The men’s Blues celebrate with the trophy after defeating Oxford in the Boat RaceBenedict Tufnell

It’s been a very busy year for sport in Cambridge, full of thrilling Varsity victories and brilliant BUCS triumphs, not to mention the abundance of college sport that has also taken place. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be possible to recap each and every one of these exceptional moments, so instead, here are the winners of Varsity’s sports awards, celebrating some of Cambridge’s best and biggest sporting achievements of the academic year.

Highlight of the year / most dominant win / biggest annihilation of Oxford: the Boat Races

Realistically, the boat club and their phenomenal achievements this year could win every one of these awards, so have been given their own category to at least give the other teams a fighting chance. They were in a class of their own this year, taking a clean sweep of the 13 Varsity races that took place, including four out of four wins on Boat Race day and a double win for the lightweight crews. It is only the third time ever that the Light Blues have defeated Oxford in every event, and speaks volumes of the progress that has been made and the future victories to come.

Team of the year: women’s football Blues brilliance

Izzy Poles

The Blues team have had a sensational season, reaching the BUCS national cup final, finishing third in their league and topping it all off with a dominant 4-0 Varsity win to avenge last year’s defeat. Their strong team performances and squad depth have led them to take win after win, as well as their plethora of attacking talents, who have planted plenty of balls in the back of the opposition’s net throughout the season.

Best atmosphere: electric netball Blues varsity

The cheers of an ecstatic Cambridge crowd filled the walls of the university sports centre as the final whistle was blown at the netball Blues Varsity match, in which the outstanding performance of the players on the court led to a Varsity victory. The Light Blues defeated Oxford 51-45 in a tightly-fought match which kept the crowd on edge throughout, wins for the Swallows and the Wrens earlier in the day only adding to the celebratory mood at the end of the day.

Greatest escape: women’s rugby Blues defeat promotion-hunting Bath to evade relegation

The women’s Blues soared to a 24-0 victory over Bath in their final game of the season, dominating throughout to prevent the opposition even getting a look in. They stayed calm against the looming threat of relegation, their resilience allowing them to take a commanding victory which secured their spot in the BUCS premier division for the 2023-2024 season.

Biggest win: Hares and Hounds’ clean sweep in Varsity match

Hares and Hounds

There was nothing left on the table for the Hares and Hounds to win as they triumphed in the cross-country Varsity match, with wins from all five teams. Niamh Bridson Hubbard not only won the women’s Blues race, but managed to set a new course record while doing so, being joined in the top five by three other Cambridge athletes, while the men’s race win was secured by Jeremy Dempsey. This was the most successful Varsity match to date for the club, it being the first time they’ve achieved this clean sweep since the W2 division was added in 1982.

Best new event: inaugural men’s netball round robin tournament

Lent term saw Pembroke crowned the first ever champions of men’s netball cuppers after a narrow 8-6 win in the final match against Jesus. The day was filled with competitive, intense matches, providing great entertainment for the onlooking crowd, ignoring some of the slightly concerning injuries. It’s great to see the popularity of men’s and mixed netball continuing to grow, the creation of the new Cambridge men’s and mixed netball club in Easter term showing how in demand it really is.

Best college team: St John’s Rugby and their perfect season

Louis De Neve

League winners, cuppers victors and undefeated this year – what more could a college team wish for from a season? St John’s domination of the college rugby scene continued this year, as they seemed to be in a league of their own in comparison to the other college teams. They defeated a resilient Fitz/Sidney in the cuppers final by a score of 19-3, although much of the crowd had probably predicted who the inevitable victors were going to be before the match had even begun. This secured John’s their 35th cuppers title to date, to end what can only be described as a perfect season.


Mountain View

‘The same monotonous story’: Varsity predicts the end of the season

Best team on wheels: Cambridge University Cycling Club with their Miraculous March

Cambridge’s cycling team definitely deserves recognition after their phenomenal year, their most impressive achievements all seeming to fall into the month of March. Their success began at the BUCS Team Time Trial, where the women’s team took first and second place as well as the overall team victory, following that up by taking Varsity victory at the BUCS25 event for the first time in nine years. The men’s team also excelled at the event, finishing an impressive third overall in the country.

Greatest comeback: Jesus’s football cuppers resurrection

With a last-minute winner from Anna Herr, Jesus fought hard to secure a spot in the women’s football cuppers semi-finals, defeating Girton/Murray Edwards 3-2. They found themselves 2-0 down soon into the first half, the prospect of defeat an unusual one for the team. It took the rousing of the Jesus crowd to spur on the players, who quickly started to bombard a resolute Gedwards defence with relentless attacks, earning a goal for their efforts at the end of the first half. The score remained 2-1 in Gedwards’ favour until seven minutes to go, when Gedwards finally crumbled, an equaliser and winner coming in quick succession. It’s safe to say that the Jesus crowd left happy that day.