To start HMedia’s new ‘Club of the week’ sports feature, we thought we’d kick things off with a real classic of University sports, namely, Mens Rugby Union.
Hallam RUFC’s success over recent seasons prompted them to be first pick after their 1s won Northern 2B last year, whilst also winning the conference cup, with the 2s also gaining promotion.
We sat down with 1st team mens captain, Josh Britton, to ask him how he thinks RUFC is doing at Hallam.
How are you finding Northern 1A this year?
“We’ve noticed that 1A is a lot more physical, you’ve got the bigger teams and more 1st teams in there”
“Last year we had quite a big side, but then we’ve lost a lot of third years to placements, so a lot of the 2nd year boys have stepped up, and they’ve done really well, but they’ve noticed now that theres a big change in how different the leagues are, so the league we’re in now is a very competitive and physical league”
How well do you think Rugby Union is progressing at Sheffield Hallam?
“Oh yeah, a hundred percent, we’ve had two league promotions and one conference cup win”
“I’ve had a lot of injuries which have put me out for a bit, but from what I’ve noticed is that Hallam Rugby has become bigger, numbers have become a lot bigger”
“We’ve had a bigger influx on freshers coming in, at the freshers fair we had 130+ sign ups, which is really good for us because we needed the numbers after everyone had left last year”
How are you finding your first year as captain?
“It’s a new step for me, I haven’t really captained a side before, but it is a good chance for me to work on my skills and help out the team”
How are you guys feeling about Varsity for this year?
“Varsity is always a big game, it’s weird because you forget everything thats happened in the league and just focus on varsity, thats what I want the boys, all three teams to do”
“Whatever happens in the league just focus on Varsity, obviously its a big day and it’s great to get revenge on Uni Of, which I think we can do”
How big is the difference in quality between us and Uni Of?
“In terms of quality I think we’re there, there’s just little things we need to build on, which is probably the same for them”
“We played them earlier on and lost 10-0, but the game didn’t justify that, we should’ve put points on them, we’ve had big injuries and boys away on placement as well, so they’ll be back for Varsity as well which is good”
(Named and shamed by 1s captain Josh himself)
Who’s the fastest player you’ve seen? Jordan Hamilton
“Jordan Hamilton… but it pains me to say that”
“This’ll go straight to his head”
Who’s the slowest player you’ve seen? Harry Thompson
“Without a doubt”
Who can’t handle their drink? Finlay Smith
“I’ve seen him in some bad states”
Who can drink for days? Lewis Bloor
“Lewis can drink quite a bit”
” Everyones basically the same”
Who loves themselves the most? Jordan Hamilton
“Reckons he knows everything”
Future captain? Angus Raj Learmonth
“There’s a lot of chance for second years next year to step up…”
“I’d say Front Row Angus”
|Northern Conference Cup||Badminton||Durham University Mens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 3rd||0||8||Lose|
|Northern 1A||Badminton||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||Bangor University Mens 1st||8||0||Win|
|Northern Conference Cup||Badminton||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||Leeds Trinity University Mens 1st||6||2||Win|
|Premier North||Badminton||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||Loughborough University Womens 1st||2||6||Lose|
|Northern Conference Cup||Basketball||Edge Hill University Mens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||105||47||Win|
|Northern 1A||Basketball||Northumbria University Mens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||64||61||Win|
|Northern 1A||Basketball||Northumbria University Womens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||62||76||Lose|
|Northern 2B||Football||Lancaster University Womens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 2nd||5||3||Win|
|Northern Conference Cup||Football||University of Leeds Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||1||5||Lose|
|Northern 1A||Football||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||University of York Womens 1st||7||2||Win|
|Northern Conference Cup||Football||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||Keele University Mens 1st||2||0||Win|
|Northern 2A||Golf||Bangor University Mixed 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mixed 1st||6||0||Win|
|North A||Hockey||Nottingham Trent University Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||0||2||Lose|
|Tier 5 – South East & Yorkshire||Hockey||University of Sheffield Womens 4th||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 4th||1||5||Lose|
|Trophy||Hockey||University of Dundee Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||4||0||Win|
|Trophy||Hockey||University of Worcester Womens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||1||2||Lose|
|Northern 3B||Hockey||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 3rd||University of Hull Mens 1st||2||3||Lose|
|Northern 3B||Hockey||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 2nd||University of Sheffield Womens 3rd||1||0||Win|
|Northern 3A||Lacrosse||University of York Mens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||1||8||Lose|
|Northern 1A||Lacrosse||Northumbria University Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||5||14||Lose|
|Northern 2B||Lacrosse||Durham University Womens 3rd||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||1||21||Lose|
|Northern 1A||Netball||Newcastle University Womens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||47||66||Lose|
|Northern 9B||Netball||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 5th||Teesside University Womens 3rd||62||9||Win|
|Northern 8B||Netball||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 4th||University of Hull Womens 4th||74||18||Win|
|Northern 2B||Rugby League||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||University of Huddersfield Mens 1st||28||22||Win|
|Northern 3B||Rugby Union||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||York St John University Mens 1st||17||26||Lose|
|Northern 5B||Rugby Union||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 3rd||University of York Mens 3rd||35||48||Lose|
|Trophy||Rugby Union||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||University of Dundee Mens 1st||32||17||Win|
|Northern 2A||Rugby Union||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||Durham University Womens 2nd||42||0||Win|
|Northern 2B||Squash||University of Sheffield Womens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||3||1||Win|
|Northern 1A||Squash||University of Leeds Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||4||1||Win|
|Northern Conference Cup||Squash||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||University of Salford Mens 2nd||1||0||Win|
|Northern 2B||Table Tennis||Durham University Mens 2nd||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||0||17||Lose|
|Northern Conference Cup||Tennis||University of York Mens 3rd||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||10||2||Win|
|Northern 3B||Tennis||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||University of Sheffield Mens 2nd||6||6||Draw|
|Northern 2B||Ultimate (Outdoor)||University of York Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||0||15||Lose|
|Northern 2B||Volleyball||Leeds Beckett University Mens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd||3||1||Win|
|Northern 3B||Volleyball||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 2nd||Teesside University Womens 1st||2||3||Lose|
|Premier North||Volleyball||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||Durham University Womens 1st||0||3||Lose|
|Premier North||Volleyball||Sheffield Hallam University Mens 1st||Durham University Mens 1st||2||3||Lose|
|Premier North||Water Polo||University of Nottingham Womens 1st||Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st||18||8||Win|
As the BUCS season begins, the sporting rivalries of both Sheffield Universities are soon to be re-ignited, therefore it seemed only appropriate to start proceedings by talking to the man at the centre of student sport life – Your new Sports and Physical activities officer, Josh Nimmins.
After bidding farewell to previous Sports officer Laura Baggs, students elected Josh Nimmins to be their voice and to support and develop all things sporting at Sheffield Hallam. Eager to see what he had in store for the 2017/18 academic year, I went down to HUBS for a chat.
Having been part of the Snow sports committee, as well as playing in Ice hockey varsity finals (and triumphing in them) its fair to say that this man knows a thing or two about sport.
Why did you run for election?
“I’ve always been involved in sport and the union through being a part of the Snow sports committee, I was president for two years”
“I just wanted to keep it going, getting more people involved in sport and wanting to do it on a bigger and better scale”
One of Josh’s election proposals was to change what he calls a ‘one size fits all’ approach to TeamHallam membership. Instead, Josh wants to introduce different tiers of TeamHallam membership, which will allow clubs to pick the membership type which suits them the best.
Additionally, Josh proposes to change the way in which memberships are paid. He believes that paying membership fee’s in instalments, as oppose to one big payout, would be far more beneficial for sports teams.
“There’s a lot of different clubs, who all have different needs and different support, it’s important that everyones getting the best deal for them”
“It’s just about making it fair for everyone, thats the important part”
Are you as committed to improving provision for leisurely sports participation as you are for competitive University sport?
“We have a great array of social sport events that we do throughout the week, we have inter-mural leagues and a lot of ‘give it a go’ sessions which can, in fact, be more populated than our club sports”
“I think there are a variety of options for everyone, I think its just the knowledge of these events which go under the radar”
“Sometimes people are scared to find them, hopefully this year I can bring the opportunities to them”
In light of Josh’s commitment to participation, as well as sporting excellence, Josh hopes that his ‘sports-swap’ campaign will be a success. This involves creating opportunities for sports teams to showcase their particular sport to others, in bids to increase membership.
“I think it’s really good that we, as University sports teams, come together a lot more”
“In the past, we’ve been a bit divisive, which is through no fault of our own, it’s just that we’re all very competitive people”
“Being able to showcase your sport is a real way to get involved with each other and become more of a collective and I think it’d be really beneficial for some people to put themselves in other peoples shoes and step outside their comfort zone”
Perhaps the most important question of all, is one that I saved until last:
How do you plan to knock UoS off their ‘perch’?
After another year of Varsity domination by The University of Sheffield, last year marked five years running since Sheffield Hallam last won the competition. Perhaps an even more embarrassing feat for the Maroon Platoon is that UoS has now become the first university to win Varsity five years in a row.
The minimum one would expect from a newly elected sports officer is a fiery competitiveness and desire for beating our very noisy neighbours. Josh does not disappoint.
“I’m probably one of the most competitive people, so losing isn’t really much of an option for me, it’s gonna be a real test, but it think we can do it”
“ I think definitely getting clubs to make it their focus is an important part of it, committing to being better, turning up to training, playing every game before varsity as a lead up, so that thats on their mind and thats what they want to win”
“They have a massive buy-in from their uni, it kind of takes over their lives, they’ve been winning for the past 5 years, hopefully this can be the year that we change all that”
SHU Canoe have already had a very active year, being involved in Tyne Tour, BUCS Whitewater Race and U-Canoe training since the academic year began. However, the club started 2017 with the fantastic news that they were going to receive a grant for over £9000 from Sport England, following lots of hard work from the committee.
This grant is vital for ensuring the long-term sustainability of the club and the money received will be used in two key areas: firstly to develop personal paddling and leadership skills, through subsidising the cost of the UKCC Level 1 coaching course for members. Secondly, for improving and developing the club’s canoe polo programme. The club plans to buy a new fleet of polo boats and paddles, in different sizes, and also to send a number of members on refereeing courses.
Canoe polo is an intense contact sport, similar to basketball, which is played in specialised canoes. Games consist of two halves lasting 7-10 minutes, with a minimum of five players on each side. The winner is the team who has scored the most goals by the end of the game. While polo may sound simple, it is a very physically demanding game that requires fitness, stamina and teamwork. Having new kit will make polo much more enjoyable and increase performance, with the club aiming to buy boats in a variety of sizes, which will ensure that everyone can learn in a safe and comfortable environment.
SHU Canoe have already had a lot of success in polo this year, becoming the champion of their division in the North and Central Canoe Polo League in January and taking part in the Ladies League. However, there’s still plenty more polo fun to be had before the end of the year, with both Varsity and BUCS looming on the horizon, where SHU Canoe will hopefully debut their new kit.
If you are interested in polo, or in finding out more about what SHU Canoe, please get in touch with the club through details found on the Hallam Union website.
Words by Emily Bush