Comment: 34th in BUCS: Why?

A chilling Arctic wind rips across 22 Acres sending a shiver down your spine, the fitness levels reach an all-time low after the exorbitance of the festive period, and the most depressing month of the year is nigh. Yet the socks are rolled up, the racquets, boots or sticks pulled out of the cupboard, as the sporting season is about to resume, and the job is only half done.

Effort, enthusiasm and an abundance of talent have dragged York up to 34th in the BUCS table, but a lot can still change in the next six months. #Top40 could become #Top30, or the unthinkable slump could occur resulting in our beloved institution slipping back into the mire of 42nd or 43rd place. However, let’s be positive, this is a time for looking forward and for progression, it’s time for a breakthrough and this could well be our year.

But why? The question on everyone’s lips is how do we go from 43rd one year to 34th the next, our highest BUCS placing ever? My job may be to provide answers, but here I can’t put forward a definitive one. Better facilities, stronger leadership, more talented sportsmen, a build-up over a number of years, or simply luck? In truth it’s probably a combination of all of these, and much more, as over recent years we have promised to make steps forward, but only now are we truly reaping the rewards.

The development of new facilities has surely helped to boost the profile of sport at York, attracting more talented individuals to boost our teams, as well as allowing students to unlock their full sporting potential. The signs of progress were present last year, as Futsal made the semi-finals of the National Championships, Fencing and Lacrosse once more excelled, whilst Rugby claimed their vital promotion to the Northern Premier B. Yet still we failed to break into the Top 40, and in that respect what seemed like a successful year, could be categorised as a failure.

In contrast, this year promises to be one of success, as a number of teams such as Lacrosse, Football and Netball vie for promotion, whilst others such as Rugby and Women’s Football seek to consolidate after past successes. Finally after a number of years in the doldrums, something has clicked, sport at the University is moving forward, and a more professional approach is being adopted. Success spreads, the atmosphere improves, and the whole York sporting family moves forward; though of course there is still a long way to go.

Last year the combination of Rugby, Lacrosse, Fencing and Futsal earned 287 of York’s 655.5 points (43.8%), as they enjoyed exceptional years. In truth this year is very much a similar story, with the same four sports supplying York with 272 of their current 613 points (44.4%). The difference, though, is that last year York gained 181 points through cup and individual performances, whereas to date they have only accumulated 22, and hopefully many more are to come. Instead, league performances currently provide 591 points in comparison to only 474.5 last year, and that’s before we consider that sports such as cricket, athletics and snooker have not yet been considered.

So, now for the predictions… if we put together this year’s league and last year’s cup and individual performances, as well as providing an estimated allowance of points for those sports that occur later in the year, York would have a grand total of roughly 830 points at the end of the year, which by last year’s reckoning would leave them in 35th place.

The only depressing bit is that Loughborough have already accrued more points than that from Swimming alone (872). Whether this is an accurate statistical analysis or purely a guess we’ll have to see, but regardless it is clear that progress has been made. How and why are more difficult to answer, but it is certain that for now the job is only half done.