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Sports Awards 2023 - Sports Person of the Year Shortlist

This prestigious award recognises the highest achieving student-athlete at the University of Cambridge. 

Taking into account sporting performance over the past year, Cambridge has a number of student-athletes competing nationally and internationally in contention for the award, including UCAPP and TASS athletes. 

This shortlist of five top performers show the breadth of sporting achievement and talent at Cambridge, not to mention their achievements delicately balancing sporting pursuits with academic success.  

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


Here's more about each of our inspirational nominees: 

1. Alice Good (Emmanuel) - Rifle Association  

Having picked up rifle shooting at Cambridge in 2018, Alice has won the most prestigious competition in target rifle shooting - HM The Queen's Prize - in July 2022. This was the culmination of her very successful captaincy, which saw Cambridge take both Varsity trophies home again in summer 2022.

In a traditionally male-dominated sport, Alice is only the third woman to win the Sovereign's Prize in its 162 year history, and one of the youngest winners. This is an outstanding and historic achievement, which serves as an inspiration to other young and female shooters to take up the sport, thus promoting the diversification of the sport. 

Since her incredible victory, Alice has joined the GB under 25 squad and been selected for their team for the 2024 World Championship in South Africa. As someone who has contributed so much to our club's success in recent years and succeeded internationally at the highest possible level in the sport, Alice is truly deserving of the Sports Person of the Year Award and I hope her extraordinary achievements are recognised this way. 


2. Angus Harrington (St. John's) - Athletic Club, Hare & Hounds 

As well as being President for Cambridge University Athletic Club, leading the club during the 2022-23 year, Angus has had an outstanding year on the track.

His performances have led to his selection for England in the 800m, in which he recently set a new personal best of 1.46.98, becoming the 2nd fastest U23 GB runner in 2023 at 800m. 

Earlier in May 2023, Angus became the National BUCS Champion at 800m, winning a gold medal at the BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships.  


3. Imogen Grant (Trinity) - Boat Club, Cycling Club 

After stroking Cambridge to a dominant victory in the 2022 Women's Boat Race, Imogen Grant continued her strong form by winning GB Trials in the lightweight single scull, from which she was selected as the GB LW sculler whilst she completed her penultimate year in medicine. Imogen also contributed heavily to the dominant performance of CUBC at the 2022 BUCS Regatta, in which Cambridge won the Women's Victor Ludorum. Imogen won six gold and silver medals in all, seven years on from competing in her first BUCS Regatta as a novice in 2015.

Returning to international competition after placing fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, Imogen was never headed in winning the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne in the lightweight single, and returned with her double scull partner to clinch the 2023 European Rowing Championship in the Lightweight Double Scull. Imogen was successful once again in the Lightweight Double Scull later that month, as she and Emily Craig took an all-the-way victory at the World Rowing Championships. 

Her preparation for the 2023 World Championships and Olympic Qualification has been similarly flawless. Imogen has been the top performing lightweight athlete at each of GB Rowing's trial events over winter, and recently placed third overall at the GB Rowing 2k trials, defeating all but two of the GB Openweight squad.

In addition to a successful rowing year, Imogen took on BUCS Cycling events, winning gold in the Team Time Trial alongside fellow rower Jo Matthews, and BUCS Triathlon gold medallist Phoebe Barker.

Imogen has achieved all of this whilst balancing her final year medical studies with the demands of competition and training, and she is a superlative student-athlete.   


4. Jeremy Dempsey (Girton) - Athletic Club, Hare & Hounds 

Jeremy has really bounced back in a massive way this year. He has always been oozing in talent, he somehow manages to float when running. He’s had some ups and downs during his degree to this point, but this year has really nailed it down.

He started with a massive cross country season, absolutely dominating varsity cross country with really no one close to him. He then spearheaded the men’s A team at BUCS to a bronze medal with 8th in the race, a team position only behind the cross country behemoths Loughborough and Birmingham.

He’s translated this well into the track season with mega runs out in the US beating some very quick boys, including international Vivien Henz who has run 3:38 for the 1500. He then came a close second to a commonwealth bronze medallist at BUCS athletics suggesting he’s got a lot more to come this season!

Beyond this is his character. A very happy go lucky chap, always there for his teammates on the women’s and men’s sides. Even often relishing more in their success than this own, showing his selfless character. A committee veteran, has given a lot to his clubs and still has a lot of damage to do in sport before the end of his medical degree.  


5. Phoebe Barker (Robinson) - Athletic Club, Cycling Club, Hare & Hounds, Triathlon Club  

Phoebe’s sporting prowess has been clear for a number of years, but as a UCAPP supported athlete the 2022-23 season has undoubtedly been her most successful, across the plethora of sports that she competes in. A highly valued member of the Cycling, Triathlon, Athletics and Hare & Hounds Clubs, Phoebe competes at the highest level for each of them.

Her highlights from the past year include national titles in the Road Relay and Duathlon, and qualification for the World Triathlon Championships. For the University, she has won individual and team BUCS gold medals for the cycling club in the hill climb and team time trial, and for the Triathlon club in the Duathlon. Phoebe’s achievements at a national level mean that results that would define most student athlete’s seasons, such as victory in the Varsity triathlon (by nearly 5 minutes!) and outdoor athletics Varsity 5k, almost pale in comparison. However, these are of course major accolades in their own right, not to mention the fact that they were achieved in the same weekend! But this is not much more than a standard weekend for Phoebe - packing in as much racing as physically possible, and seemingly never having a sub-par day.

Having taken up cycling much more recently than running, Phoebe quickly got to grips with the new sport and applied her aerobic capacity to great effect, bursting onto the scene with very quick times in time trials and impressive riding on the fastest weekend rides that the club has to offer. Moreover, her skills on the bike have always been akin to someone with far more riding and racing experience. This season she was a key member of the winning 3-up team time trial team, claimed a fantastic second place in BUCS Hill climb, in addition to posting top-10 results in both the 10 and 25 mile time trials. 

It’s not just Phoebe’s dedication to training, competitive nature and ability that makes her stand out. As the Women’s Captain of CUCC, she is regularly seen chatting away on Club rides and at cafe stops. She runs weekly Women’s rides to encourage all-important participation on the women’s side of the sport, welcoming riders of any speed. She also organised a talk focusing on specific aspects of women’s cycling, and works closely with the club’s coach to ensure that all members can get the most out of their riding, training and racing. Always happy and smiling, despite her achievements Phoebe is down-to-earth, never boastful, and always happy to help others and is a highly valued member of the CUCC committee.

In addition, she kindly shares her running expertise by coaching the Modern Pentathlon team, helping its members to improve their speed and fitness to maximise their results at BUCS, Varsity and other events. The fact that she manages to juggle all of this with such a packed training and racing schedule and the demands of being a 5th year Vet student make this all the more impressive.