President's Report 2019/20
My time as President has come to an end, so it’s a nice opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and celebrate some wonderful moments. When the university reopens following the Covid-19 pandemic, I know the club will be in good hands with the new committee, and it will keep improving.
An early highlight was on the first day of the academic year, when our match table was finally installed. Many of you will know that it took more than a year of planning, negotiating and organisation to get to that point, but this was all worth it to have a Supreme table available on campus. I know lots of people have benefited from being able to play matches and have tournament practises locally and for free, and I’m sure it will be a great asset to the club for many years to come.
Term 1 also had our first charity tournament for several years, as we raised money for Solving Kids Cancer. This was a fantastic opportunity for the club and its members to support a great cause, and the success led to a similar session in Term 2, as we helped Katie in her fundraising for the Meningitis Research Foundation.
The 9 Ball season had mixed success, as the 2nds reached the Trophy final at Leeds after beating the 1sts, before narrowly losing to a strong Liverpool team. At BUCS, the 2nds and 3rds impressed to reach the trophy knockouts, but sadly couldn’t get further. A special mention should go to David, who reached the individual trophy quarter final in his first event. The 1sts won their group after a memorable win over Bristol, before losing to the eventual championship winners Durham.
We hosted the Warwickshire Classic in November for the second time, where all three teams put on a good show. Matt Anscomb stormed through the individual shield, including a 4-0 win in the final, to back up his flawless win in the Freshers’ Tournament. This wasn’t the only Warwick success, as the 3rd team, including four debutants, brilliantly won the team shield, demonstrating the great strength in depth that Warwick are known for. The 1sts had a tense 7-5 playoff win over Nottingham to reach the final, but couldn’t back it up against Cambridge. Despite a stressful weekend, I took great pride in running the event for over 100 players, and hope it continues to be a well-regarded competition for the many universities who have attended.
The competitions came thick and fast in Term 2, as we took four teams to the Coventry Open. The 1sts beat the 2nds in a playoff to reach the final, where we beat Northampton for our first major tournament win in four years. Sammy showed his experience and battling qualities to reach the individual final, a lovely moment for someone who has given so much to the club. The following weekend, we took two teams to London for the Southern Championships, but neither could progress as far as we hoped. In the individuals, Dan and I reached the trophy and championship quarter finals respectively, and Matt continued his impressive form to get to the semi final. These competitions had been great warm-ups for BUCS, as we took four teams to Great Yarmouth, all of which were competing in the championship/trophy tier. The standout performances came from the 2nd team, as they earned bronze medals in the team trophy, after some excellent wins over Nottingham and Bristol.
Just one Warwick team attended the East of England competition in Hatfield, but they defied expectations to take home another team championship, with outstanding performances from all five players. Soon after this win, the excellent form and consistency of Matt Anscomb and Matt Ross continued as they contested the Uni Champs final. Matt Ross went one better than two years ago as he narrowly won 10-8, while Dan triumphed in a close final against Joel to win the Uni Trophy.
On the non-playing side, the club has completed a two-year financial recovery, after being in considerable debt when I started as treasurer. My thanks must go to Sammy and Amrik for their hard work in helping us get back afloat, and to the rest of the last two execs for their patience and understanding as we focused efforts on making the club sustainable again. Despite unexpected changes to our relationship with the Students’ Union, we’ve made the most of a difficult situation, as our SU sessions increased in popularity and became less tournament-focused.
It has been a huge pleasure to lead this club, and I will cherish the many memories I’ve had in the last three years. For that, I must thank all of you, who continue to make the club one to be proud of. From my first tournament as a relative beginner at Northampton in 2017, to winning team events and enjoying some decent runs in the individual competitions, this club has been the biggest part of my university experience, and I don’t realise yet how much I’ll miss it.
Thankfully, we managed to elect our new committee before the coronavirus changed everything, and I’m sure they are planning great things for when life as we knew it can resume. Good luck to new President Matt Bates and the rest of the exec, who I hope will take this opportunity to make their own unique mark on the club.