3rd year Marine Biology student and current Alumni Relations intern in the Development Office, Naomi Boon, reflects on a year of sporting success for St Andrews clubs, with more teams competing at higher levels than ever before!
The 2015-16 academic year was a remarkable one for sport at St Andrews, with 86 teams competing regularly in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) fixtures. There are now 50 sports represented under the Saints Sport umbrella and last year saw over 65% of our students participating in regular sporting activity.
Photo courtesy of Saints Water Polo
Some of the highlights have been in the pool where Women’s Water Polo won the BUCS Trophy as well as the BUCS Scottish 1A league under the direction of Saints Sport Coach of the Year, Ian McCallum. The Men’s Water Polo also had a successful season, winning Scottish 1A and beating Manchester Met in the BUCS trophy last 16, making this one of the most successful seasons in the club’s history.
Switching to dry (well, drier) land, Saints Golf won the Scottish Premier League and St Andrews student George Burns won the annual international Boyd Quaich tournament, Men’s Hockey 1st XI recorded a fantastic 3-2 win over Loughborough 2s and the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team came 3rd at BUCS Indoor Championships and 6th in the UK at BUCS Outdoor Championships.
On the track, the Athletics Club put in a strong performance at BUCS Nationals Indoor Athletics Championships in Sheffield, with Cameron Martin and Kirsten Laurenson both achieving PBs, and Samantha Blakeman achieving a 100m PB at BUCS Outdoor Championships in Bedford later in the year.
The 2015-16 season saw many clubs enter teams into BUCS leagues for the first time, including Women’s Football 3rdXI, Men’s Football 6thXI, Women’s Lacrosse 2nd Team and 3 performance tennis squads for both men and women, as well as two teams competing in the first ever BUCS Wednesday League for ultimate.
Women’s Basketball celebrated immense success this season, winning the BUCS Scottish 1A league, allowing them to play for promotion in the BUCS Premier North League. This saw a nail-biting fixture against Nottingham in front of a packed crowd in the new arena, winning 78-76 in overtime, securing their promotion to the Premier Division. Back in February, the team had the honour of officially opening the new Sports Arena, beating Robert Gordon University 51-49 in the inaugural game in front of an enthralled crowd.
But there is no standing still and being happy with one successful season.
Already we know of yet more teams being entered into BUCS leagues, including a Men’s Hockey 3rd XI and a Netball 4th team, and our clubs are busy using their summer break to prepare for the coming season. As more of our new facilities provided by the ongoing redevelopment and investment in sport come online, the participation in our Saints Sport clubs increases further, meaning this really is an exciting time for sport at St Andrews.
If you are Saints Sport alumni and would like to get in touch with your club, or if you have any photos from your time participating in sport at St Andrews, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you!