The BUCS season so far – plenty of promise for student sport clubs going into 2018

20 December 2017

As we head into the Christmas break, SU Bath Sport Officer Will Galloway and BUCS Performance Officer Sophie Thomas provide a sport-by-sport review of an exciting first half of the 2017-18 British Universities & Colleges Sport [BUCS] season for University of Bath students…

American Football: Despite introducing a rookies league into their weekly training in an attempt to get more people playing sooner, the team have sadly fallen in all their battles so far this year but they remain undeterred and are battling on into 2018.

Badminton: The club is used to finishing the first half of the season well and this year is no different, with both the men’s and women’s 1st teams sitting pretty at the top of their respective trees this Christmas. Badminton remains one of the strongest clubs for the University of Bath.

Basketball: After a lack of fortune in 2016-17, the club has come back fighting this year with both the women’s 1st team and men’s 2nd team taking top honours in their respective leagues so far. They will be looking to push on in the second semester and gain promotion for 2018/19.

Cycling: Fresher Harvey McNaughton, who is also dabbling in rowing, was runner-up in the Track Kilo Time Trial and third in the Points Race, helping the team finish sixth overall at the BUCS Track Championships in Manchester. Third place in the individual Hill Climb event for Fran Bromley helped the women’s team, which also included Emily Slavin, finish second overall.

Fencing: The addition of two more teams has boosted a club which has been absolutely flying this season. The men’s 1st team are second in the Premier League, while the newly-formed 2nds are top of Tier 2A and pushing for promotion. The support of Pentathlon GB athletes during home games has also helped the new women team put in a strong showing in Tier 1A, where they currently sit fourth in the table.

Football: Two teams currently top their tables – the men’s 2nd and 3rd teams in Tier 2B and 3A respectively – while both 1st XIs have also produced strong performances. The women are guaranteed their highest league finish for a number of years, while the men need just a draw against Chichester in the New Year to retain their top-flight place for 2018-19. Many of the squad players have also been participating in futsal with success, winning ten out of 19 matches so far.

Golf: Another club with an additional team this year, the 1sts are doing exceedingly well and are currently ranked third in the top division behind Bournemouth and Exeter, both Royal and Ancient hubs, while the 2nds sit just behind the leaders in Tier 3A. Special recognition should go to Harriet Evans who was recently awarded a top scholarship by the R&A.

Hockey: It’s been a solid start to 2017-18, with both the men’s and women’s 1st teams sitting in the top half of their respective Premier Leagues and the women’s 2nds in position for promotion. In addition, Dual Career athlete and King Sporting Scholar Tim Nurse helped Great Britain U21s win silver at the Sultan of Johor Cup in October and was recently named in the GB Hockey Men’s Elite Development Programme (EDP) ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Netball: The women’s 1st team, coached by Team Bath Netball legend Asha Francis, have provided one of the BUCS highlights of the year so far and currently boast an unbeaten record in a hard-fought division. With five of the team also selected to play for the Blue and Gold in the Superleague, 2018 could prove to be an exciting challenge.

Rowing: The men and women finished seventh and eighth respectively at the Small Boats Head, while the Indoor Championships saw Becky Wilde – who made the transition from swimming over the summer – win the women’s novice category and Joe Russell do likewise in the men’s event. Overall, the men’s and women’s teams both placed fifth overall with lifestyle support officer and London 2012 Olympic rhythmic gymnast Rachel Smith contributing to the women’s total after finishing tenth in the novice category.

Rugby League: After winning promotion to the Premier Division in 2016-17, the men’s 1st XIII have continued their fine form and are benefitting from strength and conditioning delivery through the BUCS Performance Plan in conjunction with the Strength & Conditioning Education Programme (SCEP). Victories over Nottingham Trent (twice) and Exeter have set the tone for the second half of the season.

Rugby Union: After a frustrating start to the BUCS Super Rugby season, three wins and a draw from their last six matches have moved the men’s 1st XV up to sixth in the table. The 2nd XV have guaranteed their place in South A for the 2018-19 season with some strong performance against the University of Exeter, UWE and Swansea. Not to be outshone, the 3rds and 4ths have also put themselves in promotion position at the midway point of the season.

Shooting: Santander Sporting Scholar Emma Stacey won yet another gold medal in the women’s singles competition when she took part in the BUCS Clay Pigeon Shooting Championships earlier this month.

Squash: It’s been an outstanding season so far, with all three men’s teams in promotion contention after losing just one game between them.

Swimming: MJ Church ambassador and Thompson Education Trust sporting scholar Anna Hopkin returned to the pool strongly after her World University Games exploits in the summer, taking 50m freestyle gold and 100m freestyle silver at the BUCS Short-Course Championships. Joining Anna on top of the podium was Jacob Greenow, who won the men’s 400m IM, while fellow Santander sporting scholar Emily Siebrecht was a silver-medallist in the women’s race. Will Ryley (1,500m freestyle), Emily Wood (200m breaststroke) and the women’s 4x50m freestyle relay also contributed BUCS points with fourth-placed finishes.

Table Tennis: The men’s 1st team sit top of the Western 2A table after suffering just one defeat so far and that was against Bath’s 2nds who are level on points with second-placed Aberystwyth.

Tennis: All five teams currently sit in the top half of their respective divisions after a solid start to the season. Students have also enjoyed success on the international stage with sporting scholar Emma Hurst and Pippa Horn, plus Director of Tennis Barry Scollo, helping Great Britain win a first-ever gold at the Master’U BNP Paribas tournament in France.

Ultimate Frisbee: A very popular sport at the University of Bath and also one of the most successful so far this season with the men’s 1st and 2nd teams sitting first and second in their respective tables. They, along with the women’s 1sts, have also qualified for February’s Championship Cup Finals.

Volleyball: Increased investment in coaching has certainly paid off this season with he women’s 1st team topping their table at the halfway point of the season, while the men are sitting just behind leaders Bristol. Both teams are regularly recording 3-0 victories.

Water Polo: Another club benefitting from coaching investment, with both the women’s and men’s 1st teams finishing top of their Tier 1A tables after regularly recording double-figure wins both home and away.

More great team news has come from the men’s and women’s duathlon, who finished sixth and fifth respectively, while the men’s surf team earned five points for the University for the first time since the sports introduction to BUCS.

It has been a hugely positive year to date and lots of great opportunities as we head in to 2018 for the University of Bath to develop and progress.

Click here to find out more about BUCS sport at the University of Bath – the 2018 Sports University of the Year.
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