It is a great honour to be elected Captain of CURA, and I am lucky to take up the reins at a time of great success. This year, we restored ourselves to our rightful position as holders of the both the Chancellors’ and the Humphry, and added to them the Universities’ Aggregate and a convincing victory in BUCS – as well as the mighty Roads Cup, won with what I believe may have been a record score of 20 ex 100.
In light of this, congratulations are in order. Congratulations to Fergus Flanagan, who shot his way to 4th place in the Hopton – the finest performance by an undergraduate for many years – and walked away with what seemed like most of the NRA’s trophy cabinet, as well as representing Scotland in both the Elcho and the National. Congratulations to Jonny Waite, who hit an inner in the Chancellors’ and resolved never to do so again, finishing with a hugely impressive 149.21, to say nothing of finishing 131st in the Grand Aggregate. Congratulations to all of the members of CURA, who worked throughout the Meeting and for weeks and months before it to help this team become the best that it could be: who spent countless weekends on the range polishing their technique, who sat behind the point for hours with a scope and a scorecard to keep register, and who drove up the standard of shooting in the team so high that everyone had to fight hard for a Varsity place. Our success belongs to all of you.
More than congratulations, though, thanks. Thanks to David Firth, our outgoing captain, and the whole of last year’s committee for leading the recovery from our Chancellors’ defeat, as well as to those many club stalwarts leaving us this year after doing so much for the team. Thanks to those coaches who turned out on Stickledown to do battle with winds that foxed many of the Common’s finest. Thanks to all of those friends and alumni who helped us over the year, whether financially or by giving us their time, advice and encouragement. We could not succeed without your unfailing support.
Our business now is to capitalise on our success and climb to even greater heights. Victory will come not from the will to win but from the will to practise and prepare: from building up interested freshers into novices, novices into good shots, and good shots into great ones. Again, I am lucky, in that I have behind me a fantastic committee, at the head of a club with remarkable strength in depth. I have no doubt that we will be equal to the challenges of the year to come, and that my report in a year’s time will be full of even more successes earned and honours won.
CURA Captain 2015-2016
It has been an honour to Captain CURA over the last year. I initially planned to round up the years’ results and individual successes, but Sam has already done this rather eloquently. Nevertheless, I will give my congratulations. I can’t emphasize how proud I was to see everyone do so well. When I set out at the start of the year the goal was to gain the clean sweep. This meant carrying on the record run of Humphry victories, and bringing back the Chancellor’s to its home. We made changes to the way we train, the way we think, and the way we work as a team. On top of this we gained some top shooters, and our returning members came into unbelievable form at the perfect time. The levels of individual achievements were some of the best CURA has seen in recent years, but this was just a bonus. The most important thing was that we converted a good season into the all-important silverware. We held our nerve and out classed Oxford. I guess it’s also nice to dominate the BUCS competitions and black powder varsity.
It took plenty of people to get us here, both members and alumni, and I’m grateful to all of you. Thank you to Simon Armstrong for setting CURA up for success during his CUSBC Captaincy, and also for his contributions to CURA (particularly on Chancellor’s day). I am most grateful for Sam Sharma’s work as secretary. He gave his heart to the role and was invaluable, which made being Captain that much easier for me. I’m sure he will lead CURA to great things this season. Everyone on the committee made crucial contributions, and this is a part of why we did so well. That’s not to say there weren’t things to work on next year. In an honest evaluation, our season was not short of hiccups… but we were proactive and worked hard as a team. We decided what we wanted, worked out the cost and paid the price. Not to mention we simply have natural talent that Oxford can only dream of.
CURA finished the season on fire and I’m sure that this can be maintained for the next year as long as there is no complacency. There will be challenges, there always are, but it’s important to acknowledge them early, work through them as a team and help each other. Furthermore we’re lucky to be retaining so much experience, but it’s important to recruit as much as possible. Give any time you can to coach the novices of CUSBC and CURA and get them along to socials. Team bonding keeps members turning up to the range. Anyway, I’m sure you know this already!
I’m sad to be leaving after five years, it feels like the end of an era… but I gained a lot that I can take away with me. I will always be on hand to help in the future, and I look forward to seeing CURA go from strength to strength over the coming years.
Thanks to all those who attended the CURA Dinner on the 14th March 2015 at Corpus Christi College! It was a memorable evening, and a good send off for our chairman of many years, Tim Elliott. Our best wishes go with him into his retirement.
Best wishes for the season!
It is an honour to be elected as CURA Captain 2014-15. Thanks everyone who voted in this year’s elections, and congratulations to the rest of the incoming committee. I look forward to working with you all. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing committee on behalf of the Club, particularly Hannah Fisher for all her hard work as Captain.
Hannah has already given some of the highlights from this years shooting in her outgoing email. Plenty of success, particularly at an individual level, but some disappointment. Unfortunately this year the Chancellors goes to the other side for the first time since 2005. This was a shame as it was not through a lack of talent, and we should not forget that there were some fantastic individual performances. I am proud to be a part of a club where losing a varsity is such a rare occurrence, and where people care so much. We need to do everything we can over the coming year to make sure that this remains a one off, and regain the momentum that we had.
This is highly achievable. We remain a strong team, we have plenty of experience, and we have plenty of motivation. We already have three talented shooters joining us next year who have eagerly started to integrate into the club. However it will be important for all senior members to be proactive and recruit heavily at the Fresher’s Fair. CURA will also be relying on CUSBC’s hard work over winter, both in training up the new intake, and encouraging them to attend Easter Bisley.
This year we are fortunately holding on to most of our varsity shots. However, as Kolja is leaving us, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his hard work as treasurer in a year when it was a bigger task than usual. I hope we will still see him around over the coming year.
Next season will be an important one, but I look forward to working with the club to overcome the challenge, and I can’t wait to enjoy my final year with CURA.
CURA Captain 2014-2015
It has been an honour being your Captain for the last year. It was a great pleasure getting to know you all, and working with you to bring out the best in you. In this, I would like to thank the rest of my council for their support, in particular Michael who has taken the brunt of many a grumpy phone call. While I am sad to be handing over the reins, I know that you will be in good hands with next year’s council, captained by Dave Firth.
The Imperial began with tricky winds for the MR meeting, but despite this I was selected and shot in the Elcho for Scotland, while also coming top U25 in the Hopton. CURA then had a great victory over OURC in the form of a Humphry win by 17 points. Harriet top scored with a very impressive 218.22. This led into the TR week, where we saw some fantastic achievements from some of our members: Michael came 281st in the Georges II, while Jonny, Fergus and Sam all placed respectably in the Queen’s II. I am sorry to have to say that CURA did not win the Chancellor’s Challenge plate this year, and I would like to apologise to the club for letting down a strong team. I should have realised and acted earlier to keep us all together. In the end, OURC’s team were stronger and worked better together to gain a victory over us, which they thoroughly deserved.
On that note, I would like to pass on my best wishes to next year’s squad, and thank you all for putting up with me. Next year will be difficult, but I look forward to seeing how you all rise to the challenge!