It has been an hour to hold the presidency of CUMMA for the last few years, and it feels like the end of an era. I still remember talking to Mathias, my predecessor, as he was talking about setting the club up in 2011. I was poolside at my pentathlon varsity in April, and his enthusiasm for the sport was infectious. I'm so glad that decided to join and get stuck in. Four years later the club has come such a long way, as have those who stuck with us. I'd never have thought it would become such an important part of my life.
The number of members we have, and the commitment they show has grown. In the club's first year almost everyone was new to the sport, and at the end of the year our AGM only just had enough people to fill the basic positions. Now we now have two squads, a bigger committee, a packed AGM, and we've started to competing. Not to mention being the only university MMA club in the UK with such a high level of sponsorship thanks to the UFC.
Thanks to last year's committee for their hard work, and I wish the incoming committee all the best. I'm sure they'll do a fantastic job, and I am happy to help when needed. On a similar note, thank you for electing me to Chairman. I aim to use this new position to help when the bigger problems arise, give continuity to our sponsorship, and to keep pushing Oxford Sports Federation to allow them to start a club to be started. This will finally allow us to have our first ever varsity. I haven't moved too far away so I hope to make a couple of sessions and make some competitions this year. The latter will be a vital part of our club progressing.
As well as my CUMMA involvement, I am still involved with UKMMAF. I hope to develop university MMA further now that my university commitments are much smaller. Top of my list is a BUCS-style university competition in 2016 if I can pull everything together, so watch this space. In the meantime I'm working with UK MMA Expo to hold a University Cup this October. I hope to see some Cambridge fighters there.
It feels odd to be an alumni after six years of Cambridge, but I hope that our now increasing number of CUMMA alumni can start to pull together and create a database so we can stay in touch and keep supporting CUMMA. Having benefited from the club during our time at university, we should now be looking to give back however we can. I would like to encourage alumni to make donations as and when they can. This will help the club to keep providing high quality training and equipment for a reasonable membership fee. The UFC has been a huge help on this front, but there is always room for improvement. On a similar note, Mathias and I would formally like pledge the donation of the varsity trophies as soon as this event gets the go ahead. I've been waiting to be able to do this for a long time, and I hope I can make this match happen soon.
Good luck this season. Make sure you all help our at the fresher's fair – it's vital the club gets in a strong batch of committed members to keep the club as strong as it is. Everyone should aim to compete on some level, whether it's a friendly intra-club grappling competition, or full amateur against other universities. Those of you who are aiming for the blues squad should be getting back into training. The team should be pushing each other to be better and better, right to the end of the season and into the next.
CUMMA President 2012-15
CUMMA Chairman 2015-16
UKMMAF University Commission
It is an honour to be re-elected as President of CUMMA for the following year. Since joining the club in its inaugural year, 2011, I have seen the Club come along way. Our numbers have increased, the level of commitment has grown, and committee is working harder than ever. I’d like to thank the outgoing committee for all their time and effort, and welcome in the new committee.
This is a really exciting time to be a part of the club. As the Club moves towards the new season, I’m proud to announce that we have secured the sponsorship of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), who have already kindly provided the club with protective and training equipment, some clothing, and will be fully supporting our goal to hold a varsity against Oxford University in the near future. Following on from this aim, we are also involved in the development of the sport’s National Governing Body, UKMMAF. This includes setting up their University Commission, a task that will require making contact with every University MMA Club in the country. We hope this will speed up the process of Oxford University approving an MMA club, and setting up a UKMMAF-approved British Universities MMA Competition.
I hope that this year, with the prestigious UFC behind us, and the dream of a varsity more real than ever, we can increase our level of training and develop the club into a ‘Blues squad’ and a ‘Development Squad’. We will also be looking to put more of an emphasis on competition experience. I should state, however, that we still welcome those who just want to try the sport, have fun, and get fit. This has always been an important part of CUMMA, and I hope to see this continue.
Though one day I hope CUMMA achieve some level of blues status, in the mean time we have recently introduced ‘Club Colours’. These are awarded by the President and Captain, and entitles the individual to wear our brand new Club tie and bow tie. The first ever Club Colours were awarded to our founder, Dr Mathias Lidgren. A list of those who received the rest for the season 2013/14 will be available elsewhere on the website.
Be sure to check out our stall at the Fresher’s Fair in October, or drop me an email if you have any questions in the meantime.
CUMMA President 2012-15
UKMMAF University Commission