The Women's Hockey Team took second place at CMD's Dance for Sports Relief. Photo: Georgina Yorke

Charitable CMD enjoy a successful first term

Warwick Classical and Modern Dance Club (CMD) have this term cemented their reputation as one of the biggest and best sports clubs on campus. Most sports teams at Warwick would be more than happy to stage even one successful charitable event per term, but in the last few weeks CMD have managed to host two, raising over two and a half thousand pounds in the process.

After staging the increasingly popular ‘Danceathon’ event back in October- a day which saw the club hold five hours’ worth of dancing workshops in order to raise money for the charity Doorway– CMD turned their attention towards staging another iteration of their popular ‘Let’s Dance for Sports Relief’ show, a campus-wide competition that is rapidly becoming a perennial fixture in the Warwick sporting calendar.

The night, which took place on the 28th November, proved an unprecedented success, raising the incredible sum of £2370.28 for charity. Not long after the evening, club President Lucy Jetha met with Boar Sport, speaking enthusiastically of her pride at raising such a large amount of money.

“It’s especially great considering the charity we’re raising money for,” she commented. “Every sports club can really relate to the Sports Relief charity, which means this event isn’t just our event- it belongs to every sports club. The fact that it’s such a well-known charity also means that everybody is so engaged with the charitable aspect of the evening, which is so important”.

The money was mostly raised through ticket sales, although collection buckets and a raffle with some stellar prizes, which ranged from Le Bistrot Pierre vouchers to an oh so desirable Pop! season pass, helped add to the total. Naturally all of these additions required staffing, and Lucy made clear her appreciation of all the CMD club members who pitched in on the night.

“All of the exec helped out as well as our dance class teachers, which was so helpful”, she said. “The event requires a lot of work, and it takes place in the same week as our annual show at the Arts Centre, which means it’s definitely our busiest week of the whole year! But it’s what I most enjoy about the club, these events. Work for ‘Let’s Dance’ started back in the summer and it’s so satisfying all working together on something and seeing it succeed”.

CMD have this term cemented their reputation as one of the biggest and best sports clubs on campus

One aspect of the night which succeeded even more than most was the speech given by GB Paralympic skier Anna Turney. Anna is the first person to have been invited to speak at the show, and held the audience captive as she spoke powerfully on her experience as a disabled sportswoman. For Lucy, who said that Anna “embodies everything that Sports Relief is about”, and surely for the rest of the watching audience, this represented the true highlight of the evening.

“It was the best bit for me”, said Lucy. “Anna started speaking just before the interval, and the crowd was a fairly normal Copper Rooms crowd at that point- it was fairly noisy. But as soon as Anna started speaking about her accident people became really quiet. It was such a powerful moment and I know the Snow Club were particularly moved. And I know that she really enjoyed the evening as she stayed for the whole show!”

And with some excellent and faintly outrageous routines on display, it’s not hard to see why the Paralympian was convinced into staying for the full evening. Chances are she was particularly struck by the men’s hockey team, who once again stole the show. The victory was their third in a row, cementing their reputation as the undisputed champs of the charitable-student-novelty-dancing-community.

In fact the night was a good one for Hockey in general, with the women’s team securing second place. This year’s contest also marked the advent of a new award selected by the CMD team themselves, in recognition of the most creative dance. The Athletics and Cross Country team were the worthy winners here, garnering praise for their “really good formations, costume change and tricks”.

The success of the show has also led to a boost in interest in the CMD club, a welcome if yet slightly surprising side-effect that Lucy wasn’t originally anticipating. She admitted that “we didn’t really expect people to join up to the club on the back of Sports Relief, but it’s really nice”, before saying that she was especially pleased to have someone from the victorious cricket team come along to some club sessions, as “it can sometimes be harder for the boys to get involved”.

With the club in better health than ever, then, attentions are now already turning to term two, with even more charitable events on the horizon. Plans for ‘Pink Week’, set to take place during week 8, are already being made. As well as more dance workshops and a cake sale, CMD also hope to host another charity ball, with all proceeds once again going to charitable causes.

But for now, RAG’s most charitable club 2013/14 can reflect on another term’s worth of sporting and fundraising success. It’s fair to say that every club on campus can learn from the altruistic impulse that seems to be hard-wired into the core of CMD. And perhaps some of those clubs might also want to get down to a dance workshop or two, if they hope to next year prize away the Sports Relief crown from the men’s hockey team.


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