‘Cuppers’ is the name given to the Michaelmas term inter-collegiate competition held in week 2 and provides a friendly atmosphere for athletes of all abilities to compete. Existing members of CUAC love to compete at Cuppers to achieve a good late-season performance or even try out a new event but its primary purpose is to identify those incoming Freshers with talent and potential. Cuppers plays a major part in the selection of upcoming fixtures, particularly with regards to the Fresher’s Varsity Match. Get in touch with your college contact [hyperlink] if you are interested in competing.
Freshers' Varsity Match
The first Varsity fixture of the year kicks off in early November and provides an opportunity for CUAC and OUAC to show off their newly-acquired talent. This will be the first opportunity of many for the incoming Freshers to don the light blue vest and take on their adversaries from “The Other Place”. A win here gives a huge psychological advantage and provides the perfect platform to a successful indoor season including SESSA, the Southern Indoor Championship and the London Indoor Games in preparation for VFEAR.
Varsity Field Events and Relays (VFEAR)
Round two of the Varsity competitions takes place in February in the form of VFEAR. A possibly unique competition in the entirety of Track & Field athletics, every event is either in the form of a relay (for the long sprints up to middle distance races) or as an accumulation of the team’s times, distances or heights (for the short sprints and field events). The strength and depth of the club is the key to victory in this match.
BUCS Indoors and Outdoors Championships
The biggest inter-university competitions of the year, BUCS Indoors and Outdoors Championships are held in February and May respectively. With some of the country’s best in attendance, these competitions prove to be of the highest quality. CUAC regularly show that not only are we smart, but we can take on the best of them! 2009 was a perfect example where we finished 4th overall in the Outdoor Championships ahead of High Performance Centres such as Birmingham and Brunel.
Oxford and Cambridge put aside their differences and join forces as The Achilles Club [hyperlink]. Achilles competes against American Ivy League Universities in a four year cycle:
2013 – Oxford-Cambridge vs. Penn-Cornell and Oxford-Cambridge vs. Harvard-Yale in the US
2014 – Oxford-Cambridge vs. Penn-Cornell at home
2015 – Oxford-Cambridge vs. Harvard-Yale at home
2016 – year off from the tour due to the Olympics
The matches are open to both current students as well as recent alumni from Oxford and Cambridge, and all CUAC members are eligible for consideration for selection for one such tour.
The summer version of Cuppers held in the much more pleasing weather conditions of late April and early May, CUAC Sports is a must for those looking for spots in Varsity Match team. A good performance here as well as at other early-season competitions such as BUCS Outdoors and the Cambridgeshire County Championships are a must if you want to show that you have what it takes to give “The Dark Side” a good run for their money a few weeks later.
The battle between the Light and Dark Blues reaches its grand finale at The Varsity Match held in May. This competition is the big one: the one that drives us throughout the year and provides the motivation for that final jump, throw or rep in all our training sessions. In Oxbridge athletics, the best is well and truly saved until last. The Varsity Match consists of four separate matches: Men’s Blues, Women’s Blues, Alverstone’s vs. Centipedes (Men’s 2nds) and Alligator’s vs. Millipedes; and in each match there are two competitors from each University per event. Places in these teams are hard fought and the victorious are rewarded for their efforts with club colours, half blues or the coveted full blue and the chance to wear the renowned Cambridge Blues blazer embroidered with the CUAC emblem.