Image courtesy of UKC Kendo | Facebook
To say the previous term was a success may be understatement. However, you would be forgiven for not being up to date with the latest sporting news at Kent. With over 60 sports teams on campus and a BUCS play app being more difficult to navigate than a third-year exam; the success of some individuals and teams can sometimes go unnoticed. To make a start at reconciling this issue, we have collected some key highlights for the previous term.
Men’s Cricket 1st Team undefeated in BUCS
The University of Kent Men’s Cricket team have won all eight games of the first round of BUCS indoor cricket. They, along with 15 other teams, have qualified for round two. Chairman Sam Street has stated that “the target is to progress through to round three, but only eight universities can make it through in the whole country”. That round will be hosted as a ‘finals day’ at an indoor centre at an international cricket venue. The 1st Team have also been competing in the Pharon League, an indoor cricket league that includes all cricket teams, not just university. They are currently top of division one, with three games left to play. If the team make it through this stage, they will be in the national finals. Although Canterbury Cricket Club won the national title last year, having been undefeated for two years, Kent’s 1st Team still managed to win in a match against them. Aside from their success with BUCS and Movember, being the top highest fundraisers, University of Kent Cricket Club have also launched their new intercollege programme. The intercollege is, as Street explains, is “a franchise based inter club league, getting all members of the club, both male and female, playing competitive cricket against one another whilst having a laugh at the same time”.
UKC Men’s Lacrosse undefeated in BUCS
Over the past term, Men’s Lacrosse have been undefeated in all of their matches as well as having some very impressive high scoring performances. A huge improvement on last year (the team lost almost every match last year), the club are on track to winning the league title. The 1st team have a very strong offensive and defensive players this year; many players have either stayed on to do masters courses, or have returned from placements or time out. Tom Roper, Captain of the Men’s 1st Team, stated that “we haven’t really had any tough games as of yet, but we are expecting more competition as we go further in the cup”.
UKC Polo win and host county level tournament
In the past six months, UKC Polo have seen players and teams achieve success both at home and abroad. With one of the team’s players currently living and playing in Marrakech and club president Luke Davis returning from his internship at Boston Polo Club, it is clear this club is having an impact in places further-a-field. The club hosted a county-level tournament for charity in which their beginner team stunned and won the competition. With the National Championships right around the corner, UKC Polo are sure to continue their success this February.
UKC Men's Rugby 1st and 2nd Team undefeated in BUCS
Nothing says success quite like an undefeated team, and only this can be topped by doing it twice. Both their 1st and 2nd team have managed an amazing 12-week run without losing a single game. This impressive achievement is impressive considering the tough competition of the BUCS rugby games.
UKC Men’s Hockey
When asked about any individual who had made a notable contribution to the club, UKC Men’s Hockey were quick to nominate Nigel Tate. Angus Henigan commented that: “Nigel has joined us this year to spice up his final year and has slotted in straight away. Although not the most talented of players, this 3s legend has cemented himself as a cult icon within the club with his passion, commitment and good vibes. A good-looking bloke with quick wit and dazzling charm, we can’t wait to see what Nigel has in store for 2020”. For anyone interested in keeping up with Nigel and UKC Hockey they have invited anyone interested in their matches to regularly check their Instagram page for all the details of their upcoming games.
UKC Kendo achieves successes at annual tournament
Last term, UKC Kendo participated in the Mumeishi 3s Taikai, an annual tournament held in London which attracts around 100-150 Kendoka’s of varying levels and abilities. Despite the large amount of competition, UKC finished 4th. In addition to this, Irene Gyamfi and Ben Alison won the fighting spirit prize. Adam Ghellache, President of UKC Kendo, explains the significance of the award, as it represents "one's readiness and determination to push oneself to their limits". It is typical that every tournament gives this title to one or two people in attendance, but it speaks volumes that the two winners were from UKC. The club is currently preparing for the annual University Taikai.
UKC Netball 1st and 4th teams top of league table
The last academic term has been a successful one for UKC netball, with both the 1s and 4s at the top of their respective leagues. The first team appears to be firmly on track to win their BUCS league, cup and Varsity. Their match against local rivals, Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), saw an outstanding result of 67- 24, confirming for many that they will go on to pull out an equally impressive result at Varsity. This term, the charitable events will continue as several players from the club intend to run a half marathon for Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Services.
UKC Fencing strive for success
Fencing is one of the most consistently successful teams at Kent and the first term of this academic year was no different. Their men’s first team are currently sitting within the competitive 2B league following their undefeated streak. With one game left to play, their season is unquestionably impressive. The Men’s second team has similar success only losing once in league 2A. Both the men’s teams are through to the cup quarterfinals with the men’s first team on track to retain their title from last season. After a win in their first premiership weekend, the women’s team look set to remain within the league. The last academic term saw the debut of the women’s second team.
UKC Tennis has seen several significant changes in the past year. The beginning of the season left many concerned as saw an entire women’s team graduate. Building from the ground up, their new women’s team is a point of pride within the club. The brand new team were initially faced with a tough division and big shoes to fill, as well as the threat of relegation. Despite the many changes, their women’s team have proven that they are a force to reckoned with. They exceeded expectations and have found success against stiff competition within a difficult league.
UKC Women’s Lacrosse
UKC Women’s LAX were hard pressed to highlight a singular team due to the significant achievements of the past term. This year saw the addition of a third BUCS team. With many newcomers and freshers making up the squad, their improvement and ability to pick up the core skills of the game is impressive. Unfortunately, in the 2018/2019 season, the second team were unable to beat any of their opponents. This stands in stark contrast to the several wins achieved this year. The first team has recently advanced to the Tier 1 league. Previous years have seen other first teams achieve this goal, but struggle to remain with the league.
Kent is not regarded as a sporting university, yet it appears that teams are consistently improving and advancing across all sports. The University of Kent is becoming increasingly more competitive, challenging prestigious sporting universities more than ever before. Players and coaches are improving. (So too are the odds that you can be a part of an extremely successful sports club.) This is generating anticipation for the up-and-coming season; Cup games – and notably – Varsity. It is a thrilling time to be a sports fan at UKC. If last season is anything to go by, you will not want to miss the next couple games.