View from a #DarkBlue… The President is back

View from a #DarkBlue… The President is back

By Madeleine Sava – Oxford University Sports Federation President 2013-14
Follow me on Twitter @MadeleineSava and Oxford Sport on @OxfordUniSport

“I was warned by previous Sports Fed Presidents that Michaelmas term was going to be the busiest one.

Amongst all the enquiries I’ve been settling into the role, co-ordinating sponsorship, managing project budgets, putting on the Annual Sports Award Night and editing the Annual Review 2013.

I could not have been more appreciative when the Christmas holidays came!

Matt Henderson-OUvarsity-mhp_6783

But, life goes on here at Oxford University Sport once term has finished and students go home. However, this did not mean that the excitement and buzz in the sports fed office disappeared.

The Christmas break brought with it two amazing Varsity wins – Men’s Rugby Blues and Men’s Blues Skiing! Congratulations to all competitors!

The busy atmosphere was exaggerated by the fact that I had the deadline of sending the Oxford University Annual Review 2013 to print, before I could go on holiday!

The yearly review is a fifty page magazine that covers the dark blue sporting achievements of the past year.

Along with Varsity and cuppers results, an A-Z of  club reports and a BUCS round up for the year, the review also has in it a few topical and inspirational articles that touch upon some major sporting themes over the previous year.

One of the articles profiles Oxford’s women teams, who experienced a fantastic year of sport following the Olympics. It really has been the year of the girls here at Oxford!

Netball, women’s basketball, women’s rugby, women’s lacrosse and women’s rowing with many others, all won their Varsity Matches. Reflecting the nationwide demand for wider inclusion, and recognition of female athletic prowess.

James Taylor interviewed multiple Olympic medallist, World Champion, and former Dark Blue, rower Pete Reed.

The final stand-out article is a touching piece by former rugby dark blue, Andrew Willet. He speaks of the loyalty, determination and passion that comes with and will always stay with you once you become a Dark Blue.

I have had no previous formal editing experience, and to begin with I felt very quite out of my depth.

But, I soon found my feet identifying what articles I wanted to be written, the layout and the general theme. Luckily I had the support of colleagues!t of my depth.

Every piece was sent to a professional proof reader but, no matter how many times I had gone through and checked an article for mistakes it always came back with corrections! Once that was ready all the pictures and pieces went to Andrew Harvey, the designer.


It took about four re-drafts to get to the finished version (Andrew assures me this is quite good compared to other businesses he works with!) for me to sign off and get hundreds of copies printed!

It is so exciting to see what once was just ideas now a physical magazine! I would like to thank all contributors for all their help and support. You can read the Annual Review on our website here

As Hilary Term fast approaches our thoughts are all on the “V” word – “VARSITY!”

Preparations for the Varsity weekends, held on the first two weekends of March, are well under way. The timetable is being published, with all fixtures appearing here, and the programmes for the event designed!

Both weekends should make for a fantastic show of sport with events ranging from archery through basketball to powerlifting and volleyball amongst so many more!

I would encourage anyone to drop into the sports centre on one of the Varsity weekends t

o witness Oxbridge athletic prowess in action and support the Dark Blues to a Varsity victory!”


Read the Oxford University Sports Review 2013


This is part of a weekly series of blog posts featuring views from different members of the sporting community at Oxford. Come back every week for a new post, and view them all on our blog feed

Next week we will hear from Simon Griffin in the Sports Federation. We will catch up with Madeleine again later this term.


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