Awards season is well underway here in Exeter, and our final celebration of the year, the End of Season Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday 25th May was surely the highlight of the social calendar. We arrived at Harry’s Restaurant on Longbrook Street at 7:30pm to start the festivities.
The celebration was a particularly important one this year, as it marked the 50th Anniversary of the club, which was established in November 1968. So, in addition to celebrating all of the societies’ successes this year and the individuals who made them, we were also in celebration of the 50 years of rich history that our society contains.
In addition to the fantastic food and drink, and the wonderful hospitality that Harry’s Restaurant provided, there was also a speech by the Club Captain.
It’s been a challenging year for the Rifle committee, and yet the society hasn’t been without its successes, both individual and as part of a team. We had two club trips to Bisley again this year, furthering the membership’s interest and ability to practise fullbore, and have entered multiple smallbore competitions including the famous Turkey Shoot down at Budleigh Farm to shoot long range smallbore. The club’s wider influence within the shooting community has been greatly improved, with links being forged between EURC and BYSA, PTSC, LMRA and RAFSAA to name just a few.
But, the realest measure of EURC is the turnout here tonight.
Someone once told me that life’s truest happiness is found in the friendships we make along the way. For me, EURC has been a huge part of my life here at university. Trust me when I say I have put more thought and time into this society than either of my two degrees. I have always been attracted to the shooting community, since I started target rifle over 10 years ago at the age of 12. There is just something hugely special about the camaraderie that shooting sports create.
When attending various shooting events and matches throughout the past two years, on multiple occasions I have bumped into historic ex-Club Captains of EURC. Together, we reminisce of our times in the society.
This made me realise something.
We are all part of something incredibly, incredibly special. We will always and forever be a part of EURC, that is something that nobody can take away from us. 10, 15 or even 20 years from now, we might bump into each other and share some of the memories we have made together here in this society.
It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the society as its 50th Captain this year, and it has been an honour to be surrounded by the people who show what it truly means to “bleed green”. Thank you.
This speech was followed by the Awards Ceremony. The first awards were the Smallbore and Fullbore Colours, presented by our Smallbore Captain, Danny Lay and our Fullbore Captain, Tom Hill.
Congratulations to the following recipients of Smallbore Colours:
Congratulations to the following recipients of Fullbore colours:
Thomas De La Cour
Then, our Club Captain Natasha presented the Top Gun awards, which are presented to people whom show the most fantastic display of riflery during their time in the society.
Congratulations to the following recipients of Top Gun Awards:
Thomas De La Cour
The next award is steeped with history of the society, initially created in 2012/13, and has been awarded by a series of Club Captains of the society to two recipients. Congratulations to Steph Chanter and Louisa Collier for their keenness, commitment to the club and excellent riflery this year.
Following these awards, Natasha, Club Captain introduced three new awards this year. The first is Sportsperson of the Year Award, which was awarded to Jason Pepera-Hibbert for his outstanding achievements over the past year including representing the GB U25 team in Trentham, New Zealand for the World Championships.
The second new award was the Sportsperson of the Year Award (Novice) which recognises a tyro within the society who has done exceptionally well or shown a lot of keenness and commitment to target rifle so early on in their shooting career. Yuan Zuo received the Sportsperson of the Year Award (Novice) trophy for his outstanding commitment to the sport this year.
The final new award of the season is The Volunteer Award which was created by our Club Captain, Natasha, to recognise the exceptional and outstanding commitment and work towards the society that has been undertaken by individuals on a voluntary basis. The two inaugural recipients of The Volunteer Award this year are Amy Denson and Thomas De La Cour. Natasha was inspired to create this award when working together with Richard Stebbings, Chairman of the British Young Shooters Association to further the peaceful pursuit of marksmanship at Exeter University.
All in all, in every report it was a fantastic evening to celebrate and commemorate both our 50 years of target rifle shooting as a society and all of the fantastic members who have made this year both so successful and so special.
Congratulations to all those which received awards and Happy 50th Birthday to Exeter University Rifle Club!