The Hawks & Ospreys Access To Sports (HOATS) initiative, run by members of the Hawks’ Club and the Ospreys’ respective Committees with the help of student volunteers, utilises the resources of Cambridge’s male and female sports societies to challenge misconceptions of elitism within both sport at Cambridge, and the University as a whole.
The initiative was set up in 2015, and intends to highlight and promote the link between academic and sporting success, and also aims to promote inclusivity and positive student experiences at Cambridge, sporting and otherwise, to a diverse audience of prospective applicants who may have otherwise not considered an application to be possible.
In the past, HOATS have worked with local schools to deliver talks and interactive sessions about the benefits of taking part in sport regularly, what life is like at the University, and breaking down some of the stereotypes surrounding Cambridge.
Since then, the scheme has developed into working with other initiatives. Some of our current partners are:
Cambridge University Students Union (CUSU)
HOATS works with CUSU on their Shadowing Scheme, in which the University welcomes sixth form students to shadow student volunteers over the course of three days, to attend lectures, participate in teaching, and to experience student life in general. This is targeted towards people who have little or no experience of university, particularly those who are currently underrepresented at the University, or those who would be the first in their family to attend university. HOATS helps by delivering talks and organising Q&A sessions, as well as encouraging Hawks and Ospreys to sign up as student volunteers.
In light of the current pandemic, these sessions will be delivered online. However, in the future, it is our aim to also organise sports games for the participants with University sports teams.
Find more information about the CUSU shadowing scheme here: https://www.applytocambridge.com/shadowing/apply/
Cambridge University Sports Service
HOATS works with the University Sports Service to promote sport within the university, and to help promote university sport to a wider audience. HOATS helps to promote the annual sports fair and takes part, as well as helping with their outreach programmes.
Find more about the University Sports Service here: https://www.sport.cam.ac.uk/student-sport
Power2Inspire is a fantastic company that works to increase inclusivity within sport, by delivering multiple events that aim to break down stereotypes about disability in sport. HOATS helps by getting involved in their multiple PowerHouseGames inclusive sports days that take place throughout the year, helping to recruit student-athlete volunteers to participate in the games along with local schoolchildren from private, state and special educational needs schools, as well as with local corporate leaders. Check out one of the recent events we helped out with here, which we did in collaboration with CURLFC and CULNC.
We hope that in the summer of 2021, we will be able to co-host our very own Hawks & Ospreys PowerHouseGames with Power2Inspire.
Find more details about Power2Inspire and their PowerHouseGames here: https://www.power2inspire.org.uk/powerhousegames/universities/
Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club
Whilst acting as both the HOATS officer for the Hawks’ Club Committee 2019-2020, as well as the President of Cambridge University Rugby League Football Club (CURLFC) 2019-2020, Hilary Foord established a link with Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club, a professional Rugby League club based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. This started out as shared training sessions, but the aim is to expand this into access events in a region of the country that is traditionally underrepresented in the student population at Cambridge.
Find more about Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Football Club here: https://wakefieldtrinity.com
HOATS Current Projects
In addition to the above partnerships, HOATS is also working on the following projects:
In light of the current pandemic, HOATS are releasing a podcast to attempt to broadcast our aims of the link between sporting and academic success, and improving the accessibility of the University of Cambridge by breaking down some of the stereotypes surrounding it.
In each episode, hosts Holly and Jonathan talk to current and past Cantabs about their sporting experiences and achievements, at University and otherwise, as well as their experience at Cambridge in general. Guests have included Team GB Rower Imogen Grant (CUWBC, now CUBC), Ospreys’ President Sophie Tamblyn (CUWLC), and German Para-Rowing team rower Jan Helmich (CULRC, now CUBC).
If you’d like to share your sporting story, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 1st-7th July 2020, HOATS ran the H&O Charity Race, to raise funds for the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust who “work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13 to 30 to inspire and enable them to succeed in the career of their choice. [They] also influence others to create a fairer society in which everyone, regardless of their background, can flourish”, and Sporting Equals who “raise awareness and understanding of the needs of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities within the sports and health sector, in order to change attitudes and increase participation in sport and physical activity”.
Over the week, 137 Hawks and Ospreys covered a total distance of 13,950 km over 731 hours and raised a total of £2540.50 with gift aid for the two charities.
We hope that this race will become an annual event!