Last year’s BUCS national champions for American Football, the Stirling Clansmen, have started preparations for next season already. I spoke with last year’s club president and future team coach Arnold Masayila about the events of last season, and what to expect from the team moving forward.
Masayila had been in the team for the past four seasons, winning three national titles in that time. We discussed how difficult this championship campaign was in comparison to his previous two.
He said: “This season was arguably the toughest campaign we have been involved in, in recent times. This was in large part due to our in-division competitors (Derby and Durham) having up to eight athletes that had NCAA experience, so we were playing against gifted and experienced athletes, which showed.
“We were in fiercely competitive games with those two teams, but Loughborough and Nottingham were also vastly improved.”
Looking ahead to next year Masayila said: “The aim for next season is to repeat, but it’s not just about that: it is about building a team of young men and women that has chemistry and a common goal.
“In addition seeing all our senior athletes graduate as education is our priority number one. On a personal level I am aiming for a smooth transition from player to coach.”
With the competition strengthening every season it is becoming more difficult to stay at the top of the British Uniball game. This is why the Clansmen need to stay up to date with equipment: “The fund raising effort centres on raising enough funds to buy new helmets for our players.”
“It’s been a pleasure being a part of this great programme for the last four years as a player. In that time we became the best University American Football team, winning three National Championships in four years.
“I am now looking forward to being a part of the team as an assistant coach. Being part of the team greatly enhanced my university experience; I learned valuable fundamental skills such as hard work, and always applying myself.”
Masayila continued: “Now I want the next generation of Clansmen to enjoy the same experience as I did. Safety of our student athletes is paramount and we must replace 50% of our current helmets.
“It is the most important part of protection, that is essential in reducing risk of concussions and head injuries. Please take the time to read our crowd funding website, any donations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”
In his last year Masayila graduated with an honours degree in law. He achieved this whilst carrying out the role of president as well as playing on the team. As his last task on committee he is committed to ensuring the campaign is successful as possible, so that future players can enjoy as successful a spell on the team as he had in his four years.
If you are interested in finding out more about how you can contribute to the Clansmen follow the link to the crowdfunding website and be sure to watch their promotional video.
If your club is raising money or awareness and would like to be featured in an article in Brig get in contact with the sports team: Sport@brignews.com or direct message the Brig Sport Facebook page.