I 29 www.sport.ox.ac.ukAlso in Hilary was our annual Varsity race against Cambridge, where scoring is based on the MotoGP system. Unfortunately, conditions did not favour us in 2010. Changing weather made things very difficult for our inexperienced drivers and a highly experienced driver on the Cambridge team made first place a very difficult goal. However, despite such adverse conditions Oxford secured a podium position and ensured that Cambridge couldn't walk away smugly. At the end of Hilary term we hosted our annual Cuppers competition. Instead of holding the competition in our usual location in Aylesbury, we held it at the national championship circuit at Whilton Mill. New College took first place, with Balliol and Magdalen arriving second and third respectively. It was our most successful event of the year; we received highly positive feedback and generated more interest in the Club. The Club continues to work and train hard to fuel the passion for motorsport.MOUNTAINEERINGA highlight of the past year has been the organisation of events to celebrate the Club's centenary, from the cocktail party in Merton MCR to launch the occasion, and the two contrasting lectures given by Colin Mortlock and Stephen Venables, through to the Centenary Ball itself. A large number of people put a lot of effort into researching the history of the Club and contacting former members. All this hard work paid off in a highly successful ball in March at Wolfson College, accompanied by a gallery of photos and extracts, which was enjoyed by everyone who attended. This fantastic event was the product of a lot of hard work from a number of Club members and in particular the Centenary Committee.We currently have approximately 160 members on our list. Over the past year 130 different people have come on a Club outdoor trip, with a total of 341 person-trips. We have organized trips to the Peak, Portland, Swanage, the Lakes, North Wales, Pembroke, Dartmoor, the Wye Valley, Malham, Cornwall and Southern Sandstone, with trips being held at least every other weekend during term time. We held our annual Varsity Match at Redpoint Centre in Birmingham for the sixth year. This was a successful event, with Thomas van Boeckel, Oxford, winning for the Men and Caroline Culwick coming second for the Ladies, although Cambridge won overall by a narrow margin in the team event.NETBALLOUNC started the season with the selection of eleven enthusiastic new players to join the remaining nine. The arrival of our new coach Frances Granger, former coach of Fiji, brought an increase in the intensity of training, involving a new warm-up routine and set plays.The Blues have had a season of highs and lows. With pre-season injuries the season kicked off slowly but soon built up momentum. The Roos have benefited greatly from having a very versatile squad this year and utilising their court time has enabled them to establish the best player combinations for specific match play.Members of both teams have also been working hard off court, with involvement in coaching children from four local schools in the community, and fundraising. Our fundraising has included a quiz and a raffle for the Varsity Match, along with the annual mixed netball Cuppers tournament. The season reached its finale in the annual Varsity Match, hosted this year by Oxford. The Roos had a close-fought and tough match, with the two teams neck and neck throughout the match. Despite a huge push from Oxford in the last quarter, which saw them take the lead, Cambridge were the eventual victors, winning 35-33. The Blues took an early lead, and by half-time were ahead by four goals. In the face of constant pressure from Cambridge, the Blues capitalised on every opportunity and were victorious, with a final score of 44-35: the largest margin in a Varsity Match for the last three years. OCTOPUSHThis has been a good year for the Octopush Club. Our membership has grown substantially; we've secured more pool time and enjoyed more socials. We hosted the annual University Nationals competition, which was a huge success. In addition, due to a more focused training routine, the Oxford team climbed the ranks from previous years and finished second in the 2nd Division. ORIENTEERINGOUOC has enjoyed a highly successful year across the many aspects of the Club. The Varsity Match, organised by former Club member Scott Collier (OUOC Treasurer, Merton) at Penhale in Cornwall, was a technically difficult course, which made excellent use of the intricacies of the map. Oxford's strength in depth in the Men's competition saw us come out solid team winners, despite a Cambridge man taking top spot. In the Women's competition Oxford was dominant, with Anne Edwards (OUOC Secretary, St Hilda's) deserving special mention for her victory some 13 minutes clear.At BUCS the Club hoped to emulate last year's second place, but came up against rivals of renewed strength in Sheffield in the Men's and could only manage third overall. The Women supplemented solid individual runs with a determined effort in the relay; they were justly rewarded with second position behind Edinburgh but ahead of Sheffield.As well as competing at a high standard, the Club has been busy organising events and inspiring local school children through the Outreach programme. The Club pulled together to host an urban race around Oxford's City centre, which attracted over 500 people including a delightfully amicable group from Istanbul's Technical University. This year, in recognition of the growth of the Outreach work the Club was doing, we created an additional Committee position of Outreach Officer. James McMillan (Merton) has continued to do a superb job coordinating the Outreach effort, forging even stronger relationships with our existing schools as well as branching out to find new schools.Our many and varied achievements as a club were recognised this year in our receipt of the British Orienteering 'University Club of the Year' and the OU Sports Federation 'Club of the Year' awards. We are grateful to the OU Sports Federation for their continued support and look forward to building on our successes to date.PISTOL2009-10 witnessed another successful year for OUPC, with victories at both the Varsity and county levels. In the Varsity gallery rifle competition at the National Shooting Centre at Bisley in the summer of 2009, a short-handed Oxford squad managed a narrow victory over Cambridge to win our first of two Varsity contests of the year.The November Past v. Present competition, contested by a joint Oxford/Cambridge current team against a joint Oxford/Cambridge Old
30 I OXFORD UNIVERSITY I SPORTS REVIEW 2010 Boys and Girls team, saw the veterans use their years of experience to continue their dominance of this annual event. Nevertheless, the close ties maintained with our past members must rival those of any university sports club, truly one of the Club's proudest attributes. In Hilary term we contested the Air Pistol Varsity match against Cambridge at our 'home' range in Wantage. Our respective A teams squared off and Oxford won a decisive victory, with OUPC's Imogen Solly besting all competitors with a 539. The OUPC B team enjoyed a similarly successful meet, beating the Cambridge B's (and posting a few scores that would have beaten most of their A team as well). Sadly the Ladies' team, which included several new members with little experience but great natural talent, were not able to ride that talent all the way to a win. The overall win of the Varsity match by OUPC was a great compliment to the hard work put in by all our members and coaches this year and gives the team a strong platform on which to build for the future.OUPC have been active competing in county matches, including the Small Bore Gallery Rifle Competition, and the County Air Pistol Championships, in which OUPC beat all the teams in the county to take home the Thamesian Trophy. Our own Lonnie Swift won the individual overall title (as well as many of the single event titles), followed closely by OUPC's Brian Tang in second place. A successful Cuppers competition held in Trinity term saw top honours go to a team from Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, with second and third going to two teams from Merton. Our annual dinner at St Edmund Hall was a great opportunity for many past and present OUPC members to mix.POLOThe Club has enjoyed an active and successful year in 2009-10, achieving strong results and strengthening the profile of Oxford University Polo. Indicative of the Club's success has been its activity in the usually quiet winter months. With a strong beginners' programme, first-time polo players could attend weekly lessons. By February we had a strong enough base to provide three teams for the winter national tournament (SUPA) and for the first time in years enter a team into the beginners' division of this exciting event. At the top end an open team was entered, narrowly losing out to a strong Edinburgh side. The highlight of the winter season was a team trip from three of the Club players to represent OUPC in a match against the Indian Army in Delhi. Although faced by a strong side and immense heat the English visitors were able to put up a fight. Such a trip is a sign of the strong future which the Club is aspiring towards, enabling its members to have polo experiences which they would never have thought possible.The summer season kicked off well, with regular lessons now based at our local Kirtlington Park Polo Club. In the build-up to the Varsity Match several friendlies were organised. Once more the talent of the Club, and the success of the year's training, was demonstrated through the appearance of a strong Second Team which has not been achieved in previous years. Although the Second Team was stronger than in previous years the First Team, under Thomas Mayou, led by example, both at the high-profile Polo in the Park as well as the Varsity Match. The Varsity Match returned to the world-famous Smith's Lawn at Guards Polo Club. The scale of such an event and the excitement for the players is unrivalled. The team seized victory in the final moments, the score ending as 5-4 with Oxford's very own Thomas Meacher winning the coveted MVP award.POOL AND SNOOKERThis year has been one of transition for the Club. With OU's first ever significant participation in competitive university snooker we have now rightly added the 'S' to our club name, thanks greatly to the determination of Snooker Captain Richard Walters. The heart and soul of the Club though is undoubtedly English-style 8-ball pool, supported by a thriving college scene of league and Cuppers, with hundreds of students participating.At the University team level we have a strong reputation at BUCS, with Oxford 1 seeded sixth in the Team Championship this year. As another first this year we took 3 teams to the tournament in Great Yarmouth, held in February. In the BUCS singles there were two shining stars for Oxford in fresher Ben Charlston and newbie James Cholerton. The Varsity Pool Match, contested over 2 days and 90 frames, was played in Oxford this year bringing the Varsity Champions title back to Oxford for the first time since 2005. In the Varsity Singles tournament Lei Xiao of Oxford, after slipping to a 0-4 deficit, emerged victorious a 6-5 winner over Cambridge's Luke Gleave, a fitting end to Lei's seventh and last Varsity Match.The Club also played Local League and was defeated 2 - 5 in the Annual Town vs. Gown match. With strong players having left before this year we have done well to build and strengthen the Club, and found many talented finalists to fill the Squad. Next year will perhaps be even more of a challenge, with more than half the regular players moving on; we will once again rely on finding the talent that exists in the college set-up, from freshers to finalists, and encouraging it at the University level. We hope to also build snooker even further by competing in the local Oxford snooker league for the first time, and hopefully establishing a regular Varsity Snooker Match.