Samuel Clarke, CUAC President 2021-22
18 Dec 2021
A message from our president to all the alumni
There’s no denying the last couple of year have provided many challenges, to our jobs, degrees, and life in general. The many struggles have shown that Athletics can’t always be the priority, and yet for many of us Athletics is still such an important part of life: a distraction from our struggles with work; a way to keep fit; a strong community of friends; a way to challenge ourselves as we aim for success, and of course victory over the other side. Which is why it has been such a relief to have a (relative) return to normality for this year.
Term started with the Freshers’ fairs, when sitting on our stall it was comforting to see the hordes of freshers eagerly walking around and looking for clubs and societies to join, deciding how to spend their time at Cambridge when away from their degrees. Athletics proved as popular as always and it’s been great to welcome in the new cohort, of experienced athletes and keen newbies alike.
After a couple of disrupted seasons, it’s been a challenge to get back into the rhythm of training but it’s always worth the struggle. We’ve enjoyed training together as a mix of new, old and returning athletes, we’re all united at Wilberforce Road whether we’re enduring the lactic pain from Bridget’s 400 sessions, or giving each other pointers during throws practice. As always, we owe a massive thanks to our Squad Leaders and Coaches, without whom training would not be as fun or effective.
The proof of our strong intake was shown at the Freshers Varsity match, where many athletes got their first taste of representing the Uni. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams scored dominant wins which was a great way to start the year, see the Captains write up for a report of the days many exciting events.
After a successful term I’m sure everyone is looking forward to getting some rest over the festive period, and on the other side the indoor season awaits us. Indoor BUCS will be a great way for our athletes to gain experience of competing at a high level, and we also have multiple athletes with strong hopes of medals. This is quickly followed by VFEAR, which always a fun chance to compete together as a team with every performance counting. Our good depth, proved at FVM, bodes well for us to retain our victory from the last match in 2020.
As well as competitions, the lifting of lockdowns has provided many opportunities for socialising. It’s been great to see squad socials happening, with the older athletes welcoming in all the newbies and bonding together, and events like the Christmas dinner were great to celebrate. Next term will see our annual dinner, as well as hopefully a return of Warm Weather Training, with a brand-new location of Fuerteventura, promising plenty of Sun, a Sandy beach and most importantly great training facilities, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of our year. We wofuld love to welcome back any alumni to this and the annual dinner, so please do get in touch if you’re interested.
The club has faced many challenges over the last couple of years but has emerged stronger than ever, this term has been a success in every way: training, competition and the social side. This of course wouldn’t be possible without the support of so many people, so I’d like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone that has been a part of this: the committee, coaches, the Uni sports service and of course the continued support from Alumni. Next term we will be looking to continue this trend as we continue our build up to retaining our titles against Oxford in May, and rest assured we’ll make the most the many exciting opportunities presented to us along the way.
Being part of CUAC can have such a large impact on so many members and forms an integral part of our University experience, and the amazing service the club provides is only possible thanks to the eternal generosity of many of our alumni. Coaching and the newly introduced track fees form a large part of our expenses, but as we look to continue growing the Club we also have many exciting plans for the future. This includes purchasing an electronic timing system to increase the standard of competitions held at Wilberfoce Road, helping on our never-ending quest to show Oxford who’s best at Varsity. Your donations allow us to continue providing the best possible experience to all the diverse members of CUAC and I hope you can see for yourself the positive impact you have and know that we are always grateful.
Please do consider supporting CUAC financially if you are able; and our most sincere thanks to those alumni who continue to give back to the Club. The giving portal supports gifts (recurring or one-off) via direct debit – every penny donated by CUAC alumni goes to supporting this fantastic University club. Follow the link at the bottom of this page for more information. Thank you.