Author Topic: The CHECC 2017 Forum - a short report  (Read 935 times)

Offline lbenn

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The CHECC 2017 Forum - a short report
« on: January 07, 2018, 11:14:07 pm »
The 2017 CHECC Forum

The weekend kicked off in the Yorkshire drizzle on Friday night, with clubs arriving well into the early hours having travelled from all over the country. The 2017 CHECC Forum saw a record number of clubs in attendance, with 18 universities represented. After the necessary unpleasantness of winter tent pitching, students were invited to take part in the forum tradition of a drunken stomp, dressed in a variety of creative costumes for the fancy dress competition. The winners of this were once again Sheffield, this year for their portrayal of caving legend Tony Seddon; if anyone happens to have pictures of this, please do share! Other than one minor incident involving a tooth and some eggs, Friday night was a successful start to the weekend.

Saturday started earlier for some than others. The cooks Dave, Martyn and Ben generously committed their weekend to feeding the 278 people in attendance, for which we are all very thankful. After breakfast, students gathered to attend the fantastic variety of workshops on offer, with 8 different workshops catering for over 100 students. We would like to say a big thank you to all the trainers that volunteered their time, as despite the fantastic parties, this is what the forum is really about; sharing skills and knowledge to further student caving. We were also lucky enough to have another cave rescue workshop this year, run by CRO.

Photo by Jack Overhill - SRT training in Inglesport.

The photography workshop played a part in the weekend’s competitions, with a prize being given to the best photograph as judged by trainer Stu Gardiner. The winning photo was shot in Yordas by Amanda Tang:

Photo by Amanda Tang - photography training in Yordas.

After the workshops came the evening’s talks, with a schedule that looked absolutely nothing like what was suggested in the information pack. Instead, we had a talk on UK bats by Jess Eades, gas detection by Dan Murray, BCA youth and development by Rostam Namaghi, and a surprisingly entertaining last minute talk on mine rescues from Sean McAnulty. All were well attended, and hopefully everyone who attended learnt something.

Despite Dave’s enforced potato splaying game, dinner was as great as usual, after which the night quickly moved into games. As many of the caving games contributed points for the UK Caving Grand Prize, enthusiastic efforts were shown by many, with the winners setting some very high bars. Whilst all seemed well on the surface, a crisis involving a lack of beer pong balls was quickly developing. Eager to avoid a riot, we asked for the help of drinking club Southampton, who provided an ingenious solution in the form of Guinness widgets (all 8 supplied by one lone hero). The beer pong went off without a hitch, with Southampton coming out triumphant.

The morning after saw many people a bit worse for wear, just in time for a lengthy AGM.  It wasn’t all bad news though, with the results of the Grand Prize to be announced along with the other competitions. Jay from Cardiff took the prize for the fresher’s literature piece, Southampton for the treasure hunt, and Leeds for the cake competition.

Winner of the caving cake competition!

Before the Grand Prize winner could be determined, we had to unfortunately say goodbye to our Chair Thom Starnes as his 3 year term came to an end. After a well-contested competition for the role, David Botcherby was announced as his successor; congratulations and we hope you enjoy it! Wrapping up the formalities, we turned our attention to the final tally for the Grand Prize. Once all points had been allocated, it was Nottingham that came out on top, with over £1000 of gear won. To see the winning entries of the various competitions (and a tale on the perils of drinking water), please follow this link: Finally, Phil Rowsell finished the morning’s proceedings with a talk on the good work of the Ghar Parau Foundation, supporting UK caving expeditions across the globe. We hope students clubs will continue to use this resource to make an impact in the caving world.

Grand Prize raffle!

All that was left was to clear up the site; no small feat, but with the help of those present and a small overnight team, everything was quickly back in order. Thank you to the Dalesbridge Centre for hosting us again, and for everyone that stayed behind to help in the clean up.

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved. The annual forums can only be the event you all know and love through the tireless efforts of a large number of volunteers and sponsors. UK Caving have been fantastic in their support over the last two forums, and we really can’t thank you enough for what you’ve contributed to the event. We hope to see you all at our Southern and Northern CHECC events in March, and of course back with us at the 2018 Forum!

Offline Badlad

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Re: The CHECC 2017 Forum - a short report
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 01:39:30 pm »
You're a great bunch - thanks.   :thumbsup:

It was impressive to meet two such worthy candidates for CHECC Chair and witness such a close vote on the eventual winner.  Congratulations to Botch.  The BCA are looking for a new chair too - perhaps the runner up would care to consider it?

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: The CHECC 2017 Forum - a short report
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 03:43:31 pm »

Great photo in Yordas

Online Pegasus

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Re: The CHECC 2017 Forum - a short report
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 11:16:53 am »

A simple solution soon devised to save a candidate having to leave the room when votes taking place - cover them with a coat!   :)  Great to see so many young cavers engaged in voting for the various roles within CHECC.

Thanks to every CHECC Club that entered for the Grand Prize, and congratulations again to Nottingham who won  :clap2: (NUCC - been on any good trips with that kit yet??)  Next year we will offer prizes for individual competitions - for example 'best video' and look forward to seeing you at CHECC 2018  ;D

...oh and this year please can I judge the best cake??  ;D ;D

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: The CHECC 2017 Forum - a short report
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 03:26:23 pm »
Can I say a big thank you, on behalf of us at Exeter, to all of the organisers/sponsors/chefs/cleaners/leaders/drivers/instructors who helped to make it happen :thumbsup: We had a fantastic time, and managed to get our freshers down Bar Pot and into Gaping Gill main chamber on their first ever SRT trip! Can't wait for SCHECC now...