First time triathlon success!

Triathlon bursaries at The University of Leeds

As the University of Leeds continues to lead the way for triathlon training and development in the UK, a key aim is to make triathlon as open and accessible for anyone wishing to get stuck in. One of the exciting opportunities available for students and staff, is being able to apply for a bursary from Leeds Sport for entry in to any triathlon in Yorkshire.

We’ve recently heard back from two of our bursar’s, Katie Boag and Shelley Parry, about their recent experience participating in the Skipton Triathlon. For both Katie and Shelley, taking part in a triathlon was a totally new adventure. Whilst Shelley was inspired by the upcoming World Triathlon Series, Katie was persuaded to sign up by her friends as she was looking for a challenge.

“I’d always wanted to attempt a triathlon but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Upon coming back to Leeds after my placement year, the influence of the Brownlee brothers was evident, with a huge amount of sprint triathlons and even the ITU World Triathlon Series happening in the area.” 


Shelley joined with a team of colleagues and got involved with the Get Out, Get Active programme run through Leeds Sport which offers both swimming lessons and bike rides, perfect for training for the event. Katie on the otherhand, dusted off her swimming costume, and bought herself a new bike to cycle round the Dales on sunny Sundays.

On the day itself, the sun was out and proved perfect conditions for the pairs first triathlon. The two commented on how they had enjoyed the experience and were both looking forward to signing up to future events.

“On the day, I was very nervous but thoroughly enjoyed the experience (helped by the great weather!) and can’t wait to sign up to my next triathlon. But first, my next challenge is the Leeds RAG Bike to Berlin…” 


“I loved the thrill of the crowd running from the pool to our bikes in the transitions, and they spurred me on in my low moments in the final few KM of the run! All in all it was a fantastic day and the adrenaline of the race made me smash the time I was aiming for, I completed the race in 1 hour 39 minutes including my transitions, and I was the 14th woman to cross the finish line. I cant wait to sign up for my next triathlon!” 


For more information about triathlon or if you would like to apply for a triathlon Bursary please click here

Win Grandstand Tickets To World Triathlon Series in Leeds

win 2 x tickets to the world triathlon series

We have 5 pairs of grandstand tickets to give away for the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon in Leeds on the 12th June! 

This is a fantastic opportunity to watch Olympic heroes and University of Leeds Alumni Alistair and Jonny Brownlee battle for glory against some of the world’s best triathletes in their last race on home soil ahead of Rio 2016.

Ticket holders will enjoy unsurpassed views of the racing action from the comfort of their seat overlooking the finish-line in the heart of Millennium Square. A big screen will be located opposite the Grandstand showing the live BBC coverage and the elite athletes will pass the Grandstand seven times on the bike and four times on the run. Ticket holders will also witness the end of the men’s and women’s race which are often a thrilling sprint finish.

Enter Now!

Complete the form below to enter the competition and be informed about other exciting triathlon events and competitions at the University of Leeds. Entry closes at midnight on the 6th June 2016.

First Name:
Position: Staff Student AlumniPublic

Find more about Triathlon at the University of Leeds here.

Download the full Grandstand Ticket Competition terms and Conditions here.

Member of the month

Edge member Chloe Burles is currently walking 1600 kilometres across the Gobi desert and if successful will become the youngest Briton to walk the length of the Gobi.


Chloe set off from Bulgan in the west of Mongolia earlier this month and estimates the expedition to Sainshand in the East should take up to 60 days. On her website, Chloe talks about how fascinated she is by the ability of life to survive in some of the most hostile locations around the world, which was an interest sparked when she developed altitude sickness whilst completing an expedition to the summit of mount Kilimanjaro.


The most important factor during Chloe’s challenge will be finding and accessing clean water which is a problem faced by a vast number of people in their daily lives. As such she will be raising money for WaterAid on her expedition, who help to to transform millions of lives every year by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.


To find out more about Chloe and her amazing journey, visit her website

FREE Places at GO TRI Festival

Women swimming waiting for start of go tri event

As part of the fantastic Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds Weekend on the 11th June there is a GO TRI festival taking place.

GO TRI is a fun and friendly way to get started in triathlon, so if you have been thinking about giving it a go, this is your chance. Plus we have 50 FREE places up for grabs!

Our 50 free places will get you free entry into the GO TRI Triathlon (200m Swim, 10km Bike, 2.5km Run).

Claim your FREE place by emailing Oliver Hylands (Triathlon Development Officer): for your free code. 

To help you prepare for the event we will be hosting various free, beginner friendly training opportunities. Find out more on our triathlon webpage get involved section.

More information about the event and beginners tips can be found on the GO TRI website.

Sports Massage Diploma Qualification

Always thought you had a natural flare for massage? Why not get those talents certified? From the 4th – 8th June we’re offering you the chance to qualify for a Diploma in Sports Massage.

The course is accredited by Active Foundation which provides participants with the relevant knowledge and experience to carry out sports massage treatment at a professional level. In total, the course will cost £650.

This course has always proved popular and a huge success. Sally Warren who completed the course said;

“I knew sports massage would be a beneficial course for me to go on, providing me with extra skills, enhancing my degree knowledge and prospective for a physiotherapy masters.”

More information about the Diploma can be found here or alternatively please contact Safia Zerdazi, Coach Education Coordinator, on

Varsity Spring Round-Up

At the end of the academic year, a number of teams take part in showcase Varsity events including American Football, T20 Cricket and Rugby League. This year saw Leeds Beckett dominate the spring events leaving it all to play for in the October Varsity Finale.

First up in the 2016 series, our American Football Leeds Celtics team headed up to Sports Park Weetwood for a highly contested battle against Carnegie. Having previously never scored a touch down in any Varsity events, the Celtics managed an impressive 3 this year, but couldn’t quite hold on to victory with the final score 41-26 to Leeds Beckett.

amf cheer

A few weeks later the men’s and women’s T20 cricket sides took to the field in the annual Tommy Hardman memorial match. The weather managed to hold out for the fixtures but unfortunately, even with the support of George the Gryphon, the University of Leeds couldn’t produce a win and both teams were beaten by strong Leeds Beckett sides.

cricket huddle

The final Varsity event of the Academic year took place on 12th May with the Rugby League boys curtain-raising for another hotly contest local derby, Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers in the Super League. A promising University side put up a strong battle and a highly contested first half with a fantastic break away try. A strong Leeds Beckett side showed their experience in the second half and managed to take the final score to a convincing 38-6 at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

Rugby League

That leaves the overall score at 2-2 leaving it all to play for come October!

Dickinson Wins Third Gold, Qualifies for European Championships

Sport and Exercise Science student, Sam Dickinson, has continued his hugely successful triathlon season with a gold medal at the Sospan Sprint Triathlon Llanelli. The win means that Sam automatically qualifies for the European Championships in Lisbon on the 28th May.

The University of Leeds sports scholar, who won by just one second, commented on the race:

“I had a fast swim to make the break away, then felt good on the bike and pushed it on to start the run with 80 secs on the chase pack. I ran controlled to ensure I finished in the top two as they automatically qualified for Euros, so I look forward to racing in Lisbon!”

Sam, who is also part of the England Talent Squad, has already won both BUCS Triathlon races this year, winning the Duathlon in November and the BUCS Sprint at the start of May (find out more here). He will not race in the final BUCS race of the season on Sunday (22nd May), so he can continue his preparation for the European Championships.

Another University of Leeds student, Jack Willis, was also part of the breakaway group and finished in fourth place, nearly a whole minute in front of fifth. Fourth position puts Jack in good stead for getting one of the other remaining places for the European Championships.


Results (Junior Boys)

1st – Sam Dickinson

2nd – Alex Yee

3rd – Alex Chantler-Mayne

4th – Jack Willis

Bikes on their way to South Africa!

two girls loading bikes onto a truck

Six bikes are now making their way to South Africa for FREE thanks to Cardinal Maritime shipping company. These bikes have been donated by staff and students at the University and will be given to children in one of the most deprived areas of South Africa through the Gryphons Abroad Programme. Some children live up to 2 hours away from school and the aim of this project is to give them access to education by reducing the time it takes to travel to school.

The students will have bike training which will teach them how to maintain their bikes ensuring once the Gryphons Abroad team has left the bikes will continue to be used. The £1200 to set up this training and purchase the equipment needed has been donated by the University of Leeds Commercial Services Sustainability Steering Group as well as £800 which will be used for educational and sporting resources at the local Orphanage.

Daybell takes Bronze in Slovenian Open

Kim daybel paralympic table tennis player

University of Leeds student and sports scholar Kim Daybell has recently won a bronze medal in the Slovenian open. This victory included a superb win over the world number 2, standing him in excellent stead for the upcoming Rio Paralympics.

The GB Para Table Tennis Team picked up four medals in the team events on the final day of the Open leaving GB Performance Director Gorazd Vecko very satisfied with his team’s performance:

“This is like a small Rio Games before the Paralympics in September. We had 90% of the top players here who will compete in Rio and in some classes we had all the top players here.

It is also good to know that we can beat all the top players, for example Kim Daybell beating the top Chinese player in men’s class 10. This is showing me where we are and what we need to do for the next four months and it is good to know we are on the right track.”

Keep an eye on our news stories to hear more about Kim Daybells journey to Rio!

Sports Colours Awards 2016

group of hockey club on the stage

On Wednesday 27th April, a wealth of Leeds Sport participants came together to celebrate a fantastic year of sporting achievements. The Sports Colours Awards dinner was a fabulous evening, just one of many nights that made up the over arching celebrate week, topped by the Friday night grand finale; The Riley’s.

The evening began with a cleverly written, witty speech from Activities officer Piers Cottee-Jones who hosted the evening alongside Sports Rep Jamie Guy. This was closely followed by the first awards of the evening, Club Colours, presented by Student Activities Manager, Geoff Banks and Full Colours, by Sports Development Coordinator and BUCS guru, Eamonn Laird. These are awarded to individuals who have gone above and beyond for their society or who have consistently performed highly for their team. This year there were a phenomenal 98 Club Colours awarded showing the fantastic commitment of Leeds Sport club members. There were also a huge 42 Full Colours awarded highlighting the talent of the athletes here at the University.

Before breaking for a wonderful meal provided by the refectory, attendees were treated to a sensational performance by Lucy and Chris, the 5 year strong, award winning duo from Dancesport. The performance set a fantastic tone to the evening and showcased the talent amongst our dancers here at Leeds.


The Sports Colours Awards evening also allowed Leeds Sport to celebrate its strength and depth of Sport Scholars whom it supports throughout their time at University. This includes Gillian Finnerty who picked up BUCS gold this year and Kim Daybell who has been selected for the Rio Paralympics, to name but a few.

Following these celebrations, we awarded this years White Rose and Gryphon Award winners who again have excelled either through commitment to their club or their performing excellence respectively. This years White Rose winners were:

  • Joshua Irish (Ice Hockey)
  • Karyna Nadyrshyna (Dancesport)
  • Alex Gunn (Football)
  • Laura Kennea (Hockey)
  • Mara West (Women’s Cricket)
  • Rhoslyn Roebuck Williams (Women’s Cricket)
  • Callum Craven (Boxing)
  • Ruan Shah (Men’s Hockey)
  • Hazel Cox (Women’s Rugby)
  • Charlie Harbord (Men’s Rugby Union)
  • Gaby Noe (Women’s Football)
  • Aidan Radford (Judo)

And our Gryphon Award winners, with their award presented by none other than George the Gryphon (pictured below), were:

  • Serena Mida (Women’s Badminton)
  • Amber Brennan (Karate)
  • Oliver Thornton (Karate)
  • Richie Wilebore (Kickboxing)
  • Beatrice Skingsley  (Netball)
  • Megan Clark (Netball)
  • Christian Davies  (Men’s Cricket)
  • Caitlin Baty (Lacrosse)


This lead in to our top 9 awards for the evening beginning with 2 new awards; Social League Team of the Year which was awarded to Sports Science Netball, and Official of the year, awarded to Josephine Paul. The next two rewarded our coaches for their hard work to get the teams to where they are. This years Sue Jacklin Club Coach of the Year went to Karate’s Oliver Thornton (pictures below) who has even put his own competing on the back foot to coach his team mates. Our Mike Brook Performance Coach of the Year went to Rugby Union’s head coach Mark Luffman who has lead the Rugby Union first team to their first season in the premier league without entering relegation playoffs and has helped to improve the ethos and attitude of players within the club.


Most Improved Athlete of the Year was awarded to Karate’s Amber Brennan who took up Karate since joining University and in just over 2 years of training has attained her 3rd kyu brown belt and claimed gold in the BUCS National Karate championships in the Intermediate Female Kata. On top of this, she has been selected to represent England at the upcoming WUKF World Karate Championships in Dublin in June.

The Chris Hatton Most Improved Team of the Year went to the Swimming Development Squad (pictured below) who have had a fantastic season competing and holding their own against the top universities whose squads are packed with current and future Olympians.


This year’s Roberts Athlete of the year award went to Triathlon’s Gordon Benson, one of the Universities Sports Scholars (pictured below alongside Assistant Head of Sport Patrick Craig) who is currently in competition for a place at the Rio Olympics alongside Leeds alumni Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee.


Triathlon also received this years Team of the Year award following their fantastic season picking up a large array of individual and team medals in both the BUCS Biathlon and BUCS Sprint Traithlon events.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Sir Allan Langlands took to the stage to present the final and most hotly anticipated award of the evening, Club of the Year. This years winner, Women’s Hockey, sent in a stand out nomination excelling in all criteria for the award. The 24 strong club committee efficiently manages 8 teams and uses its strength in numbers to boast as a leading society for charity fundraising having raised £12,000 last year. They have created their own website and more recently a phone app and have been heavily involved with getting involved in the community. Congratulations ladies on a well deserved award!