Meet The Captains
Men's Captain - Nathan Turnbull
3rd Year Natural Sciences
How did you start playing Fives?
My Dad had actually played Fives when he was at school but given it up years ago. So one day he told me that he was going to take it up again and asked if I wanted to join and not knowing what I was signing up for, I thought I may as well give it a go. I really enjoyed playing and so I carried on playing through school and into Uni.
How often do you play?
Generally I’ll play 2 or 3 times training sessions a week with a fixture at the weekend which is on the upper end of what most people in the club tend to do but then I really love fives and seeing the progress I’ve made since I started at Cambridge definitely makes it worth it.
What do you like about playing fives?
Obviously the game itself is brilliant but the whole atmosphere of the club is what makes it so great. Whether it’s at a training session, a match, or a tournament, everyone’s always up for a bit of a laugh so you end up having loads of fun off the court as well as on it. We have a running joke about one player who managed to “win fives” by hitting a trick shot that the rest of us thought – and still do think – should have been impossible.
Would you recommend that someone thinking of taking up fives come along to the Sports Centre to give it a go because it’s a really fun game with a really great community?
Ladies' Captain - Annie Calderbank
3rd Year Theology
1st Year of Uni
When did you start playing fives?
I started at the beginning of my first year at Cambridge. Some friends from home played and I’d always been intrigued by this sport ‘fives’ which they talked about, so I thought I’d give it a go. One of my new friends in college also happened to play and took me along to a practice, and from then on I loved the sport.
Why did you continue playing fives?
It’s so much fun. The ledges and buttress mean the ball can do really unexpected things. As a result, even as a first-time player you can sometimes, with a bit of luck, hit a completely unreturnable shot!
Also, it may seem like a minor thing, but the courts are always covered, so you never get cold, wet or muddy!
More importantly, whilst we want to win, we only want to win in a way that is fun and enjoyable for both sides. That is a key part of the spirit of fives and why the sport is played, even at the highest level, without a referee.
How would you describe the Cambridge team?
Friendly and hilarious. I’m so grateful for the time more experienced players have spent coaching me and giving me tips when I first started out. They are a great bunch of people and I definitely laugh a lot during fives practice.
What have been your favourite fives moments?
Both Varsity matches. I have played some of my best fives on those days. It is great to have the whole of the men’s and women’s teams together to play and celebrate afterwards.
President - Riki Houlden
5th Year Medicine
8 years ago
Why did you start playing Fives?
I had really enjoyed playing squash since the age of 11, but found that no-one else was really as keen a player at secondary school. A lot of my best friends played fives so told me to come and give it a go, and I thought I may as well since it was easily the closest alternative to squash there was - had no idea that it'd become such an obsession!
What did you like about fives?
It's basically a playground game, but one that's recognised as an actual official sport. I.e. it's the most fun game I've ever played, I can't remember the last time I was on court and didn't laugh out loud ^_^
How often do you play a week?
3 times per week on average
What would you say to someone considering playing fives?
Come to the SC to try it out! We have guys and girls who had never heard of the sport before uni who loved it so much that it's now their main sport :D
Favourite moment in fives
Captaining the Cambridge side to Varsity Match victory in March 2016, best moment of my life not just fives! (#fivesislife)
How would you explain fives in one sentence?
Squash with your hands... but then take away the back wall, add some brick pillars in the back corners, some ledges along the walls, a step in the middle and back, and finally a stonking block of concrete next to the left wall just to keep things interesting.
Greatest achievement in fives?
Explaining what the hell fives is to hundreds of people at the Freshers Fair