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Sports Awards 2022 - Event and Winners Summary

University of Cambridge Sport were delighted to welcome guests to the inaugural Sports Awards event on Monday 20th June, to announce the winners of the University of Cambridge Sports Awards.  

Having had to deliver the awards virtually in 2020 and 2021, this year the Sports Centre was transformed into an awards venue, welcoming around 200 people from across the University and wider community to celebrate sport at Cambridge.   

The event was hosted by sports commentator, Darren Paul, with award announcers including outgoing Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education and Chair of Sports Committee, Professor Graham Virgo, as well as Cambridge alumnus and Founder of Power2Inspire, a local inclusive sports charity, John Willis. Awards were also presented by staff including Director of Sport, Nick Brooking, Deputy Director of Sport, Karen Pearce, Health, Fitness & Performance Manager, Tristan Coles, and Sports Club Support Manager, Lucy McGennity.   

The award winners themselves were selected by a panel of senior University staff, with the exception of the Sporting Moment of the Year, which was decided by an audience vote in the build-up to the event.  

Pictured: Professor Graham Virgo addresses the audience, ahead of introducing the first award winner.   

 

The event included a drinks reception for guests plus an awards ceremony to announce the winners, with each of the winners kind enough to share a few words on stage, all mentioning the support of their peers and their sports club in making their time at Cambridge special, demonstrating the value of sport and physical activity as part of the student experience at Cambridge.   

The seven categories were unchanged from 2020, with the results as follows:   

In the Team of the Year category, the Cambridge University Lawn Tennis Club Women’s Blues were the first winners on the day. This season they surpassed the achievements of all previous Cambridge tennis teams, winning the BUCS Premier South division. The team were assisted in no small part by #1 ranked Emily Arbuthnott, former competitor at the Wimbledon Girls’ Singles Championships, who did not drop a single set throughout the season, and picked up silver medals at the BUCS Individual Championships, and BUCS Doubles Championships – with partner Georgie Walker. The team take on Oxford in their Varsity Match at Moor Park Golf Club on 25th June, hoping to round off an incredible season with another victory.   

Pictured L-R: Four of the Women's Blues Lawn Tennis team - Kureha Yamaguchi (Clare), Emily Arbuthnott (Wolfson), Aisha Brown (Trinity), Georgie Walker (Clare)  

  

The first individual award, for Unsung Hero, went to Cambridge alumnus and Cambridge University Mixed Lacrosse Club Head Coach Qasim Alli (King’s). Qasim led the team to an outstanding season in which the Blues became England Mixed Lacrosse National Champions. As a student, Qasim was an enthusiastic member with CUMLC, and upon graduation created a brand new club, London City Panthers, in the capital. Returning to Cambridge to embark on his lacrosse coaching career, Qasim has had an enormous impact on a thriving Cambridge club – his enthusiasm leaving a mark on a club which grows year on year.   

 

Pictured: Captains Emily Jenkins (Newnham) and Sebastian Mitchell (Robinson) collect the award on Qasim’s behalf, reading a message from the award winner, alongside Power2Inspire Founder, John Willis.   

  

In the category for Sporting Moment of the Year, the audience voting took place for ten days leading up to the event, with votes coming in from far and wide. The four spectacular moments, from Varsity Victories to World Records (watch them again!) were replayed for the audience during the ceremony, with the final clip, of CU Boat Club – Women's Lightweight Boat Race Victory, announced as the category winner. Six of the team members headed up on stage to collect their awards, all decked out in their fresh new Blues blazers, getting a cheer from the crowd as they mentioned their emphatic victory over Oxford.   

Pictured L-R: Freya Sutcliffe (Jesus), Catherine King (Gonville & Caius), Casey Shepheard (Jesus), Amy Richardson (Pembroke), Jodie Cameron (Homerton), Gemma King (St. John’s)  

  

In the award for Outstanding Contribution, this year six award winners were recognised. Between them the six have given over 25 years of their time and effort to the sports clubs, making a massive contribution to club development. All have held multiple committee roles and contributed behind the scenes as well as on the field. They have all been a credit to their clubs, colleges and to Cambridge!

Loïc Lannelongue (Clare Hall) - Modern Pentathlon   

Alice Birch (Pembroke) - Dance Competition Team   

Chris Woolley (Jesus) - Canoe   

Elliott Stockdale (Queens’) - Rugby League   

Tabbie Brough (Queens’) - Netball, Rugby Union   

Camila Cimadamore-Werthein (Trinity Hall) - Polo  

 

The Sports Club Personality of the Year category saw a shortlist full of people who light up their clubs and who’ll be sorely missed when they move on. The winner was announced as Australian Phil Erm (Clare), President of Cambridge University Canoe Club, who couldn’t make it to the event, but sent in a fantastic acceptance speech from the seafront in Australia, complete with wetsuit, goggles, and a dive into the sea. Phil commented that he was "really stoked to have won the award.”   

Pictured: Oscar Bray (Jesus) and Christopher Woolley (Jesus) collecting on behalf of Phil, who is currently away completing PhD research in Australia.  

  

In the penultimate category, Sports Person of the Year, five outstanding student-athletes were shortlisted, all competing at a high level in their respective sports. The category was presented on stage by University of Cambridge Performance Manager, Tristan Coles, with the winner announced as Louise Shanahan (Trinity).   

Louise would have struggled to have a more successful year, qualifying for and competing at Tokyo 2021 in the 800m for Ireland, later winning a gold medal in the World Indoor Tour in Belgrade, and also setting a remarkable Irish national record of 1:59.42. In addition Louise won a gold medal in the 800m at the BUCS Indoor Athletics Championships, and achieved a silver medal in the 1500m in the BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships. Louise, a student-athlete on the University of Cambridge Athlete Performance Programme, commented “I am delighted to have been selected as the Cambridge University Sports Person of the Year. A massive thank you to everyone in Cambridge for their support over the last 3 years. Here's to the next few!”  

Pictured: Louise holds her Sports Person of the Year Trophy alongside Tristan Coles.  

  

The final award category for Club of the Year saw five clubs shortlisted for their various achievements over the course of the past year. One club was considered to have shown success in all areas, Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club, who merged into one mixed gender club from two separate clubs in 2021. After a successful merging of two large clubs, and having recently moved into the newly built Cambridge Ice Arena, CUIHC embarked on the new season with a “one club” mentality, aiming to create a joint and collaborative club where teams support one another. This was most evident at the Varsity Matches in March, where both Women’s and Men’s Blues secured victories in front of a huge crowd, as well as thousands watching the live stream provided by University of Cambridge Sport – their club slogan thus becoming “One Club, Two Trophies”.   

Pictured: President Simrat Sodhi (Lucy Cavendish) holds the trophy alongside the team and long serving coach Bill Harris – perhaps they will revise their slogan to “One Club, Three Trophies”.   

Our thanks go to Dik Ng for the photos!

University of Cambridge Sport would like to thank all involved in making the Sports Awards a success, from the guests joining us at the event, the voters in the Sporting Moment of the Year, and all who submitted nominations and engaged with us throughout. Until next year!