Club of the Year Award 2020


This award recognises a club who that has excelled this year and made a positive difference to the lives of their members. 

The winner is...

The University of Plymouth Archery Club 

The University of Plymouth Archery Club has had a very successful year with a staggering medal count of 74 medals (44 of which are gold). Their most recent achievement was the National Indoor BUCS Competition where they walked away with one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. 

"Attending these types of competitions was not something I would have done without the support and encouragement of the other club members... The club helped me in my first year by being a place I could go when I was not feeling great due to the pressures of my degree, and by helping to greatly increase my self-confidence.” 

They’ve seen an increase in membership and a higher retention of active members than seen in previous years. In December they ran a UK record status competition raising £140 for Shekinah Mission – a charity which provides opportunities for people in & recovering from homelessness, drug and alcohol issues, offending behaviours or mental ill health. Unfortunately their annual Spring charity competition was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak but they are still working together with the aim of still making a donation to their chosen charity, Meningitis UK. 

The club has actively listened to their members, collecting their feedback through surveys and Q&As and as a result have organised more effective coaching sessions including masterclasses, highlighted their members’ successes and improved communication to ensure that all their members are kept informed and up to date. 



Due to the strength of the nominations we have also awarded a Highly Commended Award to recognise this club’s ongoing commitment and hard work throughout the year. 


Highly Commended: Sailing and Powerboat

This year the University of Plymouth Sailing and Powerboat Club hosted the BUCS Fleet Racing Championships – an event that brings together students from various universities across the UK with over 130 boats competing. Due to weather conditions some of the sailing had to be cancelled but the club pulled together to provide entertainment and arrange activities for the other universities attending. 

  • The number of both general and racing sessions they’ve delivered this year has grown and has enabled more of their new and existing members to learn to sail and compete in team racing. 
  • The club has had various successes this year: 
  • First team successfully placed 3rd at qualifiers in the toughest region in the country and is currently preparing for finals in Easter.  
  • In the BUCS Fleet Racing Nationals the men’s team came in 3rd and our women's team 4th.  
  • Four members have been crowned national champions across several classes of boats 
  • The club’s powerboaters have gained their Powerboat Level 2 internationally recognised qualification 

Based on feedback from their members at the end of last year they have implemented a wider variety of sessions including Wednesday afternoon and weekend sessions at the Mountbatten Centre providing members with the opportunity to improve their abilities and form friendships outside of evening socials.  

This year has also seen the club take part in various fundraising campaigns including Movember, raising a significant amount of money to support testicular cancer and men's mental health and a Silent Disco organised by Plymouth Marrow. 



The following clubs were shortlisted for this award, read more about what they’ve achieved this year:


University of Plymouth Netball Club (UPNC)

UPNC currently have more than 200 members, making them the largest female only sports club on campus. They actively encourage promotions throughout the club giving all members the chance to grow and progress.  

  • The club has had multiple successes in competitions throughout the year: 
  • First team reached the BUCS Conference Final for the first time 
  • First team promoted to BUCS Western Tier 1A 
  • First team beat local and regional side Pilgrims, their first loss since 2011 – ending their 150 game winning streak 
  • The first team were giving the opportunity to represent Plymouth at a regional level 
  • First and third teams finished top of their PDNL (local netball league) and were promoted 
  • Four teams finished in the top three of their PDNL leagues 

As well as competitive success, the club has also raised almost £5000 over the past two academic years for PAPYRUS – a national suicide prevention charity. The club works hard to support its members by offering strength and conditioning sessions (that are free of charge), regular socials and sober socials and has four wellbeing officers who have completed the Look After Your Mate training. They also have a committee member who is on the board for the Women in Sport campaign which focusses on campaigns to encourage more female students to play sports. 




The member numbers of the Volleyball Club are at a record high. The club provides numerous opportunities to its members by working in collaboration with the local volleyball league, The Exeter and Districts Volleyball Association. This enables them to engage with lower skilled members and provides more opportunities to develop the skills they learn in training through game play. 

The club have had great success in BUCS this year: 

  • Both the Ladies’ and Men’s won their leagues undefeated and went on to be promoted 
  • Both teams represented the University of Plymouth at the Conference Cup Finals in Gloucester 
  • The Men’s team came home with a silver medal 
  • The Ladies’ team won gold for the second year in a row, the only Plymouth team to win the cup 

The club committee operate an open-door policy and actively encourage their members to raise any issues so they can work to address it. The club has also engaged more with fundraising this year and organised a Christmas themed intra-club charity tournament as well as a charity quiz raising £60 for Gables Farm and £52 for Hugs for Henry respectively. 



Swimming and Water Polo

The Swimming and Water Polo Club has brought together multiple disciplines; recreational and competitive swimming plus male and female water polo, to create a supportive and social family. They’ve maintained participation and engagement while raising membership numbers throughout the year by offering their members land training (to support their water training), arranging friendly tournaments and introducing a teacher to ensure grassroots level members feel supported in their swimming. 

The club have had a variety of achievements this year: 

  • Men’s Water Polo team were promoted after winning the cup 
  • Women’s team moved up to second place in their league 
  • Swimming team came 27th in the BUCS University Short Course against stiff competition 
  • 100% rise in the number of women competing for the University in BUCS matches 
  • Achieved 16 BUCS points 
  • Invested in a water polo scoring clock 
  • Lifted grass roots membership with 50 members of social swimming 
  • Four members of the committee completed Look After Your Mate training 

They’ve also had great success in fundraising this year, holding four events in the first term alone, raising over £500. They’ve gone beyond the reaches of the University and engaged in the local community by taking part in a litter pick. 



Pole Dancing 

The University of Plymouth Pole Dancing Club have created a supportive environment which has enabled their members to grow, meet new people and empowered them to take part in competitions and showcases. 

“I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that joining UPPDC has changed my life. You could not find a group of kinder or more loving and inspiring women (and men) if you tried... I have gained so much from being a member. Not only has UPPDC changed my life but I know many amazing people (who I can now call friends) who have used pole dance to empower themselves and reclaim their bodies.“ 

The competition team won joint first in the South West Regional Competition and are now going to compete nationally in London. The club has engaged with other student groups by offering joint socials (fundraising for Beat and Marrow) and taking part in collecting donations for food banks.