With about two weeks left until I officially hand over Presidency of UYWRUFC to Sophie Penny, I think it's appropriate to take this time to reflect on everything that my committee has achieved this year and celebrate our successes.
This year was always going to be tough in the Northern 1A league after losing so many big players from the 2014/15 season, but despite being relegated I think we've done a phenomenal job. Having taken on a role as assistant coach, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all our girls develop into competent, confident and strong rugby players. We've taken on both experienced and entirely new players and we even have a county player this year! Some of our games showed great promise for the next season, we've improved massively since the start of the year and that first game at Leeds and we absolutely smashed the 7s games at Roses this year - our 2nds team have been shortlisted for Roses Team of the Year 2016, so watch this space!
One of our most notable successes this year came through the development and maintenance of a fantastic relationship with our sponsors Enterprise. The company have really offered us so much this year, not just financially but also through careers advice and opportunities - things we are hugely grateful for as students. We hope to continue this relationship as we move onto bigger and better things in the next year, thank you Enterprise!
On the fundraising front, we may have seemed a little quiet so far but our relationship and commitment to IDAS is still strong as ever. We have a touch rugby tournament in aid of IDAS planned for Saturday 4th June and providing the British weather holds out it should be a fantastic day of rugby, drinks, BBQ and most importantly charity! The tournament is open to anyone who wants to enter a team - for more details or to enter a team, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Katie Layley and other committee members involved have done a fantastic job so far, planning this event and getting as many teams involved as possible. For more information on IDAS and what they do, visit https://www.idas.org.uk/
Of course a shoutout also needs to go to our wonderful social secretaries who have given us some memorable Wednesday nights with hilarious themes. They have worked so hard to ensure we have a good social side to our club and I think that has played a huge role in bringing us all together as a family. Let's not let our Roses theme go uncelebrated however, as social sec Megan was surprised (or perhaps haunted) by her 'girafee stangling' past. It's never going to go away Megan, sorry.
Serena and Edith, thanks for being such great captains. I know it's been tough at times but I'm proud of how you've both stepped up as strong leaders within the club and I think you've both done an amazing job motivating the teams week in week out. Serena is still our top try scorer and Edith has the most accurate boot in the entire club, well done gals. Here ends the reign of Swebryfus.
In addition to all these wonderful achievements of the 2015/16 season, our biggest success has been a joint effort from the entire committee and I cannot express just how proud I am of everyone in the roles they have played making this happen. Following our ratification meeting for next year, I can officially announce that we will have a 2nds team next season! This has been a dream for the club since before my first year, something we've nurtured and worked so hard towards and it's finally becoming a reality. In the last year we have doubled the size of the club with almost 60 active members this year and this means that we have enough players to enter another team into the BUCS leagues. It's going to take a lot of hard work to ensure it runs smoothly but with 2nds team Captain Gaby and Vice Captain Caitlin, I have no doubt we'll do well. It's so rewarding to witness your hard work produce the results you wanted, so credit to everyone involved - you've made this dream possible.
Finally, I just want to thank the 2015/16 committee for being such a kind, supportive and empowering group of girls. I am so so proud of each and every single one of you and everything you've done this year. You've all worked hard and I'm grateful for the time we've spent together. Thank you for letting me continue my role as President, despite things that could have held me back (no pun intended). Those of you that are leaving, stay in touch and those that are staying on either in the next committee or just as part of the club, we'll smash next year - I know it.
One last note, and another credit to all of us for the amazing family bond we have created within our club. My housemate (who I've been trying convince to play rugby for 3 years) said to me the other day that after watching us at Roses, watching us lose the 15s game that we'd spent so long preparing for and seeing how supportive we all were towards one another despite the loss - if she'd been here another year she'd have joined UYWRUFC. I cannot emphasise enough how amazing this club is to be part of, there's no blame or putting each other down, we simply empower one another and today I think that's so important for young women. So if you're a prospective student or already a student at York - come get involved. Find us at Freshers Fair or drop us an email, we'd love you welcome you to the club.