NEUAL 2015/16 Semester One Round Up

As the largest regional student league in the UK, and with the implementation of the three-conference system to deal with NEUAL 2015/16 was going to be unlike any other year. With semester one drawing to a close we’ve already had some thrilling matches, some high scores and two great championships.

This year kicked off with something slightly different – a student dominant Level 1 coaching course held its first session in Bradford’s Sports Hall on 12th September. A group of 9 students (and 2 pretend students) sat down for their taught sessions in September and although it was hard work, they made great progress and were all eager to go back to their home institutions and get practicing their coaching skills ahead of their December assessment. We are happy to announce that all of our coaches who went through to assessment have passed – well done everyone!

The first competition of the year saw a welcome return of NUTC, or the Northern University Team Championships which were held in Liverpool. 15 experienced-only teams came together for a half FITA 18 seeding round followed by a H2H in the afternoon, mirroring the format of BUTC which will be held later in the year. Highlights included a first round H2H match between Bradford and Liverpool that ran to 8 shoot-offs! Sheffield Hallam emerged the worthy winners, with second and third going to Liverpool and Bradford respectively. The archers and the committee, were ready and raring to get stuck into this year’s league, and the following weekend the first matches were held.

Sheffield won their match against Bradford and Leeds, with some high scores all round. West and North were also in play, with Keeleand Newcastle victorious. Jessie Slater (Leeds) was the top scorer across all matches as the only archer to break 560 that weekend, with her score of 564 and Freddie Marshall (Bradford) was the top novice with 478. Central Lancashire, a newcomer to NEUAL, were the winners in their novice match.

Round 2 saw the Northern conference have a weekend off, with East and West having their second matches of the league. Lancaster had the highest scoring open and novice team during this set of matches. The North were back in action in Round 3, with Teesside’s open team beating Newcastle and Durham in N2. Elsewhere, Liverpool’s novices continued their strong season with a win in W3. Their open team also won.

With that marking the end of league matches until January 2016, focus moved onto the second championships of semester. On 28th November nearly 150 archers across 3 sessions descended on Sunderland for this year’s Novice Champs. The highest novice score of the day was Freddie Marshall (Bradford) with 497, and Bradford’s novices triumphed overall. Durham and Liverpool also did very well, coming in at 2nd and 3rd respectively. This championship saw the introduction of the NEUAL Unsighted Team Award – a team of 3 Unsighted Archers from any University is eligible. Here, Durham were victorious, followed by newcomers UCLan and MMU.

Another important event this semester was the Archery GB Roadshow coming to Huddersfield on 2nd November where some important proposed changes were discussed, including changing the way clubs affiliate to Archery GB. Currently clubs can pay a one off fee to register as many students as they like - it has been proposed to abolish this block fee, and introduce a much reduced fee to be paid per member. It’s not too late to voice your opinion if you missed the roadshow, and the committee urges you to get involved if you do have any thoughts and ask us if you have any questions.

The committee wishes you a very merry Christmas, and we look forward to seeing what Santa brought you when the first matches of 2016 start in January!

Michael, Bethany, Dean and Freya