The Captains' bit report...
So here we are at the end of another CUOC year.
So what are all the things that come to mind when I recollect my year as CUOC captain? Starting off with the 'squash' - I remember standing there, explaining orienteering to those who came right on time, into the quietness of Pembroke New Cellars, whilst reassuring all that there would be food soon - and the IntrO, we had quite a busy Michaelmas term. CUOC went to races most weekends and there were, of course, the highlights of the term: the SprintO where a random monkey appeared in contest for the Elite AlcO, the pre-Christmas dinner crawl with Robin demonstrating that it is a bad idea to mix Bailey's with tonic water, all followed by the training tour with the initially 'oh-so-cold' Youth Hostel, but an enjoyable set of training areas and a canoe-orienteering experience on Windermere on top of that.
After the Christmas holiday, we came back straight into the final stages of the Icenian preparation - great praise for everyone from CUOC from many competitors, so thanks to everyone for turning up. Apparently as CUOC, we even pleasantly surprised our controller by getting things done with some time to spare...
Of course, with the Varsity Match coming closer, there was plenty of training too, thanks to Emma, who was very dedicated in her role as training officer. Even in the snow...
From an email exchange (you may well remember), after the snowfall on a Wednesday afternoon, with reps on Parker's Piece due to start a few hours later...
Ali: 'Ummm, I hate to be wimpish, but if it's like this (i.e. blizzard) at 5pm are we still training? Also, not sure what state parker's piece is in...'
Emma: 'If it ain't snowing...we ain't going. Fortunately it's a blizzard so no excuses. I'll be there at 5.'
Ali: 'You are soooooo cruel! Does that mean if it stops snowing we don't have to go?'
[Just in case you were wondering, Ali was one of the people who came out to run that night!]
Yes, then the Varsity Match itself. Erm, we lost...maybe the only way to say it? Attempts (by unnamed individuals) to distract Ed Catmur before the start (apparently at the Icenian, Alan nearly managed to send him off '3km to the other start down that way'...I'm sure when I planned the courses there was no other start there!) seemingly yielded little by way of positive results. As did the attempt to declare Ed non-competitive since he lives right next to Wimbledon Common. Nevertheless, despite the results, everyone who came seems to have enjoyed a great weekend - I think that those same unnamed individuals especially enjoyed views from the top of Oxford's minibus!
Later on in Lent term, CUOC held the annual cuppers competition: Ash made sure there were plenty of wet route choice on the Coe Fen courses. A pleasant change from last year (I think) was the lack of nettles on the area. Congratulations to the individual winners - Ali on the women's course and Alan on the men's course - and to Emmanuel College for winning the team trophy.
Overall, it was a fun and enjoyable year, not in the least because of the support I had from the committee, whom I'm grateful to. With only the Annual Dinner now left for me to organise and with the AGM and hand-over coming up, all that remains to be said is good luck to whoever takes over as club captain next year.
Written by Blanka Sengerová