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Winner - Club Outreach

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Club Outreach Award is... Cambridge University Karate Club! 


In a year where most of the usual club activities, including hand to hand combat, have been completely curtailed, CUKC have pulled together to ensure that the club remains vibrant and engaging for all members, through a concerted effort by committee and coaches.  


How could we practice a contact sport like karate during a lockdown that was likely to apply for several months and social distancing rules that were bound to limit our training possibilities well beyond lockdown? 

Far from just weathering the Covid storm, CUKC has made a series of fantastic achievements that have strengthened the Club during the pandemic and beyond”. 


From creating a new club constitution, through to the introduction of online training, adapted in-person training, fundraising for a local charitya bustling social calendar and well-developed alumni engagement, CUKC have adapted to thrive rather than survive in this tricky year! 


44% of this year’s Varsity squad and 36% of our 2021-22 committee is made up of new members in 2020 


A fantastic achievement for CUKC which demonstrates that despite the barriers faced, the club focused on engaging new members proactively to ensure the sustainability of CUKC. Limited session numbers and lockdown interruptions proved no problem for CUKC as they posted their best new membership numbers for several years.  


The club formalised its alumni relations, working with CU Development and Alumni Relations department to reach out to former members - this became a fascinating endeavour and resulted in many donations of archival material to the club from former members. Notably, photos from the 1970s and 80s and video footage of the 1995/6 Varsity Matches. We continue to engage with our alumni more than ever and look forward to hosting them at future Annual Dinners and Varsity Matches”. 


This engagement with alumni was particularly crucial, after the loss of Sensei Bob Poynton, who had helped to guide the club since its inception in 1976. In response the club have been able to create the Bob Poynton Memorial Trophy in remembrance of him, a gesture which has been well supported by the wider karate community. The trophy will be awarded each year at the annual dinner to an unsung hero within the club.  



As well as making sure the short-term future of the club was not only safe, but thriving, CUKC sought to engage past members to involve in current activities. This year through their own – online – club awards and dinner, which will hopefully return to in person events next year. 


Congratulations CU Karate!