Wednesday afternoon saw history students and lecturers down their worn-out biros and well-thumbed books, pick up their stringed carbon fibre weapons and take to the polished surfaces of Jubilee Sports Hall for a charitable badminton match.
This was also an opportunity to raise money for the LGBT+ charity, Stonewall.
For most of January, Jubilee will bring most of us immense pain and suffering through a drawn-out process of high-pressure and fundamentally flawed assessments. Commonly known as exam season. However, this recent showdown represented a chance for the students to strike a pin-prick through lecturers’ hearts. Especially at what matters most to the intensely academic, multi-degree staff; badminton.
What followed was not for the faint of hearts.Liv Perry turned up with a point to prove, especially to Chris Prior who is currently marking her final year work. A point she did prove, to say the least. Swashbuckling her way through numerous defences, including what can only be described as a demolition vs Neil Gregor, Liv concluded the day resembling Floyd Mayweather; unbeaten.
Alas, the lecturers were not to be pushed aside that easily. Alex Ferguson was in no mood for fun and games, carefully picking apart the student’s doubles pairings in the same vicious way he does with gobbets assignments. A quick succession of doubles victories early on, combined with Chris Prior demonstrating how his new role as Director of Programmes has not distracted him from perfecting a sumptuous drop shot, leaving the half-time scores delicately poised at 4-4.
It’s fair to say that the crowd of four, deafening in their support, were getting their money’s worth. It was all to play for come the singles matches. It was also time for this trusted writer to embarrass himself in a way not often seen in the theatre of dreams, that is Jubilee Sports Hall.
For my own performances I drew inspiration from the Scottish Independence Vote, Arsenal’s performance in the League Cup Final 2011 and Germany’s twentieth century military efforts. I lost, badly. As with the rest of the HistSoc team, I relied heavily on Liv to save face and secure one of my only victories. This may culminate in a few percentiles missing off her next assignment, but a sacrifice worth making in the wider context.
After almost 96 minutes of play, it all came down to the last singles match between young Perry and lecturer Remy. With no chance of bad light affecting play, the game went down to the wire. It was no case of ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’ for our homegrown talent Perry, going down in the tightest of margins. ‘In your life have you seen a shot like that?!’ came the roar from the delighted lecturers, as the late victory allowed them to draw the series 8-8.
A draw was a fair result. After the previous win for the Histsoc footballers last semester, time is ticking for the lecturers to find a sport they can compete at.
Much like Christmas in 1914, this match was a chance for peace, reconciliation and a bit of friendly competition. The conflicts, inevitably, will resume tomorrow.
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