Exeter have recently achieved the distinction of becoming The Times’ and The Sunday Times’ Sporting University of the Year, and the reasoning behind the choice is clear from looking at several of our best clubs:
EUABC saw a dramatic rise to stardom last year after the Athletic Union gave them three prestigious club awards: Ike Ogbo won Sportsman of the Year and the club won the Most Developed Club and Team of the Year awards. A small club only a few years ago, EUABC is now standing amongst the AU team giants. 2015/16 will hopefully see continued presence and success in local championships and BUCS, while plans for another Varsity at the Lemon Grove are already under way. Last year’s success inspired the club’s biggest ever first day enlistment rate at the Freshers’ Fair.
The club retains its competitive fighting prospects with a squad of experienced boxers, and new faces to the squad will be looking to take their skills up to the next level.
EUABC are hoping to raise the bar even higher this year. Continuing on with their partnership with the local MKO boxing club, new and returning members will be exposed to professional training and high quality skill tuition. The level of interest shown across campus in the club is monumental, and sign up rates are set to increase. It’s an exciting time for the club, led by Olufemi Fagbemi.
EULC had an amazing summer in international representation. Ailie Groom (Scotland) and Mimi Ruiz (England) played at the U19 World Championship. Scotland came eighth and England beat Australia to finish third. Ruiz was also selected for the U19 World team, meaning that she is the best U19 goalie globally.
At the ELF Women’s Lacrosse European Championship, Katie Butcher, Lottie Van Praag and Sophie Coombes-Roberts played for Wales and Hen Watson played for Scotland. All the EULC players in the tournament came home with a medal.
There are several top new arrivals. Annie Butcher told us, “I’ve played in the World Cup in 2011 for Wales U19 as the youngest player at 15, been County Captain and starred in the Godolphin School Lacrosse first team, been in regional 1s and played in home internationals for Wales. I’m really excited to play lacrosse at Exeter, especially as they did so well in the BUCS leagues last year!”
Another new recruit, Alice Cranwell, has played lacrosse since she was 11-years-old. Captaining the school team in 2014 to win the National Schools Championships, Cranwell went on to play for England for three years and had England Tours of Toronto, Canada and Washington in the USA. She played in the 2015 FIL U19 World Championships for England where the team managed to win a bronze medal. Cranwell said: “I am definitely very excited to come to Exeter, to play with a new team and get to know my teammates!”
Claire Brennan and Katie Butcher, first team Captains, stated: “We are really excited to have so many international players on our team this year and can’t wait to progress through the season.”
Last year, EUMCC won the BUCS national indoor competition and finished second in the BUCS championship. This achievement was made more impressive by the fact that they were one of only two universities that did not have MCCU status in that division. The 1s had another hugely successful indoor campaign, winning the South finals. In the summer, they thrashed Bristol by eight wickets in the Varsity fixture. A strong 2s side walked Western 1A.
The season was especially notable for the rise of star batsman Tom Abell. The 2013/14 Sportsman of the Year scored runs for the uni at the start of the season, then went on to become a mainstay of the Somerset top order. One EUMCC player to watch is new cap- tain Ollie Mills. Mills gained valuable experience captaining the side last summer. He led from the front with the bat, scoring three centuries, two of which were in crunch BUCS games against Oxford and Cambridge MCCUs. He will be in charge again this summer, and will hopefully flourish.
Tom Coldman and Rob Craze are two talented spin bowling all rounders who showed their class with high batting innings total and wicket hauls all over the country. Jonathan Burden showed great potential in his Freshers’ year as an opening bowler, choking the life out of the opposition. Ollie Mills has outlined the aims of continuing their success in the BUCS National indoor competition, and winning their league in the summer.
Tennis had a record number of members and achievements last year. Five of their seven BUCS teams got promoted, with the first teams making the top National Premier League. This league consists of the best six university tennis teams in the country. Top players in action last year included Jack Large, who made it into the quarterfinals of the Belgium Futures, and Summer Colling and Ashtey Pauls, who qualified for the BUCS Individuals National Tournament. Both the Mens and Womens Doubles pairs that were entered into the BUCS Individuals National Tournament made the quarter finals.
This year, tennis will have an additional womens team. They offer coaching opportunities at all levels at discounted student prices. The newly refurbished covered courts will provide additional high-quality hitting space, and last year’s successful tour over the Easter break will take place again.