Queen Margaret University’s (QMU) Men’s Basketball team will be heading south of the border next week after storming their way to the finals of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) UK Trophy.
The team, who defeated Nottingham Trent 1st in the semi-finals on 6 March at home, will travel to the University of Nottingham to face Worcester 1st on 27 March with hopes of taking the top spot of the nationwide competition which has seen 30 institutions across the UK battle it out on the court. The competition that day is one of several being held at the University of Nottingham as part of BUCS Big Wednesday, the biggest student sport event in the UK, with over 2,000 spectators expected to attend, and a crowd of 500 for the basketball finals alone.
The basketball team has climbed their way to the very top of Scottish university basketball after an impressive four years of hard work and determination. It was following the arrival of ex captain, Daniel Shoch to QMU in 2014 that the men’s team began turning it all around. That year they were promoted from their first division, Scottish 5A, and since then it’s been rare to see them lose a game. Laurits Juffer has since taken over the role as Captain and, alongside Vice Captain, Chris Arazim, has continued leading this team in their seemingly unstoppable winning streak.
Over the years the team have collected quite the impressive group of players, with three competing for Scotland, but despite the amount of natural talent in the group, the team still prides themselves on their mentality to improve.
Vice President of QMU's Students' Union, Rebecca Wilson, said: "At QMU home games it's more than just incredible basketball skills that set our team apart. The sports hall is filled with an overwhelming sense of pride, not only from the players, but from those who watch them.
"Our facilities weren’t built for games of this magnitude but the trophy semi-finals saw upwards of 200 people lining the walls, sitting on the floor shoulder-to-shoulder to support and celebrate our team. The atmosphere was incredible.
"QMU basketball have done more over the past four years than win leagues and cups, they’ve united a campus. There are three words written across their warm-up shirts, and it’s those words and that message that sets QMU apart from the rest: 'We Are Family'.
“I’m immensely proud of our men's basketball team for making it to the trophy finals this year. I joined QMU when the team were in the lowest division so have had the privilege of watching them grow into the team they've become. Everyone from the Union wishes them the best of luck and half of us will be there supporting from the sidelines!"
The journey to the finals of the competition has been made possible through a grant from the Martlet Club fund which is supported by generous donations from alumni and friends of QMU.
Dr Richard Butt, Deputy Principal of QMU, said: “We are incredibly proud of the team’s accomplishment in reaching the finals of this UK-wide competition, and having seen the level of support on display on campus during the semi-finals, I know this sentiment is shared across the University.”
He continued: “I’m delighted that The Martlet Club has been able to provide financial support to help the team reach the finals in Nottingham, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone associated with QMU when I wish the team the very best of luck on 27 March. We’ll all be rooting for you!”
* Wednesday 27 March is the date of another big sporting fixture for QMU, with Queen Margaret 1st competing in the finals of the Scottish Conference Plate (women’s netball) against Aberdeen 4th.
Notes to Editor
For further media information please contact Karen Keith (Media Relations and Content Officer) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 0131 474 0000.
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