The 2018/2019 SWWU (South West & Wales University ) league begun 10th of November 2018 with the first event being run by us here in Swansea! The SWWU league has competitors from all the way up in Aberystwyth back down to Plymouth with almost everyone in-between. It is run as a competition between the universities as part of the UKSAA (UK Student Archery Association), and gives experience plus legal competition status in terms of getting the relevant scores to qualify for BUCS.
The first one of the year was based in Swansea. Unfortunately due to the size of the Bay Campus sports hall not being the largest of venues it was one of the more smaller events, but with the careful and precise planning from the committee we were able to effectively communicate between the other universities and given everyone as many places as possible. After the first half of the day had been finished, we ventured over to Tafern Tawe for some food and catching up (especially as Exeter arrived well over an hour early), followed by the inaugural SWWU-uno and SWWU-jenga which of course given the homefield advantage we did very well at! Finishing up after the second half of the day and we ended with 4 golds and 2 bronzes, making it a well performing day with our beginners scoring fantastically.
Next up on the SWWU league was the joint held one by both Aber and Plymouth, with those travelling to the nearest venue. For this we set off early on the 17th of November up to Aberystwyth to a rather pleasantly sunny morning and managed to arrive just on time despite the numerous numbers of tractors on the way. Shooting went fantastically again, winning seven of the categories, coming 2nd in 3, and two people in 3rd. Although when combining the scores between Aber and Plymouth the week later knocked a couple of people down a position or two, the overall standard of our beginners again were great. Often scoring higher scores than members of the other universities shooting in the bow category above in numerous instances!
The final SWWU of semester one was Exeter, and given the large nature of their hall is one of the biggest indoor events of its kind this year within this part of the country. Most of the cars travelling down on the day managed to make it there around an hour early apart from the one which had unfortunately broken down 25 minutes outside of Exeter. To make matters worse due to an engine fault it had to return home…with all of our beginner’s arrows and some equipment too. This lead to a rather panicked start, retrieving arrows from any experienced members from our club who may have some on their person, and borrowing some from Exeter University too. Luckily everyone who did manage to make it there were able to find something to shoot, and additionally allowed for a few more people to qualify for BUCS that hadn’t previously. Finishing on seven golds, three silvers and one bronze, it was one of our better performing shoots despite the absence of a few members of our club, and ended the day on a high with a trip to the pub for some food followed by home.
Next semester we can look forward to possibly two more SWWU events before BUCS indoor, one at the end of January in Bristol, and another soon after in Bath. After the indoor finals up in Leeds this year, the outdoor leg of SWWU will begin, giving practice and outdoor scoring potential for the outdoor BUCS later on in the year!