On the weekend 22nd-24th March 2019, Plymouth OpSoc hosted Cardiff OpSoc and Glasgow Caledonian OpSoc for a weekend of sport and socialising, in Opfest: The Return.
Sponsored by Specsavers, Keeler and Boots Opticians, the event set to bring back the classic weekend, after a three year absence.
Opfest, up until recently, was a highlight of the social calendar for all optometry societies in the United Kingdom. Traditionally held annually at a different host city each year, the weekend brought together the universities for sports and socialising! As such, many graduates have fond memories of Opfest weekends up and down the country,
Plymouth OpSoc were named the overall winners from the day, closely followed by Cardiff OpSoc.
It is hoped that the return of the weekend in 2019 will allow the event to develop and grow once again, with more universities involved.
Plymouth OpSoc President, Luke McRoy-Jones said “Plymouth OpSoc were delighted to be able to host Opfest in its returning year. As a society, we were very keen to see the weekend return, as many students currently studying haven’t had the opportunity to attend an Opfest weekend. While on a small scale, we hope that this weekend becomes a permanent fixture once again”.
With over 60 people coming down to Plymouth, the interuniversity event brought together students and received positive feedback.
Samantha McCrory, President of Glasgow Caledonian OpSoc, and Daniel Burns, President of Cardiff OpSoc, were both heavily involved in the organisation and attended the event.
“GCU had an absolutely fantastic weekend bringing back Opfest! What a way to take a break from all of our busy timetables. One of the most memorable times we’ve had at university” said Samantha McCrory.
“This year’s Opfest was a great success for not only bringing the universities back together but continuing the real sense of community within our vocation. We all got the same buzz this year that I had back in 2016 at the last Opfest hosted in Cardiff. I feel proud of the three universities involved in organising what was a brilliant weekend and hopefully this can be the revival of a wonderful annual event.” said Daniel Burns.
We are pleased to announce the release of our official aftermovie.
Thank you very much to Louis Goldman Photography.
Plymouth’s biggest ever Eyeball (end of year ball) took place on Friday 15th March at the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth. The annual event, which celebrates the achievements of students and staff alike, was attended by 190 people, made up of students, academic staff, support staff and guests.
On arrival, attendees enjoyed live music, a magician, casino tables and a photobooth. A three course meal was then served before the Plymouth OpSoc Awards, sponsored by the Association of Optometrists, the raffle and the committee presentation.
The raffle, which had over £4,000 worth of raffle prizes, raised over £950 for the society’s chosen charity, Fight for Sight. Combined with cake sales and a pub quiz, this takes the total charity fundraising for 2018-2019 to just under £1,200.
The event, officially known as ‘The Specsavers Eyeball 2019’, was organised by Plymouth Optometry Society (OpSoc). The society, which represents approximately 200 students studying optometry at University of Plymouth, organises many professional and social events to support its students through their studies, enhancing their student life.
Plymouth OpSoc President, Luke McRoy-Jones, spoke about the growth of the society and the importance of industry sponsors.
“The society has developed and grown immensely over the past couple of years, in line with the increasing student numbers on the optometry course at University of Plymouth. Working with the rest of the committee, it’s been my pleasure to oversee the organisation of Plymouth’s biggest ever Eyeball. 190 attendees is 40 more than last year’s event and around double from two years ago. However, we couldn’t have done this without our amazing industry sponsors, who we work with closely as a society. It’s obvious that these companies are keen to invest in and support the next generation of optometrists. Myself and our students are very grateful for their support” he said.
The event was sponsored by Specsavers (Platinum Sponsor), Boots Opticians (Gold Sponsor), Vivid Optical, Capitol Student Accommodation managed by Host and Prospect Health. The raffle was sponsored by Keeler, Heine, Coopervision, Louis Stone Optical, OutoftheBox Optics, the Centre for Eyecare Excellence, Topcon, Opticlar, Iconic Opticians Plymouth, Optom Academy and OutsideClinic.
Rachel McClelland, Ophthalmic Director at Specsavers Launceston, attended the event on behalf of the event’s platinum sponsor, Specsavers. She said “Specsavers is delighted to have sponsored the Eyeball 2019 and it was my absolute pleasure to attend. The Eyeball was a fantastic event and a real credit to the organisers.
Social events like these are so important for students as they facilitate an environment within which they can network. The event was attended by academic staff, professional colleagues and industry representatives, enabling the students to make new contacts and develop their professional relationships.
Specsavers is dedicated to providing the highest standard of eyecare and this starts with investment in optometry students and their development. We have supported numerous students through their university placements and through their pre-registration periods. It seems only logical to invest in them, in order that the next generation of optometrists are striving for clinical excellence and patient centred care.”
Katie Berriman, Area Manager for Boots Opticians, the event’s Gold Sponsor was also in attendance and commended the evening.
The event comes just one week before Plymouth hosts ‘Opfest: The Return’ which will see Cardiff OpSoc and Glasgow Caledonian OpSoc travel to Plymouth for an interuniversity sporting weekend.