Why get involved with University Sport?

by Rachel Weaver

Whether you’re an elite athlete or just wanting to meet new people and have a laugh, there’s something to get involved with at Leeds!

Joining the women’s football club in my first year was the best decision I have made during my time at Leeds, it has allowed me to meet some of my best friends and play my favourite sport at the same time! Being a part of a club has also given me the opportunity to further enhance my CV by being on committee as 2nd team captain during my second year and secretary in my upcoming fourth year.

 

 

If sport isn’t your cup of tea but you still want to keep active then there are still lots of options in Leeds. The Edge is our campus gym where I enjoy a refreshing swim in the morning and playing a casual game of squash against friends. On top of this you can also visit the fitness suite, hire out the sport halls or try out one of the many classes.

For those of you who aren’t up for playing sport or find the gym environment intimidating then Get Out, Get Active (GOGA) is the perfect programme for you. GOGA gives you the opportunity to explore the amazing Yorkshire countryside every weekend on walking trips or you can attend one of their running, pilates or yoga sessions on campus on weekdays.

“I’d highly recommend the yoga sessions, as a beginner I was a bit nervous about looking stupid, but the instructor, Helena, was very supportive and encouraging.”

Over the past few years the leadership strand of Leeds Sport has enabled me to give back to sport. I have earnt some money refereeing in the social 11-a-side football leagues, coached girl’s football at a local primary and even had the incredible opportunity to volunteer in South Africa for 2 weeks as a part of the Gryphons Abroad programme!

All in all, there’s something for everyone and i’d definitely urge you to get stuck in while you can.

Rach

Change Lives In South Africa

students helping a south african student to ride a bike

Our Gryphons Abroad project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop your skills whilst changing the lives of young people in South Africa.

In June we will travel to South Africa and deliver a unique project which aims to raise aspirations through activity and leadership. This student led project is a fantastic opportunity for you to gain a huge amount of skills and experience which will set you apart once you leave university.

What Will the Project involve?

uni student high fiveing sa studentYou will spend two weeks in South Africa, the first week inspiring students through sport and the second teaching them to ride and maintain bikes.
In the first week you teach leadership skills, sports activities and a range of classroom lessons to over 100 primary school children, culminating in a day where the South African students lead in organising a range of activities and a sports festival.
The impact of this week is invaluable to the employability of the students in this deprived area as they are taught valuable skills as well as gaining a huge amount of confidence in their ability.

“Gryphons Abroad is without doubt one of the best things I’ve ever done, I had the best time doing things I never thought I would get the chance to do.”
Amy Grabe, Philosophy Student

students holding up bike wheelsThe second week involves teaching 20+ students to ride and maintain their own school bikes. Travel to and from school in these areas can be an issue due to the distance between home and school (up to 2 hours walk) and this is a barrier to some students accessing an education. You will teach students a skill which can be life changing, this impact is especially clear with young girls as cycling is not a skill that is traditionally taught to women in their culture.

To pay for your place on the trip and donate towards the project costs e.g. buying bikes you will be required to fundraise £2000 over 8 months. This is a challenge which will develop your skills and contribute towards your employability.

“Don’t worry about the fundraising because it seems like a lot of money at the start but it is literally so easy, and such a miniscule part of the process to get to such an amazing country and work with like-minded people that you’re probably going to be friends with for a long time.”

April Leeson, Language Student

Join the Team
We want enthusiastic and motivated students from across the University to join our team for 17/18. The project is open to all students and no prior experience in a sports setting is needed. So if travelling to a different country and experiencing a new culture while leading on a project and making a clear impact on students’ lives in South Africa sounds like it’s something you would like to be a part of the make sure you apply before the 1st October 2017.

We’ve made the application process as simple as possible, all you need to do to apply is email Tilly (n.c.hall@leeds.ac.uk) answering the following question:

Why do you want to be part of the team and what could you offer?

Your answer needs to be a maximum of 1 side of A4 and emailed to Tilly (n.c.hall@leeds.ac.uk) by midnight on the 1st October 2017.
Interviews Will Take Place: w/c 2nd October

Got any questions? Email Tilly: n.c.hall@leeds.ac.uk or take a look at the Gryphons Abroad Webpage.

Squash Courses at The Edge

Squash courses

New courses coming soon – teaching the basics of squash! 

About Squash

Squash is a great way to get fit and have fun, it’s not only a full body workout but it will greatly enhance your agility. Take this chance to learn the basics on the court floor with an expert squash coach.

About the course

The beginners’ course will start you from the foundations. You will learn how to play the right way from the start and by the end, you will understand the game completely. Develop your style with a professional coach and take your first steps towards becoming a squash player; all while having a lot of fun.

The lessons will be taught in groups of 4 and are a great way to make new friends, with the small group size allowing for tailored training. Rackets are also provided so, you just need to show up in your gym kit with non-marking trainers then you’ll be ready to go!

Each course is £72 for six sessions and will take place in our Squash Courts for a 45-minute lesson. We only have space for 4 members per session, so be sure to book your space quickly!

All courses will be run by experienced squash coach David Lines, who has previously coached the Thailand national team amongst others.

Dates of courses

The first 6 week course will run from the 19th February – 12th March then 16th April – 23rd April.

The second 6 week course will run from the 14th May – 25th June.

Course times

Monday17:15pm – 18:00pm

Monday18:00pm – 18:45pm 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

To book a place on a course or if you have any other queries, please contact The Edge Reception on 0113 343 5095. Please note all bookings must be placed either at The Edge or over the phone as we require payment upon booking.

 

Varsity Hockey Comes to University of Leeds

male hockey player dribbling the ball ready to be tackled by male opponent

Leeds Varsity are excited to announce a brand new event in the 2017 series. Varsity Hockey will see the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University battle it out for two Varsity points on the Tuesday evening the night before Wednesday’s Big Finale.

With both the women and men’s teams taking to the field, the event is set to be an evening of fierce competition. Given the clubs are two of our largest sports societies, the atmosphere is set to be electric. Even if you’re not familiar with the game, there will be commentary to keep you informed on the game and more importantly, the score.

To keep you entertained, there will be performances from LUU’s Freestyle Dance and Leeds Beckett Dancers on the night. Refreshments will be available from Dodsons catch Fish & Chips, our exclusive caterers for the evening, and drinks will be available from the view bar.

When? Tuesday 3rd October. Gates open 6pm. Women’s 1st XI pb 6.45pm, Men’s 1st XI pb 8pm.

Where? Sports Park Weetwood. Limited parking is available on a first come first served basis or the venue can be easily accessed by the number 1 or 6 bus from outside Parkinson steps for just £1 with your student card.

How much? FREE

If that’s not enough to convince you, hear from the club captain of the women’s hockey club herself, Molly Bret:

“We are extremely excited to be hosting the new hockey opener event this year! With all the hard work gone into planning the event we are sure it’s going to be a great evening and it would be great to see as many people there as possible. So please wear your uni colours, show your support and we will do our very best to grab hold of that much desired varsity point!”

To find out more about other Varsity events, head to the official Varsity Website or head to the Leeds Varsity social media channels; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Leeds Alumna Five-Time World Champion

Laura anderson competing at the aikido world championships

University of Leeds Alumna Laura Anderson (Dentistry, 2010) has this weekend become undisputed Aikido World Champion. Laura won her 5th world individual title while competing in Akita, Japan, a feat never before achieved in the history of the sport.

Laura began her Aikido career at the age of 12 at Wharfedale Aikido Club in Ilkley, as an active child Laura jumped at the chance to try a new sport and has never looked back.

Laura began her Dentistry degree at The University of Leeds in 2005 and was awarded an Elite Sport Scholarship to help support her in training and competing at an elite level alongside studying for a world class degree. She was also a member of the Women’s Hockey Club during her time at Leeds.

Laura anderson competing at the aikido world championships

In 2011 Laura won her first individual world title in London, followed by two more in Japan (2013) and Australia (2015). This put Laura in the record books as no competitor had ever won 3 world titles in the history of the sport.

This year the first World Sport Aikido Federation (WSAF) world championships took place in London. The WSAF is a world governing body for Aikido and has been set up to provide a platform for open and fair competition with a goal to encourage the amalgamation of all international competition. At this competition Laura won her 4th individual world title along with a mixed team gold and women’s team silver.

Just two weeks following this competition, to ensure Laura was undisputed champion of the world she travelled with the British Team to Akita, Japan to compete in the World Championships hosted by the Japanese Aikido Association (JAA). The majority of competitors at this event hadn’t competed in London as they have an affiliation to the JAA.

Laura ANderson receiving her gold medal

Laura made her way through the preliminaries and into the final where she won her 5th individual title and was crowned undisputed champion of the world. Laura remains the only person in the history of the sport to win more than two individual world titles, so to win five is an incredible feat.

 

 

 

In her career Laura has won 11 gold medals in total including a number of mixed and women’s team medals. A full list can be seen below;

Year  Location Event Medal
2011 London, UK Individual Gold
Mixed Team Gold
2013 Kawasaki, Japan Individual Gold
Women’s Team Gold
Mixed Team Gold
2015 Gold Coast, Australia Individual Gold
Women’s Team Gold
Mixed Team Gold
2017 London, UK Individual Gold
Mixed Team Gold
Women’s Team Silver
Akita, Japan Individual Gold

 

If you would like to try Aikido then get in touch with the University of Leeds Aikido Club or contact Leeds Central Aikido Club.

Leeds Rhino’s First Women’s Team to Play at Sports Park Weetwood

Rugby pitch Sports Park Weetwood

Leeds Rhinos have launched their first women’s Rugby League team and are set to train and play at Sports Park Weetwood.

The Leeds Rhinos Women’s team, an Open Age side, will aim to compete in the Women’s Super League in 2018. The creation of the women’s team is part of Leeds Rhinos’ commitment to grow the game and offer more opportunities for females to play Rugby League through its charity Leeds Rhinos Foundation. This supports the RFL’s own ambition to attract more women to the game after it was revealed that 93 per cent of the current total of 95,000 who play the game are male.

Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive said:

“Leeds Rhinos are totally committed to supporting the growth of Rugby League amongst women and girls and it’s so good to see so many currently playing the and we hope the creation of a potential new Super League team will encourage even more to play.”

Lois Forsell, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s women and girls development officer, who is a current England international, will be heading up the Leeds Rhinos Women’s team as programme co-ordinator and is confident that Leeds will benefit from this new venture.

Forsell said:

“Leeds Rhinos Foundation now engage with more girls and women playing Rugby League in Leeds than ever before, so for us to offer an opportunity and a pathway for them to play for our own team is something that will help the women’s game grow even further,”

We firmly believe that the introduction of a women’s Super League team in Leeds will enhance our women’s and girl’s development programme. As a charity, we are very proud to be affiliated with the Rhinos and we believe that having a club with their success and history behind us will inspire more girls to get involved in playing and we hope to be a team that young girls aspire to play for, just as boys dream of playing for the Rhinos.”

Women interested in playing are invited to a launch evening at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on 21st September in the Pavilion, where they will be able to find out more information on the new team.  This will be followed by taster sessions and try outs which will cater for all women interested in either having a taster of Rugby League or aiming to excel further within the sport.

 

Leeds Rhinos Women’s Fans Taster Session: Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Monday 2nd October 2017, 6.30-8pm

Leeds Rhinos Women’s Under-16-19s Try Out: Sports Park Weetwood, Tuesday 10th October 2017, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Leeds Rhinos Women Open Access Try Out: Sports Park Weetwood, Tuesday 17th October 2017, 6.30pm-8.30pm

 

For more information on Leeds Rhinos Women’s team contact lois.forsell@leedsrhinosfoundation.org