Bouncing around

  • 09 November 2022

Jumping, bouncing, hopping and skipping… Ethan St Catherine (Chemical Engineering 2019) likes to spend his free time leaping around.

Ethan is the Cambridge University Korfball Club first-team captain this year, having only taken up the sport a year ago. He has also joined the Cambridge University Athletics Club in his fourth year of studies, focusing on long jump and triple jump.

Korfball, which originates in the Netherlands, is a mixed gender, fast-paced team sport, with a hoop 3.5-metres off the ground and no backboard. Ethan perfected his recruitment pitch at the freshers’ fair, swiftly summarising the rules of the eight-player game which he enjoys for a combination of competitive and social reasons.

“I played a little bit of basketball and netball before I came to uni. I played in the College’s mixed netball team and wanted to play a sport at uni level,” he says.

“But there is no mixed netball at uni level and I found korfball. I thought it was perfect, exactly what I’d been looking for in a sport.

“I attended a taster session this time last year and fell in love! I found it was the thing for me.”

The University team play in a local league around Cambridge, the Cambridge Korfball Association, the British Universities and Colleges Sports tournaments and Varsity with Oxford, which takes place in Lent term.

Ethan adds: “We’re not selective about who can play. It’s very rare for us to find an experienced korfball player. Usually it’s complete beginners and you can get quite a lot of progression.”

A man completing a long jump in the air over a sandpit

Ethan’s athleticism was commented upon, prompting him to explore athletics, a sport he had never taken seriously previously.

“Long jump and triple jump are new to me, so it’s hard to get used to the technique behind jumping,” he says.

Wednesday evenings now involve athletics training followed by korfball – four hours of jumping around!

Ethan also coxes for Caius Boat Club, after three years with oar in hand. He is tall – 1m 87cm – but concertinas his long frame into the boat.

“I wanted to still be involved in the Boat Club and I’m adjusting to being on that side of the boat. I’m really enjoying it,” he adds.

Ethan is bouncing around Cambridge while also carrying out his studies, with a research project on the use of metal organic frameworks for ultra-fast X-ray imaging a priority this year.

“At the moment it’s manageable,” he says. “Coxing tends to be morning and weekends. Korfball and athletics take up more time in the evenings.”


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