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Sports Awards 2024 - 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 four 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 17th June. 

Here's more about each of our inspirational nominees: 


1. Anna Basford, Modern Pentathlon Club 

Anna has been a pillar of the pentathlon club this year, both as an athlete and as a women's captain.  

For the 2nd year running, she has won the BUCS Modern Pentathlon individual and team gold and the women's Varsity match by a wide margin. She's put in dominant performances at multiple events this year, including placing 8th at last summers 2023 Laser Run World Championships, and at the Oxford Army Pentathlon match in February (taking 1st place there as well), proving a role model in tackling all the pentathlon disciplines.  

As a captain, she has been pivotal in bringing in new recruits, assisting with club admin (like writing weekly emails and organising training and coaching), and supporting other club members at competitions. It has been a challenging year for the club's committee as we lost some members to illness, who had to step back from their roles. Anna has done her part to fill in the gaps so that our members have had the best sporting experiences possible, both in training and at competitions. 

She's really left her mark on the club, as well as pretty much all of the Varsity silverware! 

PS - for further context - a woman's athlete has not won 2 BUCS competitions in a row in over 10 years, and she is the first Cambridge athlete to have won BUCS in the last 20 years at least from what I can find in the records. 


2. Brandon Teh, Powerlifting Club  

I nominate Brandon as Sports Person of the Year for a number of reasons: 

- Sporting achievements: 

- Competition Appearances 

Brandon captained the winning Varsity squad this year, a team with the highest average GL points (a coefficient taking into account bodyweight and weight lifted) of all time within the club. He was also best male lifter at this event, and has finished in the top 3 best lifters at this event in 2022 and 2023. He will finish his time here at Cambridge with three podium finishes at British Uni Championships, most recently first place in Lent 2024, a first place finish at British Junior Championships (Easter Term 2023), and three international appearances for Great Britain, two of which were between Easter 2023 and Lent 2024. In Michaelmas 2024, he finished 5th in Europe at the European Junior Championships.  

   - Competition Total/GL Points 

He has set a new highest ever GL points within the club twice this academic year, achieving 102.68 at BUCS, which places him 26th out of over 1800 men who have competed in British Powerlifting this year. His lifting total from BUCS would also place him in the top 7% of international competitors in his weight class, of all time.   

   - Records 

Brandon currently holds at least 11 records in his weight class (Under 74kg) all of which have been set this academic year. He holds all 4 (squat, bench, deadlift, and total) CUPLC records. He also holds the BUCS squat, deadlift and total record. He also holds all four regional (east midlands) records. 

- Achievements in the Club: 

Brandon is the 2023-24 Men's Captain of CUPLC, previously serving as Secretary from 2022-23. He has worked tirelessly to better the club, including setting up a formal club coaching agreement, personally coaching and writing training programmes for over a dozen lifters, and providing outstanding leadership to the Men's Varsity Team. He is also the hardest working member of the executive committee, consistently going above and beyond to serve this club, for example in planning the varsity match, handling numerous lifters at other competitions, and providing consistent and valuable support to the Women's Captain and Women's Varsity Squad, over and above his duties for the Men’s Squad.  

- Brandon as an athlete: 

As is clear from above, Brandon is likely most decorated athlete in CUPLC history. His achievements are second to none, and have wisely been recognised by his admission into UCAPP, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Brandon encapsulates everything a great athlete should be. He is a role model in the club, having achieved his goals through an unrelenting work ethic and years of intense effort and sacrifice. He is a clear example of good sportsmanship, with exceptional humility and an ability to push through setbacks, including numerous injuries. He is a constant presence in the university gym, providing consistent support, mentorship and advice to numerous members of the club. As such, I believe he would be a worthy recipient of this award.


3. Niamh Bridson Hubbard, Hare & Hounds, Athletic Club  


  • CUHH (primary club) and CUAC 

  • CUAC record holder over 1500m 

  • Regular international selection for cross-country 

  • Frequently named as the role model of most female runners in CUHH for her dedicated and balanced approach to training, always offering advice to newer members of the club 

Cross-Country 2023/24 

  • 6th at British Athletics Cross Challenge Liverpool, qualifying her to run for team GB at the European Championships 

  • 19th place at European XC championships, and part of the winning GB team in Senior Women 

  • (unable to compete in Varsity XC due to racing ban imposed by British Athletics after selection for team GB) 

  • Selected to run for England at London International XC (injury sustained at race when in leading pack, could not run BUCS) 

  • 8th Senior at UK intercounties (despite ankle injury in the run-up) 

Track (June 2023 onward) 

  • 2023 track season PBs of 2:04.45 over 800m, 4:10.60 over 1500m, 9:07.08 over 3000m 

  • BUCS Champion over 5000m in 16:01.31 (6/05/24), first time champion after numerous medals at BUCS track (indoor and outdoor) over her time at Cambridge 

  • 7th place at UK Championships over 1500m 

  • Varsity 2024: won the 800m (beating Louise Shanahan’s (OLY) match record with a time of  2:06.05 and Mile (beating athletes who had also broken Varisty match records over 5000m and 2000mSC that day) 

  • Awarded ‘Women’s Blues Performance’ for this performance 

  • 1st place in the Oxford-Cambridge vs Harvard-Yale match (28/06/23), beating the New Zealand record holder and NCAA D1 champion in the 1500 

  • 1st place at BMC Grand Prix World Athletics Challenger Birmingham over 1500 (29/07/23); a top domestic and international field


4. Phoebe Barker, Athletic Club, Cycling Club, Hare & Hounds, Triathlon Club 

Phoebe is an incredibly talented athlete, who balances three sports (running, cycling, swimming) and four University Sports Clubs at Blues/National/International level (Hare and Hounds, Athletics, Triathlon, Cycling), whilst studying for her final year of Veterinary Medicine. I have never met someone so driven and dedicated to achieving the highest levels of sport and academics as Phoebe is. She works tirelessly to achieve her goals, through early mornings and late nights, without any complaints. I have no doubt that Phoebe has the most Blues and BUCS medals of anyone in the University! This year, her hard work has paid off on an International level after she earned her first ever GB vest and her first England vest in 7 years. Phoebe frequently has double race weekends where she represents the University twice for different clubs, showing her commitment to supporting the Light Blues. Therefore, I wholeheartedly believe that Phoebe Barker should win Sports Person of the Year!  

Her list of achievements for this year alone include (but are not limited to):  

  • Winning BUCS Hill Climb (for a second year in a row) as an individual and as part of the winning Blues Team  
  • Winning Varsity Hill Climb and setting a new course record  
  • Team Silver at BUCS Team Time Trial  
  • 2nd in the Cambridge Half Marathon (on her debut for this distance)  
  • Competing at FISU World University Championships for Cross Country, coming in the top 10 individually and winning the team prize  
  • Winning BUCS Duathlon  
  • Winning British and English Duathlon championship  
  • 2nd at BUCS 10km  
  • Winning Cowman World Standard Distance Dalton Qualifier by over 12 minutes  
  • 2nd at Podium 5k  
  • Represented England at Cross Internacional de Itálica 
  • World Cross Country Trial: 5th 

I'm sure I have overlooked many of Phoebe's achievements but it is safe to say that she is a truly incredible athlete. Phoebe is an asset to Athletics, the Hare & Hounds, Triathlon and Cycling as well as the university and the UK more broadly. She brings an incredible energy and enthusiasm to training and is a real inspiration to others around her having managed all her incredible achievements whilst in her final year as a vet student as well as a running coach for Modern Pentathlon and CuTri and women's race captain for CU Cycling. Recognising Phoebe as Sports Person of the Year would be to acknowledge her fantastic achievements in the case of adversity and injury. She has always come back stronger and pursued a path to excellence.