#TEAMBrookes Club of the Year 2020
Monday, 29 June 2020
Announcing the nominations for the #TEAMBrookes Club of the Year 2020
Despite the 2020 Cheerleading season being cut short, the Cheerleading Club still had a very successful season. They managed to secure two National Titles for their Level 1 and Level 2 teams as well as a Grand Championship Title and the Nations Cup for England at the BCA University Nationals in March.
Alongside their national competition successes, this year they were able to expand their half-time performance schedule as they performed at various fixtures for Oxford City Football club, the Brookes Panthers American Football derby day fixture against Oxford University, and the boxing at the Kassam Stadium. These additional events were all organised through the club and are another avenue to showcase the talent of the Oxford Brookes Cheerleaders.
Over the past year the club made it one of their key focuses to give back to the community. To achieve this goal they arranged weekly food bank donations, organised several charity events for the Australian bush fires, volunteered at local primary and secondary schools to coach cheerleading sessions, and were always present at Oxford Brookes Open Days. More recently, during the lockdown, the club have been busy on social media completing both fun challenges along with raising £1,395 for the NHS by walking, running or riding 1359km (the equivalent of the distance to every Nightingale Hospital in the UK).
The Cheerleading club are proud of the family they have been able to develop over the years and ensure that they are there to support each other. This has been particularly important during these unsettled times, and to combat this they are having weekly Zoom classes, led by committee members to help work on Cheer technique, general fitness and flexibility. The club are especially grateful for their two coaches, Sophie and Mash and the 2019/20 Committee who “deserve recognition as the hours they put into the team is incredible.”
After winning this award last year, the Netball club have yet again shown their strength both on and off the court. All three teams had successful years competing in their respective BUCS leagues. The 1st team celebrated many victories having been promoted into Tier 2 of the Midlands Conference. They finished 2nd in the league, and were the only team to beat the league winners. They also beat Cambridge in the final of the Conference Cup. The 2nd and 3rd team also had strong seasons, with both teams finishing in the top 3 of their leagues.
Netball have been a very dedicated team and have been recognised for their excellent attendance at Strength & Conditioning training. The team works exceptionally hard and this has been reflected in their results. The leadership from both the committee and captains has greatly impressed Karen, the club’s coach and this has really helped with them gelling off and on the court.
The Netball club look for any opportunity to give back to the community and over the past year they have raised a lot of money for various charities. Near the beginning of the academic year the club joined up with Rugby Union for a tournament which raised over £600 for the charity KEEN Oxford. They are also on track to raise over £2,000 for Headway Oxfordshire by taking part in the annual 10km Wolf Run. Despite the run being postponed, they are using the opportunity to train harder and raise even more money. Additionally, during lockdown Netball, along with Rugby Union have been using their social media presence to raise thousands for the charity Refuge which helps domestic abuse victims.
The Rugby Union club has had a lot to celebrate on the pitch across all of their teams. The Men’s 1st XV and 3rd XV won the Midlands Conference Cup and Plate respectively. Additionally, both teams were due to complete League and Cup Doubles had Covid-19 not hit as both teams were unbeaten in their leagues up until the lockdown. The Men’s 2nd XV made it to the Semi-Finals of the Conference Cup and finished mid-table in Tier 2A of the Midlands Conference. The Men’s 4th XV (non BUCS) were also successful in completing an unbeaten year playing in the Oxford University RFU League.
This year saw the beginning of merging the Men’s and Women’s Clubs to unify Rugby Union as one club at Oxford Brookes. This is a relationship that will continue to improve rugby provision over the coming years. Competing in Tier 1 of the Midlands Conference, the Women’s 1st XV faced tough competition all year with many of players only picking up rugby this season.
The successful growth of the club over the past year has meant that the Men’s side are looking to introduce an additional 5th XV next season to meet the demand of Brookes students. They are also looking to explore the potential for starting an intramural playing offer to ensure that there is playing opportunity for all levels. The club are also passionate about developing coaches. Over the past year - as well as the team of professional coaches - the club mentored, developed and supported four student coaches, which is something they intend to continue over the coming years.
Off the pitch, the club have been busy raising money for various charities. During the academic year they collaborated with the netball club to put on a netball Match which raised close to £1,000 for the charity Mind and participated in Movember which raised around £2,500. They have also been busy during lockdown on their social media platform sharing workouts and challenges, as well as running the distance equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats and back again, raising an impressive £5,370 for the Oxford Hospitals Charity for the fantastic work they are doing. They also worked with the netball club again to raise money for the charity Refuge.
Over the past year the shooting club have had a lot of success in competition and have positively progressed towards meeting some of their club objectives. The Women’s 1st Team have been particularly impressive winning the majority of the competitions the club entered, including the BUCS Championship. The Men’s First Team have also had a successful year often featuring in the top three at competitions. At the BUCS Championships the Men’s 1st team came in third. Individually, Lorna Hall has been a standout performer having consistently finished at the top of the table at most competitions, including the BUCS Championships. Tom Boles, also won Best Shot at the Oxford Challenge.
Away from competition, the shooting club has been focusing a lot of their efforts on widening the access to the sport and providing events to enhance the student experience. They have worked really hard to ensure that shooting is accessible to as many students as possible as it is historically an expensive sport and one that can intimidate students from different backgrounds taking part. They have attempted to cater events to students from all walks of life to create an inclusive club environment. The club also successfully raised over £2,000 for mental health and local homeslessness in Oxford.
The club has also progressed towards meeting one of their major strategic objectives, getting more women into shooting. Lorna Hall, the 2019/20 President was instrumental to the growth of women in the sport at Brookes as her continued and consistent success has inspired many women to join Brookes Shooting. Specific events were also hosted, such as ladies drinks and ladies practice to create a more accessible environment for young women to become accomplished in the sport.