by Craig Wright
They may not be the first club you think of when you think of sport at Stirling, but the University of Stirling Pool Club are quietly making waves on a national level.
Going about their business with aplomb, there was reason to celebrate last weekend as women’s captain Anna Cullens took home the Scottish Universities Championships women’s individual title for the second year in succession.
With the BUCS National Championships coming up in Great Yarmouth at the end of the month, Cullens sat down with Brig to discuss both her recent successes and what lies in store for the club over the coming months.
Congratulations on defending your title last weekend! How does it feel to be a double champion?
Absolutely phenomenal! I mean, to win the competition last year was a great achievement for me, but to return this year and successfully defend my title was a massive confidence boost.
How tough was the competition?
I feel these types of competitions are always going to be tough. Whether you are drawn against a particularly good player or not, in my experience that doesn’t really matter.
I think my quarter-final match this year was tougher for me than the final since I was drawn against my best friend, which made it difficult to stay focused and play competitively. My biggest obstacle, though, is usually my own mentality and nerves.
Pool isn’t a sport a lot of students will be aware that we have here at Stirling. Why do you think that is?
Personally, I feel that a lot of people consider pool to be more of a pub game (which it is to some extent), and therefore don’t realise or are unaware of the competitive aspects of the sport. There’s a lot more to pool than simply potting balls though!
Why should students get involved with the club, and how would they go about doing so?
The thing about our society is that it really is open to anyone and everyone.
We hold chilled practise nights almost every Monday at the Player’s Lounge in Falkirk and a league night every other Thursday, as well as several alternative social events throughout the year. Many of our current members had rarely or even never picked up a pool cue before joining our society, but decided to give it a go anyway for the social aspect of the club. We don’t care if you’re a pool shark or new to the game, we’re always happy to welcome new members!
Whether you’d like to represent the university at a competition, or just play pool and get drunk with your friends, we’re the society for you! Please feel free to contact me via Facebook for further information.
You’re now heading to the BUCS championships in Great Yarmouth (21-25 February). What would count as a successful tournament for you?
If I’m in good form come Yarmouth, then it’s already a successful tournament. Obviously, I’d be disappointed if I were to be knocked out during the early stages of the competition, but I don’t like to put too much pressure on myself or other members of my team or society.
Last year my team made it to the semi-final of the team competition, which was a huge achievement for Stirling. If we can better that, fantastic!
Ultimately, though, I just hope everyone enjoys the experience, which I’m sure they will.
What are your main aims for the rest of the year?
In the meantime, I’d like to focus on my team in building their confidence and helping them individually with their technique and overall game. We have a great group of personalities within our society, but I’d like to extend that if possible.