Sports Awards 2021 | Sport at Cambridge skip to content

Sport at Cambridge


Sports Awards 2021

Cambridge Celebrates the Second Year of Sports Award Winners! 


As in 2020, the award winners of each category were published over the course of a week via the Sports Service social media platforms and website. 

Nominations were received during April for five award categoriesThe categories were revised to reflect what has been a challenging and disrupted year for University sport. It is hoped that 2022 will see the return of the original seven award categories.  

A panel of Senior University representatives was formed to select the winners of the awards, with a high quality of nominations and well deserving winners across every category.  


University of Cambridge Registrary, Emma Rampton, said


The students and clubs shortlisted for the 2021 Sports Awards have all found innovative ways to engage with club members wherever they are in the world.  

During a very challenging time for our students, the connections made through these clubs have been hugely important in promoting student health and wellbeing.  

I would like to thank all those who have worked tirelessly to run club activities throughout the year and to create a positive support network for members”. 


The first award to be announced was the Club Outreach Award, a new category introduced to reflect both the challenges that sports clubs have faced over the past year, and to celebrate the innovative ways in which they have kept members engaged in activity. CU Karate Club were revealed as the winners, a club who adapted their activities to thrive rather than ‘survive’ during 2020-21. They did this by creating a new club constitution, the introduction of online training, adapted in-person training, fundraising for a local charity, a bustling social calendar and well-developed alumni engagement.  


Another shortlisted clubnetball, engaged significantly with fundraising activities during the past year, raising over £8,000 for Cambridge Women’s Aid through running challenges and a virtual Varsity race with OxfordThis was one of a number of clubs that had used the time away from competitive sport to raise money for good causesMore information about Sports Club fundraising activities during the 2020-21 year: 


The Sports Club Personality of the Year was awarded to Rebecca Howitt (St. John's), who is Women's Water Polo Captain and Social Secretary for CU Swimming and Water Polo. 

Becca has inspired every single female on our team … she has ensured that the entire team has been able to keep fit and have fun together during a year in which most people have seen each other more times over a computer screen than in person!”  

Rebecca leaves for a year abroad as part of her Modern & and Medieval Languages studies, with the team in a great position after her fantastic efforts to energise members in 2020-21.   


Gates Cambridge scholar Ben Geytenbeek (Darwin) won the Unsung Hero award. Whilst carefully balancing PhD study, Ben spends countless hours committed to the development and sustainability of CU Real Tennis Club, based on Grange Road.   

His dedication and commitment to enhancing members’ experience at CURTC exemplifies the qualities of an unsung hero”. 


Seven individuals were given an Outstanding Contribution award this year. Between them, they had over 50 years collective experience of Cambridge sport.  

All of the award winners had a massive impact, not only on their Clubs, but sport at Cambridge as a whole. Full details of the recipients of the award, and quotes from their nominations can be seen here.  


  • Alex Russell (Magdalene) - Karate 

  • Catherine Richards (Peterhouse) - Polo 

  • Georgina Dunkinson (Newnham) - Canoe 

  • Jonathan Vibhishanan (Pembroke) - Boat Club 

  • Joy Lisney (King’s) - Athletics, Cricket, Lacrosse, Cycling, Triathlon 

  • Richard Poole – Karate 

  • Scott Annett (Robinson) - Rugby Union 


The final award, Club of the Year, was awarded to worthy winners, CU Cycling Club. A dramatic rise in members to 247 this year meant that, not only can CUCC stake their claim as the largest club at Cambridge, it refocused its efforts on creating safe and enjoyable activities for beginner and recreational cyclists at Cambridge.  

The Club diligently adhered to the changing Covid-19 restrictions, working together as a committee to deliver engaging activities for members both in person and online, while at the same time also performing at a high level in racing when restrictions eased.  

CUCC members took to National Time Trials to once again demonstrate the level of performance the club operates at, with 2 riders placing in the top 10 at the National 50 Mile TT championships, 2 within the top 15 at the National Hill Climb Championships and 4 within the top 40 at the National 25 Mile TT Championships. Vast success has been seen at Open events too, with numerous wins from many riders. 

CUCC, with the support of the Sports Service, also successfully hosted the only BUCS Cycling event of the 2020-21 year with the BUCS 25 Mile Time Trial at Newmarket. Event organiser James Quigley (Fitzwilliam) worked diligently to facilitate a safe and enjoyable event for 180 riders.  


Graham Virgo, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, said


It was a privilege to read the impressive nominations for the Sports Awards 2021. I wish to convey my congratulations to all the winners. 

I have been impressed by the creativity and engagement of all the nominees with their sport and with their clubs in what has been a very challenging year for everybody.