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

The Power of Football

Leeds Gryphons have been out supporting young refugees in the local community…

Sport Science students at the University of Leeds recently had the opportunity to take part in a brand new project. The students delivered ten weeks of football coaching at the Leeds Refugee Forum as part of our Gryphons in the Community programme. Seven students took part in this pilot scheme delivering football and English language skills to unaccompanied minors at the One Community Centre in Harehills. They spent their Saturday mornings with individuals from countries such as Syria, Eritrea and Sudan.

During the first hour of the session, the students supported language tutors to teach English as a second language. Partnering up with one of the refugees, students supported them with tasks and practising their English conversation. During the second hour the students took the lead in facilitating a football session. All the students got stuck in, organising drills, games and matches and even joining in with the participants. 

What did everyone have to say?

Students reported improvements in their confidence, interpersonal communication and problem solving skills as a result of being involved in the project. Callum Bailey, one of the students involved shared his experience:

After I got involved with the volunteering project I found it so enjoyable. I would definitely consider doing it again in the future and would recommend others to do it as well. It helped me improve on skills such as leadership, teamwork and confidence. Everything I’ve learnt will also help aid my employability in the future.

Following a successful pilot Leeds Sport now hope to sustain this new partnership.  We are also looking to develop links with other community groups in Leeds, bringing people together through sport. 

Suzzi Garnett, the Sports Volunteering Officer at the University could also see the benefits:

The participants involved were around the same age as the students but obviously from an altogether different background. It was wonderful to see the students and participants interacting and having fun together. I could see the confidence of both the students and participants grow week on week.

Gryphons in the Community programmes allow people from all over Leeds to come together through sport. All the projects are fun and rewarding with students helping people in Leeds to live more active lives.

Ali Mahgoub, Director of the Leeds Refugee Forum shared his support:

Integration through sport and other activities is an important part of what we do at the Leeds Refugee Forum. The support of the students at the University of Leeds has exposed our young refugees to different cultures and allowed them to practice their English conversation.

This years project has been a huge success in helping students to make a difference right here in Leeds. Sport Science students will have the opportunity to sign up to Gryphons in the Community projects, including the Leeds Refugee Forum once again in September 2018. But don’t worry these positions are open to all students interested in volunteering. If you would like more information about the opportunities available please contact Suzzi on s.garnett@leeds.ac.uk or 0113 343 1544.

 

Social Sport Success

At the University of Leeds we have a whole range of sporting activities that take place throughout the year. From all our BUCS Wednesdays to our Varsity final, sport at Leeds is for everyone.

However participating in sport at Leeds isn’t just for those elite high performing athletes. In fact there is a whole range of social sport activities on offer too. There are a huge amount of teams in faculties, halls and across the university that offer competitive sport where you can play alongside your friends. Recently we claimed victory from Leeds Beckett University in the annual Social Varsity. This year captain Monty Davies-Phippen took her netball team, Development Yellow, all the way to the final against Beckett. Naturally the girls were looking forward to competing for the ultimate varsity trophy! Netball was the final match to be played with the scores level at 1-1. However, they stormed to victory, helping crown Leeds as Social Varsity champions. We spoke to her after their win:

 

Our game was exciting, with both Beckett and Leeds University showcasing the best of their skills. The Beckett team even managed to continue to display great netball despite the occurrence of a few injuries. However, the Development Yellow team managed to walk away with the victory and retain the varsity social league title!

        

Social league sports provide a fantastic opportunity for those who want to  play with their friends and compete on a more casual basis. The flexible social sport sessions also allow you to try something different in a fun and welcoming student friendly setting. Monty told us a little more about her experience:

 

It’s great that our victory has raised the profile of social sport. The social netball league has seen a large volume of teams playing friendly yet competitive netball throughout the year. The LUU Development Netball Club has been at the heart of this social league. We entered five teams this year, with the Yellow team leading the way with the overall winning result. Development Netball is a fun alternative to BUCS sport, whilst also aiming to maintain a high level of netball. The club delivers structured training sessions, with additional training for higher level players. We also ensure regular fixtures in the social sport league and other matches against universities from across the country. We’re proud to provide such an amazing opportunity for many girls and have been grateful for such a wonderful year of social netball. Bring on next season!

UOLBC take BUCS Regatta 2018

The University of Leeds Boat Club was established back in 1919 and since then it has moved from strength to strength. It has become one of the largest mixed gender sports societies at the university with over 200 members.

On Saturday the 5th of may the club headed down to Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham for the annual BUCS Regatta. Leeds sent total of sixteen boats with all four squads representing the club at the three day event. It was set to be a great weekend with seemingly perfect conditions and the hottest May bank holiday on record! Every squad had been training hard over the Easter holidays with the senior squad enduring an intensive training camp in Tilburg in the Netherlands. Meanwhile the novice rowers headed out on the Leeds Canal for some essential race preparation over the break.

Rowing Novice Men at BUCS Regatta 2018

The club were pushing to continue their success after achieving the best results the club has seen since 1995 for the Head of the River Race. Whilst the women were pushing for some strong results since they achieved the best results in the Women’s Head of the River Race since 2003.

Hard work paid off for the club as some fantastic results were achieved by all. Two of our Sports Scholars, Matt Brigham and Chloe Vialou-Clark both achieved B finals. Both individuals did exceedingly well, racing against some of the toughest competition from prestigious rowing universities.

 

Results from all the finals can be seen below:

Saturday 5th

Womens Intermediate 2-, 6th C Final

Mens Intermediate 8+, 6th C Final

Mens Intermediate 1x, 3rd B Final

Mens Beginner 4+ (a), 3rd C Final

Mens Beginner 4+ (b), 6th F Final

Mens Beginner 4x, 5th C Final

 

Sunday 6th

Womens Intermediate 8+, 3rd C Final

Mens Intermediate 2x, 1st D Final

Womens Beginner 4+ (a), 6th F Final

Womens Beginner 4+ (b), 2nd F Final

Womens Beginner 4x, 5th B Final

Mens Beginner 8+, 5th D Final

 

Monday 7th

Womens Intermediate 4+, 2nd D Final

Womens Beginner 8+, 5th C Final

Mens Beginner 1x, 6th F Final

Novice Women celebrating after their race at BUCS Regatta

After their huge success at BUCS Regatta the rowers received a visit from the Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Head of Sport Patrick Craig. They spent the afternoon at the Boathouse while over 80 students took to the water in the clubs 19 strong fleet. Students were also out in force coaching children from the Gorse Boat Club, who work in partnership with UOLBC. Whilst the Club Captain and Secretary talked to the Vice-Chancellor about their plans for development and growth for UOLBC the rest of the rowers headed out on their training session in preparation for the Alumni Regatta.  

 The club hosted their own Alumni Sports Day, challenging crews gone by to a 600m regatta sprint down the canal. The alumni definitely proved their strength winning every event! Although the races didn’t quite fall in favour of the students the rest of the afternoon did.

Club captain Emily Lindsay has been part of the Boat Club since 2013 when she started her degree. Since then she has been on committee four times and has sustained the roll of Club Captain twice. In honour of Emily’s hard work and dedication to the club they decided to christen their newest boat after her.  

With all their recent successes Leeds look set on achieving even more in their upcoming regatta season and hope to bring back some wins. As they continue their training into exam season we wish them the best of luck and hopefully a trip to Henley will still be on the cards.

 

Archon Fitness Challenge Results 2018


Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Archon Fitness Challenge!

Winners have been calculated using the Archon assessment calculations, taking into account an individual’s metrics such as; height, weight, age and more, to ensure that everyone can be scored on one league table in a fair and accurate way. This ensures that a woman weighing 55kg with a back squat of 100kg would score higher than a male who weighs 100kg with a back squat of 140kg as she performs at a higher rate and that older participants competing in events are ranked equally when competing against 17-25 year-olds.

Overall winners were:

Top Scoring Female Student Participants: 

  1. Rosie Blount
  2. Hannah Morton
  3. Katie James

 

Top Scoring Male Student Participants: 

  1. Matthew Ashall
  2. Adam Zahan
  3. Ed Davies

 

Individual Event Top scorers: 

PTW SQUAT – Rosie Blount

PTW BENCH – Rosie Blount

L20 – Rosie Blount

3 MINUTE WATT BIKE – Rosie Blount

BROAD JUMP – Katie James

60 METRE SHUTTLE – Mateusz Loboda

THE 2000 METRE ROW – Matthew Ashall

 

All our winners will be contacted shortly with details of prizes and the awards ceremony.

Any questions please contact edgefitness@leeds.ac.uk

Tour De Yorkshire Trophies Visit University

Group of children with one holding the tour de yorkshire trophies

As part of the Welcome to Yorkshire’s trophy tour around Yorkshire last week, the University welcomed over 50 schoolchildren to the Bodington Cycle Circuit to have a go at cycling and see the famous Tour de Yorkshire Trophies up close.

Pupils from two local schools; Yeaden Westfield Junior School and Meanwood Church of England Primary School, came to the Bodington Cycle Circuit. Here they had a cycling session coached by two international cyclists, followed by the chance to see the trophies up close and ask questions. Their hour-long coached cycling session was led by Jacob Regan and Chris Young, both of who have represented the UK in international cycling events and won British titles.

Tour De Yorkshire Trophies

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said;

“We are thrilled to been able to host the Tour de Yorkshire Trophies at the University of Leeds cycle circuit and give children from two local schools the opportunity to check out the trophy and enjoy a morning being active on bikes in a safe, traffic-free environment with the added bonus of coaching from two international cyclists.”

Man talking to group of school children as Tour de Yorkshire trophies visit university

Each year in the lead up to the race, both the men’s and women’s trophies visit each of the start and finish locations on their very own tour. The trophies have followed the route of the tour by visiting Beverley, Doncaster, Barnsley, Ilkley, Richmond, Scarborough and Halifax, finishing in Leeds. The Tour de Yorkshire is now less than two months away, taking place on Thursday 3rd May – Sunday 6th May. With Leeds hosting the grand finale on Sunday 6th May where the race will finish on The Headrow – on exactly the same spot as where the Tour de France started in 2014.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake said:

“The trophy tour is a great way for communities to get involved and build excitement in the lead up to this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, and we are very excited that Leeds is hosting the last leg of the race.”

Bodington Cycle Circuit

With excitement about the Tour de Yorkshire building in the county, the University encourages members of the local community to come and have a go on the cycle circuit which is the perfect safe, traffic-free environment for anyone wanting to learn to ride a bike or train to improve their skills.

The circuit is one of the longest in the country at one-mile-long (1.6km), completed last year it sits next to The Brownlee Centre – the UK’s first purpose-built National Elite Training Centre and home to Leeds Triathlon Centre.

The facilities, which are open to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, has a full programme of activity. This includes “Pay and Pedal”, HSBC Breeze Rides for women and girls, para-cycling coaching sessions and special training sessions for elite athletes as well as 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.

Find out more and plan your visit on the Bodington Cycle Circuit webpage.

Leeds Sports Awards Winners

to men standing together in rugby and american football kit

The 2018 Leeds Sports Awards was a big day for sport in Leeds as the city celebrated the achievements of athletes, coaches and sports volunteers in 2017.

Celebrations took place in the First Direct Arena where sports-people of all levels and abilities from across the city alongside their coaches, volunteers, sponsors and supporters all came together to celebrate Leeds’ proud sporting heritage and commend the achievements of this year’s nominees in true style.

A whole host of awards were up for grabs and many of the nominees have been involved with the University of Leeds over the years. Alumni, current students and honorary degree holders were nominated over a diverse range of categories giving them plenty of opportunity for recognition of all their efforts and achievements in sport.

The winners and nominees

One of the biggest successes of the evening was the nomination and win from our very own Rugby League and American Football teams. They beat off some fierce competition from Leeds Beckett University Hockey to jointly win the ‘Student Sport Award’  for all their hard work on the ‘It’s ok not to be ok’ campaign, highlighting the positive power of sport. Their campaign has promoted the importance of mental health awareness across the University and got people talking, as well as raising thousands of pounds, for mental health charities. This award gives them recognition from across the city for the fantastic work they are doing.

Jess Bassett, Activities Officer at Leeds University Union said:

It has been an absolute privilege to get to know and work along side Andrew and Aaron on the it’s OK not be OK campaign. It was amazing to see all of the hard work and fundraising efforts from both clubs recognised when they won this award. This campaign has increased the awareness of male mental health in particular and raised money for two very special charities, and alongside celebrating this success we must keep working hard to tackle this because it is OK not to be OK.

On the night Jess Learnmouth won the sportswoman award, Jess trains with the Leeds Triathlon Centre at the University’s facilities including The Edge and The Brownlee Centre. She took home the award beating a number of fantastic athletes including Olympic Gold Medallist Nicola Adams OBE who received an honorary degree from the University in 2015.

Cecilia Allen a Leeds alumna received a highly commended award in the Young Club Team Performance award with the Yorkshire CCC U17 girls, a team she manages. Fellow alumni Dr Malcolm Brown MBE and Jack Maitland also received a highly commended award in the Performance Coach award for their work with triathletes at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. The triathlon theme continued in Tom Bishop who graduated from Leeds in 2013 and was nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award.

The night was a fantastic celebration of sport and a wonderful evening for all. We send a huge congratulations to all the finalists and we are hoping for even more success next year.

A full list of the winners can be found on the Leeds Sports Awards website.

 

University Sport Scholars Celebrated

University of Leeds group shot of sport scholars

This week the University of Leeds Sports Scholars were celebrated at a presentation evening hosted by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Yu.

Over 60 students from a a range of academic schools studying everything from Medicine and Surgery to Engineering have been awarded Sports Scholarships. These scholarships support them in their athletic and academic ventures, enabling them to perform at their highest sporting ability alongside their studies.

The evening celebrated these athletes and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor: International, Professor Hai-Sui Yu gave a talk about how he believed that sport is a global language and we as a University are proud to support these athletes in their endeavours across the globe, wishing them every success for the years ahead both in their academic and sporting careers.

Kim Daybell playing table tennis

The evening also celebrated two students; Kim Daybell and Tyler Smith who are preparing to fly to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next month. Kim will be representing England in Table Tennis and Tyler will be representing Bermuda in Triathlon, a fantastic achievement made possible by their commitment to their sports, as well as their academic schools having the flexibility to allow them to go and compete.

Kim has been a Sport Scholar at the University for 7 years and he shared his experiences about his time here at Leeds, encouraging all the scholars sat in the room to work hard to achieve their sporting dreams and to utilise the support available to them through the Sport Scholarship programme. Kim emphasised how much the University had helped and supported him and without this he would not have been able to train and compete at two Paralympic Games; London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity said:

“It was a great celebratory event of our gifted and talented Sport Scholars, made extra special this year being able to wish both Tyler and Kim good luck for their endeavours at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. It seemed so fitting to be hosted by our Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Relations, Professor Yu who was a very welcomed guest and spoke eloquently about how proud the University are of our sporting scholars as they represent us across the world in the sporting arena”

This year the University has over 60 scholars competing across a huge range of sports, from snowboarding to canoe polo and everything in-between. They compete at a range competitions individually and with their university team while working towards their sporting goals which they set at the beginning of the year.

The Sports Scholarship programme at the University of Leeds provides all our scholars with a bespoke package of support that meets each individuals needs. Following the University’s unique approach every athlete is given a personal mentor who helps ensure that a healthy balance between University work and sporting success is achieved. Our scholars are also supported with free Edge access, physiotherapy and a personalised strength and conditioning programme as well as a bespoke bursary to help ensure they can meet the financial demands of performance sport.

We hope that soon some of our other scholars will be joining Kim and Tyler competing and achieving great things all over the globe.  

Take a look at all our Sport Scholars below and find out more about our Sport Scholarship programme online.

Win £50 Amazon and Refresh vouchers

Balancing life survey complete to win £50 amazon and refresh voucers - text on a picture of someone walking on grass

Help us to support your activity and wellbeing on campus by filling out the 2018 Balancing Life Survey. Plus you could win a £50 Amazon Voucher or Refresh Card!

Last year’s Balancing Life Survey found that 77% of staff and students at the University of Leeds are active, with 60% of the activity they take part in happening on campus. A survey of this type had never been completed before and it gave great insight into the activity and wellbeing levels of staff and students. Take a look at the full results online here.

The insight gained from last year’s survey has raised the importance of staff and students health and wellbeing on campus, and this has had some fantastic results;

  • The Student Education Services have appointed two full time interns with a focus on improving staff health and wellbeing.
  • The University of Leeds, via the Wellbeing, Safety and Health department are about to recruit a full time role for promoting staff health and wellbeing.
  • Results helped raise the importance of staff being more active and promoting health and wellbeing to colleagues in their own teams as demonstrated by the hundreds of Healthy Week Heroes we had.
  • Sport and Physical Activity has seen an increase in schools across the University engaging with the staff wellness programme

These are all great steps forward and this year’s survey will help to give even further insight and see if there has been a change in results from last year.

This year’s survey is now live for staff and students to complete until the 18th March and all students who fully complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Amazon Vouchers, and staff will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Refresh card vouchers for buying food and drinks on campus. Fill out the survey now!

All survey responses are anonymous and will be used to provide the University with the insight to provide programmes and offers that fit the wants and needs of the staff and students at the University of Leeds.

 

University host junior parkrun

children running

Ten years ago the Sport and Physical Activity service at the University of Leeds started the third parkrun in the country on Woodhouse Moor. Since then parkrun has grown rapidly with 202,495 events in 17 countries worldwide! 

Following the University’s close relationship with parkrun and the opening of The Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit last year, Sport and Physical Activity and parkrun have teamed up once again, this time to launch a junior parkrun. The Bodington junior parkrun will take place on the University’s cycle circuit where children (aged 4-14yrs) will complete a 2km loop.

parkrun is all about inclusiveness, wellbeing and bringing together people in the community, the Bodington Cycle Circuit is the perfect location to achieve this with the tarmac circuit used for the run and The Brownlee Centre providing an indoor space for a drink and place to talk after the event.

The University invested £5m to create these facilities last year and one of the key aims is to provide space for members of the local community to use. Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at The University of Leeds said;

“We are committed to providing facilities where we can, for keeping the local community as active as they can be. So we are delighted to be able to support and host the Bodington Junior parkrun.”

Sport & Physical Activity have provided the £3k funding to launch this parkrun, which has bought the equipment needed to run the event. They are also providing the facilities for free, displaying their commitment to providing opportunities for children to be active.

“Encouraging children to be physically active at an early age is creating habits for life. We are keen to do this alongside encouraging young people to be aspirational about coming to study for a world class degree at the University of Leeds.

parkrun is a great inclusive offer; I love taking part in my local parkrun on Saturday mornings and would encourage everyone to get involved as a participant, a volunteer or a supporter.”

Suzanne Glavin

The Bodington junior parkrun launches this Sunday (25 February) at 9am and if you would like to get involved all you need to do is register on the website here. You only need to do this once then just turn up on the day.

 

International Student Exercise Classes Success

This Christmas, the University of Leeds flagship fitness facility – The Edge, offered a unique series of free exercise classes for its international students and the wider Leeds Global Community.

The classes included the ever popular, Les Mills Body Pump and Body Combat along with some brand new virtual led classes taught in Mandarin. The University of Leeds has invested significantly in their Group Exercise Timetable providing one of the largest programmes in the country, with over 220 classes on offer per week during term time.

Suzanne Glavin (Head of Sport) said; “It’s really important that we make sure that our sport and group exercise class provision at the University of Leeds meets all our students’ needs, including our international students. We were grateful and delighted to capitalise upon our strong collaborative working with Les Mills. We were delighted that we could pilot their excellent virtual classes, and be the first to launch those taught in Mandarin. Our international Chinese students who remained in Leeds over the Christmas period enjoyed a taste of home through taking part in Mandarin virtual group exercise classes“.

The Edge now has a fully kitted out virtual studio, offering a range of virtual classes for both beginners and the more experienced exercise class goer.

155 class bookings were made over the two weeks of Christmas for this new venture and feedback received from the students was resoundingly positive.

 

I think it’s a really brilliant idea to put these classes during December, especially for international students. I really enjoyed the class, there were loads of weights and bars available which was good. I would definitely attend again! Thanks for putting them on!” – Miranda

I attended two virtual classes and they were very good, especially that the instructions were in Mandarin. I enjoyed them and realised that I really need more exercises. I’d like to book again if similar classes will be available in the future” – Huiming 

The Edge has been recognised at the National  Fitness Awards over three consecutive years, coming runner-up in the National Group Exercise Award category in 2017.