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Presidents' View

A message from the outgoing and incoming CUAC presidents


Samuel Clarke, CUAC President 2021-22
Angus Harrington, CUAC President 2022-23


24 August 2022


Samuel Clarke – President 2021-22: A year ago Lea and I wrote to you reflecting on the challenging year we had, 2020-21 were difficult times for everyone but CUAC made the most of it, continuing to train, compete and socialise as always, even if in different ways to normal. In that letter I said I was excited for the year to come, and indeed I was right to be optimistic as the last year has been filled with many highlights. Warm Weather Training made a welcome return which was as fun and productive as always, but the pinnacle of any year for CUAC is Varsity. We did well to break OUAC’s winning streak last year, but it was a great experience to see Varsity return in all its glory as we could finally welcome back spectators. There was no longer the shadow of Covid depleted teams and missing Captains, and yet Cambridge came out on top once again. As many of you will know from your own experiences, there is a lot that goes into a Varsity match, with months or years of hard training for the competitors and so I’d like to congratulate everyone that took part on the day as it’s something you can be proud of for years to come. But there is also a lot of organisation that goes into a match like this, and beyond Varsity the club couldn’t function without the support of so many people, so I would like to give a final thanks to our coaches for always being there for our athletes, the committee for keeping the club running, and to all our alumni and everyone else who has helped out by giving us their time and helped financially or otherwise. On a personal level, it’s been a challenging year trying to balance the responsibilities of being President with finishing off my degree whilst keeping up with training commitments, an eternal struggle I’m sure many of you can relate to. But Varsity reminded me why it’s always worth it. It was an amazing day that I’ll forever cherish: getting to compete alongside friends with a common goal and cheering each other on. I’m proud of my own achievements and to be on the winning side, but I’m prouder still to have had the chance to be a part of the team, as the team spirit and support is what makes CUAC so special to be a part of. This is why I feel sad knowing this was my last Varsity and the time has come to move on from University, and yet I know I will never truly leave CUAC behind. I’m sure I’ll be back cheering on the light blues soon enough, and most importantly I have made friends for life. I’m also encouraged by the strong alumni network around the club, which was illustrated by the recent Monaco Achilles tour, where it was great to train and socialise alongside current students and alumni alike, along with (for better or for worse) our friends from the other place. Keep an eye out as there will hopefully be more Achilles tours over the next couple of years, along with the long awaited Transatlantic tour. As I hand over my presidency to Angus, I know that the future is bright for CUAC and I look forward to continuing to be part of this community. Angus Harrington – President 2022-23: Whilst CUAC says goodbye to many of the club’s stalwarts this year, including the former 2 presidents, this year is still simmering up to be a very exciting one. For one, the Varsity match is back at Wilberforce Road for the first time in 4 years. This promises to be a magnificent event, with an all guns blazing, true festival of athletics already in the planning pipeline. For a long time, other Varsity events like Rugby and Rowing have been the most hotly anticipated by students and other Oxbridge stakeholders. It is our hope for athletics to begin narrowing that gap. Other calendar highlights include the numerous transatlantic matches in the works by the Achilles Club. Not only is an Achilles team heading to the states to take on Harvard/Yale and Penn/Cornell at Easter, but both are also coming to both Oxford and Cambridge next Summer. Expect many current and former CUAC members to be involved in the team for these. Finally, we hope to welcome many new freshers this Autumn, to help us continue to rain athletics dominance down on Oxford over the 3 Varsity matches, but also at both BUCS events. There have already been whispers of some hot talents arriving, but we also hope to continue organically develop fresh and existing students, which our very talented group of coaches continue to nurture.

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