Winners of the Outstanding Contribution AwardUniversity of Cambridge Sport/bottom middle: James Lee

On Wednesday 29th April, the final winner of a University of Cambridge Sports Award was announced, completing a week which has seen a different winner announced each day. Sadly, the ceremony and dinner at the Guildhall – organised to celebrate the University’s sportsmen and women – had to be cancelled. But the skill and success of, and appreciation for, the winners and nominees is still abundantly clear in the online version of the awards.

First announced was Team of the Year, contested by:

  • CU Women’s Basketball Club – Blues
  • Rob Walker, Seb Dickson, John Mulvey – CU Cycling Club
  • CU Lawn Tennis Club – Women’s Blues
  • CU Small-bore Rifle Team

Victory went to the Rifle Team, whose A team secured first place at the BUCS Short Range Championships for the fourth consecutive year (Cecilia Catuogno-Cal, Maddie Emms, Fergus Flanagan, Alice Good, Katherine Fleck, Max Jones). Underlining CUSBC’s position as the leading UK university shooting club this year was the B team’s very impressive sixth place at the same event, narrowly missing out on a podium finish. Congratulations also to Fergus Flanagan and Cathy Li for winning their own individual categories.

“This category, in particular, demonstrates the range of sports practised at Cambridge...”

Next up was the Outstanding Contribution Award, which saw seven individuals honoured for their input into sport at the University. This category, in particular, demonstrates the range of sports practised at Cambridge, and the dedication of so many individuals. The following extracts from nominations given for each winner describe how important these individuals have been to their clubs:

Angus Buttar, CU Association Football Club – ‘Angus does it all with a smile on his face and a continuous vault of energy and love. He is a total inspiration and I want to be like him’ (nominated by Jack M.)

Ben Tinkler-Davies, CU Swimming and Water Polo Club – ‘Ben has been an outstanding asset to Cambridge Water Polo Club, as the best player the men’s side have had in living memory, an incredible captain for two years, and in his final year an amazing President of CUSWPC’ (nominated by Lara T.)

Alex Petter – 2020 Sports Club Personality University of Cambridge Sport

Felicia Chang, CU Olympic Gymnastics, CU Ultimate – ‘Fi represented GB in international tournaments [in ultimate Frisbee] across Europe, and played at the World Championships, all the while balancing GB training with serving as women’s captain for Strange Blue’, ‘she brought her gymnastics career to a fitting end this year by becoming the women’s all-around individual Varsity champion and a three-time full blue gymnast’ (nominated by Elise C., Lili P., Kasia W., Jack W.)

“The immense skill of all winners is manifestly clear...”

John Harrison, CU Association Football Club – ’John Harrison has been a loyal servant for CUAFC for 8 years. He has played at all levels of the football club and embodies everything that we stand for: passion, integrity, skill and general ‘goodness’’ (nominated by Angus B., Re-em T., Nick G.)

Phil O’Dell, CU Hare and Hounds – ‘Phil has transformed the club into a thriving, BUCS-medal-winning, inclusive society that has runners ranging from GB athletes to complete beginner’ (nominated by Iain D.)

Robyn Macrae, CU Polo – ‘She is a superstar on the pitch who has never lost a varsity match. She brings boundless enthusiasm and positivity to every match she plays and is a huge asset to any team’ (nominated by Aeisha J.)

Tricia Smith, CU Women’s Boat Club – ‘Tricia raced in our victorious Blondie crew in 2017 and won two Boat Races in the Blue Boat in 2018 and 2019’, ‘she raised over £10,000 toward cancer research and toward the project building Cambridge Rowing’s boathouse in Ely’ (nominated by Abigail P.).

Alex Petter, of CU Cycling Club, was announced next as the winner of Sports Club Personality, with nominations also going to:

  • Anna Saunter – CU Women’s Lacrosse Club
  • Jack Peacock – CU Lacrosse Club
  • Jonathan Williams – CU Pythons American Football Club
  • Tabbi Reed - CU Netball Club

“...congratulations also to the many nominees, also hugely deserving of recognition.”

Robbie B., one of his many nominators, encapsulates Alex’s amazing impact on CUCC in the opening lines of his nomination: ‘CUCC simply would not be the thriving club it is today without Alex’s presence. His contagious enthusiasm for the sport and the club has seen the club grow enormously both on the road and off it’. Alex has ensured the club is inclusive of all abilities, and an open, social, busy and motivated environment. Moreover, ‘what makes Alex simply extraordinary is that he has done all this while undergoing cancer treatment. Even when he was up in Manchester Monday-Friday for radiotherapy he was running the club as enthusiastically as ever’.

The nominees for Unsung Hero were:

  • Henry Stuart-Turner – CU Swimming and Water Polo Club
  • Joa Hoshizaki – CU Women’s Ice Hockey Club
  • Owain Houghton – CU Hockey Club
  • Phil O’Dell – CU Hare & Hounds
  • Holly Tasker – CU Cricket Club (winner)

Holly, nominated by Chloe A., is integral to life in the Women’s Cricket Club, being in her second year of presidency, whilst also contributing greatly to the Cambridge University Student Sport Advisory Group and The Ospreys. Amid sustaining a painful shoulder injury, and working on a clinical medical degree, Holly is a permanent supportive, skilful, and inspiring presence.

Fiona Bunn, CU Orienteering Club, was named Sports Person of the Year, the other nominees being:

  • Coreen Grant – CU Rugby Union Football Club
  • Louise Shanahan – CU Athletic Club & CU Hare & Hounds
  • Lucy Hart – CU Powerlifting Club

Fiona’s nomination, by James A., accurately says ‘it’s easy to run out of superlatives to describe Fiona’s results’. She is a Blue in Orienteering, Cross Country, and Steeplechase, and her gold and silver medals at the 2019 Junior World Orienteering Championships were the best results GB had ever seen. As James says, ‘in the past year, Fiona has reset the standard for British Orienteering on the international stage’.


Mountain View

BUCS Nationals Review – CUJC

The penultimate award was Club Of the Year, contested by:

  • CU Cycling Club
  • CU Fencing Club
  • CU Dancesport
  • CU Powerlifting Club (winner)

This year has seen massive success in both the Powerlifting Club's competition results and aims for how the club is run, in particular in their efforts to encourage more women and novices to try the sport. In their eighth Varsity victory in a row, one of the team’s female members, Beatrice Fishwick, was their highest scorer. Both teams also competed impressively at the World University Championships, amid a plethora of other achievements, with Remi Rufus-Toye taking home a bronze medal.

The final day of the awards week, Wednesday 29th, saw the results of the public vote for Sporting Moment of the Year  announced. The shortlist comprised:

  • Alex Schlindwein – CU Fencing Club – Varsity Match
  • Coreen Grant – CU Rugby Union Football Club – Varsity Match
  • CU Hockey Club – Women’s Blues Varsity Match
  • John Harrison – CU Association Football Club – Falcons Varsity

All four nominations are perfect examples of skill and composure in the deciding moments of fixtures, and the nerve-wracking excitement spectators experience in these events. In the end, Schlindwein won with 55% of the vote, for his nail-biting comeback against Oxford, securing Cambridge victory with 6 seconds remaining, and, in the words of his nomination by CUFC/Jorge G.C., being ‘the hero that CUFC needed’.

That completes the round-up of this year’s Sports Awards. The immense skill of all winners is manifestly clear, and congratulations also to the many nominees, also hugely deserving of recognition. These awards are also reminders of the incredible variety of sports, at all levels, on offer at the University, and Varsity hopes our profiles this term of lesser-known sports will help spotlight the range of opportunities available.

Full details of the winners and nominees can be found here.