Bethany Haran at Football Cuppers FinalAlice Kettlewell

In a post-Covid world, Cambridge colleges have been challenged with bringing back that distinct sense of community that they are renowned for. Maya Hodgson and Bethany Haran tackled this challenge head-on when they took on their respective roles of President and Vice-President of Fitzwilliam Sports and Societies.

Operating outside the JCR, these roles have been around for a long time. However, Maya and Bethany were determined not only to make the most of their roles but more of their roles, all during a time when it was very difficult to connect with people.

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First meeting Maya and Bethany, I was immediately charmed by their incredibly eager and friendly attitudes. Following their love of sport, and their desire to emphasise extracurricular opportunities at Fitzwilliam College and at Cambridge that extend beyond academia, they are keen to put efforts into tackling certain challenges faced by college and university sport. For instance, increasing participation in traditionally private school sports like lacrosse, and tackling gender inequality in regard to access within sports. Their aims with sports echo Fitzwilliam’s reputation as a college championing access. Maya and Bethany stress that Fitzwilliam’s emphasis on sports and societies is what makes it an incredibly welcoming college.

“Their aims with sports echo Fitzwilliam’s reputation as a college championing access”

A particular achievement for Maya and Bethany as President and Vice-President was setting up their Instagram account, @fitzsportsandsocs. Maya explains that it has helped them to connect with the college community. From this Instagram account, Maya and Bethany have showcased individual and team successes within the college, and at university level. For instance, they created player profiles and encouraged people to talk about their past within sport.

From this, they were able to highlight people’s successes when they wouldn’t necessarily do so themselves. During this, they discovered hobbies or sports that did that they did not know that they did from ice hockey to volleyball. They also stressed the effectiveness of Instagram in broadcasting what is happening where and when — very useful for getting people down to a football match the next day.

“Maya and Bethany emphasised Fitzwilliam’s pride on paying attention to sport as well as academics”

Maya and Bethany showed excitement for the Sports Dinner taking place on Tuesday 21st June. This is no ordinary formal. Especially since Eddie Butler will be there — a British Lions Rugby player and Fitz Alumni.

During the night, there will be awards given out including Fitz Treasure, Unsung Hero, and Moment of the Year. Then, they hope that Fitzwilliam will be able to come together to celebrate their sporting achievements. A refreshing tone after a term dominated by academic stress.

On 20/06, Fitzwilliam Sports and Societies are hosting Billy Day 2022. Taking place on Fitzwilliam playing fields, Billy Day aims to showcase college sport. Captains of their respective college sports teams will be showcasing their sport with games, offering people an opportunity to try it out. From this, Bethany hopes that people will be encouraged to give things a try, even if they lack confidence in a certain sport.


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When asked why Fitz has had an immensely successful year in sport — from winning men’s football Cuppers, to having several individual nominations for Cambridge University Sports Awards — Maya and Bethany emphasised Fitzwilliam’s pride on paying attention to sport as well as academics. A crucial factor in this is to do with funding. They noted that for many people’s achievements, one does not realise how much time and money goes into their efforts. And so, providing adequate funding for individuals and teams is important for their success. Maya notes that while Fitzwilliam Sports and Societies have a limited pot of money to work from, they try their best to ensure that everyone gets a fair portion.

After Sports Dinner, and Billy day, they will look forward to hosting PowerHouseGames next year — working with Power2Inspire, and CamUniSport to further promote the idea that sport should be for everyone. Through highlighting individual and team successes in a diversity of sports, Maya and Bethany hope to promote the importance of supporting each other and coming together as a community.