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Sports Awards 2024 - Club of the Year Shortlist

Featuring some of the all-round highest achieving clubs at Cambridge this year! 

These shortlistees have made it a year to remember, with plenty of club achievements to celebrate.   

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 Event on Monday 17th June. 

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


1. Boat Club 

CUBC continues to maintain its success as a club throughout the year, headlined by wins in 5 of the 6 races against Oxford. A number of those races were unexpected victories, at least to those outside the Club. Better crew’s outperformed individuals, and Cambridge achieved famous victories. The Women’s Blue Boat defied odds and beat Oxford, coming from a length down to win by clear water. Their commitment to one another, and their team spirit, was a huge part of why they won their race and thoroughly deserving of celebration. 

The successes started early in the season with wins for the Club against strong opposition from the Australian National Team, the Chinese National Rowing Team, and Oxford Brookes University at the Shanghai International Regatta, and continued to be the case throughout the year.  

CUBC athletes achieved notable results in the GB Rowing trials including Gus John and Luca Ferraro being ranked as the top U23 pair, and a number of CUBC's triallists will race for GB at this year's U23 World Rowing Championships, hoping to build on the success of those such as Luca, who won Gold at the U23 World Rowing Championships. 

After the Boat Races, CUBC athletes raced BUCS, taking wins in Open Championship Coxless 4, Women's Championship Lightweight Coxless 4, and Women's Intermediate Lightweight Pair, and medalling in several events including Open Championship Coxed Four and Women’s' Championship Coxless Pair. 

To cap off a strong year for the Club, Chief Coaches Rob Baker and Patrick Ryan will be coaching at the 2024 Paris Olympics, underlining the strength from top to bottom in the Club. 


2. Cheerleading

This club achieved their most successful results ever at the British Cheer Association University Nationals, with the second team landing National Champions and the first team National Runner Ups, credited to the hard work of both captains. This is following an extremely rewarding rebrand to the Cambridge Lions, orchestrated by an incredibly dedicated committee, and with athletes who were completely new to the sport. 


Level 2 team: won varsity, placed 2nd and 1st nationally in the two competitions this year 

Level 3 team: 2nd nationally at BCA 


3. Ice Hockey

This year, CUIHC has had one of the most successful years in club history. Taking home 3 out of 4 varsity wins in March was a great achievement (Men’s Blues, Huskies and Alumni), with the Women’s Blues narrowly losing out (4-3) after serious injuries occurred during their game. The Men’s Blues dominated over Oxford with a final score of 6-2 and a hat trick from Jack Murphy. A strong squad all-round ensured this brilliant victory and marks the historic 6th consecutive Varsity victory for the Men’s Blues. Prior to this streak, the team never won more than 3 consecutive Varsity Matches in its 139-year history. 

However, the club’s true success arrived in April, when all three squads travelled to Sheffield to take part in the BUIHA National Championships. For the first time in club history, the WBs won the Gold Final against the Glasgow Stags, in the most dramatic fashion, with a goal from assistant captain Julia Maybury in the last 2 seconds! Getting revenge against Oxford WBs in the semi-final, beating them with ease (3-1) and also topping the group stage table, they were already very proud of their Nationals Success. However, lifting the trophy as the 2024 Women’s BUIHA National Champions was a truly electric and unforgettable experience. Taking the win with only 2 seconds left rendered the commentators speechless for minutes (check out the livestream!), and the celebrations in light blue were beautiful to behold. 

Not to be outdone by the women, the Men’s Blues travelled to Sheffield a week later, and coincidentally, also ended up in the Gold Final against another Scottish team (Edinburgh). To wrap up the year with astounding success, assistant captain Scott Partington scored in the last minute of the game to double Cambridge’s winning streak and take home the Men’s Division 1 Checking National Championship Title. Credit also must be given to the Huskies team who reached the Silver Final in Non-Checking Tier 1 Nationals, and who valiantly supported the Women’s Blues, winning over the crowd with our strong inter-club support network. 

Success this year lay not only with the playing members of CUIHC, but also off-ice. Professor Bill Harris was inducted into the UK Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in a formal ceremony during Varsity. Bill has been the head coach of the CUIHC since his arrival to Cambridge in 1997 and has supported the club to a tremendous extent including leading the initiative to build the Cambridge Ice Arena. The Hall of Fame inauguration is a historic achievement not only for Bill, but also the club, and represents his dedication to ice hockey in Cambridge, the UK, and the sport as a whole. We also celebrated our co-president, Simrat Sodhi, as the first awardee of the inaugural ‘Harris Plate’ for her continuous hard work and dedication to the club over the last five years. Through her tireless efforts, the Men’s and Women’s clubs were merged to form a cohesive and inclusive CUIHC.


4. Jiu-Jitsu 

2023/ 2024 has been the most successful year on in the history of the Cambridge University Jiu Jitsu club! 

Since May last year the club has taken part in 6 regional & national grading events. Within our style grading events are carried out at a regional level, by a third party assessor. 

During this Academic year we have had a 100% success rate including creating 3-new qualified Instructors; 5-instructor promotions and over 60-new student que grades. The year started in July with the annual national Dan grading’s, where one of our instructor received their 1st Dan ranking; Quickly followed in September with 7-new que ranks for the students remaining to train across the summer break. With the start of the new academic year we had a large influx of new students which results in a record 33-graders at our November regional grading event; and a further 20-students in March. Between these events we had 3-students obtain their instructor ranks at a national grading event. Outside of formal grading’s four of our instructors were presented with national teaching promotions/ awards throughout the year. 

Outside of individual grading events our overarching organisation hosts two nationals’ competitions per year known as the Atemi & Randori Nationals with their own competitive formats. At the Atemi nationals entrants compete in a co-ed completion based on grade, where they are judged on technical prowess and presentation. Alternatively the Randori nationals is a 1-on-1 grappling style competition. 

In October CUJJC ranked 1st in the Country at the Atemi National shield; winning 5-medals. 

The second time in the last 3-years that the club has taken home the accolade. 

Alongside the National shield the club also ranked 1st in the Women's BUCS competition. 

In April CUJJC took a club record 23-instructors & students (19-competitors) to the National Randori competition, taking 12-medals and 3-trophies in the process. Amongst the awards the club took the 3rd place trophy in all three categories of the Women's Open Competition; alongside 5-Gold medals on our way on our way to Winning the National shield for the first time in the clubs history. 

This is the first time in recent history that a club has won both National championships within the same Academic year! 


4. Judo


• May 2023 CUJC hosted annual exchange trip (Cambridge/Marburg/Helsinki).  Largest friendship week exchange in its 40-year history, with over 30 visitors from abroad. 

• Best-attended beginners’ course ever, with over 80 new players on the mat in taster sessions. A record 35 beginners completed their first grading to red belt in Michaelmas term. 

• Accessible, inclusive club with over 1/3 of member’s beginners. All abilities catered for. Devised and organised beginner competition, over 20 novices competing this year. Player feedback suggests this is a large component in retaining beginners. 

• Significant increase in women training, now nearly 1/3 of regular members are women. First ever year of fielding a full women’s A and B team for Varsity. 

• Combined University and City club, which significantly widens diversity within the club. Added a men’s City B team to the Varsity competition for the first time. 

• Worked with BJA to adapt our own risk assessments for competition to include non-binary and trans athletes. 


  • BUCS 

  • Sent 14 players to compete at BUCS, largest number in recent years. 

  • 2 silver medals in Dan grade competition, 2 players selected to compete at the European Universities games. 2 players narrowly missing out on bronze. 

  • 2 bronze medals in the kyu grade competition. 

CUJC hosted Varsity – this is the longest running judo competition outside of Japan. Won 6 out of the 7 trophies (Men’s City B, Men’s City A, Women’s City, Men’s University B team, Women’s University B team, Women’s University A team). Addition of a women’s B team last year initiated by our women’s captain. This year we symbolically changed the running order of the competition this year to finish with women’s A team, to reflect their equality with the men. 

• Three players this year have obtained their Dan grade (black belt) 

• 7 nationally ranked players, up from 2 last year 


• Spectacular effort from the whole committee. President has continued to lead the committee despite currently being on maternity leave. The whole committee has stepped up to support and ensure the club has continued to thrive. 

• CUJC is supporting 2 players to complete coaching qualifications, which will increase qualified coaches to 9. 

• Participation in Cambridge Blues Naked Calendar – important for not only fundraising for RAG charities but also representation of women in judo with 6 of the 7 photographed players female and, one of them pregnant, demonstrating our inclusivity.