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

Brand New Varsity Event Comes to Leeds

On Friday 17th March, our Rugby League team will go head to head with a side made up of the best rugby league players from universities across Yorkshire in order to be crowned Yorkshire Varsity champions.

This year, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of student rugby league, which originated here at the University of Leeds, with a week of events culminating with our brand new Yorkshire Varsity event. This will see the Leeds Gryphons take on the ‘Best of Yorkshire’ at Headingley Carnegie Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Leeds Rhino’s vs Wakefield Trinity Super League fixture.

As the event falls on St Patrick’s day, there will be facepaints, irish dancing, and plenty of pre-match and half-time entertainment. Finish the night off at Leeds University Union for a St Patrick’s day fruity, our official Yorkshire Varsity after party.

Get involved:

Tickets for students cost only £13 and include entry to both the Yorkshire Varsity game and Leeds Rhino’s Super League fixture, plus a free drink voucher. Tickets are for the South Stand, the standing terrace along the side of the pitch, undercover, providing a great atmosphere for St Patricks day.

To purchase your tickets, visit the Leeds University Union helpdesk, call 0371 423 1315, or visit the Leeds Rugby Store at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

To book online, head to the Leeds Rhinos website and follow these steps:

  • Go to the Rhinos v Wakefield match on the home games page
  • Select South Stand Student ticket and proceed to checkout
  • Input the promotional code varleeds to redeem this offer
Fruity Early Bird Tickets:
With the hotly anticipated St Patrick’s Fruity sure to be a sell out, we’ve got 40 discounted tickets left to sell alongside the Rugby League Yorkshire Varsity tickets. These are available from LUU helpdesk. 

Please note all bookings are subject to a £1.50 booking fee and when booking online please DO NOT select the ‘Print @ Home’ option as it will not generate your free drink voucher.

University’s lasting tribute to Olympic-winning Brownlees

Brownlee brothers sat on machinery with building in background

A new £5m University of Leeds sports facility is to be named after its most successful alumni athletes, Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

The Brownlee Centre 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 unique centre, which opens in April, is the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base and will provide the first permanent home for the world-beating Leeds Triathlon Centre.

Combining a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services with one of the longest cycle circuits in the country, this new world-class development will enhance facilities for both cycling and triathlon in the region.

Partnership funding from Sport England, UK Sport, British Cycling and British Triathlon is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.

“This is a real honour,” said Alistair Brownlee, “Having the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon centre in Leeds will ensure that the city continues to be a hub for triathlon. It brings together the facilities top athletes need in one place to create a world class training environment. It is a real boost for both participation and elite sport in the area and will hopefully help the next generation of Leeds athletes on their journey to Olympic success”

Alistair studied Sports Science and Physiology at Leeds and won gold in the triathlon competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

His brother Jonny, who took silver in August, added: “We can’t wait to bring our bikes up here and try it. The track is a great addition to Yorkshire’s cycling facilities and will benefit cyclists and other sportsmen and women of all abilities.
“We’re both really pleased to continue our relationship with the University and I hope that what we’ve achieved can inspire everyone who uses the facilities to try their hardest, whether it’s in competitive sport or in building confidence on two wheels.”

brownlee brothers on tarmac machine

Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands, said: “The University is extremely proud of Alistair and Jonny’s achievements and it is fitting that this unique world-class facility, which will inspire thousands of people to be more active, is to be named after two of our most successful sportsmen.
“Our graduates have dominated top level triathlon and cycling at various events, an achievement which everyone in Leeds can be proud of. Opening The Brownlee Centre and new cycle circuit reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK.”

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

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University, said: “We’re really pleased to acknowledge the fantastic sporting success of the Brownlees in such a practical, permanent way.
“We are so proud of Alistair and Jonny and of their continuing relationship with the University – from regular training at our facilities, to the inspiration they provide students, staff and members of the public alike with their achievements.
“We are also pleased to have played a part in their success by providing excellent training facilities and by tailoring their degrees to allow time to prepare and compete.
“The facility they are putting their name to represents a success story for cycling and triathlon in Leeds and beyond. It will ensure athletes of all abilities have some of the best facilities in the UK available close to home.”

The 6 metre-wide circuit will provide a traffic-free environment for cyclists of all ages and abilities – including University students, staff and the wider community – for recreation, coaching and competition.

Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s Director of Cycling, said: “Leeds – and the wider West Yorkshire region – has produced countless successful elite sportspeople over the years, and one of British Cycling’s key aims has always been to ensure that elite success translates into mass participation, and that those inspired by Britain’s finest cyclists have high quality facilities at which to develop their own skills and confidence on a bike.

This new cycle circuit will deliver exactly that for the people of Leeds, and we look forward to seeing locals, regardless of age, ability or previous level of experience on a bike, take advantage of the facility once it is open.”

Four of the six Team GB Rio games triathlon competitors – including the Brownlees’ fellow University of Leeds alumnus Gordon Benson – will be based at the new facilities.
Bodington Playing Fields are no stranger to elite athletes, having 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 September 2017.

The University has invested over £25m in new sports facilities over the past 10 years and these 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.


Find ouit more about the development on our campus developments website. 

If you have any questions about this story please contact Tilly Hall:, 0113 343 7525.

New earlier weekend opening hours at the Edge!

The Edge

Love a weekend workout?

We’re excited to announce that from the 4th of February 2017 we will be opening The Edge for an extra hour at the weekend. Join us from 7:30am instead of 8:30am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Customers will be able to take advantage of earlier access to the:

Swimming pool – full 8 lane swimming will be available on both Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy an extra hour of early morning training before our swimming lessons start.

Fitness Suite – will be fully open on Saturdays for all, and on Sundays we will be running a new women’s only gym session which will run 7:30 – 9:30am. This is in response to a proposal put forward and successfully voted on by the student body, within Leeds University Union.

Other Edge facilities such as sports halls and studios will be available from 8:30am

 “We have listened to customer feedback and are keen where we can to offer additional benefits, so more availability on weekends for swimming is one, ensuring that we maximise value for money for our Edge members. We are also keen to pilot the women’s only session in the gym on a Sunday morning to see if there is a growing demand for this type of session. ” Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity

For more information, please contact The Edge Reception Team on 0113 343 5095


Leeds Sport, who are we?

Over the past year or so, you may have noticed ‘Leeds Sport’ and ‘Leeds Gryphon’s’ appearing around campus. So who are we, what do we do and where have we come from? 


What is Leeds Sport?

Leeds Sport is the partnership between the University of Leeds and Leeds University Union to deliver sport at Leeds. The Leeds Sport team was formed in 2014 with the aim of working together to provide a world-class sporting experience for our students and staff.

Vision: To be the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK.

What’s with The Gryphon?

Ever looked closely at the University Crest? Perched on top you’ll find a gryphon; the head and wings of an eagle on the body and tail of a lion. At Leeds everyone who’s involved in sport, including our supporters, is known as a Gryphon, and the clubs representing the University in BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) are known as the  ‘Leeds Gryphons’.University of Leeds Crest

How do I fit in?

Whether you want to coach, volunteer, play socially or compete at the highest level, Leeds Sport has a breadth of opportunities for you. There are four areas within Leeds Sport which cover whatever you’re interested in, from total beginner to elite athlete. Find out about them below:

1. Gryphon Performance

man running in varsity event

Become a Leeds Gryphon by representing the University of Leeds in one of our 60+ clubs.
If you’re an elite athlete our Sport Scholarship Programme will support you to achieve both sporting and academic excellence, following in the footsteps of our world-class alumni such as Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

2. Gryphon Leadership

two stidents playing with child in south africa

Develop new skills for the real world with our leadership and student professional development programmes and our coach education courses. Become a sport activator or volunteer as well as getting involved in our Gryphons Abroad International project in South Africa.

3. Gryphon Social

girl practicing boxing smiling

Have fun at Leeds! Team up with your mates and join our weekly Social Leagues or meet our Get Out, Get Active team and have a go at a something new while exploring Yorkshire. 

4. Gryphon Events

Crowd at Leeds Varsity

Sport is more than just playing. Each year we add to your University experience by bringing you some of the biggest and best sporting events across the country including our infamous Varsity series against Leeds Beckett University where over 15,500 students attend the finale event at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, what’s not to love?

To find out more about Leeds Sport, head to our ‘About’ page  where you can also meet the team to find out who does what.

Alumni Selected for Six Nations Squad

Rugby pitch Sports Park Weetwood

Congratulations to University of Leeds Alumni, Alex Lozowski, who has been named as part of England’s Six Nations squad. Lozowski studied Economics within the Leeds University business school and graduated in 2014. 

men playing rugby at varsity

Lozowski makes up one of three uncapped players selected for this year’s squad alongside back rower Mike Williams and prop Nathan Catt. Due to injury, England are without a number of players, including both Mako and Billy Vunipola and former captain Chris Robshaw, giving versatile back Lozowski a chance to step up to the plate.

As defending champions of the 2016 Grand Slam, England go into the tournament on the back of a 14-game winning streak, equaling the record of Sir Clive Woodward’s side in the build-up to the 2003 World Cup.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, Head Coach Eddie Jones said:

“We are looking forward to being daring in our game against France on 4 February,”

“This time last year I said the long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby,”

“Obviously I’ve been pleased with how the team’s progressing, but there’s still plenty to improve on.

“At the start of last year’s Six Nations I probably didn’t realise the enormity of the tournament and how intense the rivalry is between the countries, so this year we’ll be better prepared for it.”

(Quote taken from BBC article:

Congratulations again Alex, and we wish you the best of luck for the tournament!

Keep up to date with the RBS 6 national tournament online here.

Students Selected for English Universities Squads

Weetwood Arial View

Congratulations to all of our talented Leeds Sport athletes, at the University of Leeds, who have been selected as part of the English Universities North Squads for 2017, making up an impressive 11% of the selection.

It is well known that universities are a breeding ground for sporting talent. The English Universities Programme works to develop this talent and selects top athletes from universities across the country to make up a national squad to represent England in the University Home Nations.

15 athletes from the University of Leeds have been successful in their trial for the English Universities Northern Squad. This makes up an impressive proportion of students selected for the North (as seen below), showing the wealth and depth of talent we have here at Leeds.

The selected students will go onto National Trials in late February, attempting to make the English Universities National Squad, which will compete in the Home Nations competition in April. Congratulations to the following students that have been selected:

Justin BrownMen’s Hockey
Sam ApoolaMen’s Hockey
Carlos Dolado-HollymanMen’s Hockey
Charlotte EvansWomen’s Hockey
Francesca HoughtonWomen’s Hockey
Lara KnowlesWomen’s Hockey
Katie HopkissonWomen’s Hockey
Ellie LyneWomen’s Hockey
George MasonMen’s Football
Bethan DaviesWomen’s Football
Rachel NewboroughWomen’s Football
Hannah HaleWomen’s Football
Olivia Da CostaWomen’s Football
Frances Robbs De La HoydeWomen’s Rugby 7’s
Rosie BlountWomen’s Rugby 7’s


Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport at the University of Leeds, was delighted with the news:

“Seeing such a large number of our students selected for the English Universities North Squads shows how much talent we have here at the University of Leeds. We wish all athletes the best of luck going in to the national trials in February and will be supporting you all the way.”


Changes to some of our prices

The Edge

From 3rd January 2017 we will be making some changes to some of our member and non-member pay-as-you-go prices.

These prices have not been altered over the last 4 years and are in response to inflation, increased costs such as staffing and energy as well as facility refurbishment.

Personal Training (course of 5)Was £120 now £130
Personal Training (course of 10)Was £220 now £230
Personal Training (course of 30)Was £540 now £570
Studio 1 hire per hourWas £18 now £20
Studio 2 hire per hourWas £25 now £27
Gryphon Sports Hall 1 hourWas £74 now £75
Water based artificial Hockey Pitch per hourWas £75 now £90
3G Pitch full per hourWas £100 now £110
3G Pitch one third per hourWas £45 now £50
Public Swim / Sauna / SteamWas £5 now £5.50 peak Was £4 now £4.50 off peak
Staff & Student of University of Leeds Swim / Sauna / SteamWas £4 now £4.50 peak Was £3 now £3.50 off peak
Student & Staff of University of Leeds Non Member attending a booked sports court (Squash, Badminton, Football, Netball, Basketball, Volleyball) per hour Was £5 now £5.50
Public attending a booked sports court (Squash, Badminton, Football, Netball, Basketball, Volleyball) per hour Was £5.50 non £6
Student & Staff of University of Leeds Non Member Climbing Wall usageWas £5 now £5.50
Public Climbing Wall usageWas £5.50 now £6



2017 – Dive into the New Year

Get back on track!

Join us at The Edge and get stronger, faster, fitter, and healthier. We can help you lose those extra inches, shift that Christmas weight and feel a whole lot better than you did in 2016.



If you are already a member why not try something new this year? We have a long list of activities to choose from. Why not try:

The list goes on…

If you have any questions or want any advice why not get in contact with the team at or by calling 0113 343 7406

Brownlee Second at BBC SPOTY

Ali Brownlee winning at Olympic games in Rio 2016

Huge congratulations to University of Leeds Alumnus Alistair Brownlee who claimed second place in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016. 

Alistair came second behind Andy Murray with 121,665 votes, a fantastic achievement.

It’s been a brilliant year for Alistair which began with him winning the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Series when it came to his homeland in Leeds, cheered on by thousands of fans in the city.

Alistair went on to become the first man to ever retain the Olympic men’s triathlon title, finishing ahead of brother and fellow alumnus Jonny who claimed the silver at Rio 2016.

In September Alistair made headlines again at the World Series final in Mexico when exhausted brother Jonny who was leading the race with 700m to go started to weave from side to side, after being hit with heat exhaustion. Alistair came round the corner, saw his brother and helped him run the final meters before pushing him over the line in second place. A very dramatic end to the Triathlon World Series and the ultimate show of sportsmanship from Alistair.

You can watch a video of the finish here. 

“It’s been a fantastic year for Alistair and we’re very proud of his achievements as an Alumnus of the University.”

Patrick Craig, Assistant Head of Sport at The University of Leeds.

Find out more about Alistair online here.


New Trustee for The Bambisanani Partnership

This week, The Bambisanani Partnership appointed Leeds Sports Professional Development Manager, Andy Lockwood, as a Trustee.  

Andy became involved in the Bambisanani Partnership 2 years ago and made his first visit to South Africa in 2015 with students and staff from St. Mary’s School, Menston. Inspired by the visit, Andy set about organising his own project with students from the University of Leeds to head to South Africa to further develop the work of the partnership. In June 2016, the first ‘Gryphon’s Abroad‘ leadership project was delivered to over one hundred junior school children and pioneered a unique cycling programme (Cycling to Success) at Mnyakanya School.  Its safe to say the project was a huge success and the students that helped to deliver the project had an incredible experience.

“Over the last two years, I have had the privilege of working with the partnership, initially as a sponsored guest and more recently as a fully-fledged project partner through my role at the University of Leeds. I can quite honestly say that the partnership has had a profound effect on me as an individual and the way in which I view the world. Through my visit with the partnership in 2015 and the delivery of my own project in 2016, I have seen the positive effect the partnership’s work has on the young people and communities it comes into contact with, whether it be supporting young people in South Africa to develop their leadership and coaching skills or supporting our students to develop their skills and broaden their horizons. The charity has an impact upon everyone it comes into contact with. It continues to leave a lasting and growing legacy both in Kwa Zulu Natal and Leeds. It is something that the charity should be very proud of. Sport has an amazing power to change and enrich the lives of young people and this is something that I am incredibly passionate about. I am committed not only through my role at the University of Leeds but personally to the continual development of this work and the good that it does. I believe that my passion and experience will help to develop the partnership further and that I will be able to contribute to its ongoing success. It is a great honour to be appointed to the Board of Trustees and I look forward to playing my part in this amazing charity.”

The Bambisanani Partnership is a multi-award winning charity which uses sport as a catalyst to promote education, health, global citizenship and leadership in one of South Africa’s most deprived rural areas.  Andy will join Founder Trustees David Geldart, Darren Beardsley, Katie Campbell, Barbara Pounder and Diane Maguire on the Board. Chairman of The Bambisanani Partnership, David Geldart, was excited to welcome Andy to the board:

“Andy is an outstanding young man who has gained national recognition for his work in Sport Development and Leadership. He has demonstrated great commitment and personal investment to the partnership and has the vision and enthusiasm to make a significant contribution to the charity, both strategically and operationally. Andy is both a fantastic team player and leader and it is a privilege for us to have him on board.”

University of Leeds are delighted to hear of Andy’s appointment and are excited to be involved in such a fantastic partnership. Head of Sport, Suzanne Glavin, commented on the appointment:

“This is inspirational stuff and I’m delighted for Andy that his hard work , commitment and personal dedication are being recognised through this special appointment. It’s a delight to work alongside people who believe in their product. He is a great ambassador for the University of Leeds and for the power of sport.”

2017’s Gryphon’s Abroad cohort are already well underway fundraising for the second year of the project.