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

Free Cycle Circuit Family Experience

University of Leeds staff who participate in the HSBC Let’s Ride cycle event on Sunday 2 September are invited to enjoy a free family experience at the University of Leeds’ Bodington Cycle Circuit, following the Lets Ride event between 3 September –  5 November 2018.

Boddington Cycle Circuit is 1 mile closed loop cycle circuit, in North Leeds providing a safe traffic free environment for the whole family to enjoy.

Your free family visit will take place on one of our usual ‘Pay and Pedal’ sessions at the Circuit.

To enjoy this staff benefit simply …..

1.

Book onto the HSBC Let’s Ride

 

2.

Complete our family experience booking form

Fields marked with an * are required

By submitting this form you confirm that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions as laid out in the Sport and Physical Activity privacy notice.

 

3.

Then simply wait for one of the team to get back in contact with you to book in a date for you and your family to enjoy the Cycle Circuit for free at one of our usual ‘Pay and Pedal‘ cycle sessions. If you need to borrow bikes or helmets, don’t worry the team will have you covered.

Highlights of the year 2017-2018

Varsity Womens Rugby

It’s been a roller-coaster year here at Leeds Sport. From our ongoing struggle to take the Varsity crown off Leeds Beckett to some huge successes at the Big BUCS Wednesday it’s fair to say we’ve had an exciting year.

The year kicked off to a wild start with another incredibly close Varsity result with Beckett only finishing 3 points ahead of us. However, it wasn’t all bad news as we claimed some momentous victories. Our women’s rugby team took the win over Beckett for the first time EVER! A humongous 177 students, staff and alumni helped us clinch the Varsity Parkrun point and Swimming and Water-polo remained undefeated in the pool for the 8th year running.

Coming so close to victory made us wish that snow sports offered Varsity points! Back in November We watched Gillian Finnerty and Jenny Davies storm to victory taking two golds each at the BUCS Dry-Slope Championships! There was no stopping them as Gillian managed to nab two silvers in the competition as well.

Our Ladies have really been on top form this year as Women’s Football 1’s breezed to the top of the Northern 1A Division completely undefeated. The Girls went from strength to strength as they made their way to Big BUCS Wednesday where they faced off against Portsmouth in the final for the BUCS Trophy. The girls sealed a successful season with a 5-0 victory taking home the trophy for the second year running. Our football team weren’t the only ones competing as the Women’s Rugby 1s also took to the stage. After a tough match the girls finished in a glorious second place against newfound rivals from Swansea University.

Although the girls have been storming to success the boys have been keeping pace. Two of our sports scholars headed to Australia over Easter to compete in the Commonwealth games. Tyler Smith found himself as the flag bearer for Bermuda before competing in the triathlon and Team England’s Kim Daybell brought home a silver medal in the Table Tennis.

Success didn’t stop there for the men though as our Rugby League and American Football teams received the Leeds Sport Award for student sport in March. All of their exceptional work on the ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ campaign has proved to the community how great our all our Gryphons are and the positive impact of sport on mental health. 

Success also struck for our infamous Korfball team. After playing the best teams from the North and Scotland in BUCS Regionals Leeds were on top form. Their first place finish took them to the BUCS National Championship where they finished 9th in the country! Having their most successful year yet it looks as though the only way is up for our team.

With such a great year for sport here at Leeds it makes sense to round it off with a few Varsity wins for the 2018 season. Back in January the men’s cross-country took the first point of the year. Our social sports teams also pulled of an exciting win giving us the intramural point and our Men’s Cricket team put on a fabulous display taking home our third point of the year. With 57 games still to come it’s all to play for. Hopefully our one point lead will put us at an advantage coming into October!  

   

Students and staff volunteer in South Africa

South African student on a bike

This June ten University of Leeds students from a range of degree programmes and three staff members travelled to South Africa to volunteer in primary and secondary schools.

Over two weeks the Gryphons Abroad team made an impact on nearly 200 South African students lives over two projects.

Cycle to Success

The first project took place at Mnyakanya High School, in one of the poorest regions of South Africa where the team taught 30 students, both male and female how to ride and maintain bikes.

Frankii Darko, Gryphons Abroad student said,

“The cycle to success week of the trip has been amazing. To see students who had never been on a bike cycle by themselves and know how to fix them when something went wrong after only three days of teaching is pretty unbelievable!”

Read Frankii’s full blog here.

english student teaching african student to ride a bike

The team worked with Security Services and the Sustainability Bike Hub team to ship over eighteen recycled bikes which were refurbished after being abandoned on campus last year, as well as the tools and spare parts needed to fix the bikes when needed.

By the end of the week all students could ride a bike, most of which had never been on a bike before and nine students had all the skills and knowledge of road signalling to cycle on the main road.

south african fixing bikes and smiling

The skills the students have learnt are invaluable and many of them have already used the bikes to get to and from school, which for some was previously a two hour walk each way. The South Africa school teachers also spoke about the impact of the project on the students’ motivation, confidence and desire to succeed, and how the bikes were being used in the community,

“It’s not only the school that is benefiting from these bikes, it’s also the community. Learners who have learnt these skills are now showing others how to do it at the weekend. They learn a lot doing this project, they become motivated and go on to be something outside of the community.”

Inspire through sport and leadership

The second week of the project saw 160 South African primary school children learn a range of skills based around leadership, sport and education.

south african students playing cricket

The Gryphons Abroad team each led a classroom session based around their degrees, where everything from maths to mental health was taught. They also played a range of sports throughout the week as well taking part in leadership sessions where the South African students learnt the key skills needed to be a great leader such as, communication, organisation and planning.

male english stuident teaching South African students

The week culminated in the South African children leading activities of their own and putting what they had learnt into practice.

Finally on the last day the team went to a Zulufadder Orphanage where they got to meet and play with children who had lost their parents and were being looked after by an older sibling.

The trip was a huge success and has had a huge impact on both the students from the University of Leeds as well as the students from South Africa.

Watch the video and find out how you could be involved next year on the Gryphons Abroad Webpage.

The Gryphons Abroad project is run at part of the Bambisanani Partnership Charity.

Active staff and students have greater sense of wellbeing

woman doing yoga

In March the Sport and Physical Activity Service conducted the annual Balancing Life Survey to find out a bit more about the activity and wellbeing levels of staff and students on campus.

One of the most stand out findings from the survey was that the more active our staff and students are, the greater their sense of wellbeing.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity said,

“It’s great to see the steady progress and an increasing awareness across University of the role physical activity can, and does play in the health and wellbeing of all staff and students, as shown through these the Balancing Life Survey results.”

The full results showed that 74% of our student and staff population are active which means they are doing at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week.

75% of University staff are physically active and that’s 8% higher than the average for the national working population which is great news. Although only 73% of our students are physically active which is 4% less than the average higher education population.

The results also highlighted that over half of the activity people take part in either takes place on campus or is organised by the university. This supports the importance of programmes and activities provided by the university for staff and students to take part in, and the role they play in supporting campus wellbeing. This ranges from the onsite fitness facilities at The Edge to the Get Out, Get Active programme, Social Leagues and much more.

Suzanne Glavin said,

“We are committed to continuing the work we do through valued existing and newly forming collaborations to help people become more regularly active. We also know that there is more to do as we reach out to more faculties, schools and professional departments to help us support this agenda for students and colleagues alike.”

You can read the full results of the survey online here.

 

550 Miles, 4 footballers and one big challenge

Berlin Cycle

On the 16th of June four intrepid members of the University’s Women’s Football Club set off on a momentous challenge – to bike to Berlin.

The girls left Parkinson Steps with the hope of making it to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in just 8 days. Hannah, Lil, Cat and Fiona cycled approximately 550 miles across Europe to complete their journey! They were working in partnership with the University of Leeds RAG society in the hope of raising money for their chosen charities.

On their travels the girls faced a variety of different challenges, from aching legs to exhaustion. Around half way they found themselves caught in a five person pile up! With a few scraped knees they continued on their bike to Berlin. It was a physical challenge like no other and Lil admitted to us that:       

“None of us even had a bike when we signed up!”

However with a strong team motivating each other it was not as bad as they had anticipated. The girls managed to distract each other with silly games and songs when it got tough.

 

With such an extensive cycle the girls did put in some extra hours training but Lil told us that:

“To be honest we did very little training for it! With exams and university work due we were all quite busy towards the end of the year. I think by the time it came around I’d done a combined total of about 70 miles training which was only 5 miles further than the first day. But, the base fitness that we all had from football was enough to see our legs through.” 

Who are the charities?

The girls chose to split their fundraising efforts between three charities, the first of which is CooP Uganda. They are a small charity with aims of improving locals access to education, healthcare and work. Coop Uganda provides bicycles for individuals and also offers support for new enterprises that focus around social cycling.

The other two charities are those chosen by the university football club which the girls fundraise for through various events all year. Stonewall is one which aims to empower individuals as well as promoting equality for the LGBT community across the UK. They work within local communities and large institutions to support people in reaching their full potential. They chose to support Stonewall as it was suggested by the widow of Rachel Lush, an ex-Club Captain who sadly passed away a few years ago, and who this year the team introduced a charity alumni match in memory of.

Their final chosen charity is the James Burke Foundation. The charity was founded in memory of one of our rugby league players and also works to provide education and support for mental health. The girls noted that James Burke was a friend of many of their members and they wanted to help raise awareness of mental health issues, especially for male university students as it is something that isn’t spoken about enough.

The bike to Berlin proved to be a fantastic experience for everyone involved. Hanna told us a little more about her journey:

“The experience as a whole was amazing! Surprisingly the day we crashed was my favourite day as it gave us a laugh. Other days were a bit deflating but getting into Berlin and all cycling up towards the Parliament building together was an amazing feeling. We had a couple friends meeting us at the finish line and the support team were waiting with prosecco so it was an awesome reception!”

 

The Power of Football

Football Refugees Group

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

University of Leeds Social League Netball

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!

The Brownlee Centre is a Finalist

Brownlee Centre

In great news, it can be announced that the University of Leeds, Brownlee Centre facility at Bodington Playing Fields has been shortlisted as a finalist in the West Yorkshire Building Excellence Award!

The Brownlee Centre is the UK’s first custom-made built triathlon training centre; an iconic, architectural facility that is home to the renowned Leeds Triathlon Centre in association with the University of Leeds and named after the elite, legendary, University of Leeds alumni duo, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Being shortlisted for this award is a great achievement, that highlights the construction and design of the Brownlee Centre and Bodington Playing Fields.

 

The Building Excellence Awards are all about the essence of good buildings. Our finalists are not judged on architectural beauty, but on the ‘excellence’ show from a construction and technical building control point of view. Our awards showcase buildings and design teams that have had to tussle with technical issues, difficult sites, innovation and creative solutions. – Architects Data File

 

The awards night will take place at the Best Western Cedar Court hotel in Bradford on Friday 8 June, the overall winners will qualify for the LABC Grand Finals in London on Friday 9 November which is the largest business to business awards in the UK.

UOLBC take BUCS Regatta 2018

University of Leeds Regatta

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

University of Leeds Fitness Challenge Archon


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