York success on University Challenge

The University of York University Challenge team have gone through to the second round of the popular university game show

Updated

The University of York University Challenge team have gone through to the second round of the popular university game show.

The York team beat the Royal College of Music by 140 points, with a total of 245 points.

YUSU President, Tim Ngwena, said that he is “thrilled they made the next round” and that he will “look forward to the upcoming rounds”.

He said that he has “high hopes for the team of four and one reserve who came top out of a field of 276 undergraduate and postgraduate students. I’m hoping the team I picked get to the final 16 or even better 8 in the first semi final but that’s a long way away, fingers crossed”.

The test for the team comprised of two stages combining different subjects and questions, with the second stage being much harder. The final team and their specialist subjects were: Andrew Clemo (History); Simon Donnelly (Maths and Classical Music); Ben Keane (Biology and Science); and Chris Caudwell (all-round knowledge).

Last year, the York team didn’t get past the first round of the challenge. Last year’s team captain was Laura Horton, the youngest ever captain of a University Challenge team. There are no girls on this year’s team.

Ngwena told Nouse: “Of the 276 who applied just over 35 per cent were female (99). As a raw figure that’s more female contestants involved in the selection than in last year’s entire selection process if you also include male students and the current team members and one reserve were chosen entirely on performance in the two stages of selection.”

He added: “With a college version of the competition and the idea of a Roses match being discussed, and a match against University staff also looking up, no doubt the profile of the competition will increase.”

Team Captain, Andrew Clemo, told Nouse that the team “are very happy with the result, the team worked really well together. We’re taking each round as it comes, but I think our performance has given us some extra confidence going into the next match.”

Discussing the team’s success in the rest of the competition, Clemo continued: “The second round is the real crunch as it’s a straight knock-out, so fingers-crossed we can give a similar performance next time.”

4 comments

  1. The captain was very impressive… but some of the other team members seemed to answer nothing?!

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  2. One round can be an outlier – excellent result to York and indeed a couple of our team members seemed stronger than a couple more.. but we’ll see how the team does in the future! More importantly, perhaps, is the fact that the improvements are coming as a result of a proactive YUSU involvement and more cohesive plan and will see similarly strong teams coming through in the future :)

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  3. “a match against University staff”

    This has already been done Tim. Tom Scott organised a staff vs. student match to prep the York team for the show when he was President. I even remember YSTV filming it in V/045 to add in the pressure of being on camera. Can’t see a copy of this on the YSTV website though – did it ever get put online?

    “a college version of the competition”

    This was also floated as an idea in the summer term the same year with YSTV filming the competition. YSTV’s studio isn’t big enough though and PX/001 and V/045 were both fully booked out so it never got off the ground. Maybe suggest YSTV, YUSU and the college reps start thinking and planning this now and maybe it will get done next year.

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  4. “Old Ideas”…

    Thanks for the heads up. The college version was an idea I explored but right you are, there wasn’t sufficient space in existing premises but I’ve been able to secure possible spaces for this coming term which aren’t bookable for the matches which equally fit the bill so on getting things “done”: it already has been. It’s a growing campus so using new space is now an option.

    Never said staff match was a new idea in my comment, a Roses match is though and that’s something being loosely discussed for this year’s Roses alongside sponsorship and funding for the University Challenge concept. Uni Challenge is a growing concept on campus and by no means are we the best at it, but id like to think that it’s something that will grow.

    First you have to make sure the teams we put through are strong and York does well otherwise affiliating to the concept proves much harder. People also tend to be more willing to give up resources and time towards something if they can see that it’s already working.

    I’m always open to ideas and criticism, but it’s useless if none of it is directed my way… drop me an email or visit my profile (http://www.yusu.org/profile/tngwena) and get in touch, and I’ll be more than happy to fill you in on future and current plans.

    Tim

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