Varsity Match 2011

The Varsity Match is an annual competition between the karate clubs of Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In the match, which is usually held in February, two men's teams and a women's team from each university compete in kata, team kata and kumite for the three team titles and the overall trophy, the Enoeda Cup.

Winners of the Enoeda Cup 2011: Cambridge

Team results:

  • Men's A: Cambridge
  • Men's B: Cambridge
  • Women's: Cambridge

Cambridge University Karate Club held off the Oxford University Karate Club to win their Varsity match. The Oxford team was desperate to win back the Enoeda Cup after four consecutive years of defeat but they were comfortably swept aside by a strong Cambridge team who were able to achieve yet another resounding victory at the Chesterton Sports Centre.

In the end, the match was a complete whitewash, with the Light Blues coming out victorious at every category to retain all four trophies.

The event started with the Kata competition (in which there is a prearranged sequence of strikes and blocks). In Men’s A, Roman Sztyler’s “Unsu” and Nim Sukumar’s “Seipai” took the first and second place respectively in a repeat of last year’s result. Strong performances from Craig Woodhead, Matthew Houlden and the team captain Liam Gabb meant the Cambridge Men’s A team destroyed the dark blues boys to take an early lead. Men’s A Team consolidated their lead with a victory in Team Kata, building up their lead to 58-12 after the first half of the event.

Kazuto Shiomitsu However, the Men’s B team failed to follow suit, with relatively inexperienced members against Oxford’s army of black belts. The score after individuals event was Cambridge 10 – 46 Oxford. However, a stellar performance by the team in the Team Kata competition allowed them to cut the deficit, leaving the score at Cambridge 24 – 46 Oxford.

In the women’s, Oxford’s Elizabeth Jeffreys took the 1st place. However the Light Blue team captain Gosia Stanislawek took 2nd place and Madeline Wood, Tiina Pajuste and Helen Picot placed third, fourth and fifth respectively. This meant that the girls were leading 28-14 and a beautifully executed performance of “Jion” in Team Kata extended their lead to 40-14.

The competition moved swiftly onto Kumite (freestyle points based fighting), where the dominant display of power by Cambridge outclassed their opponents. Team captain Liam Gabb set the Men’s A Team off to a flying start, grabbing victory in the opening match. Strong performances by Nim Sukumar, Ahmed Al Shabab and Jack Lewers shortly followed. The Men’s A event concluded with an epic match between experienced Cambridge fighter Richard Oriji and Mathew Cottee, which eventually ended in a draw. After the spirited fight, the two showed exemplary sportsmanship, hugging each other congratulating each other for the fight to remember. 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses in this event brought the total points tally for the Men’s A team to Cambridge 148 – 42 making it a decisive victory.

Kazuto Shiomitsu The Men’s B Team, who were trailing behind at this point, went into the competition with a new look of determination. Pragesh Sivaguru, making his Varsity debut, put in a great fight to grab a win for Cambridge. Mathew Houlden, despite scoring a point, was unable to recreate this victory. Nikon Rasumov, towering over his opponent brought down his opponent with a quick succession of forceful moves to bring back the winning streak and Craig Woodhead came out on top in the following match. Roman Sztyler was able to score an uncontested default win due to the Oxford competitor being absent. After the kumite event, Men’s B Team was able to reverse the early deficit to come out victorious with Cambridge in a lead of 72-58 over their Dark Blue rivals.

In the Women’s Kumite, the closely contested opening match was won by Kathryn Vickers of Oxford. However the experienced Cambridge women's fighters quickly fought back, bringing in 3 successive wins. Madeline Wood, in particular, was outstanding and won her victory in record time, scoring 2 points in what seemed like 10 seconds.

In round 2 of fixtures the team captain Gosia Stanislawek won the first match, but Madeline Wood was unable to recreate her earlier victory. Helen Picot drew in the following match and Tiina Pajuste was victorious in the final match of the event. The final score for Women’s Team: 73-29 to Cambridge. It was yet another dominant victory for the Light Blues.

The overall victory was a comfortable one for Cambridge. The prized Enoeda Cup will stay with them for yet another year, and hopefully many more years to come.