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Sports Awards 2023 - Newcomer of the Year Shortlist

New for 2023, it’s the Newcomer of the Year Award! 

Every year, new students and new committee members make a huge impact in their clubs on and off the field. This award category was introduced to recognise the amazing and transformational influence that those individuals have within Cambridge Sport.  

The nominations for this category were brilliant, and all six shortlisted individuals have come in and made an incredible impression on those around them.  

Got your tickets for the big event yet? Reserve them for free, and join us to see who is crowned Sports Club Personality of the Year at the Sports Awards Event on Monday 19th June. 


Here's more about each of our fantastic nominees: 

1. Alicia Anderson (Trinity) - Ice Hockey Club  

Alicia joined CUIHC’s Women’s Blues (WB) this year, in the first year of her PhD, and has already become arguably the most valuable player and leader on the team, both on and off the ice.

Alicia has played ice hockey her whole life, most notably as an elite level goalie in the Canadian university league, making her by far the most experienced player on the WB’s team. Despite her goalie experience, she is also an incredibly skilled offensive player - a rare combination, and making her an exceptionally well-rounded player. Alicia came to the team as a centre forward, and was instantly one of the most skilled players and top goal scorers on the ice. Despite wishing to retire as a goalie, Alicia stepped up to play as the WB goalie for the second half of the season and the varsity match. She had an incredible performance, and in a very tough varsity match, was the reason that we held the game to a 0-0 tie (eventually losing 1-0 in a penalty shootout). Despite playing in goal for almost half of the season, Alicia was still the team’s top goal scorer and the only WB player to score against Oxford this season! 

In addition to her unbelievable performance on the ice, Alicia immediately stepped up as a leader of the team after being appointed assistant captain. Alicia’s impressive knowledge and understanding of hockey combined with her natural talents as a teacher and leader have been invaluable. She helps planning and running effective practices, teaches strategy and skills, plans matches and line-ups, and also worked with the other CUIHC team goalies to provide goalie specific coaching and training. Off-ice, Alicia has taken on a great deal of administrative tasks, including stepping in to fill the role of team secretary when we didn’t have one, and often volunteering to help with any logistical or organisational tasks needed. Next year, Alicia will be co-captain of the team, and will likely lead the team as captain for the rest of her PhD. Finally, Alicia’s dedication to the team has been unparalleled; along with all of the extra work she put in, she also had the highest practice attendance on the team and never missed a game.  

It is rare for the CUIHC to see a player with the level of knowledge and skill that Alicia has, let alone in multiple positions. Alicia has already been an invaluable asset to the team both on and off the ice, and we can’t wait to see where she takes the club in the next few years of her PhD! Her unique skill set, leadership qualities, and dedication to the team make her an exceptional candidate for the Newcomer of the Year award. We strongly recommend her for this prestigious honour. 


2. Anna Basford (Emmanuel) – Modern Pentathlon Club  

This is Anna Basford’s first year at Cambridge University Modern Pentathlon Club, and she has been blowing everyone away with her fantastic results. She started off the year by winning Novice Varsity (open to any first year athlete), leaving her nearest competitor behind by 732 points. BUCS was next on her hit list: double gold, both individually and as part of the Cambridge A team! Clearing individual second by over 400 points, and near 2000 points clear in the team. This included a 7s PB in her swim time.

Then it was time for the pièce de résistance: Varsity 2023! She stormed to a joint 1st place in the Ladies Blues fence, followed by another 4s PB to come 2nd in the swim event. She followed it up with 2nd place in the ride event, then finished the job with 1st place in the combined event (running + shooting)! All of this together led Anna to an individual gold, and thus Varsity 2023 Ladies Champion! In doing so she also achieved her Full Blue, over 400 points clear of the score needed for this, and the first woman to get one since 2019! The Women’s Blues also beat Oxford in the team event, which she was of course a part of. She also took home the trophy for best skills tri (fence, ride, shoot), as well as the Cook Cup for best novice (having not competed in Varsity before). 

Overall, Anna has proved herself to be an incredible athlete, but also she has been a key member of the club in other ways – always willing to share her expertise in any of the five sports to help others at training sessions. She is kind, funny, and supportive, and for all these reasons I think she deserves to be Newcomer of the Year. It has not been an easy journey, given she had to adjust to the busy Cambridge lifestyle in Michaelmas and her Natural Sciences course is very intense in terms of contact hours. I met with Anna to chat through her goals in December, and we knew that a BUCS win and Varsity win were in her sights – but she would have to put in a fair bit of training to secure this. She really cranked up the effort in Lent, increasing her strength in the gym, working on her running (despite a niggling knee injury during term). But her work across all the disciplines really paid off. 

She is an inspiring individual who will only grow stronger, and I imagine we will see a lot more amazing results and contributions from her in the future. Based on her performances and contribution to Pentathlon life this year, I think she is very deserving of Newcomer of the Year.  


3. Bea Wood (Lucy Cavendish) – Hare & Hounds 

Part of the UCAPP programme

Won the National Junior Cross Country Championships

Selected for GB to race internationally

13th at BUCS XC for the bronze medal winning Cambridge team


4. Bianca Schor (Trinity) – Triathlon Club  

Bianca joined CUTriC this year as a beginner, but she became so invested in the club and had so many ideas for improvement, she joined the committee soon. Her positive energy and enthusiasm brightens every training session and competition.

She recruited many new members and was very helpful and welcoming to everyone. She became our sponsorship officer and managed to secure CUTriC sponsorship with The Mill, and She also developed Female Performance Squad, encouraging our female athletes to train together and support each other.


5. Charlotte Bardsley (Sidney Sussex) – Table Tennis Club 

Charlotte Bardsley is an England International Table Tennis player, who has played and competed at the highest levels of competition as both a junior and a senior. While balancing her first term at Cambridge, Charlotte stepped up to take over and be the women’s captain during her first year. 

After looking at the number and level of the women’s players available for competitions, Charlotte recognised that both BUCS and Varsity would be a very big challenge this year and so she worked with all the players both in the group training and in additional one to one coaching sessions to prepare them for the matches. 

Ultimately, Cambridge have had a very successful season so far. The women were recently able to beat Oxford 6 – 4 in the Varsity match, with a team consisting totally of freshers. Last Michaelmas term, Charlotte went to the Individual BUCS championship, bringing home the silver for Cambridge, facing stiff opposition from 115 competitors, including other senior international players. I believe that this is the first BUCS women’s individual medal for Cambridge in Table Tennis. Charlotte joined our club this year and is the only current Cambridge full Blue student athlete in the club. 

Heading into next year, Charlotte will be the vice president of the Cambridge University Table Tennis Club, introducing many changes in the club's current management scheme that are beneficial for all club members, which includes helping the club to engage more with the beginner-level players and improving the quality of coaching sessions. She has also decided to prepare for coaching some of the club's coaching sessions next year, bringing more of her expertise in table tennis to help the development of the vast majority. 


6. Jordan Mubako (St. John's) – Basketball Club, Rugby Union Football Club, Athletic Club   

Jordan managed to compete in three different university sports clubs this year. He completed the double, winning league and cup, with the men’s basketball blues, and he was also encouraged to participate in the Athletics Varsity, winning the high jump and achieving a second Blue in his first year. Jordan also competed with the CURUFC second team in BUCS, and was part of the Varsity winning side who stopped Oxford from scoring a single point.  

Jordan was also part of the Cuppers winning St. John’s College Rugby Club, named in the match report as the strongest performer on the day.  

Apart from being incredibly skilful, energetic and motivated, his joy and kindness makes everyone around him better.        


“Our brother Jordan Mubako is truly that guy – the charismatic, loving, humorous, and cheery athletic teammate we love, but the opponents dread! God bless him”. 

CU Basketball Club Blues Teammate, David Quan