Over the last week I have been catching up with all of UOC Racquet’s captains to see what they hope this BUCS season brings for their respective teams.
Some interesting points were raised, with the captains being very positive about what could happen during the course of the season.
Firstly I spoke to the very talented Rebecca Farrow, who is captain of the University’s Women’s Tennis side. She said that her hopes are ‘To keep the girls participating, enjoying matches and training well throughout the year.’
Farrow continued ‘Also, to be able to compete in all of the fixtures with a strong and reliable team. I feel that having a fun team environment will help this, and with the girls we have this year, this is key for team bonding. Overall, my aims are to encourage and keep more women playing tennis.’
Up next was the charismatic Braxton Baker-Bates, captain of the Men’s Tennis side. Baker-Bates explained ‘Prior to this year’s trials my aims for the team were for everyone to feel included, have great chemistry amongst the squad and for everyone to try their hardest in both training and matches. These were Tom Pullen’s (vice-captain) and my core aims even before we knew what the team would be like.’
Baker-Bates, who has a very interesting serve, continued ‘After Tom and I chose the team we set a challenging, but achievable goal of aiming to come third in the league this year after being promoted to Div 2 last year. Now, after a great start to the season with three games played (2 wins and a draw) we are still aiming for our target of third and take each game as it comes, as there are many more matches to be played! However, if we carry on looking to improve areas from within training and keep working hard, this goal could possibly be betterered. The season is looking hopeful as the squad is a great one, both in personality and in talent!’
Men’s badminton captain James Lovell hoped to see big success this season for his side. Lovell said ‘This season we are hoping for promotion! The start of the season hasn’t given us the best results but I believe that we can still push on and obtain a few wins.’
Lovell, who picked up an injury on match point in the opening game of the season, continued ‘Having players injured has been a problem for the team, myself included. But with a bit more perseverance and training, I believe we can get there.’
Valerie Chan, the University’s Women’s Badminton captain spoke about her aims too, saying ‘This year for the women’s Badminton team we are aiming to stay up in the same league! We have gained quite a few freshers and the abilities are varied.’
Chan finished off by saying ‘We’re aiming to see improvements in terms of techniques and game play.’
Table Tennis star Richard Pelc said ‘My aim for this season is to see how the team get on during a transition period. We lost many players last year, who have been replaced by new faces. I want to see how they get on and hopefully the team can remain in the current division’
Finally, even though they aren’t in a BUCS league this season, Badminton 2nds, led by Josh Spence, are on a new adventure. Spence explained ‘Last season was a very successful season in BUCS, as we gained promotion, however, the SU decided they could not fund a 2nds badminton team this year. This has meant that this season, we are playing in a new local league and we are having to adjust to a new format of the game (playing with 4 players with 2 doubles pairs instead of 6 players with 2 doubles and 2 singles).
Spence, who has also tried his hand at table tennis this season, continued ‘The main aim for this season is to maintain our position in the league. This is because we need to get familiarise ourselves to the new format, see what the competition is like this season and build a team to hopefully be more competitive next season.’
A very exciting year ahead for Racquets, with many talented people in the teams. Be sure to go and support them, every Wednesday, in what could be a very positive season.