By Craig Bradshaw
University of Essex once again disappointed at the Derby Day sports event against University of East Anglia with a fifth consecutive loss to University of East Anglia.
Essex lost by a comfortable margin of 55 points to 15 in this annual contest between the two universities.
The Blades teams travelled to University of East Anglia in Norwich to face-off against their rivals, and hopes were high that a four-year losing streak could be halted. Sadly, the Blades capitulated and put up very little resistance.
One factor that could explain this morale sapping run of defeats is the amount of time teams get to practice and how time is shared between facilities. Fresh hope could be on the horizon in this instance, as construction of new facilities is underway beside the gym. This should allow sports clubs more time to train and should help teams to perform better next year.
Comparatively speaking, there is general feeling that University of Essex is lacking in facilities, with one member of the university frisbee team claiming that a lack of expert coaching and the excellent facilities at University of East Anglia were key reasons for recent losses. She said “They’ve got such an amazing sports hall and a big track. My high school had a running track, we don’t even have one here”.
Louis Higgins, sports co-ordinator at University of Essex, said: “Our clubs each have a budget, with money allocated based on needs. Sourcing coaches for niche sports can be difficult and that has an effect on team performances, but the new facilities will help once they are completed”. He went on to add that “participation numbers are good for most of our sports, and we saw an excellent turnout in our recent sports club elections”.
Despite the obvious failings of our teams at Derby Day in recent years, our volleyball team won the BUCS conference cup last season, and the men’s futsal team the southern premiership last season too. When you put those small victories alongside the new facilities being constructed, there is clearly cause for hope when it comes to the next Derby Day confrontation. At the very least, we must aim to put up a good fight and keep the contest closer than it was this year.