Roses 2015 – we are ready

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Chris Hann – American Football: On the whole the 2014/15 season has been a positive one for the Lancaster Bombers American Football Team, with a 5-3 record and plenty of promising play from rookies and veterans alike. This has brought an optimistic atmosphere to the squad in the run up to Roses and the team is looking to add to a seriously impressive record of only one loss in the history of American Football at the contest.
 
There has been no let up in the training schedule since the end of the regular season and both the players and coaches can see the results already, with the team looking effective on both sides of the ball. Plans have been put in place for an intensive three-day camp scheduled for the first weekend back after the Easter Holiday involving film review, individual drills and full team scrimmages with the aim of exploiting a York side that finished with a winless 0-7 record.
 
With a large group of rookies this year, many of the squad have not experienced the intensity of a match like Roses before and will need to keep focused to ensure victory. However with an experienced collection of players who have been involved in two or three previous Roses games, the squad will pull together in what is likely to be a partisan crowd and bring a win back to Lancaster. 
Bethany Bloor – Running Club: This season has seen some fantastic cross country performances for both our men’s and women’s teams with the men fighting for promotion in the last race of the term. With some great winning individual and team performances in our road races as well it appears everybody in the club is pushing for success. With this in mind we look forward to another couple of wins this year at Roses carrying on our success from last year. 
As a club we feel very well prepared, especially considering the course is likely to be flat around the York area, giving us a distinct advantage, training on the hills around Lancaster. With some more fast sprinting sessions to work on our speed, alongside our longer runs, I’m sure we will succeed. 
With a fantastic atmosphere at Roses last year, with our own amazing turn out for the running event, we look forward to taking a good team of runners and hopefully some supporters too! Guess it’s time to see what fight York can bring in return or whether they’ll fall short again just like last year.
John Simmons – Fencing Club: After a tough season for both Fencing teams and with upcoming Championship matches for the men, and Conference Cup matches for the women, our main focus is on finishing the BUCS year on a high. But with Roses 2015 drawing closer, we have also been training hard in preparation — and we want that clean sweep of wins in all 3 matches. 
This year the Men’s team have consolidated their position in the Premier League, despite fencing a number of matches without their key athletes. Although relatively inexperienced, the Women’s team have gone from strength to strength, and are currently through to the semi-finals in their cup. Lancaster does not currently have a Men’s 2nds team competing in BUCS. However, we have organised a number of matches against local clubs which has provided great experience for our 2nds team, and after putting York to the sword last year with a resounding victory, their blades are ready to foil York again. 
We have worked hard to eliminate weaknesses in both teams discovered during the 2014/2015 season, and now we are ready to deliver again and claim the crucial points for the Red Rose.
Anitha Jayamurugan – Women’s Squash: Roses was a great experience last year! The energy that was running through the training sessions and the following matches was amazing. So this year, my team and I are excited to give a good match and also have fun. 
Our training has become more intense and we are looking forward to doing our part for Lancaster and continue our winning streak against York.
Matt Fox – Boat Club: For the first time in recent history, the Roses boat race will be held on the same weekend as all other sports. York and Lancaster crews will battle it out head-to-head in a test of mental and physical endurance over a stretch of the River Ouse. Rowers from all categories, novice and senior, will be racing to secure a Lancaster win.
Training is well underway for this year’s battle; with all squads competing at events in the North and the senior men aiming for a new club record at Head of the River Race in London. LUBC is as prepared as ever to take on York in the biggest race of the season, and hopefully see the hard months of training pay off and take home a victory. 
The pressure to deliver this year at Roses is high; it’s on Yorkist soil and we are racing on the Roses weekend. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Lancaster University Boat Club; the squad is the largest it has ever been with incredible breadth and depth. The introduction of a head coach and increased resources this year puts us in good stead for a Roses win.
David Bruce – Table Tennis Club: It’s been an extremely positive second half of the season for Lancaster Uni’s Table Tennis players with both the 1sts and the 2nds all but securing their positions in the Northern 1A and 2A respectively. This will be the first time ever that a Lancaster Table Tennis team has stayed up in a division where other universities can call upon players such as England no. 6 Danny Reed. This is truly a result of the extra hard work our players have been putting in to improve and beat players who have inflicted defeat on us before.
The weekend of the 21st February saw 12 Lancaster representatives head to the BUCS individual national championships and take on some of the best players in the country. We saw 8 out of 12 players get through their groups (quite an achievement in itself) and into the main draw whilst gaining significant tournament and match experience in the process.  Narrowly falling in to the Plate competition after coming 3rd in her group (despite taking a game off the 3rd seed), Agnes Kwok blew away all competition to take the title and write her name into LUTTC history.
With all this preparation and experience, its hard see us losing to a York team we have faced a number of times before. If I was a betting man, it would be Lancaster all the way! Bring it on.
Grace Finney – Women’s Hockey: The Women’s Hockey Club have pre-season training sessions already booked and an away game at Neston Hockey Club the weekend before Roses, to become acclimatised to travelling and playing on an alternative astro pitch. 
The Indoor training sessions have started so we can hopefully carry on the success of last year’s complete sweep of women’s indoor hockey matches. 
In 2014, three out of five matches were won by Lancaster, one was drawn and one lost. This year we hope to make it a full house of victories.
Having lost at Roses 3-0 last year, the 2nd team improved on this score during this season, with a narrow 3-2 defeat. As the best performing of the three teams this season, we hope to improve on this and finally defeat the White Rose. 
We are optimistic for this year’s Roses, with enthusiasm rife amongst the club. Hopefully all three outdoor and indoor teams will be able to channel the success of last year and make it a full sweep of all five women’s hockey matches for the Red Rose 
Chetna Sahai – Women’s Basketball: Roses is always a big event for Women’s Basketball; last year our match led Lancaster to victory because of a strong and determined team and our lively and passionate supporters. We look forward to feeling that same spirit this year and of course, we want to beat York Women’s Basketball team for the fourth year in a row! 
With a challenging start to our season we have greatly improved our performance with the arrival of our new coach Enrico Andreani. With a recent win in the National Cup in Week 6, we are preparing for our quarter-finals match in Week 7. Roses is also around the corner and the team is putting a lot of time and effort, training 3 times a week, an additional compulsory gym session and workshops with our personal trainer Colin Bell. 3 of our girls are even coaching disabled children in conjunction with Banardos on top of all this! Working with Enrico on the court and Colin off the court is helping us grow stronger day by day.
The team has some excellent and passionate players this year who are keen to show York what we are made of. We are hyped for Roses and cannot wait for another exciting weekend of Lancaster pride.
Thomas Daniel – Sailing Club: Roses 2015 is going to be big for LUSC. It’s my final year as captain and our 1sts suffered a battering from a more experienced York team in 2014! With graduation comes change though and a far less experienced York team will be waiting for us in April. Our second team will be coming off the back of a win last year and we are confident that they will be ready come Roses. 
The Roses funding and sponsorship (courtesy of Craftinsure) has allowed us to enter more non-BUCS competitions this year and so the season has been pretty full on. Our first event was our most successful where we won the silver league at Leeds, beating all other Northern teams overall. We’ve raced against York 1st team at 3 events this year and won two of those races so it’s looking good. Just last week our B team almost upset the applecart and beat the York 1sts at our BUCS championship. We have never had the funds to send a B team to events other than Roses so this is a big step forward for the club. 
Another big help this season has been the introduction of a coach who has helped us overcome the issues which plagued us throughout 2014. We’re looking forward to two more events this term and a Roses boot camp all aimed at securing that away double win (1st & 2nd team) that would make me a very happy captain!
Tom Etherington – Men’s Football: The thought of roses is a seed implanted in the back of your mind as soon as you join any competing society. The buzz and reality of the magnitude of the event grows throughout the academic year as Europe’s Largest varsity competition comes closer and closer for all the players.
In terms of preparation for the match it does not just begin at a certain point. Its crucial to be competing to the best of our standard throughout the year competing well in both BUCS League and Cup competitions, in order to be in the best condition and frame of mind for the game. We have been lucky enough to train with league two Morecombe FC only helping us develop as a squad, hopefully this will continue up until and beyond roses.
We currently partake in matches, fitness and training four times a week, as we have done all year, something that will remain up until roses weekend becoming more and more intense as it draws closer. Not only down to the drills and tasks undertaken but the desire and competition for starting places increases ensuring that everyone is pushing themselves to their limits.
With both teams doing well this season, moral is undoubtedly high and should be transferred into roses making it a real team achievement. The opportunity granted to us by LUSU, Sports Centre and Ground staff is greatly appreciated in the build up and leaves no excuse for us to not match the effort put in by them to help all the teams achieve.

Neil Pavitt – Men’s Hockey: Lancaster Men’s Hockey Club have a had a competitive year from the first team to the thirds, playing across the North Division of the BUCS leagues and competing with the likes of Durham, Manchester and Bangor. Each member of the teams have put in a lot of work and dedication to the year thus far, often giving blood, sweat and tears to the cause. Victories are obviously important, but the bond and team spirit within the club is monumental – we are the club with the biggest heart.

However, despite the importance of the BUCS leagues, the season’s purpose has always been Roses from day 1. The importance of this fixture is part of each player’s DNA and one which we intend to wear the Lancaster University badge on our chest with pride. We hope to do our part for Lancaster University  by winning on foreign soil and bringing the points home to Lancaster. So, with less than 10 weeks to go, preparation has gone into overdrive and we are raring to go, to put York in our shadow and show them whose sticks are really bigger.

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Ollie Orton

SCAN Editor 2015-2016

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