2014 BCS National Championships at Bath University – Day Three: Sunday

The final day of the 2014 BCS National Championships came around quickly, and despite the long hours and aching fingers and eyes after many hours of shooting it is always a shame to come to the end of this piece of work for British Colleges Sport. That said there was still a full agenda of sports to photograph and decisions to make on which to shoot – some of which is weather dependant, some based on previous years coverage and the library of image held and also those where conditions or indeed the nature of the games are likely to give the best results. And so over another large white Americano in the sports cafe I took a look at the schedule.

As the netball concluded early on Saturday meaning it wasn’t covered in depth ‘t was nailed into the list for today, it is also the sport I have photographed most for British Colleges Sport, and not only at the National Championships as I also cover the end of season finale for the BCS National Netball team, and for which I have a great affinity. Also on the list was the tennis which had been covered both this year and last by another photographer in the team. Tennis is another sport I get to shoot, at ATP and WTA level, and I wanted to bring some of the experience I had from shooting some of  the worlds top players to the 2014 BCS national Championships and the last day was a great opportunity to photograph some talented young tennis players. Finally I opted for the hockey which needed some more images after my coverage on Saturday where is had been prioritised behind the rugby and again is a sport where I have a great deal of experience – although more as a goalkeeper than a photographer.

Splitting the remaining time equally I shot each sport for about 90 minutes. Conditions in both the tennis hall and main sports hall were challenging with low light and I pushed both of my cameras to 8000 ISO to get sharp images and to freeze the action. Working at these extremes requires confidence in your equipment and they didn’t let me down. The situation at the netball was eased half way through when I deduced that the lighting in the hall was on half power and on my request a kindly member of staff had a switch flicked and the light levels improved significantly !

The women’s and men’s hockey proved to be a great selection for my final action of the day. I had been treated in 2013 to the finals of the basketball at this time of the championships and the mens match was to be a decider for two of the medal placings. Peter Symonds college (local to us here in Hampshire) for South-East were playing Richard Huish College for South-West, it could also have a massive bearing on the direction of the Wilkinson Sword. Full of passion a goal from Huish prompted a celebration worthy of a premiership football match and on the final whistle the team celebrated as a whole in the middle of the pitch in front of their supporters as they claimed the gold medal.

All that remained was to cover the closing ceremony and medal winning teams of the 2014 BCS National Championships. Having shot the awards the day before it was a simple case of reconstructing the mobile lighting and with the support of a couple of volunteers moved the athletes through quickly finishing with South-West and

Images are available to order and view on our online gallery. If the gallery is not open yet you can pre-register and be notified once we have the awards and a number of sports available.

Here are a few teaser images though from Sundays action. Please note all of these images are copyrighted, and protected by law. Please do not steal, print or share them. An opportunity to purchase images is made available to all athletes, family members and colleges.

2014 BCS National Championships Wilkinson Sword

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