News for home page. The latest four new stories will be displayed in date order.

This Girl Can at Leeds

Woman swimming

This Girl Can have just relaunched their campaign with another inspiring advert to motivate more women to take part in sport and physical activity. Women have long faced social pressures, judgement, and fear of talking about issues which society has deemed ‘taboo’ when it comes to their bodies and exercising. This campaign aims to show the unfiltered reality of exercise, whilst celebrating women of all shapes and sizes, abilities and backgrounds, to empower them to become more active and confident. The new campaign also focuses on periods, menopause, pregnancy and motherhood, and how women use exercise as a way to combat symptoms or allow time for themselves.

Since This Girl Can launched in 2015, it has inspired 3.5 million women to get active but there is still a long way to go, with 40% of women aged 16 and over insufficiently active, compared with 35% of men (Active Lives, 2018). Sport and Physical Activity’s new strategy: Do What Moves You also aims to celebrate and encourage anybody of any ability to engage in sport and physical activity, and to get moving in whatever way works for them.

This Girl Can women on matt

There are a number of opportunities available for women to get more active across the campus including:

  • Female only swim sessions @ The Edge pool (Tuesdays 10:45-11:45 and Fridays 21:15-22:15)
  • Women only strength training courses – the perfect opportunity for beginners or intermediates to learn new techniques to improve their workouts
  • Join the Couch to 5K programme to get more active in a safe, social and friendly environment. The deadline to sign-up is Tuesday 4th February
  • From 27 January there will be a range of beginner’s group exercise classes added to The Edge class timetable including Yoga, Barre Pilates, Body Pump, Zumba and Kaiser/Spin. There are also a range of dance based group exercise classes, which are a great way to have fun whilst exercising including Zumba, Clubbercise, Dance Fitness and Body Jam
  • Join the 5-a-side football social league by registering a team to take part. We will soon be sharing details about our new netball social league for staff. Contact R.J.Harrison1@leeds.ac.uk for more information
  • The LOGIK centre will soon be releasing details of their Winter/Spring 2020 programme, which will include antenatal exercise classes as well as the introduction of yoga for menopause. You can check for updates here.

Do you have an inspirational story that you would like to share to help motivate and inspire other women to get active? Whatever it is that keeps you moving – whether it’s playing a team sport, yoga, dog walking, pram pushing, weight lifting, gardening or swimming – we’d love to hear! Contact Beth Fadden, Physical Activity and Wellbeing Manager at b.fadden@leeds.ac.uk

 

 

 

Balancing Life Survey Results 2019

Balancing Life Imagery

In 2019 we ran our annual survey, Balancing Life, to find out about activity and well-being levels amongst the University population. We use this information to help shape our future plans and initiatives for Sport & Physical activity, so thank you to everyone who took the time to fill it out.

This year’s results coincide with the launch of the University’s new strategic plan for Sport & Physical Activity; Do What Moves You, with our vision to be the best University to be active. The results from Balancing Life specifically help to inform and guide us in regards to one of the strategy’s key aims; to help staff and students improve their health & well-being.

The results were positive, and have given us fantastic new insights to work with and shall help to continually evolve the service we offer;

2019 Key Results:

  • 2172 total survey response, a 48% increase on 2018
  • 75% of campus active, an increase of 1% since 2018
  • 46% of you are doing regular exercise, an increase of 7% since 2018
  • Our staff are 10% more active than the general working population
  • We scored 22 on the SWEMWBS* meaning our mental wellbeing scores are behind the national average
  • 25% of the campus population are fairly active or inactive, down 1% from 26% in 2018
  • Our students are 1% less active than the Higher Education average

To read more about the results from the survey, take a look at our Balancing Life page on our website. The SPA Physical Activity and Well-being Team will be delivering a series of workshops over the month with different faculties and services to discuss the Balancing Life results in more detail. If you would like to find out more about these, please get in touch with our Physical Activity and Well-being Manager, Bethany Fadden.

If you are wanting to make a change to your lifestyle and be more active, we have many options to help you get started. During term time, The Edge offers over 220 exercise classes per week, from quick 30 minute HIIT classes that you can fit into the working day, to more gentle yoga and pilates. If that doesn’t excite you, why not join one of our social leagues and play with your mates? Or, if you are looking to get into running, why not join one of Get Out, Get Active’s wellbeing runs or sign up for the latest entry-level Couch to 5K programme, which is open to all staff and students?

 

Run the Loop at the Brownlee Centre

Brownlee Run the Loop

Entries are now open for the “Run the Loop at the Brownlee Centre” event

Come join us on the 24th May 2020 for our annual multi-distance running event at our fantastic Brownlee Centre at the University of Leeds.

Our unique event takes place on our closed-road 1-mile cycle circuit and offers runners a range of different events to enter – from a 5km to half marathon. You can race and run where current and next generation Olympic champions train!

The closed-road circuit provides a unique opportunity for participants looking to take part in their first road running race and for seasoned PB hunters.

All finishers will receive a goody bag and a celebratory prize. There will be male and female prizes for all distances, and hopefully a few PB’s to be found along the way!

Cycle circut with brownlee centre building behind

The event will support an international sports development programme, Gryphons Abroad – supported by the Bambisanani Partnership. A contribution from your race fee will go to the project which changes the lives of young people in South Africa, in particular through the purchase of bikes, bike equipment and educational materials.

You can find out more about this amazing programme here.

Date: Sunday 24th May 2020

Time: 10.30am start (First event off)

Venue: The Brownlee Centre – Bodington Playing Fields

Information and entry fees

Day/TimeDistanceCostBook
Sunday 24 May, 10:30Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Age 17+£24.00 affiliated, £26.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 24th May, 10.305 km. Age: 11+£10.00 affiliated, £12.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 24th May, 10.30 10 km. Age: 15+£17.00 affiliated, £19.00 non-affiliatedEnter here

5 ways to get started with your health and fitness in January

Personal Better: 5 ways post

Let 2020 be the year that you achieve your goal!

If you don’t know where to begin or just want to ease yourself back in after the Christmas break we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you.

1. Begin with low impact exercises and beginners’ workouts

Swimming is the perfect activity when you’re starting out as there is no impact and you can set your own pace. If you want to use the gym you can build your knowledge and confidence with workout videos. Check out our YouTube playlist for workout inspiration. We would recommend the Beginners Workout demonstrated by Personal Trainer Ali. It is a strength workout that covers all muscle groups that you can adapt to what you want to focus on. If you’re new to the Technogym equipment don’t hesitate to ask one of our team on setting up and using the machines safely.

2. Balance is best

After a potentially indulgent December, it can be easy to believe that by being strict and restrictive you’re being healthy. If that is maintainable and works for you, great! However, for most of us, we struggle to maintain the discipline required so this year strike a balance. If you know you’re going out for a meal with friends in the evening just have a lighter lunch that day. If you want to cut back, cut back on snacking between meals. But the one thing you can do is diversify the food you eat. Dr Chatterjee recommends keeping an alphabet chart to help you eat a wide range of foods and if you want to try out some new recipes, we have some great ones, including a Roasted Vegetable Stew.

3. Discover what is going to get you motivated and moving

Exercise and activity shouldn’t feel like a hardship. You just need to find what you really enjoy doing. Over January just try different activities you think you might like. At The Edge you can try climbing, squash, Edge courses, including how to play racquetball, and exercise classes. Classes are perfect for beginners as the instructor will check your form, you’re motivated by everyone around you, and we have over 220 different ones, so you’ll definitely be able to discover what you enjoy doing. Download our class guide (PDF) to get started.

4. Join or exercise with a friend

Another reason why classes are fantastic is that each class is like a small community. November’s Members of the Month were nominated because of the support and enthusiasm they bring to each class. Also, starting your health and fitness journey with a likeminded friend is great for motivation and discipline.

5. Have an achievable goal you can work towards

Remember that this is a journey with a purpose. This purpose can range from ‘I want to be exercising three times a week’ to ‘By the end of 2020 I will be lifting 50kgs’. Whatever it is, what is crucial is that you give yourself a date to accomplish it by and that you make sure it is realistically achievable. Also try and track your progress. We have INBODY Technology that can do a full-body analysis that analyses more than just weight. If you don’t know where to start, why not book a PT consultation? Our experts can support you with planning and achieving your goal.


Sign up to our fantastic Alumni offer!

Congradulations, 15% off alumni membership

If you are graduating this December and staying in Leeds, why not take this opportunity to save money on an Alumni membership?

Sign up within 6 months of your graduation date and you can save 15% on monthly and annual memberships.

This means you can get an Edge membership from as little as £30.41 per month or £310.25 per year (£25.85 per month). For more information on our Alumni membership prices check out our Alumni memberships page on the website.

Not only will you get a great deal on an Edge membership but if you are an existing Edge member, there will be no further joining fees for you to pay!

To sign up or find out more, contact the membership team on edgemembership@leeds.ac.uk or visit reception.

Facility closure: 10th January 2020

On Friday 10 January we will be closing our Sport & Physical Activity facilities (The Edge, Gryphon Sports Centre, Cromer Terrace and Sports Park Weetwood) between 9am-5pm.

The Edge will be open from 6:30am until 9am and from 5pm until 10:30pm.

The closure will allow us to undertake a number of important activities to improve the experience of our customers, which includes:

  • Training and development for our staff to help us maintain service delivery excellence.
  • Deep cleaning of a number of our facilities at The Edge, including changing rooms and circulation areas. To perform this type of cleaning we are required to close the facility and it is an important part of our cleaning programme.

We endeavour to keep facility closures to a minimum but we recognise the benefits of these important activities for our colleagues and customers.

To minimise disruption for our customers we have identified a quieter period to undertake these activities, and we hope you will still be able to join us at the available times for your workout.

Alternatively, if you would like a lunchtime workout on the 10th of January, we have arranged for a lunchtime circuit class to take place at our Cromer Terrace studio on the day.

This will take place at 12:00 – 13:00, Circuits, Cromer Terrace Studio and will be bookable as a normal class online and at reception.

 

See the full Christmas period opening hours for The Edge here.

Christmas Opening Hours 2019

The Edge

Be sure to fit in your fitness over the holidays!

The Edge opening hours will be as follows throughout the Christmas holiday period:

DateFacility Opening Hours
Friday 13th December 201906:30 – 18:30*
Saturday 21st December 2019Normal opening hours
Sunday 22nd December 2019Normal opening hours
Monday 23rd December 2019Normal opening hours
Tuesday 24th December 201908:00 – 14:00
Wednesday 25th December 2019Closed
Thursday 26th December 2019Closed
Friday 27th December 201910:00 – 17:00
Saturday 28th December 201910:00 – 17:00
Sunday 29th December 201910:00 – 17:00
Monday 30th December 201910:00 – 17:00
Tuesday 31st December 201908:00 – 14:00
Wednesday 1st January 2020Closed
Thursday 2nd January 2020Normal opening hours

*This closure is due to essential maintenance works, resulting in a loss of heating and hot water during the evening.

Please note that on days with reduced opening hours, all Edge Club members will be able to use all the facilities at any time of day.

There will also be no women’s only swim and gym sessions on the above dates.

The Exercise Class timetable will be reduced over the Christmas period and can be found here.

Our swimming pool timetables can be found here.

Parking will be available at any time for customers on days with reduced opening hours (December 24th – January 2nd). Members who have registered their car can benefit from unlimited parking during these days, and all other members or pay as you go customers can use a 3 hour free parking code at any time during these days.

 

Looking for a taste of The Edge this Christmas?

Check out our Christmas promotion today!

 

Natalie Haythornthwaite Inducted into Sporting Hall of Fame

Natalie Haythornthwaite playing netball

Leeds University Alumna Natalie Haythornthwaite has been inducted into the University’s Sporting Hall of Fame.

Natalie was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Sports Scholars Award Evening held on 14 November, an event which celebrates the successes of all of our scholars who have been awarded a scholarship for the upcoming year. Unfortunately Natalie was unable to attend the evening, but did send us a quick message from down under;

Natalie, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2014 with a degree in Linguistics and Phonetics, is part of the history-making England Roses netball team who won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She has recently been selected again to be part of the England Roses squad who will travel to face the South Africa SPAR Proteas in a three-match test series in a few weeks’ time. In addition, she won the bronze medal at the 2019 Netball World Cup and has over 40 England caps to her name.

Whilst studying at Leeds, Natalie was Vice-Captain of Superleague side The Yorkshire Jets and was named Superleague Player of the Year in 2015. After a brief spell at Manchester Thunder, Natalie joined the newly formed Wasps side and went on to win consecutive Superleague titles with them in 2017 and 2018.

Following success with Wasps, Natalie moved to Australia to play for the New South Wales Swifts in the prestigious Suncorp Super Netball and in September 2019 won the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final. Natalie was part of the England Roses team which was named BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year in 2018 in recognition of their historic Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Natalie Haythornthwaite Hall of Fame Board

You can take a look at the full Sporting Hall of Fame by visiting The Edge. It’s located alongside the sport scholarship board and you can read more about Natalie and all our other Hall of Fame recipients, who include:

  • Johnny Mowlem, Geography and Spanish 1998, Racing Car Driver
  • Rebecca Gallantree, Sports Science 2005, Great Britain diver.
  • Carol Isherwood OBE, History 1982 and PGCE Education 1984, Great Britain rugby union player and founder of the Rugby Football Union for Women.
  • Andrew Shovlin, Mechanical Engineering 1995 and PhD in Mechanical Engineering 1999, Formula 1 Chief race engineer.
  • Ray French MBE, General Studies 1961, England rugby union and rugby league player, rugby league commentator.
  • Giles Long MBE, Geology 1997, three time Paralympic swimming champion
  • Simon Mason, Economics 1994, Great Britain hockey player and vice president of England Hockey

Find out more about Natalie by following her on social media; @natsymone @nataliesymone.

Women’s Rugby Union Team Make History at Varsity

Women's rugby varsity

The Gryphons may not have retained their Varsity title, however Varsity 2019 shall go down in the history books; our women’s Rugby Union 1st team played for the first time ever at Emerald Headingley Stadium.

Leeds Varsity is the annual inter-university sports Varsity between arch rivals University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. It began in January with the cross country and culminated, as it does every year, with the Rugby Union finale held up at Emerald Headingley Stadium where over 10,000 students cheered on their team from the stands.

Unfortunately for the Gryphons, Leeds Beckett have taken the title for this year. Lydia Evans, LUU Activities Officer said:

“Despite the result, it’s been a great day of sport for the Gryphons and every one of our athletes should feel proud to have represented their clubs.”

However, it was a historic moment for the women’s Rugby Union 1st team on Wednesday night, as they took to the pitch for the first time to compete against Leeds Beckett in front of the 10,000 strong crowd at Headingley Stadium. Ashley Ross, the women’s captain said:

“The experience of playing our varsity match with such a huge crowd was incredible, and not one that any of us will forget! It’s a special honour, especially for a university team, and it’s especially significant for us as a women’s team as we often struggle to get the same status as men’s sport. It feels like a massive step forward for gender equality and women in sport – not just playing for our team but every other women’s team who hasn’t had the same opportunity as men. Even though Beckett are our rivals, it’s a great achievement for them too. Winning was an amazing bonus on top of that! We’ll all definitely be celebrating tonight! The opportunity to play in the stadium is one we have been working towards for such a long time now so to see it all come together has been incredible. Thanks very much to everyone who came to support us!”

Our Gryphons put on a stellar performance over 60 fixtures including athletics, handball, tennis and lacrosse. Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport commented;

“I’m really proud of all our Gryphons who played their best whilst representing University of Leeds. It was especially exciting this year to see our women’s rugby union club playing at Headingley with such great support from the student crowd.”

A full list of the results can be found here, and keep an eye out on our social media channels for photos and videos from the day. See you all again in 2020.

Henley Royal Regatta – Brigham’s Dream Debut

The 2019 Henley Royal Regatta took place from 3 to 7 July and is the best-known regatta in the world.

Sports Scholar Matt Brigham qualified for the Diamond Challenge sculls on Friday 28 June. He would face double Olympic champion and six-time Henley winner, Mahe Drysdale on Thursday 4 July. Matt caused the biggest upset of the regatta and knocked Drysdale out, beating him by three and a half lengths! The entire rowing community was talking about Matt; he became an overnight sensation!
The next day, Matt faced world U23 medalist Luuk Adema from the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately Matt lost the race by two lengths and Adema progressed to the semifinals. 

Sports Scholar Matt Brigham rowing at the Henley Royal Regatta against double olympic champion Mahe Drysdale

Matt has only been rowing for four years since he started at the University of Leeds to study Medicine. He joined the GB Start programme two years ago, having swam his whole life. GB Start is a specialist talent identification programme that trains and develop athletes for the GB Rowing Team. Matt was rowing as an intermediate in his second year, so his progress has been phenomenal.
Matt trains with the University of Leeds Boat Club at the Leeds Boat House with GB Start coach, Matt Paul, and Head of Rowing, Dan Grant.

University of Leeds Boat Club Legends Crew at Henley Royal Regatta 2019

In addition to Matt’s success, the University of Leeds Boat Club had a boat of legends in the Centenary Row Past crew to celebrate their 100th year. 

The crew was made up of: Emma Lindsay (Cox), Ella Murphy, Jordan Bryne, Steve O’Connor, Ben Cox, Helen Brown, Grace Clough, Chris Williams and Tom Clements.

Finally, a huge congratulations to Matt for his fantastic Henley Royal debut and the Boat Club on a great year.

University of Leeds Boat Club Legends Crew in the row past at henley royal regatta 2019

Photographs courtesy of University of Leeds Boat Club.