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Sports Awards 2022 - Club of the Year Shortlist

Featuring some of the all-round highest achieving clubs this year, these shortlistees have made it a year to remember for a variety of reasons.  

Got your tickets for the big event yet? Reserve them for free, and join us to see who is crowned Club of the Year at the Sports Awards Ceremony on Monday 20th June.

Demonstrating success in all areas, here's more about each of our nominees: 

 

CU Ice Hockey Club

A season of change for Ice Hockey at Cambridge saw the amalgamation of the Men’s and Women’s Clubs into one single, the merging an effort to consolidate resources to grow and promote ice hockey in Cambridge.  

“Thanks to the unification of clubs and the cost of ice time being covered by our agreement with the new Cambridge ice rink, the club saw record participation numbers, with 67 members, 23 of which were female. All three teams from the club regularly drew crowds in the stands for home games that consisted of friends and many local community members.  

The Varsity matches were hosted for the second time ever in the Cambridge Ice Rink in front of a sold out crowd of 500 and, with the help of Cam Uni Sport, live streamed to over 1k viewers for the Women’s Varsity and 1.7k viewers of the Men’s Varsity. The quality of the Cambridge teams and the matches against their Oxford rivals did not disappoint the spectators, with the Women’s Blues taking a commanding 6-3 victory over Oxford, claiming the Coyne Cup for the 39th Women’s clash and the Cambridge Men’s Blues taking a dramatic late victory over Oxford by a score of 4-2. These two wins marked the fourth Varsity consecutive win for both the Men’s and Women’s Light Blues, speaking to the sustained commitment to recruiting and developing players at the club. 

We were able to celebrate the strides we’ve made as a club and community at the 2022 Alumni Game and inaugural Alumni reception. The reception brought together over 100 alumni as we celebrated 40 years of Women’s Ice Hockey at Cambridge. In preparation for this event, we went deep into the archives and found pictures/memorabilia that we brought to the rink. The smiles when player’s saw their faces on display was priceless. It was incredible to witness alumni from the first Women’s Varsity Match in 1982, all the way to recent alumni, come together and celebrate how much our clubs have grown. Multiple alumni remarked that this unification was something that they dreamed of when they played at Cambridge. It was heart-warming to hear that we finally were able to make those dreams a reality.” 

 

CU Mixed Lacrosse Club

CUMLC are a club going from strength to strength in all areas, having more than doubled their membership numbers over the past few years, while also doubling their number of committee roles. In addition, CUMLC have capitalised on what is a growing sport in the UK, successfully coordinating the College Mixed Lacrosse League, an informal and relaxed way for beginners to play, with 19 teams and over 250 people taking part this season.  

The CUMLC Blues team won the England Lacrosse National Club Championships, being undefeated in the domestic league and winning the 10th consecutive Varsity. The victory in the national finals officially makes the CUMLC Blues the best Mixed Lacrosse team in the country!  

“Alongside an excellent team performance, CUMLC has seen 5 of their current Blues players selected to join the highest level of Mixed Lacrosse, playing for Home Nations Lions Lacrosse. The first ‘Elite’ Mixed lacrosse team in the world, HNL competes against national women’s teams such as England, regional teams such as South-West England, elite select teams such as SEMLA & SELWA All Stars and in international competitions such as the Germa Lacrosse Convention.” 

 

CU Mountaineering Club

After making its debut in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, climbing has skyrocketed in popularity and CUMC have been quick to capitalise, with their paid club membership increasing from 17 to 170. Through the increased popularity, CUMC have developed the competitive side of the club, with UCAPP athlete and speed climbing specialist Matthew Fall encouraging participation at BUCS Climbing and the London University Bouldering Event – Cambridge sending more climbers than ever to the BUCS event. In addition, CUMC saw over 100 competitors in their Cuppers event, a more than 5 times increase than usual!  

“Climbing is a really special and unique sport, which stands out from others by just how social it is – even the pro’s exchange ideas on how to climb routes on the international stage. CUMC prides itself on being friendly and inclusive club, in which beginners and the elite can climb side by side and have a great time together. Following the pandemic, CUMC has taken the opportunity to develop a community of climbers in Cambridge that is shown by the increase in numbers and increase in visibility.  

Further, we have taken the initiative to host climbing movie screening nights (including the Brit rock tour) which is also open to the general public to bridge the gap between the university students and the general climbing public. This year CUMC has proved that climbing is no longer a fringe, unheard of sport but is instead establishing itself as mainstream and here to stay, whilst remaining true to its roots and the mountains.” 

 

CU Netball Club

A successful year for CULNC culminated in the league title and promotion for the Blues to Midlands Tier 1, which they had targeted at the beginning of the year.  

The club have also had their highest ever membership numbers following the introduction their 4th team, and they retain a solid pathway for all netball players at the university through the coordination of the college netball leagues. The Mixed and Ladies leagues were coordinated excellently by League Secretary Amelia this year, with over 60 teams and 400 people competing in the various divisions, plus successful cuppers events taking place in Lent and Easter term.  

“This year we introduced our new fourth team, the Wrens, to increase the number of women participating in the university squad and maximise the amount of playing time that players in each team get throughout the season. CULNC also introduced the new Development Squad after receiving over 110 players at trials as a way of developing promising players with the aim of introducing them into the university squad next year.   

CULNC members have been instrumental in organising college matches and igniting enthusiasm for netball on a college level. This has been reinforced by the fact that members of the Blues and Jays have volunteered to lead Development Squad sessions, honing their ability to take leadership roles within the club committee next year.  

The club signed Oxbow Partners as a new junior sponsor, in addition to retaining our main sponsor Brown Shipley. The club has worked hard to build strong links with both sponsors this year, such as being the focus of Brown Shipley’s ‘Richer Life’ campaign which focused on balancing sporting excellence with academic success.” 

 

CU Swimming & Water Polo Club 

CUSWPC have been working hard this year not only on the performance of the team, but also key club development areas including coaching, offering opportunities for improving swimmers and alumni engagement. 

With 7 swimmers qualifying for the British Championships, and the Women’s Water Polo team retaining their place in a hard-fought BUCS Premier South division, the club have some high level performers, while the whole club trains hard to compete at the highest level they can. A testament to that is their growth in membership last year, supporting more swimmers and water polo players.  

“At CUSWPC we recognise the importance not only of establishing links with the broader community but also in utilising our position as a popular sport within Cambridge for the betterment of the world. In light of this, the water polo team arranged a 24-hour swimathon to raise money for the Ukraine relief effort. This was covered by the Cambridgeshire Live in an article and livestream interview, the Osprey’s newsletter and Girton College’s newsletter - where the event was held. They raised £7419 for the Red Cross’s work in Ukraine. 

Further, CUSWPC joined forces with OUSC to organise a 100 x 100m relay involving swimmers, water polo players and alumni. This event managed to raise £2420 for Save the Children charity, and allowed us to reconnect with our older alumni and nurture our relationship with the Oxford swimming club.”