Sports & Socs

A Review of the Wimbledon Championships 2014


While Pimms was downed and the strawberries and cream consumed, two past champions were crowned in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies Singles. Exciting youngsters threatened to disrupt the Old Guard and their reputation. We witnessed long matches, copious tie breaks, screams of joy and anger and injuries that have exacerbated the bodies of these tennis mortals. […]

Women’s Football Nominate You!


I nominate anyone that dresses up in a ridiculous costume every Wednesday night. I nominate anyone that has ever scored a goal in a cup final against UCL.  I nominate anyone that took part in a 5-a-side tournament on the beach in Greece this summer. I nominate anyone that has ever skydived and raised over […]

A ‘Rumble in the Jungle’


After a successful development 7s tournament last year, RHUL Women’s Rugby are back again with a BIGGER and BETTER event; ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ 7s.

Women’s Rugby is taking over Windsor RFC on the 8th June to showcase 7s talent from a range of South-East University Women’s teams. The day is all about developing the 7s game at University level to give teams the chance to play more 7s whilst the Sun is still shining.

As the name gives away, the tournament is themed so every team takes part as an animal (three guesses on which we will be?) It should make the event a light-hearted, fantastic tournament, similar to the great atmosphere of the London Sevens tournament.

With music provided by Insanity Radio, a BBQ, face-painting, raffles and much MORE, the tournament is set to be a showcase of amazing rugby as well as a fun day out! EVERYONE is welcome to come down.

All proceeds from team entries are being donated to Wooden Spoon, a charity for disadvantaged children.

The best way to end the term is with a ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.

Article by Sophie Harrison

Poster courtesy of RHUL Women’s Rugby.

A Review of the Ashes


Australia have annihilated this wretchedly poor England side. England have been pilloried by the Australian media, pulverised by the pace of Johnson and Harris and battered submissive by the tenacity of the Aussie batsmen. The (deranged) English Supporters who presumed the series to be a foregone conclusion have been made to look foolish.

England were ‘marmalised’ in Brisbane by a colossal 381 runs thanks to hundreds from the pugnacious Warner and captain Clarke, sandwiched in between the mustachioed Johnson’s extreme pace, frightening the England batsmen into handing him 9 wickets in the match. In Adelaide, England were similarly thumped by 218 runs. Australia’s 570-9 dec was built upon hundreds from Clarke and the irrepressible Haddin. The English reply was nothing short of atrocious with a series of avoidable dismissals. Despite increased resistance in the second innings, the unrelenting discipline and aggression of the Aussie seamers told and Johnson took 7-40, regularly registering speeds upwards of 93mph. Knowing that defeat in Perth would relinquish the urn at the first available opportunity England succumbed yet again.

Their inability to finish off the Aussie tail, coupled with the Recurring ineptitude of the batsmen resulted in them sacrificing a 1st innings lead. What followed in the Australian 2nd innings was nothing short of carnage: Warner and Watson clubbed quick-fire hundreds and George Bailey (there hasn’t been a single It’s a Wonderful Life joke all series) hammered James Anderson for a Test Match record equaling 28 runs off an over. Faced with 504 runs to win or batting out two days to secure the draw England’s only noteworthy resistance came in the form of Stokes’ maiden Test century. Entirely unsurprisingly, England capitulated once again to lose by 150 runs. Swann’s cowardly retirement and wicket-keeper Prior’s poor form prompted changes to the team, but England’s batting frailties resurfaced in the 4th Test.

Pietersen’s uncharacteristically stoic 71 was the only form of serious resistance to the incessant probing of the Aussie bowling attack. Having bowled well and despite taking a lead into the second innings England crumbled pathetically to 179 all out, setting Australia a testing, though not insurmountable 231 runs to win. England duly offered three dropped catches, facilitating the 8 wicket defeat, this time carved from a position of dominance. The final Test initially followed the prevailing trend: Australia were 93-5 on day one, but recovered to 326 as Smith and Haddin resuscitated the innings. However, what followed was utterly farcical even for this dismal England side. Having collapsed to 23-5 in the 1st innings, they sunk to a new low in the 2nd, losing 7 wickets in a 10 over spell to lose inside 3 days by an enormous 281 runs. Where Australia, galvanised by Johnson and Haddin, have been mightily impressive, England have been unimaginably poor.

The gulf between the sides has been concomitantly catalysed and exacerbated by the contrasting approaches of the two captains. Clarke, a naturally flamboyant and self-confident leader, has returned the aggressive edge to Australia’s play, whereas Cook’s shy and defensive mindset has permeated his team.

Article: Chris Glover

Photographs: en.wikipedia.org (Main); en.wikipedia.org (Featured).

January’s Four to Watch!


The Ping-Pong Revolution is afoot!

As we enter the second term of the year and the second term where RHUL has been graced by their sparkly new Table Tennis team, things are looking good for our young ping-pongers!

The Men’s team currently sit unbeaten at the top of their league following their most recent victory against Middlesex University and at this point in proceedings are virtually guaranteed promotion. The Women’s teams are currently gearing up for a big match – against each other! – for a place in the semi-final for their division.

As well as all of this good news, 3 Men’s players and 3 Women’s players are looking to enter the BUCs Individual Championships which will take place in Nottingham later in February. Good luck to them!

Lastly a nod to our friends over at the Alumni Fund programme who have granted the club enough money to purchase two new indoor tables for match days. The club send their thanks!

All in all the year’s going pretty well for our ping pong players, and hopefully their good fortune carries on through into the second term!

Article: Jack Kilker

A New Term for Bioscience Society!

After a new committee was elected last term plenty of things have changed; in order to bring in an exciting, entertaining and excellent rest of the year that will hopefully interest you both educationally and socially.

Our main aim is to integrate the BioSoc not only within campus but to become affiliated with other neighbouring BioSoc’s; over the holidays we have got the ball rolling with Brunel Bioscience Society and hope to host our first combined event in February.

Some of the other events we have planned for you are trips to the Natural History Museum, a post-grad vs under-grad charity football match, various pub-crawls, SU socials, career talks and we are bringing back the bio-mentoring scheme.

However, our main event of the year is a trip to Amsterdam on the 17th-19th January, which includes not just an interesting exhibition but trips to other museums and a taste of the local cuisine if desired. So, if you are looking for something that is fun but also educational then join this society!

Article: Natasha Khaleeq

The Wedding of the Year!

This term will have the wedding of the year with MTS’s Jane Holloway production of The Wedding Singer, directed by Ethan Lawrence and Emily Matthews.

Set in the 80’s pop era, we meet Robbie, a wedding singer who’s love life doesn’t have as happy an ending as the couple’s he sings for, and Julia, newly engaged to the love of her life or so she thinks. Together, they go on a wild journey to plan her dream wedding, so what on earth can go wrong?

As we come up to the big day, there is quite a bit to look forward to, including our 80’s film nights, The Foresters Arms Quiz Night as well as our very own 80’s Dance!

So put a Save The Date in your diaries for the 17th, 18th and 19th March and get your glad rags ready- you have a wedding to attend!

Article: Charlotte Cole

Event Photography with RHUL Photography Society

If you haven’t already heard, the Photography Society now offers an Event Photography service. Do you require professional photos of your team games, a society event or show or maybe even stunning headshots for a job?

Then that’s exactly what we provide! Our hourly event coverage starts at as little as £5 whereas, it cost £10 per game and £50 for the annual fee which provides you with 6 games and a team photo (digital copy only).

We also charge £8 for headshots which include a shoot to your specification and 5 edited photos. With 50% of your money going to charity and 50% going to the society to get equipment and make your photos better, there is no greater photography service!

Article: Shannon Fernandes & Natasha Khaleeq

Photographs: Kate Haswell (Featured).

Ballond’Or: RHUL Men’s Football Discuss Who They Feel Should Have Won


Cristiano Ronaldo

What a blockbuster year 2013 was for CR7! The fact his Real Madrid side had a trophy-less campaign is of even greater credit to his stellar performances and standout solo contributions for club and country.

The highly coveted accolade of FIFA Ballon d’Or is an individual award and, one against one, nobody comes close to the Madeira-born celebrity. His staggering statistics for the 11 months prior to the closing date for voting are absolutely astounding! Ronaldo struck 67 goals in 56 appearances – somehow bettering his total tally of 63 in 2012.

All is placed into perspective when fellow contenders Ribéry and Messi managed to net 64 between them! A magnificent term culminated with the talisman’s titanic triple in the 2nd half of that World Cup play-off 2nd leg against Sweden, ensuring supremacy in the superstar showdown with Ibra! More importantly he had single-handedly dragged his nation to next summer’s finals in Brazil!

With football from another planet; this year he has delivered countless exhilarating exhibitions that will forever live in footballing folklore!

Franck Ribery

For the past 2 years the Ballon D’Or has been a two horse race between the world’s best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. This year, however, Franck Ribery has deservedly become the favourite to win it.

He has without a doubt been the most successful of the three nominees! Playing for arguably the best team in the world; winning the Champions League, the Bundesliga, the Super Cup, the Club World Cup and the German Cup.

But, if that’s not enough the fact that he won the European Player of the Year award back in August, beating Messi and Ronaldo has got to give him at least a slight edge over his competitors! A major player in this historic season for Bayern Munich; according to coach Guardiola “This year Franck is one of the reasons why we are where we are”.

Ribery is an outstanding team player, truly worthy of the award!

Lionel Messi

2013 was not been a good year by Lionel Messi’s standards.

An injury hit campaign saw the Argentinian limited to just 39 goals in 39 appearances for Barcelona, score in 19 consecutive games against every side in La Liga and win the Pichichi – as the golden boot is known in Spain’s top flight – whilst leading Barcelona to yet another league title by a margin of 15 points.

Messi’s poor 2013 continued as Barcelona were mercilessly dumped out of the Champions League by an indomitable Bayern Munich following a shaky display against Paris St Germain. A player’s apparent failings rarely form a solid basis for why they should be awarded honours such as these; however, Messi’s cameo against PSG in April was enough to prove any naysayers of his credentials.

Having seen his side go a goal down, facing elimination from the competition, Messi strapped on his shin-pads and entered the field of play, changing the complexion of the tie by his sheer presence.

Messi battled through injury for the rest of 2013, before returning to Argentina in November to recover fully from the hamstring problems which plagued his year, returning against Getafe in January in an almost boringly predictable fashion; goals in the 89th and 90th proving the worth of the greatest player of all time.

Article: Thomas Dolfi, George Sambrook, Ruairi O’Shea

Photographs: en.wikipedia.org (Main); en.wikipedia.org (Featured).

Sporting History: Muhammad Ali


Whether it be the Ancient Greeks and the Olympics, the Romans and the coliseum, Kamakura Japan and sumo wrestling, medieval jousting or football and the ‘hooligans’ in the terraces, sport has had a key role to play in how society has developed.

From the roles it plays in the economy, politics and media coverage and more, sport has always had an impact on day to day life. This new recurring feature will look at different sporting events or sporting figures that helped shape their sport for the better, or the worse in some cases.

So, where, or who, else would be better to start off with than “The Greatest of All Time,” Muhammad Ali? More specifically, his first title defence against Sonny Liston. The fight dubbed ‘First Round, First Minute’ was the eagerly anticipated rematch of their bout almost fifteen months earlier.

Both fights will go down as two of the most eagerly awaited match-ups in boxing history with the second going down as one of the most controversial too! On May 25, 1965 Sonny Liston would look to avenge his sixth round defeat to the young champion.

Or would he? The fight was originally scheduled to take place six months earlier but a training injury to Ali pushed it back. Many feared that Liston would not be able to peak physically again due to the delay.

It could be argued that Liston knew this himself as he was knocked out by the now-famous ‘Phantom Punch’ 114 seconds into the fight – ‘Phantom’ because even to this day no one is truly sure whether the punch, which Ali would go on to call the ‘Anchor Punch,’ connected with Liston or whether he took a dive.

Even Ali, the man who threw the decisive punch, wasn’t utterly convinced at the time as he stood over the fallen challenger shouting “Get up and fight, sucker!” A clear indication he felt he didn’t truly connect! He even refused to go to a neutral corner, delaying the referee’s mandatory ten-count when a boxer hits the canvas.
After twenty seconds of confusion, the referee called for the bell, declaring Ali the winner by TKO.

Even though his first title defence was marred in controversy and conspiracy theories, the youngest man to win the title at the time would go on to dominate the heavyweight division for years to come.

During his Hall of Fame career, the three-time Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World also had fights with Henry Cooper, George Forman and a classic trilogy of bouts with Joe Frazier which culminated with the slobber-knocker aptly named ‘Thrilla in Manila,’ all of which also had a great impact on the boxing world.

Without the man who “floated like a butterfly, stings like a bee” and “was so fast, that when he turned the light off at night he was back in bed before the lights went out” successfully defending his title at the first attempt, regardless of the circumstances, would “Iron Mike” Mike Tyson have been inspired to go on and break Ali’s record for youngest ever World Champion? Would Lennox Lewis have wanted to emulate “The Greatest” and similarly dominate the boxing world throughout the 1990s and early 2000s?

The list goes on, and will forever go on, as thanks to Ali and the career success he managed to sustain right until the very end of his illustrious career there will forever be young athletes who want to go on and try to be as good as he was.

Ali wasn’t just known as being a great fighter. In 1999 he was named “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC. This was recognition of his charisma, swagger and larger than life personality he portrayed inside the ring and out.

Sadly, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, aged 42. Never the defeatist, the former Olympic Champion, (Gold Medal at the 1960 Rome games in boxing), was an official torch bearer for the 1996 Atlanta games.

To this day Ali, aged 71, remains upbeat about his fight with Parkinson’s.

A true characteristic of a champion is that he never gives up on a fight, and whether it was in a boxing ring or in his fight against Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali is without doubt a champion through and through.

Article: Alex Reilly-Cooper

RHOscars: The RHUL Red Carpet Event of the Year


The life of a student is rarely associated with glamour. One night of the year, however, we dust off our bow ties, scrub our faces and revel in the glory that comes with prancing along a red carpet and actually having freshly washed hair. We arrive on the arms of handsome men, and the majority of us stumble out a few hours later, with a lucky few drunkenly brandishing the revered ‘little golden man.’

While we spend the majority of the year at each other’s throats, battling over deadlines, rehearsals and meetings; this is an evening which quite simply reminds us why we have so much love for what we do. Since 2007, the RHOscars have been uniting all manner of performance loving folk. Bringing the techies down from the rigs, the musicians away from their pianos, and the actors down from the stage – this is the evening where we have the opportunity to appreciate each other’s work and unique disciplines; looking back with pride and forward with anticipation.

On Saturday 11th May, the Drama Society, Student Workshop, Absolute Harmony, Savoy Opera, Shakespeare, and The Musical Theatre Society gathered in the Student’s Union for an evening of awards, drinks vouchers and debauchery. The evening was led by the dashing and charismatic duo Tom Midgely and Alexander
Jeremy, who’s charming and yet efficient approach to hosting lead us through the awards with grace and humour. By presenting with such panache they reminded us that while the awards were very important, we were really there to celebrate one another – easing the worries of the stress-drinkers amongst us.

Amidst the chaos this hectic year has brought we have seen some diverse and exciting work from all the societies present on the night. The Savoy Opera Society has had magnificent successes with their productions of The Mikado and Bittersweet. We have seen dark history and comedy from the Shakespeare society with Richard III and As You Like It.

The Student Workshop have had an enormous amount of shows this year, congratulations go to the cast and crew of Frozen, winner of the best production award. MTS have once again proved their relentless energy with so many great shows, the winner of which was Mack and Mabel. The Drama Society have taken us from a post-apocalyptic drug fuelled world and into the dark mind of Stanley Kubrick and back again, with the best production award going to Rope.

Congratulations also go to Absolute Harmony, and their talented group of musicians who have created such arrangements as the ‘Bon Jovi Medley’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Our eritable feast of disciplines and passions has led to an incredible index of work this year.

Special congratulations must go to those winners of the Outstanding Contribution Awards. This is a special award, reserved for those who have truly signed over their hearts and souls to their societies. There is something to be said for these individuals who really are the driving forces behind the various successes of their committees and members. On a day to day basis, they juggle their degrees and the responsibilities they take upon themselves to move their societies forward and to keep producing work to be proud of.

Here at Royal Holloway we have a fantastic thing. The diversity of performances throughout the year is vast, and truly is something worth celebrating. Congratulations to all of those involved with the incredible work of each society – and to all of those award winners & nominees. We have something here to be very proud of, and the Rhoscars evening was such a fantastic way of marking this.

As we look to the end of the year, keep your eyes peeled for the last few bits and bobs: Drama Society’s Quad production of ‘The Importance of being Earnest’, on the 11th, 12th and 13th of June. Grab a jug of Pimms from Crosslands and join us for what we’re sure will be another great production!Of course, this wouldn’t be a gushing review written by a drama student if I didn’t throw in a horrendously cheesy (but nevertheless genuine) phrase such as ‘we are all winners’. ‘Don’t stop believing…’ ‘We’re all in this together…’ ‘My life would suck without you.’

Article: Rebekka-Kate Taylor

RHUL Badminton Club: A Season of Uphill Battles


Looking at the fixture lists for all three badminton teams; men’s first, women’s and men’s seconds, was not pleasant summer reading material. With long journeys to Portsmouth and Chichester on the horizon as well as visits to sport driven universities Surrey and Brunel, all three respective captains knew they had a hard task of managing their squads to get the very best from their players as they looked to once again secure divisional status for the 2013/14 season.

All teams got off to a tough start, leaving it until the end of the second week of fixtures before the club earned their first point. A true captain’s knock by Harriet Mortimer inspired her girls to a 4-4 draw at St. Mary’s University.

Not to be outdone by the girls, both men’s teams would have their first points after two workmanlike performances against Chichester and Reading Struggling to earn anything more than draws as a club, the women’s team finally earned a win by following up another draw against St. Mary’s with an emphatic 8-0 thrashing of the same team winning the final match in the trilogy between the two, ensuring divisional status for the following season.

The men’s second team would follow suit the following week with a 5-3 win at Roehampton, immediately returning their opponents to the division below for next season. In contrast, the men’s first team would end up suffering relegation at the hands of local rivals Surrey University on the final day of the season.

Even though on the court the clubs fortunes were not always great, off the court was another story. As a group of twenty three members plus alumni (who just cannot keep away!), RHUL Badminton club has some great memories to take away from an up and down season with racket in hand.

It started in October with initiations at Come in Your Kit Part One, where the ‘freshers’ experienced the dreaded ‘tube.’ Even though not every member of the team managed to survive initiations and stumble down to the SU it was a great night all round and really set the tone for the social outings which followed! Any frustration on the court from the rough start to the season was quickly vented on a day trip to Ambush Adventure Paintballing. Despite initially and extremely accidentally leaving two-time northerner of the year award winner Aidan Taylor behind, the team enjoyed a great day out where even the crisp, handnumbing weather couldn’t cause descent amongst the ranks as the team stuck across various games.

With Christmas fast approaching it was off to our sponsor, The Foresters’ Arms, for our annual Christmas meal and internal award ceremony. Murray Maynard took home the prestigious Players’ Player of the year award; Reimi Kawato won the Committee’s choice whilst fresher’s Charlotte Smith and Alex Reilly won Fresher of the year and President’s Choice awards respectively.

The first weekend of March meant one thing and one thing only: the club’s annual trip to The AllEngland Badminton Championships. This was a great weekend as the players got to relax and watch some top quality badminton as well as get photographs taken with the top stars.
Next up: Colours Ball. After a difficult season for her team as a whole, women’s team captain, Harriet Mortimer was awarded half colours after an incredible 9 wins from twelve matches. President, Dan Thorne, was awarded a Crest Award to acknowledge his immense contribution to the club over the last three years which saw him go from social player to treasurer to president year by year!

Finally, it was time for elections to decide next year’s committee members. After having to answer further questions following an initial tie, Laura Robyn beat first-year Alex Reilly to the role of President and would go on to be voted in as Treasurer and second team captain. Hannah McCarthy will be the secretary of the club next year with Harriet Mortimer retaining her role as women’s team captain.

Murray Maynard and Huw Vicary were voted in as men’s first team and mixed team captains respectively. With a high percentage of the team graduating this year the new captains have a tough task on their hands recruiting enough high quality players to start next season stronger than the one just gone, so get down to the Freshers Sports Fair come next term!

Article: Alex Reilly-Cooper

RHOscars: The RHUL Red Carpet Event of the Year


The life of a student is rarely associated with glamour. One night of the year, however, we dust off our bow ties, scrub our faces and revel in the glory that comes with prancing along a red carpet and actually having freshly washed hair. We arrive on the arms of handsome men, and the majority of us stumble out a few hours later, with a lucky few drunkenly brandishing the revered ‘little golden man.’

While we spend the majority of the year at each other’s throats, battling over deadlines, rehearsals and meetings; this is an evening which quite simply reminds us why we have so much love for what we do. Since 2007, the RHOscars have been uniting all manner of performance loving folk. Bringing the techies down from the rigs, the musicians away from their pianos, and the actors down from the stage – this is the evening where we have the opportunity to appreciate each other’s work and unique disciplines; looking back with pride and forward with anticipation.

On Saturday 11th May, the Drama Society, Student Workshop, Absolute Harmony, Savoy Opera, Shakespeare, and The Musical Theatre Society gathered in the Student’s Union for an evening of awards, drinks vouchers and debauchery. The evening was led by the dashing and charismatic duo Tom Midgely and Alexander
Jeremy, who’s charming and yet efficient approach to hosting lead us through the awards with grace and humour. By presenting with such panache they reminded us that while the awards were very important, we were really there to celebrate one another – easing the worries of the stress-drinkers amongst us.

Amidst the chaos this hectic year has brought we have seen some diverse and exciting work from all the societies present on the night. The Savoy Opera Society has had magnificent successes with their productions of The Mikado and Bittersweet. We have seen dark history and comedy from the Shakespeare society with Richard III and As You Like It.

The Student Workshop have had an enormous amount of shows this year, congratulations go to the cast and crew of Frozen, winner of the best production award. MTS have once again proved their relentless energy with so many great shows, the winner of which was Mack and Mabel. The Drama Society have taken us from a post-apocalyptic drug fuelled world and into the dark mind of Stanley Kubrick and back again, with the best production award going to Rope.

Congratulations also go to Absolute Harmony, and their talented group of musicians who have created such arrangements as the ‘Bon Jovi Medley’, ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Our eritable feast of disciplines and passions has led to an incredible index of work this year.

Special congratulations must go to those winners of the Outstanding Contribution Awards. This is a special award, reserved for those who have truly signed over their hearts and souls to their societies. There is something to be said for these individuals who really are the driving forces behind the various successes of their committees and members. On a day to day basis, they juggle their degrees and the responsibilities they take upon themselves to move their societies forward and to keep producing work to be proud of.

Here at Royal Holloway we have a fantastic thing. The diversity of performances throughout the year is vast, and truly is something worth celebrating. Congratulations to all of those involved with the incredible work of each society – and to all of those award winners & nominees. We have something here to be very proud of, and the Rhoscars evening was such a fantastic way of marking this.

As we look to the end of the year, keep your eyes peeled for the last few bits and bobs: Drama Society’s Quad production of ‘The Importance of being Earnest’, on the 11th, 12th and 13th of June. Grab a jug of Pimms from Crosslands and join us for what we’re sure will be another great production!Of course, this wouldn’t be a gushing review written by a drama student if I didn’t throw in a horrendously cheesy (but nevertheless genuine) phrase such as ‘we are all winners’. ‘Don’t stop believing…’ ‘We’re all in this together…’ ‘My life would suck without you.’

Article: Rebekka-Kate Taylor