Whilst the University Sport season has come to a conclusion, there's still lots to report on from the final fortnight of Essex Blades action for the foreseeable future.
At this time it's important we are all following Government advice regarding social distancing. To help keep our members physically and mentally active during this unprecedented period, we'll soon be regularly sharing at-home workouts and mindfulness exercises on our social pages. Make sure you're following our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages to stay involved.
WEEK 19 and 20 HIGHLIGHTS:
The newly formed Pentathlon team took part in the BUCS Modern Pentathlon in Oxford. A Modern Pentathlon is an athletic event comprising five different events for each competitor; Fencing, Horse Show Jumping, Running, Laser Shooting, and Swimming. The Essex team had a good start with great overall placement after the Fencing and Show Jumping events, with Carla Bertoncelli (Experienced) placed 5th and Cyrianne Michel-Doyen (Novice) 11th out of 21 players. Unfortunately Essex began to struggle with the combined events (Running and Shooting) as well as Swimming, and started the slip down the rankings. Despite this, our Essex athletes had an excellent time and really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in this event, earning some valuable BUCS points for the University.
In one of final individual BUCS events of the year, 1st year student Lauren Bann produced outstanding results to finish with a Bronze medal in the national BUCS Archery Recurve championships. Having finished 2nd in the regional qualifiers earlier in the year, Lauren followed this up with an excellent performance on the national stage, only missing out on a place in the final following a very narrow defeat to the eventual Gold medalist.
SUMMARY OF BUCS RESULTS – WEEK 19 - 2019/20
Winning Percentage: 50%
In 2018/19, Essex recorded a winning percentage of 43.75% from 32 fixtures during Week 19.
SUMMARY OF BUCS RESULTS – WEEK 20 - 2019/20
Winning Percentage: 66.6%
In 2018/19, Essex recorded a winning percentage of 56% from 16 fixtures during Week 20.
AWAY FROM BUCS...
Our Handball Club took 28 excited Handball players to the British University Championships in Gillingham. The Blades had been training for the Championship for weeks and managed to pull off produce amazing performances across the weekend. Both the Men’s and Women’s team gave it everything they had to win all their games, including victories over Warwick and Oxford. Essex blew everyone away with both teams going all the way and winning their Finals! It was an amazing weekend for everyone, the teams really bonded and new friendships were formed. Essex Handball went home as the Men's National Plate and Women's National Shield champions.
The Essex Blades Handball Club celebrate winning the Men's National Plate and Women's National Shield at the recent University Handball Championships in Gillingham.
The Essex Flames Cheerleading Club competed in their final competition last weekend, BCA University Nationals, held at Derby Arena.
On the first day all University stunt categories competed, in which Essex had two teams. Blaze (Level 1) hit an almost perfect routine on the mat and secured 4th place out of 9 teams in the all-girl category. The majority of the Blaze team are 1st year students and have done extremely well to learn the sport and really grown in confidence. Inferno (Level 2) were competing in the Co-Ed category which has massively grown in popularity the last couple of seasons; Essex have 5 males competing this season. Inferno increased their stunt difficulty since the last competition, working extremely hard on their pyramid, which all hit and looked amazing on the mat. Despite scoring high on difficulty, Inferno placed 8th in the category (out of 11 teams). Both stunt teams were coached and choreographed by current students Alison Faid and Megan Coates.
Day two saw all the University dance teams compete, the categories available are: Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical and Pom. Essex Lyrical dance team had to overcome some last minute difficulties when they went down a member just two days before leaving for competition, but you would have never know this from their performance. All the dancers pulled together and coped really well to remember the changes and the routine looked beautiful on the floor. Essex placed 4th, but this category was incredibly tight on scoring with only 0.9 points separating Essex from 1st place. The team is coached and choreographed by alumni Sarah Lloyd who also competes in the team and did an amazing job this season after securing 1st place at the previous competition.
Lastly, Essex Flames competed in the largest category of the weekend: all-girl small Pom. After fitting in extra practices at some of the Rebels Basketball matches, the team had grown in confidence and built upon performance skills. The team gave an exceptionally clean and energetic performance on the mat and this was recognised by the judges, who awarded them 3rd place out of 15 teams. Not only that, but the team were only 0.1 points off 2nd place! It was an incredible season for the Pom team to secure a 2nd and 3rd place trophy within such a large category. The team is coached and choreographed by alumni and current staff member, Emma Sainty.
Keep an eye out on the Essex Flames' YouTube channel HERE to see all the teams performances!
Prior to the BCA University Nationals, the Flames also held a showcase at Whitehall Gymnastics Centre to display all their routines and get in some final competition preparation. The well-attended showcase saw some excellent performances across the squads, and some outstanding individual tumbling.
The Essex Flames after their showcase at Whitehall Gymnastics Centre prior to the BCA Nationals.
Our Essex Blades Dance Club recently travelled to Kingston University to take part in the Kingsnation Dance competition. This competition was one of the hardest yet, with Essex being up against universities studying Dance degrees and with professional coaches. The Essex Contemporary squad stepped up their game, winning 3rd place in the advanced category. Ballet maintained their champion streak, winning their second 1st place of the season. The Jazz team, performed amazingly, achieving a close 4th with only 0.5 points difference to 3rd place. The Commercial and Street squads, the life and power of Essex Dance, made a really strong impression on the judges, receiving standing ovations from everyone in the hall. Alec, the coach of our Street squad was even a nominee for best male dancer of the competition. The Commercial team performed their very best yet, receiving amazing feedback from the judges and at the end the team placed 4th in a very fierce competition.
The Essex Blades Dance Club after successful performances at the Kingsnation Dance competition.
In addition to their recent competition, the Essex Blades Dance Club held their annual showcase in the Lakeside Theatre at the University of Essex. It was one of the most successful club showcases in years, with 20 high standard performances varying from class routines, competition routines and solo/duo performances. For some, it was nerve wrecking as it was their first time performing in front of a crowd. For others, it was very emotional as it was their last performance with Essex Blades Dance. Nevertheless, it was a day of celebration, where members could finally see their efforts and commitments come together. The crowd was amazing and supportive, so all dancers had a wonderful time.
And finally, members of our Hockey Club Shannon McGuigan, Amelia Low, Chris Hughes, Gregory Quinton and Joe Nevitt camped out on squares until 2am on the 6th March in a bid to raise money for the Colchester Emergency Shelter. As a result, they raised a massive £200. The club wanted to say a huge thank you to all of their phenomenal members for a great year. “We accomplished and improved so much as a club. We grew our family and made some amazing memories in the process. It all came to an end sooner than expected but it was truly a great year and we want to thank every single member for their contribution to the club. We hope to see our members soon and hope they stay safe!”.
Stay safe is the message we'll finish with. Please continue to follow Government advice and remember, you can still contact staff remotely by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through our social media pages.
Take care x