A postgraduate student at St Catharine’s has been rewarded with an extraordinary Full Blue in archery by the Women’s Blues Committee. In parallel with representing the University in archery, Eleanor Brug (2012, Natural Sciences) has also played the viola for the College’s Music Society and the University’s Music and Opera Societies (CUMS and CUOS, respectively).
In the absence of the 2020 Varsity archery competition, which was cancelled due to COVID-19, the Full Blue has been given in recognition of Eleanor’s outstanding performance in archery over a number of years and, in particular, the silver medal that she secured in the ladies’ recurve at the 2020 British Universities & Colleges Sport indoor championships. Eleanor had already gained a Half Blue in 2013 and has since served the club as Treasurer, Equipment Officer (three times) and Secretary, as well as helping with coaching and attending regular competitions.
“I first picked up an archery bow when I was 15 years old, joining sessions after school at my local range in Palo Alto, California. My bow travelled with me all the way to Catz, and I really appreciated the opportunity to continue shooting recreationally with the University team. Over time my confidence grew and this was reflected in my scores over the last couple of years, fuelling a more competitive spirit that definitely helped me claim a silver medal this year,” commented Eleanor.
Surprisingly, given her success, archery has sometimes taken a back seat so that Eleanor could pursue another passion: music. Among the 87 memorable performances in recent years, Eleanor has played her viola a CUMS concert in London with Peter Donohoe, a CUOS production of Carmen at West Road Concert Hall, and many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.
“As a viola player, there are a wealth of opportunities to get involved in music in Cambridge. I’ve needed to carefully manage my time over the last 7 years to plan for musical commitments alongside archery and, most importantly, academic deadlines – but it’s meant that I have definitely made the most of my time at Catz,” added Eleanor.
Eleanor is keeping up with archery and music during the pandemic – both are welcome distractions as she works to complete her PhD in Materials Science, sponsored by Element 6, on how to make the world less dependent on tungsten carbide cutting tools.