“Following this year’s Athletic Union Awards night, Impact focuses on some of the evening’s winners.”
Club of the Year – Cheerleading
A club that at best was considered an entertaining distraction from action on the pitch and at worst, an unwanted American import has finally got the recognition it deserves. Whether it is their support of other clubs during Varsity or their contribution to the University atmosphere through charity calendars and performances at Rock City, the cheerleaders are the Athletic Union’s most visible presence. This all can be combined with enormous success at regional championships.
This year, the team finished at an impressive second place at the Future Cheer Championship; however, as testament to the incredibly high standards of the team, this came as a disappointment, since they were looking to win the competition for the third year running. Their successful season reached its peak when they won the Salou Festival for the second year running, earning them an invitation to the Worlds. So when it comes to half-time at your next Varsity fixture, remember that you are watching the club of the year.
Team of the Year- Ladies Rugby 1st XV
In a spectacular season, the Ladies 1st XV proved that they were a class apart by winning their conference cup at a canter, decimating Bedford in the final 50-0. The consistency that they managed throughout the season was embodied by Sadie Burton, who excelled at both flanker and when called upon, centre. The strength of the squad allowed the team to win their league with relative ease, doubling the goal difference of 2nd-placed Cambridge Uni. There was also inspiration for those seeking to take up the sport as prop Emma Lumley proved to be a revelation in her first season of rugby and is a tribute to the training and coaching that goes into this talented squad. Next season, the Premiership awaits, a challenge that these women are more than ready for.
Sportsman of the Year- George Harding (Archery)
It’s not surprising that a city with Nottingham’s history has a strong Archery team and under George Harding’s stewardship, it has excelled itself. The Experienced squad managed to topple Edinburgh from its decade-long dominance of the Team Championships, shooting a championship record in the process, with a special mention to Andrew Randall who won the Gents Recurve. Whilst the team lost its grip on the BUTTs league, which it had won for the last two years, they had an otherwise successful season, with George receiving Individual Gold in both BUCS Outdoor and Indoor events. George has also continued the Club’s strong tradition of training beginners, which builds a great sense of teamwork within the squad.
Sportswoman of the Year- Taryn Belcher-Brown (Netball)
The girls Netball team have had a superb season with their Captain, Taryn Belcher-Brown leading from the front. Her contributions as both coach and Goal attack propelled the team to a league and Conference cup win, losing only one game all season. A particularly notable performance came during Varsity when the scores were tied at 30-30 and Taryn immediately injected energy into the team, leading them to win 46-38, which put the finishing touches on a perfect season. She will be sorely missed next season as the team looks to build on this year’s success when they face a challenging season in the premiership, but the tactics and training she has instilled in the squad should put them in good stead.