Cambridge Sport - a magnificent history, a challenging future
The University’s Director of Sport and a panel of sporting alumni will reflect on some highlights of the University’s great sporting history and consider how factors such as professionalism, media driven money and changes in school provision have impacted upon sport at the University today.
Many universities here and abroad see investment in sport, alongside their core activities of teaching and research, as essential in their offer to attract the best students and staff. Most actively encourage extracurricular activity to develop the personal qualities and traits valued by potential employers, in addition to the inherent wellbeing benefits such activity can provide.
The University has recently approved a strategy for sport but securing the resources to deliver it will be a challenge.
This will be a participative session with the audience invited to pose questions to the panel and contribute their opinions to influence the future of sport at Cambridge.
Nick Brooking is Director of Sport at the University of Cambridge, having previously worked in the same role at the University of Hertfordshire and in private and public sector sport prior to that.
While at Hertfordshire, Nick led the team that developed significant sports facilities envied by many other universities, established the Athletic Union which helped improve student performance sport and also, in conjunction with the county sport partnership, developed an award winning student social sport programme with an emphasis on wellbeing benefits.
Nick is also a Trustee of the Saracens Sport Foundation which has won a number of accolades for achievement of its mission to inspire communities and change lives using the power of sport.
On arrival at Cambridge, where she was to gain a place in the 1995 Blue Boat, Siobhan had already represented Great Britain. She taught at Bedford School and was rowing coach at The Leys School prior to starting a family. She has been a committee member of the National School Regatta since 2006 and has stayed hugely involved in rowing at Cambridge becoming Vice Chair of CUWBC in 2014.
Ian won Blues at rugby and cricket from 1979-1981 and he also captained both clubs. He played club rugby at Bedford and represented the Barbarians on several occasions just missing out on selection for the 1980 Grand Slam England side. He played county cricket at Northants and Bedfordshire. As a Chartered Surveyor Ian is a Partner at Bidwells and, in a voluntary capacity, is currently Vice Chairman of the Board at Northants CC.
Derek is a former England cricketer who was called up for his international debut while Blues captain in 1982. He played 30 tests and 44 ODIs retiring in 1993 to become a cricket writer initially for the Independent followed by The Daily Telegraph. Derek is now a freelance writer and coaching consultant.
Professor Graham Virgo
Professor Graham Virgo is the Professor of English Private Law, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, and Chair of the Sports Committee. Professor Virgo is a Fellow of Downing College, where he was previously Senior Tutor and Director of Studies in Law. His main research interests are in the fields of the Law of Restitution, Equity and Trusts and the substantive Criminal Law.
Leonie de Jong
Leonie arrived in Cambridge in 2014 for an MPhil in International Relations & Politics, and is now entering the third and final year of her PhD program in Politics & International Studies. She is a member of Pembroke College, and has played for the Women's Blues Basketball Team for the past three years, where she averaged 25 points per game in the Varsity Matches against Oxford and won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) title for three years in a row.
Before coming to Cambridge, Leonie played competitive college basketball in the United States on a full athletic scholarship. She was also a member of the Senior Women's National Team of Luxembourg, where she competed in numerous European Championship Games as well as the 2013 Olympics for Small European States.