WadSAS funds student activities

10th May 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

Funding for student activities and projects is available now thanks to the Wadham Alumni Society (WadSAS).

This year, Wadham students are invited to apply to WadSAS (the Wadham Student Allocation Scheme) for grants to help benefit student activities, by noon on Sunday 22 May, (fifth week, Trinity Term).

Projects supported in 2015 were upgrading the College gym, purchasing sports equipment, funding for Yoga and Zumba classes and the Women's Weightlifting Society.

Find out more about how to apply and complete the application form here.

Any queries contact louise.strano-cashin@wadh.ox.ac.uk.

Activity reports 2015

Following the success of the previous two years, students were asked again to tender applications for support from WadSAS, and this year six projects were put forward by members of the SU and MCR encompassing sports, celebrating 40 years of women at Wadham and activities for the JCR .

Stephanie Hall (Experimental Psychology, 2012) reports on Wadham College Gym's new exercise bike

We were delighted to be awarded £499 to fund a new exercise bike for the Wadham Gym. As a rower myself, exercise has played a critical role in my wellbeing alongside intensive studying for my degree, facilitating friendships, stress-relief and fitness! Previously, the gym has been oriented towards rowing, having started life as the ‘Erg Room’, and its conversion to a gym for the use of all Wadham students saw the addition of heavy weights. Although this was a brilliant step forward, many students felt that the gym was inadequately equipped for the needs of the Wadham community as a whole, who are simply wishing to keep fit. The addition of this top-spec exercise bike will hopefully make the gym less daunting and better suited to the requirements of the community, benefitting both the physical and mental health of many more students. The bike is now in-situ after extensive Health and Safety regulations, it will hopefully be ready for all to use from Michaelmas 2015.

Issy Cockburn (History of Art, 2014) reports on Yoga and Zumba fitness classes

Yoga classes cost £65 per hour (£520 per term) and run weekly during term time in the Old Refectory.  Attendance fluctuates, however it averages around ten students per week, with a high number of both regulars and newcomers and a mix of undergraduate and graduate students. The classes are now run every Tuesday morning at 7.45am, which allows students to get to early lectures on time, or catch the end of breakfast! Mariella, our instructor, is a highly trained ashtanga yoga instructor, and provides tailored sessions depending on what students ask for, and often offers personalized help during classes to make sure each student is progressing at their own pace.

“Yoga was such a great thing to do every week. Mariella helped me build up my yoga skills and it was really useful in helping me unwind every week.”

Zumba classes cost £40 per hour (£320 per term) and also run weekly in the Old Refectory.  We have consistently great attendance and feedback, with between 20 and 25 students per week, a mix of newcomers and regulars, and undergraduates and postgraduates from all years. The classes run on Thursday evenings, and allow students to unwind towards the end of the week. Our instructor Rhiannon is a student favourite, highly energetic and an excellent leader, and it is impossible to leave Zumba without feeling motivated and with a smile on your face.

“I love the Zumba sessions! Always a highlight of my week and something I definitely needed just to get through Mods term.”

“I'm so glad the sessions were subsidised! They were a real stress reliever during exam season and something I really looked forward to. Rhiannon was great, and as I'm not a big sports person, they were a very fun and relaxed way for me to get some much needed exercise.”

We were very grateful to receive full funding for both classes for three terms, totaling £2520, allowing us to charge nothing to students, and therefore making sure that all students can attend regardless of their financial situation.

Natasha Davie (DPhil Clinical Laboratory Sciences, 2012) reports on Wadham Women's Weightlifting
Anyone can lift, but unfortunately lifting as a sport isn’t something that’s often aimed at women. We want to change that. The WadSAS Fund has agreed to help kick start the Wadham Women's Weightlifting society in Michaelmas 2015 by providing support for a professional lifting coach.

Having good form is fundamentally important in lifting, especially when you get really heavy. With support from the WadSAS fund, our lifting coach will ensure that our lifts are as safe and as strong as possible. The current facilities in Wadham gym allow for up to 10 lifters each session. At the end of this term, a team of lifters will compete in an intercollegiate competition with Linacre Ladies that Lift, another all-women lifting society.

The benefits of lifting extend far beyond strength. Lifting builds confidence through steady progress and the regular setting and achievement of goals. We hope that the Wadham Women's Weightlifting society will enable those completely new to lifting to try a new sport, in addition to building on the women of Wadham’s already stellar athletic reputation.

Activity reports 2014

Diana Greenwald, 2011, DPhil History reports on The Wadham Journal

An Oxford college is designed to facilitate discussions and connections between its diverse members. Biologists become friends with English literature students, classicists with mathematicians, and engineers with historians. While discussions in College—in Hall and in common rooms—among people from different backgrounds and disciplines are a wonderful informal exchange of views and knowledge, The Wadham Journal provides an opportunity for a more formal exchange of information. The essays it presents gives each student and faculty member the chance to read scholarly work well beyond his or her academic discipline. This exposure to academic work outside of one’s field enhances the life of the College while showcasing the breadth and depth of research that its graduates are conducting. The graduate community is grateful to the supporters of the Wadham Society who have made the founding and publication of The Wadham Journal possible.

Henriette Willberg (2013, Classics) reports on the Wadham Choir Tour

With support from WadSAS the Wadham College Chapel choir travelled to Austria and Slovakia in July 2014, for their first tour since 2010.  The tour began with a concert at the Peterskirche in Vienna. We then performed at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in an exciting concert which drew links between music and science. The concert incorporated a talk grounded in Wadham’s association with the Royal Society with musical interludes illustrating this connection. The talk was given by the Hooke Professor of Physics from Oxford University and Royal Society member. (Robert Hooke, though a chorister at Christ Church, also studied at Wadham during the Protectorate, and was heavily influenced by Wren and John Wilkins, the Warden at the time). From here we travelled by train to Bratislava where we took part in a choral festival alongside other touring choirs, singing English folk songs in arrangements by Holst, Vaughan Williams, and others. We sang in churches in central Bratislava and ended a successful tour by singing mass in a church in the city centre.

Benjamin Critchley (2013, Law) reports on Yoga and Zumba fitness classes

Yoga teaching costs £65 per hour long session and is run weekly during term in the Old Refectory, therefore costing £520 a term. Funding has been provided for Trinity and Michaelmas 2014, totalling £1,040. Each session is attended by about 10 people (roughly the capacity for yoga in the Old Refectory), and the number of different people that attend sessions each term is between 20-30, consisting of a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students. We alternate each week between an early morning session which tends to be more popular with MCR students (and forces Arts undergrads to get out of bed for once!) and an afternoon/evening session on a Friday which is a soothing way to wind down after a long week. Our instructor Mariella is an expert in Ashtanga Yoga and takes us through a vigorous and varied routine before finishing with some stress-relieving, ethereal meditation.

Holly Anderson, (2013, Law): “Doing Yoga each week is a lovely way to clear my mind of essays and deadlines for an hour whilst also providing a real work out- I can touch my toes again for the first time in years!”

Zumba costs £40 per hour session and is  run weekly, so costs £320 a term. Funding has been provided for Trinity and Michaelmas 2014, totalling £640. Each session is attended by 15 people. Between 30-40 people attend sessions each term. The sessions are mostly attended by undergrad students. Before the grant we needed to charge students £1 a session to contribute towards the running costs but now that it is subsidised, we see a wider range of people, including those who have never tried Zumba before. Our instructor Rhiannon is lovely and bubbly and always has a smile on her - and gets the students smiling too! The dancing/working out combo pushes us hard and we find ourselves sweating within the first 10 minutes of the session, but with great music blasting out we’re motivated to keep going.

Claire Fleming, (2013, Classics):  “Between the hours in the library and all my extra-curricular activities I find it hard to find time and motivate myself to go to the gym, so it’s really helpful to have a set event like Zumba that I can go to with my mates and keep fit.”

Alistair Farley (2007, Chemistry) reports on Wadham College Cricket

Summer of 2014 saw Wadham students and alumni united by a common passion for cricket. Together, Freebooters old and young, descended upon the inviting and hospitable village of Burbage, Wiltshire, who hosted an evening Twenty20 match on the night of the summer solstice. Winning the toss and electing to bat first on a slow pitch, Wadham posted 132-9, with early notable contributions from Luke Peake and Michael Edwards. Following the somewhat customary mid-order collapse, a 10th wicket partnership from Rob Bakewell and Alistair Farley set Burbage 133 to win. As dictated by tradition, all Freebooters were obliged to bowl at least an over, but despite the varied bowling, the wickets kept falling, leaving Burbage needing 8 to win off the last over, with one wicket in hand. With the light fading and our hopes diminishing, lady luck came to our side and Karim Habibi took an excellent running catch at long-on to secure a surprising victory for the touring side. A barbecue and an inevitable boat race later (which the Freebooters take to like fish at sea), a selection of cricketers traipsed with the crowds up to Stonehenge to witness the Summer Solstice. Following a couple of hours sleep the group made a swift return to Oxford for the President’s Weekend.  For the first time in a number of years, in part due to the excellent organisational and persuasion skills of Luke Peake and Paul Foley, the Freebooters past and present, were able to pitch their skills against one another on a glorious June afternoon on a side pitch next to the President’s Game. The old Freebooters (with the possible help of some ringers) made their experience count rapidly overhauling the students’ total of 115 all out. In true Wadham style, everyone had the opportunity to bat, bowl and field. The evening continued with the President’s Dinner held in the Old Library and as always much fun was had by all. Many thanks must go to the President, Stephen Stow, for subsidising the cost of the President’s dinner for students and we gratefully acknowledge WadSAS for their continued support of Wadham cricket alumni-students relations.

Activity reports 2013

Rachel Everett (2010, DPhil Pathology) reports on the MCR Academic Dinner

The graduate academic dinner was open to all members of the MCR and over 80 students attended in addition to a number of Fellows. The event began with a champagne reception where booklets detailing the impressive and varied academic achievements of the graduate students were made available. A wonderful dinner was then enjoyed by all, with the wine funded by WadSAS to keep the cost per student down to just £10 per student, making the event inclusive of all graduates. The dinner was followed by a speech from the Warden, who congratulated the graduates on the breadth and magnitude of their various academic successes throughout their time studying as members of Wadham College. The event closed with drinks and a live jazz band in the Graduate Centre, where students and Fellows had the opportunity to chat and discuss work and research. The event was a great success and connected students and Fellows through their work and achievements and celebrated all academic successes, no matter how big or small.

Jacob Dillarstone (2011, Economics & Management) reports on Bands Room Equipment & Refurbishment

The WadSAS committee was impressed by the effort that had already been put into rectifying issues by the students using the Bands Room, such as flooding and restricted hours. Due to exams and the summer vacation, work has yet to begin on upgrading equipment in the room, but this will include:

  • A portable PA system – will transform rehearsals and could be used for gigs and open-mic nights around College.
  • Another guitar amp – will avoid students having to bring their own into College for rehearsals
  • 5 Microphones, cables & stands – will aid the sound quality of brass & string instruments.
  • Double bass drum pedal – the current pedal is poor quality and having a better one would make a lot of difference to arguably the most important component of a band.
  • Drum kit bags – reduces the likelihood of damage when equipment has to be moved out of College.

Additionally, having this new and better quality equipment will mean there will be less money spent on ad hoc repairs.

Anya Metzer (2012, English Language & Literature) reports on the College Gym

With thanks to all of our generous donors, the SU was delighted to expand our Ergs room into a fully equipped gym, with an emphasis on weights and endurance machines. This was because we felt that the rowing machines provided cardiovascular opportunities. We knocked together a couple of smaller rooms underground to create a spacious area with high quality exercise machines. Inductions to the gym began last term and uptake has been very high. In its early days, the Wadham Gym is proving popular and a really valued addition to the College.

Alistair Farley (2007, Chemistry) reports on Wadham College Cricket

This year saw Wadham Cricket and the Freebooters make the most of the glorious British summer by embarking on two gruelling cricket tours to London/Cambridge and West Farleigh, Kent. For the third consecutive year Wadham alumni and students convened under a common pretext to showcase their cricketing abilities and have fun. It must be noted that none of the rebirth of Wadham alumni cricket would have been possible without the support and guidance of the president, Stephen Stow, generous to both cricket and College in general. Stephen's subsidies for students to attend cricket dinner, and contribution towards previous tour costs in Cambridge (2011) and Wiltshire (2012) deserve mention. Much thanks must also go to Paul Foley (1987) and Luke Peake (2006) for getting the ball rolling and organising those tours. Plans for similar trips next year are already underway with a tour to France proposed, courtesy of recently retired organiser of alumni cricket, Dr Rob Young. We hope that through the generous support of WadSAS we can expand the growing network of alumni and students drawn together through Wadham Cricket. As always, we are very keen to involve as many alumni and students from as many generations as possible, to play, watch, and befriend the cricket club and the Freebooters. If you wish to get in touch then please contact the Development Office or find us on Facebook by searching for “Wadham Cricket”.