In a historic first, University of Cambridge Sport has recognised the exceptional achievements of student athletes outside of the traditional Blue’s structure. A panel of Senior University representatives was formed to select the winners of many of the categories, but the “Sporting Moment” category went to the public vote. Out of seven categories ranging from Club of the year to Unsung Hero, there were winning Caians in four of them, cementing Caius’ excellent sporting representation.
The Team of the Year was the first to be announced. The Small Bore Rifle Club were the winners, featuring Caian Fergus Flanagan. This award recognised the Team which won first place at the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Short Range Championships for the fourth consecutive year. The results indisputably make CUSBC the most successful university shooting club in the country, and thus deserving winners of Team of the Year.
Also celebrated for their sporting achievements was the University Powerlifting Club, which won Club of the Year. This award was aimed to recognise a student sports club that had achieved success across participation, performance, leadership and sustainability. It has been a year to remember for the Club including Varsity success, national titles and GB representation at the World University Games. Second-year engineering student and club-member Shiv Kapila said, “It has been a fantastic experience being a part of CUPLC this year. Knowing that I'll be training with my friends and constantly learning from others makes the long cycle to the University Sports Centre worth it!” The development squad, of which Shiv is a member, was created this year to pair novice lifters with a programme and a mentor. Shiv praised it: “There is a very strong sense of community and each lifter, no matter their experience in the sport, feels included.” This scheme allowed the club to more than double the number of lifters who competed in official powerlifting meets. This breadth of success is what secured CUPLC victory in this round.
Holly Tasker, a medic in her fifth year brought home the Unsung Hero Award. This recognised someone “that quietly does all the work that makes the Club/Team/League etc. function.” This year, it was awarded to someone who was described as running the women’s cricket cub “almost entirely single-handedly” for the last two years. Not only is she currently in her second year as President of the Women’s Cricket Club, Holly has also been a key member of the Cambridge University Student Sport Advisory Group and on the Committee for The Ospreys, Cambridge’s Women’s Sport Society. Not letting the fact that cricket season has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic keep her down, Holly reported, “We are keeping in touch with each other via weekly video call fitness sessions and socials, and are keeping our fingers crossed that perhaps we could play at least one fixture together later on in the year.” Displaying the “patience and professionalism” which helped her secure this prize, Holly says she is “definitely looking forward to getting back to Addenbrooke’s, seeing patients, seeing my friends, and making the most of my final year as a student here”.
The final award announcement was decided by popular vote and was of course the winner of the best Sporting Moment. We were pleased to have multiple Caians shortlisted in this category. The Women Varsity Hockey Team were nominated, captained by third year engineering student Amy Edwards, who scored the opening goal of the match, leading Cambridge Hockey to their first win in five years! Amy said, “We went into the Varsity match as underdogs playing in a BUCs league below the Oxford side but knew that we had both the talent and correct mind-set to perform on the day and showed incredible teamwork and composure to win the game on penalty shuffles after battling to a 3-3 draw. ...After a very busy year balancing the commitment of being a Blues captain alongside completing my degree it was very rewarding to see the hard work and training pay off and I am confident that this win will pave the way for many more Varsity wins for the Women’s Blues in years to come.”
Video Credit - Galvinised Hockey, posted by Cambridge University Sport
They were narrowly beaten to the winning position by Alex Schlindwein of Cambridge University Fencing Club. During the 2020 Fencing Varsity, Alex, a medic, led a heroic comeback. When it looked as though the CUFC Men’s Blues had lost the 113th Varsity Match, Alex showed a cool head and single-handedly clinched victory in what has been described as “the most epic comeback in CUFC Varsity history”. Alex has now gone on to start his career as a doctor in Glasgow a little earlier than planned, but says that his final victory in the Varsity match and winning the first ever University Sporting Moment of the Year was “the icing on the cake”. He finished offering thanks to "everyone that voted and to my friends and family that have supported me over the years," he continued, "I am a strong advocate for getting involved in sport alongside academia. Sport has been a massive part of my University life, and has given me some of my best times here.”
Video Credit - Fernando Schlindwein, posted by Cambridge University Sport
We are so proud of all of our Caians and in particular how well they have represented their College in their sporting achievements. We know they will continue to make us proud, whether they are undergoing their exams in very uncertain circumstances, or setting out into the world of work under challenging conditions.