Brownlees launch £5m triathlon and cycling facility

Brownlee Centre

A new £5m University of Leeds sports facility launches this week, named after its most successful sporting alumni.

The Brownlee Centre, chosen in honour of Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny, sits alongside a new 1 mile (1.6km) cycle circuit – one of the longest in the country – at the University’s Bodington Playing Fields in north Leeds.

The brothers will officially launch the centre and cycle circuit on Friday 28 April. The facilities, open to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, will be available to use and book from Tuesday 2 May and include changing rooms and a café.

The circuit has a full programme of activity including “pay and pedal”, HSBC UK Breeze Rides for women and girls and special training sessions for elite athletes, University and local clubs. Bikes for children and adults are available to hire, along with hand cycles, trikes and tandems for use by riders with disabilities.

Investing in the future

Partnership funding from British Cycling, British Triathlon and others is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University of Leeds.

It will also be a new National Elite Training Centre for Triathlon, home to Leeds Triathlon Centre. The UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base, it will combine a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services, to provide world-class facilities to enhance triathlon training in the region.

Alistair said: “This day marks a great day for cycling in Yorkshire. The start of the Tour de Yorkshire builds on a fantastic legacy and, thanks to these new facilities, Leeds continues to be a real centre for excellence when it comes to cycling and triathlon.”

Alistair studied sports science and physiology at Leeds and won gold in the triathlon competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Brownlee Centre

His brother Jonny, a Leeds history graduate who took silver in August, added: “A big thanks to the University and all of the supporters, because this centre and circuit will inspire everyone, from beginners through to elite athletes.”

Yorkshire’s legacy

The new facility helps mark some significant weeks for cycling and triathlon in the region: the Tour de Yorkshire takes place across the coming weekend, while the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds returns to the city in June.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “We are very proud of the Brownlee brothers’ achievements and it’s an honour to have these brand new facilities named after two of our most successful sporting alumni.
“The Brownlee Centre and the new cycle circuit offers students, staff and the wider cycling and triathlon community a truly inspiring, world-class training facility.
”It rightly puts the University of Leeds at the forefront of providing one of the best sport and physical activity environments in the UK.
“It also builds on the excellent cycling legacy provided by Welcome to Yorkshire’s leadership in securing the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014.”

It rightly puts the University of Leeds at the forefront of providing one of the best sport and physical activity environments in the UK

SIR ALAN LANGLANDS

Cycle Circuit

Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s Director of Cycling, said: “One of British Cycling’s key aims is to ensure that everyone – regardless of age or ability – has access to high quality facilities in order to get on a bike for the first time, to get back into cycling after time away from the sport, or to develop their skills on a bike.
“This facility will deliver exactly that for the people of Leeds – a region which has produced several successful elite sportspeople over the years who will have inspired countless local residents to take up cycling.

“We are delighted to see the circuit open and we look forward to seeing the local community truly embrace the facility.”

“This facility will deliver exactly that for the people of Leeds – a region which has produced several successful elite sportspeople over the years who will have inspired countless local residents to take up cycling.”

JONNY CLAY, BRITISH CYCLING

Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Triathlon, said: “The Brownlee Centre is a fantastic new facility in Leeds and continues our focus on ensuring our elite triathletes have the world-class facilities they need to deliver medal-winning success.”

He continued: “With the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds coming to the city in June, the centre also provides the opportunity for locals to develop their cycling and triathlon skills as they get ready for race day and provides the perfect platform for triathlon fans of all abilities to get inspired and give the sport a try.”

“[It] provides the perfect platform for triathlon fans of all abilities to get inspired and give the sport a try.”
JACK BUCKNER, BRITISH TRIATHLON

Joe Krasinski, from thriving Leeds cycling club albaRosa, said the importance of the new facilities for local clubs could not be understated: “This is a fabulous addition to the flourishing Leeds cycling landscape for youth and adult club members.
“Having had a session on the circuit, we were simply blown away by the professional facilities, the size and challenge of the circuit, its flexible use potential and welcoming staff. Our youth riders, coaches, volunteers and parents were all buzzing – and aching – afterwards!”

albaRosa will be providing youth coaching on Thursday evenings and race skills and fitness training in partnership with Ilkley, Valley Striders and Bronte Tykes cycling clubs on Monday evenings.

Sport at Leeds

Cycle Clubs

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said: “We really value our continuing relationship with the Brownlees. The dedication and commitment they demonstrate through regular training sessions on campus and their continued global success really inspires our students and staff.
“They enable us to showcase to students how we can tailor degrees to allow athletes to train and compete at the highest level.”

Leeds University Union’s Activities Officer, Taiwo Ogunyinka, added: “The Brownlee Centre and cycle circuit signify another positive step by the University towards raising the experience of sports and physical activity for students.
“Not only does this further cement the position of the city and the University as a hub of elite triathlete development, but also widens participation and offers a resource of world-class standards to all students.”

The University is one of the UK’s leading sports institutions, with the Brownlees following in the footsteps of a number of Olympic champions.
At last year’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, four University of Leeds alumni were part of the TeamGB squad. All three of the men’s triathlon team were Leeds alumni, with Gordon Benson joining the Brownlee brothers.

Four of the six Team GB Rio games triathlon competitors will be based at the new facilities.

The Bodington Playing Fields have hosted numerous national standard cross country competitions. Its running routes are also used weekly by Leeds Triathlon Centre’s elite training squad, which includes the Brownlees.

The site will also continue to be used for grass sports including football and rugby. The next phase of development will see three additional grass pitches, with work scheduled for completion in autumn 2017.

The University has invested more than £25m in new sports facilities over the past 10 years, including a new £1m boat house. The latest improvements complement nearby Sports Park Weetwood, the University’s flagship 100-acre facility used by students and members of the community for hockey, football, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, American football and more.

More information

For full details of how to use the new facilities, visit www.leeds.ac.uk/cyclecircuit

Educational Workshop

Want to take your lifting to the next level? Want that extra bit of confidence when next in the gym?

We are launching a brand new, first of its kind Educational Workshop for lifters of all abilities in early May.

The workshop will cover an in-depth technical breakdown of the Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift with expert guidance on how to target sticking points and limiting factors for each lift. The workshop will also look at programme design by drawing on some of the best training systems from around the world. There will also be time within the workshop to get involved in a coaching clinic where you can receive expert coaching on your personal lifting technique.

By attending this workshop our expert Leeds Sport Strength and Conditioning Coaches* will teach you how to enhance your training to make those optimal gains in strength and become more equipped to overcome those performance plateaus.

Details:

When – Sunday 7th May, 9am-1pm

WhereThe Edge, Strength and Conditioning Room

How much – Only £20 per person (Edge members). £25 (non Edge members). This is an introductory offer with limited spaces available so make sure to book on quick.

Other – The workshop will a mixture of taught theory and practical education so gym kit is required.

To book onto the workshop please contact The Edge reception on 0113 343 5095, email edgereception@leeds.ac.uk or visit in person.

 

*The course will be taught by competitive powerlifter and UKSCA accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach – Chris Baldwin. Chris has a current powerlifting total of 665kg.

 

Alumni Sports Day

Alumni sports day is back and bigger than ever before with over 20 clubs joining us for our annual  friendly day of competition.

Our sporting alumni will be dusting off their old kit and catching up with old teammates as they return to Leeds for a day of fixtures against our current Gryphons on Saturday 29th April.

We’re delighted to thank Endsleigh who are the official supporters of the Alumni Sports Day 2017.

The fixtures confirmed for this year are:

University Campus:

Team Venue Pitch Time
Badminton Gryphon All 2-5pm
Basketball Mens Edge Hall 1B 3-6pm
Basketball Womens Edge Hall 1B 1-3pm
Fencing Edge Hall 1A 2-6pm
Handball Edge Hall 1 6-8pm
Korfball Gryphon All 12-2pm
Netball Edge Hall 1A 12-2pm
Netball Development Edge Hall 2 3-5pm
Squash Gryphon Squash Courts 1:30-4:30pm
Volleyball Edge Hall 2 5:15-7:15pm

 

Sports Park Weetwood

Team Venue Pitch Time
Football Mens Weetwood 3G 2pm
Football Womens Weetwood Soccer 1 4pm
Hockey Men Weetwood SD1 12-4pm
Hockey Women Weetwood SD2 12-4pm
Lacrosse Men Weetwood 3G 12-2pm
Lacrosse Women Weetwood 3G 2-4pm
Rugby Womens Boddington Rugby 3 1pm
Cricket Women Weetwood Cricket 1 2pm

 

Swimming & Waterpolo will take place on Sunday 30th April in The Edge pool at 3.45 – 5.15pm.

American Football will also happen on an alternative date. 


Get involved:

With over 20 sports involved, there’s plenty to see on the day. Fixtures are based either on University campus or up at Sports Park Weetwood. If you’re an alumni looking to get involved in the day, head to the alumni section of the University of Leeds website.

 

Our sports facilities voted top five for student experience

The Edge

The University has moved up into the top five in this year’s Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, from sixth position last year, to fourth this year.

Every year, the Times Higher Education survey asks students across the UK to give their views about their university on a range of issues, from the quality of teaching and how well-structured the courses are, through to accommodation and support and welfare.

Our facilities, activities and societies and services such as security on campus, student welfare and support all feature particularly strongly. In the survey the students voted Leeds third for its facilities, including quality, convenience, library/opening hours, shop and bar amenities, and sports facilities.

We are delighted that our sports facilities feature highly in the results. The Edge, Sports Park Weetwood and other sports facilities aim to provide an exceptional experience for all our customers. A few ways in which we do this is through providing exemplary equipment and offering an extensive range of activity options – we are committed to providing the best service to our customers and offering something for everyone.

Following this exciting news Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity said “We are extremely pleased with this achievement but not complacent, as we know we need to continue to improve and as a dedicated service team in Sport & Physical Activity we are committed to providing the best experience possible for all our students”.

For more details visit National Student Survey results

 

 

50th Anniversary of Student Rugby League

Rugby League team picture with trophy

50 years ago, students here at the University of Leeds founded the first student rugby league team and convinced university authorities to recognise rugby league as an official sport. Half a century later there are more than 70 student rugby league clubs across the country.

To celebrate this momentous anniversary, Leeds Sport hosted a week of events including an ‘old boys’ alumni fixture and a dinner in terrace with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in Old Bar to mark the occasion.

Leeds Rhino’s superstar Stevie Ward visited Leeds University Union and gave an inspiring talk about the mental and physical challenges involved with playing professional sport as well as speaking out about his ‘Mantality‘ magazine which is aimed at young sports players.

To culminate a week of celebrations a brand new event took place on Friday; the Rugby League Yorkshire Varsity. The current university team took on a ‘Best of Yorkshire’ students side made up of students from the universities of Bradford, Hull, Huddersfield, Leeds Trinity, Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield and York.

The evening proved to be a huge success with over 450 students from Leeds and the other participating universities attending the game as well as a number of Leeds Rhino’s supporters who came down early to watch the fixture. The fixture was played as a curtain raiser to the Leeds Rhino’s v Wakefield Trinity game and The University of Leeds came back from being 18 -4 down in the first half to achieve an impressive 36-24 victory. Freestyle dance opened the event with a fantastic routine, and we also saw George the Gryphon take to the pitch side.

To see pictures from the event, head to our Leeds Sport Facebook page where you’ll find a Yorkshire Varsity album.

 

University Official Sponsor of Leeds Sports Awards

University of Leeds Sponsor Leeds Sports awards

We are proud to be sponsoring the Club/Team Performance Award at this years Leeds Sport Awards. 

2016 has been a great year for Leeds’ sporting legends and University of Leeds Alumni, from the Olympics in Rio, all the way back home to the inaugural Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon here in Leeds. The year is certainly something to be celebrated, recognising all of our talented sports heroes, from the medal winners to their coaches, all the future achievers Leeds has to offer and everything in between.

To celebrate the year of success, the Leeds Sports Awards brought to you by Sport Leeds, will commemorate all things sport, and all things Leeds in one fantastic evening at the iconic first direct arena.

As part of this spectacular event the University is proud to sponsor the Club/Team Performance Award which has three finalists:

We also have a number of University of Leeds students and alumni who are finalists at the awards.

  • Paralympic Table Tennis star, Kim Daybell – (Special Contribution – Student Sport)
  • University of Leeds Hiking and Orienteering Club committee member and volunteer, James Nicholson – (Special Contribution – Student Sport)
  • University of Leeds Women’s Hockey Club – (Special Contribution – Student Sport)
  • Alistair Brownlee – (Senior Achievers – Sportsman of the Year)
  • Jonny Brownlee – (Senior Achievers – Sportsman of the Year)

Good Luck to all our finalists!

Follow all the action at the awards on the 7th March from our Leeds Sport Twitter account. 

Students Selected to Represent England

Weetwood Arial View

Congratulations to all of our talented athletes at the University of Leeds who have been selected as part of the English Universities National Squads for 2017.

The English Universities Programme works to develop talent and selects top athletes from universities across the country to make up a national squad to represent England in the University Home Nations.

Nine athletes from the University of Leeds will now represent the English Universities Team at the Home Nations Tournament on the 10th – 13th April 2017 at Edinburgh University.

Name Sport
Justin Brown Men’s Hockey
Carlos Hollyman Men’s Hockey
Sam Apoola Men’s Hockey
Katie Hopkisson Women’s Hockey
Lara Knowles Women’s Hockey
Charlotte Evans Women’s Hockey
Francesca Houghton Women’s Hockey
Bethan Davies Women’s Football
Rachel Newborough Women’s Football

Good luck to everyone taking part!

 

World Book Day Inspirations

books in a library

World Book Day is all about celebrating what you’ve been reading and encouraging us all to pick up a book. That’s why our Uni Girls Can team have joined up with the Get Out, Get Active ladies to share some of their favourite books!

 

books on a shelf Recent research discovered young girls are increasingly viewing themselves as less confident and capable compared to young boys. Leading experts have suggested that one great way to get young girls to feel empowered is through inspiring literature that encourages them to be proactive and confident. This is why we think reading is so important, so go out and pick up a book today, perhaps one of our favourites!

 

Another great source of book recommendations comes from Emma Watson who is truly leading the way as an international, inspirational woman through her work with the UN. She’s created a fantastic book community group, Our Shared Shelf, where she picks monthly books for women to read with a real range of genres.

Pick up that book today and feel inspired!

 

Our Favourite Books

Olivia (Uni Girls Can Activator)

One of Olivia’s favourite books is How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.

It’s funny, witty and so very relatable. Moran does not beat around the bush as she delves into all the aspects, expectations and stereotypes of being a woman. Most of all she encourages women to be proactive, confident and happy. One of my favourite moments is when she tells you to stand on a chair and declare yourself a feminist. What’s not fantastically crazy about that? She also showcased her own insecurities when she was younger, and that vulnerability made me really connect”.

Olivia UGC activator

 

Sarah (Uni Girls Can Activator)

One of Sarah’s favourite books series is the Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix.

There are just so many layers to them and the detail is so high, it’s a totally different world. I would absolutely die if they made movies out of them but they probably couldn’t do them justice. They are very fantasy – magically, but I love that, coming to think of it, I think in each of the three main books the main character is a heroine, which might be why I liked them so much.”

Jennie (GOGA – Walking Activator)

One of Jennie’s favourite books is Eat, Sweat and Play by Anna Kessel.

“It changes the whole view of women in sport, and it looks at sports at a different perspective from what society is trying to make it. Sport is sport, an empowering action, not a fashionable insta hashtag”.

Jennie GOGA activator

 

Antonia (GOGA – Walking Activator)

Antonia’s favourite book is The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren.

I was inspired by the heroism of the younger brother in overcoming his fears and fighting for those he loves.”

Louise (GOGA – Climbing Activator)

Louise’s favourite books are the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

“The main character is feisty, brave and adventurous girl called Lyra.

What’s not to love about a go-getter female?”

Heather (GOGA – Running Activator)

One of Heather’s favourite books is Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding.

“A strong and sassy female who reminds me it’s OK to not fit societal norms or expectations. She shows that there is always fun to be had in life and that it is never too late to mix things up a bit”.

heather activator

Learn more about Get Out, Get Active and Uni Girls Can on our webpages.

Students Help Clinch National League Status

players playing hockey at Sports PArk Weetwood at the University of Leeds

Photo from Malcolm Rogers

Leeds Hockey Club Men’s first team has gained promotion into the National League with five games still left to play.

In  2014 The University of Leeds Hockey Club merged with Leeds Hockey Club and Leeds Becket University Hockey Club in a ground-breaking partnership.

The aim of this merger was to give the city of Leeds it’s first men’s National League side by combining the best players together in to one team, and using the top class facilities at the University of Leeds’ flagship outdoor site, Sports Park Weetwood.

This forward thinking has paid off and just 3 years after the partnership was formed Leeds Hockey Club have secured promotion into the National League with a 3-1 win over Wakefield Hockey Club.

A number of University of Leeds staff and students have been instrumental in achieving this national status, with ten University students playing in the team through the season alongside two members of staff and two alumni.

University of Leeds Players 
Students Staff Alumni
Savvas Hadjigeorgiou Carl Smith (Head of Hockey) Daniel Mills
Josh Mailing David Bond (Performance Sport Manager) Tom Precious
Will Kenney-Herbert
Justin Brown
Sam Apoola
George Wilkinson
Carlos Dolado-Hollyman
Alex Hayes
Matt Budd
Sam Lines

University of Leeds staff member Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg, (operations manager at Sports Park Weetwood) and performance director at Leeds Hockey Club has also been instrumental in this achievement and driving the partnership forward in the city. Gawaine has overseen the use of the facilities at Sports Park Weetwood where over £1m has been spent on Hockey facilities by the University over the past three years, including a brand new water-based pitch completed in 2016.

This brilliant achievement cements the University of Leeds as a top sporting University, giving students the opportunity to play at a national level.

 

Girl Power!

UGC girl power event

Coming to you as part of International Women’s week, the Uni Girls Can team aim to unite women by combining colour, pattern, jogging and of course cake!

This new event, open to everyone in Leeds follows on from last years hugely successful Catwalk Run, the Uni Girls Can Girl Power event promises to be a social, fun and energising evening. Join us in your brightest gym wear for face painting and a warm up, followed by a led run around the city and local area, and finish with a well deserved cake!

You can choose between three different length runs at a pace to suit you so there is something for everyone.

group of girls chatting and laughing

Event Information

  • Date: Tuesday 7th March
  • Time: 5.15pm for facepainting and warm up
  • Venue: meet at Cromer Terrace Studios
  • Cost: £4.00

Face painting will be free before the event and everyone who takes part will get free cake and a drink afterwards.

All proceeds from this event will go towards our Gryphons Abroad project, to purchase a bike for young women in South Africa to help them get to and from school.