Cardiff’s University Challenge Team 2014 was chosen this past week and gair rhydd offers an exclusive look at the four contestants.
The first rounds of testing commenced on Friday 22nd November for the initial eighteen applicants. After a written exam, that number was whittled down to a final eight who were then invited back for a final test in the style of the famous game show. From this mock University Challenge trial, those who answered the most correct questions were selected as the final.
Representing the University next year are Callum Smith, Tim Lewis, Sean Cook, Geraint Thomas and Henry (). Callum Smith, a third year economics student, has been appointed team captain while Tim Lewis, a fourth year civil engineering student, serves as the team’s reserve. Cook, a second year biochemistry student, Thomas, a fourth year geologist and Henry make up the team that will be representing the university for the first time next year.
Only Tim Lewis had held long term ambitions to take part in the prestigious show. He had applied for the team while a student at Imperial College, London several years ago. “This is my third time trying…second time at Cardiff” he said. Cook stated he was not aware of the application dates in previous years and therefore this was his “first time applying.” “My Dad showed me the Tweet advertising the application”, he admitted.
Team Captain Callum Smith stated he applied ‘off the cuff…which had obviously paid off’. Thomas meanwhile had been alerted by gair rhydd editor Tom Eden’s post on Facebook, which had advertised the applications.
Lewis said they are “feeling the pressure at present” before Cook corrected him saying “there is only pressure to get our own subjects right!”. They agreed they have a good broad knowledge of subjects, with (Henry) singled out in particular for his arts and literature knowledge.
The team noted that, beyond Oxbridge, Manchester and Durham were competitors to watch out for. They were quick to emphasise that Manchester had won both the 2012 and 2013 titles. ‘UCL also have a very good team and have a great history’, Lewis added. ‘I have a mate in the Aberdeen team…as long as we get past them I’ll be happy’ quipped Thomas.
The team will be heading up late February to film the show in London where they hope to “do Cardiff proud.”