsu this year (sorry to disappoint, but keep reading, food is mentioned again!). Kime, in Japanese martial arts, translates as ‘focus’, something that, throughout the exam period, I’m sure many students are trying to achieve! However, it is with great excitement that I am writing about the first ever Varsity jiu-jitsu contest, and doing a fantastic job of avoiding revision. I have no doubt that there will be displays of great skill, skill that has been acquired through years (although in some cases only months!) of hard work, pain (lots of pain), and of course, kime. The constant pursuit of perfection is required of all jiu-jitsu practitioners, for the techniques require a combination of body-awareness, precision, timing and – above all – calm.

The pain we inflict upon each other in training has nothing to do with anger or hate – it is emotionless, as emotion can cloud your ability and thoughts. If a mistake is made on the street, you can’t step back, stamp your feet in frustration, and just try it again. If you make a mistake, you have a splitsecond to correct it before you are hit, or much worse. There is not time for emotion in such an unforgiving environment, and so we make up for it by drinking after every session, and eating cake. Lots of cake. The jiu-jitsu club has gone from strength to strength this year, with more members than I can remember, a huge variety of sessions, national courses, a national competition (in which we achieved a first place), a few socials (one of which is a combination of memorable and a complete blank for some), a Christmas dinner, many inappropriate jokes, and a couple of minor injuries, including on my part, hair loss (thanks, Kate).


Taekwondo // 33

Taekwondo Taekwondo is a martial art wellknown for kicking, blocks and strikes. Similar to amateur boxing, competitive taekwondo sees athletes fight for points rather than knock-outs, which makes it far less daunting. However, out of the university martial arts we are probably the most competitive.

By Oli mather

ine Jawed produced an incredible first competitive contest in a smart performance where she dominated her opponent 6–1 on points. Continuous free sparring was the format for the remaining fights.

Last year’s Varsity included taekwondo for the first time in its history. Cardiff took on arch-rivals Swansea and managed to secure a solid win that helped the university win the overall Varsity shield and therefore bragging rights for the upcoming year. Not knowing what to expect, both teams arrived at the venue in high spirits and confident of a win. Spectators also arrived in great numbers – about 50 in total – to watch the one ring we had set up. The spectators decked in Swansea green were the most numerous and vocal but were quickly silenced by the initial Cardiff dominance when the patterns event started. Cardiff were able to secure a strong foothold in this event and led 10–1 as it drew to a close. Gareth Davies led the assault with two faultless performances. The spectators’ volume increased two-fold when the sparring began. The first two fights were point stop in an attempt to protect some of our newest female members. Kather-

Due to numbers, some members had to step up twice or were forced to fight higher grades. Every member of the team can be extremely proud of their performances. The experienced trio of Michael Perks, Adam Gaunt and Oli Mather brought home four points for Cardiff between them from some strong performances. Jess Phillips (red tag) showed considerable heart and bravery when facing a blackbelt after only recently returning to taekwondo after a considerable break. In what was a very close fight, Jess was pipped to the post by her opposite number, but it couldn’t have been closer, proving what can be done if you believe in yourself and show indomitable spirit.

The sparring finished 7–7, so after an exhausting day, Cardiff had gained an emphatic victory of 26–8. With spirits high, the club left to watch the Varsity rugby match hosted in the Millennium stadium, only to observe a Cardiff loss, but in what was a highly enjoyable day, it was only scant consolation for the ‘Green Machine’ of Swansea. This year, competitively, has been brilliant. While up in Leeds at the National Universities competition, we had a chance to scope out what Swansea had to offer. They were good, but not good enough. We ranked 2nd overall, one medal behind the home team, Leeds, returning home with 20 medals across all disciplines. Having recently competed at the English open, Cardiff University taekwondo club now ranks 6th in Britain. In addition, our coach has recently promoted to Welsh coach and this means that the Welsh squad comes down regularly to train with the team. Thia has set us perfectly for this year’s Varsity.

I just want the competition to run smoothly and be lighthearted and fun. Varsity is all about team spirit, and I think this will show.

Emily Batson, Swansea TKD


American football // 34

American Football The first American football Varsity match was held in 2009, at Llanrumney playing fields. That year, a fledgling Swansea Titans team, not even yet in the British Universities League, played the vastly more experienced Cobras team in a shutout, 50-point victory for Cardiff. Swansea were admitted to the league the following season, but couldn’t muster anything more than the previous Varsity match; even in front of a home crowd on a boiling day at Sketty Fields, the Titans were hammered again, and failed to score a single point. But that’s all in the past. Cardiff will see this as a new battle against a team who have improved season-on-season. Defence has always been Cardiff ’s strength – which showed earlier this season with a 14–7 grind-out win for the Cobras in the league – and with defensive lineman Larry Hunt, and linebackers Ollie Devon and James Fooks all playing their last games in red-and-black, the Cobras will look to go out with a bang. No Varsity match was played last year due to the Cobras playing National quarter-finals and semifinals on the weekends either side of Varsity, something Swansea’s AU President found difficult to comprehend. However, we aim to make up for it this year, and hopefully make it two wins out of two this season. It might not be the prettiest of match-ups, especially if the rain comes down at Pontcanna, but the game guarantees to be the hardest-hitting event of the day.

by james Fooks

This year will see the American football Varsity


Ultimate Fisbee // 35

Ultimate Frisbee

OK, I’ve heard of Frisbees. You throw them around with your mates in the park, right? What makes Ultimate Frisbee so “ultimate”? Well, first of all, the sport is actually just called Ultimate. “Frisbee” is just one brand of flying disc, so they can’t use it in the name. As for what makes it so “ultimate”, the game is played in teams of seven, who pass the disc between them in an attempt to score in the “end zone”, similar to American football. However, as in netball, players may not run with the disc and can pass in any direction. Go on… The game is limited to 90 minutes, after which, the team with the most points wins (obviously!). However, if one team reaches 15 points before the other, they win regardless of how much time is left. Oh, and after every score, the teams switch ends so that neither receives too much of an advantage (or disadvantage) from windy conditions. That doesn’t sound very “ultimate” to me… Oh trust me, it is. Some of the catches these guys pull off are phenomenal, and you won’t believe the accuracy of some of the professionals. Hmm, OK, I’ll take your word for it. So Cardiff has a

team, does it? Are they any good? Indeed it does. Cardiff No Frills has been going for a number of years now, and they’ve won a fair few competitions, both indoor and outdoor. This year, the team came 4th in indoor regionals, qualifying them for Division 2 of the national indoor championship, which they won. Then they came 2nd in the regional outdoor competition, putting them among the top 16 Ultimate teams in the UK. So who are the players I should be looking out for when Varsity rolls around? Well, Josh Coxon-Kelly, Sam Bowen and Kei Matsumoto all play club Ultimate for Chevron, one of the top three club sides in the UK, while Rhys Evans was selected for the GB Under-20 squad last year. All four have been instrumental to No Frills’ recent success. Sounds like we have a pretty good chance in the big game then! I think you might be right. In all honesty, this is one match in the Varsity calendar that you can pretty much chalk up as a Cardiff win before it’s even started. Cardiff No Frills have never lost a Varsity game, always reaching the 15-point target before the 90 minutes are up, and Swansea’s best score is 4.


lacrosse // 36

men's lacrosse Following a highly successful 2011/12 campaign, the Cardiff University Men’s Lacrosse team will be going into the most important match of the year on a high. Reaching the BUCS National Final was no easy feat, a record in itself for the club. Smashing Swansea 8–4 on the road to the final should stand Cardiff in good stead for the forthcoming Varsity fixture. The win over Swansea was followed by wins over Canterbury (14–0), Hertfordshire (10–4) and Cambridge (7–1), meeting Leeds Met in the final. Despite losing to the better team on the day, it steeled the team’s grit and determination for a 2012 Varsity win. This season’s battles against Swansea have favoured Cardiff with one draw and one win early in the season, and

after a fast-paced and aggressive match towards the close of the season, Cardiff are hungry for a Varsity victory. Reflecting on last year’s Varsity match is not a particularly happy task for many of last year’s team. As ever, the match was an even affair, with Cardiff once again failing to secure the much sought-after Varsity point.

Moving towards Varsity, Cardiff are looking strong and the coaches are hopeful. We are expecting to see a Cardiff line-up similar to that of the final in Sheffield. The game of lacrosse is one in which any team can win on any given day. Despite finishing the BUCS season on level points with Swansea, Cardiff plan to go out on the pitch and to make it their day.

Your Varsity Team Defence

Thomas Gillingham (GK) Phill Pexton Jack Ward Joey Rickman Ben Cornish Silas Fuller

Midfield

Ceri Hill (LSM) Charlie Quarry James Gibson Ondrej Teluch

Attack

Elliot May Bradley Cooper Ollie Raban Nick Martin James Tilley Joakim Schuwer

ladies' lacrosse We are a large club with a variety of members from complete beginners to international players. The coaching sessions are great fun – the perfect way to meet new people, learn an exciting new sport, and improve your fitness.

We have a ladies’ 1st team playing in the BUCS league on Wednesday afternoons for more experienced players, and a ladies’ 2nd team for budding players who are looking to develop their skills and make

that leap to an experienced level of play. Club lacrosse is the ideal opportunity for all members of all standards to get together and have a lot of fun. We offer beginners coaching every Thursday in preparation for participating in weekly intraclub matches with all other club members. Mixed matches are on Sundays in the SouthWest league – the perfect combination of lacrosse, fun and McDonalds!

T B L L T A B M O G T T


fencing

The Cardiff Ladies’ Fencing team have been the most successful Cardiff sports team this year, going unbeaten all season and becoming the BUCS Championship Trophy winners. Such a successful team was not just down to every member’s excellent fencing ability and success, but also the great team spirit – that of team ‘destroy’. The team consisted of Eryn Spinlove, Lucy Ridsdale, Lydia Fuller and Tessa Lomax, with the help of Dhania Haron, Alice Maurel and Frankie Piolo. Eryn Spinlove, a national fencer, achieved unbelievable indicators of +36 throughout the season; Lucy Ridsdale, who competed for Scotland in the last senior Commonwealth Games, also performed excellently for the team, as did Lydia Fuller and Tessa Lomax, the team captain. All the matches were not only won but were

Thanks to all contributors:

fencing // 37

won very convincingly, with Cardiff beating Aberystwyth 135–28 in their match, before Swansea were beaten almost as heavily, 135–48. The team was finally tested when they went up to Sheffield for the Trophy final against Dundee. Despite the match being quite close, with a final score of 124–120, Cardiff still managed to come out on top to claim the trophy for the second year running. Due to their great success in the league, the team is due to play in the Premiership play-offs against London, fighting for a place in the Premiership next year. This year has been hugely successful, yet even more success is due to come next year, with new additions to the team and the hope of playing in the Premiership alongside universities known for their fencing excellence. Bring on next year!

Tom Parry-Jones, James Fooks, Philippa Ako, Laura Singleton, Josh Bugajski, Adam Crozier, Rosanna Hill, Sophie Cudley, Tazine Bogue, Laura Harman, Ben Cornish, Tom Major, Rebecca Saunders, Craig Lodge, James Howard, Jamie Evans, Tom Gerken, Becky Roberts, Tessa Lomax, Dan Ryan Lowes, Emily Batson, Richard Lancaster, Andrew Roberts, Zak Shayler, Marina Carre, Jess Shotton, Johnaton Beer, Oli Mather, Marion Coxshall, Chrissy Owens, Matt Foreman, Martyn Fowler, Ollie Devon, Chris Davies, Marcus Coates-Walker, Ollie Smith, Sarah Halpin, Alec Care, Josh Thorn, Jamie Roberts, Gethin Jenkins, Liam Williams, Sam Warburton, Rhys Williams, Tom Isaacs, Rosie Hill, Backy Roberts, Huw Evans Picture Agency, The WRU, Cardiff University Athletic Union and Magic Wrap.


Cheerleading // 38

By Philippa ako Cheerleading may not be the university’s most prolific sport, but it has definitely become one of the most successful this year, bringing home a total of seven trophies back to Cardiff. Captain Laura Harman and Vice-captain Sarah Moore had the difficult task of forming two competition teams and a cheer squad out of the 150 girls who came to try out, all of whom showed great promise and interest in a sport that many do not realise is such a growing force in the UK. The standard at try-outs shone throughout the year, as the teams quickly picked up the routines given to them by top cheerleading coach Rebecca Parker. Harman and Moore made the decision to give both teams equal training time – three times a week, including the use of a gymnastics facility – and this decision definitely paid off, as the girls have had one of their most successful seasons yet in their 10-year history. Parker’s four-day choreography camp was as gruelling as it sounds, but it offered the girls the best routines they had ever received, with tough stunts that would max out their judging scores, and dances that showed the finesse of

the squad. The Snakecharmers were equipped with the tools to show their class this season, and had three fantastic competitions that proved it.

The Snakecharmers’ first competition at the BCA Western Classic in Newport marked a return to cheerleading governing body BCA, and the first time the squad had entered group stunt teams. The Level 5 squad impressed the crowd early on in the day and won a welldeserved first place. The trophies did not stop there, and Venom, the Level 4 squad, came first in their division, and Poison, who compete at Level 2, came third. Venom added to the silverware by coming second at a very competitive ICC University Nationals. Their inventive routine and cool edge gave the judges no

choice but to reward them with a place in the 2013 World University Cheerleading competition in Orlando, Florida. The girls are currently working hard to raise funds for such an amazing opportunity.

The last competition in the season was the ICC British Open in Nottingham, at which the Level 5 Group Stunt won yet another trophy, this time coming second. This competition features allstar squads and teams from all over the country that have members who have been cheerleading from a young age, so it was a credit to Venom and Poison that they finished 4th and 5th in their respective divisions.

The year doesn’t stop there for the girls, though. They have been lucky enough to provide pre-match entertainment for Cardiff Blues this season – a partnership that they hope to carry on in the future – and have been busy working hard to perform yet another fantastic half-time show at Varsity.

We all know that Swansea will have plenty of tricks up their sleeves, but our girls have the silverware and the moves to back up their title as the best university squad in Wales.


Here come the girls Interview with captain

Cheerleading // 39

Laura Harman

What does Varsity mean to you and the girls? Varsity is one of my favourite days of the year. I always love to support all of our teams. I wish we could have this great level of inter-team support throughout the year because it really drives you on to success. From a cheerleading perspective, it is brilliant that our teams get the opportunity to show their university what they do, and hopefully dispel some of those myths about what cheerleading is. And, of course, there’s not much to match the thrill of performing on-pitch at the Millennium Stadium, always an incredible place. What do you think Swansea will bring to the table this year? Every year, Swansea bring great competition to Varsity. In my years at Cardiff University, though, I’ve seen resounding wins of the Shield for Cardiff, so I’m hoping that will continue. We are always excited to see what Swansea Sirens can bring to the pitch. I know we both want to wow the crowd and we’ll both be looking to add some tricks that we’ve got hidden up our sleeves. What do you think Varsity is doing for the profile of cheerleading in Wales? Varsity gives us an opportunity to show the university population, alumni and the wider community who watch the match what competitive cheerleading does. Because of safety precautions, we do have to remove some of our dangerous stunts. This means that if you want to see competitive cheerleading at its most intense, you still need to go to a competition, but hopefully we can still include something impressive to support our teams and, unofficially, beat Swansea! Cheerleading is a growing sport throughout the UK, so Varsity is a great opportunity to demonstrate our continued advancements. Obviously, the Charmers have had a fantastic year; what are you anticipating for the future? This is my last year at Cardiff University and I am confident that I am leaving the squad in the hands of the right people who will continue to push it forward. This year, we have continued in our all-girl cheer categories. As well as this, we have started competing in all-girl group stunt, in which one group does a routine filled only with stunt after stunt after stunt. I am hoping next year that time and money mean the incoming committee are able to continue these developments and also possibly begin a squad that can compete in one of the other categories offered at cheer competitions, such as jazz, pom dance or tumbling. We’d be happy to take on some boys and go co-ed too! For me, personally, I’m hoping to be able to continue competitive cheerleading with an all-star squad. If you could choose a highlight of the year, just one, what would it be? Oh, what a tough question! Both of our squads and our group stunt team have been incredibly successful. However, I’d have to say my highlight for this year would be ICC University Nationals, where Venom, our Level 4 squad, qualified for the ICU World University Championship, held in Florida. We are fully aware of how much work we’ll have to put in to be able to go out and make Cardiff University and Wales proud. The competition was held in Doncaster, and featured squads of a variety of levels. It was a great opportunity to support other universities and see what they’ve been able to bring this year. The atmosphere is nothing like a lot of people would expect; there is nothing but support, help and encouragement offered between teams. I’m going to cheat and add another highlight: a 12-hour danceathon we’re hoping to hold in memory of a squad member’s cousin, raising money for Meningitis UK. We’re currently awaiting approval so please come and help us in this, everyone!


           


UNDOD - Issue 5 Varsity Special