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

University’s Paralympians Secure Medals In Rio

University of Leeds graduates claimed three gold medals and one silver in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with one alumni setting a new world record in the process.

Swimmer Claire Cashmore, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2011 with a degree in Linguistics and Phonetics, secured a gold medal for TeamGB in the women’s 4x100m medley relay, helping bag the team a world record time of 4.45.23. This followed her silver medal victory in the women’s 100m breastroke just 3 days earlier.

The Leeds’ alumni second gold medal came from rower Grace Clough, a member of the mixed coxed fours team, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in Sociology.

The final Paralympic gold was claimed by hand cyclist Karen Darke, who beat the USA and Italy to secure the top spot in the women’s time trial. Karen graduated in 1992 with a degree in Chemistry and Geological Sciences.

Leeds’ two other Paralympians; Kim Daybell and Laura Sugar, also performed well, but narrowly missed out on medal placements.

Table Tennis player Kim, currently taking a year’s break from his degree in Medicine, reached the quarter finals of the men’s individual competition. Also competing in the men’s team competition, he again reached the quarter finals, the group coming fifth overall.

Runner, Laura came fifth in both the women’s T43-44 category 100m and 200m final, securing a personal best time in the 100m in process. Laura completed a Sports and Exercise Science degree and was a member of the women’s hockey club whilst at University.

The Paralympians’ medal success adds to the Leeds contingent who took part in the Olympic Games in August. Across both tournaments, graduates from the University performing with TeamGB claimed four golds and two silver medals.


Students – Get social and get fit this academic year!

Get our early bird offer at The Edge and save money

Save now on an Edge membership.

The countdown is on…


Students! This is the year to really love your time at Leeds, and alongside all the hard work and socialising; keep fit, healthy and stay in shape.

Not only can you save £10 off all annual Edge memberships but you are also entered into a prize draw to win one of five FitBits, the best in wearable fitness technology, if you buy a membership online before the 16th of October!


An Edge membership gives University of Leeds Students total free access to all our fantastic facilities including:

Don’t delay, buy now!


Varsity Teams Up With parkrun

student running in fields

Leeds Varsity are excited to announce another brand new event in this years series. This year, we have teamed up with parkrun to bring you our very own parkrun Varsity.

If you’ve always wanted to be involved with Varsity and help your University score those all important varsity points, now you can! So how does it work?

Each runner and volunteer will score a point for their University, the University with the most points wins parkrun Varsity!

When? Saturday 1st October, 8.30am

Where? Woodhouse Moor

How? Register with parkrun then simply turn up on the Saturday morning wearing your University colours to take part. Both staff and students are welcome! Parkrun is a 5km run which you can take as slow or as fast as you like. If you are keen to get involved but can’t run, don’t worry, you can volunteer just turn up in your colours and you’ll still score a point for your University. There will be 3 funnels after you’ve finished, you simply need to make your way down the funnel allocated to your University and hand in your token.

Who wins? You will only score a point for your university if you register and wear your University colours. The University with the most participants (runners and volunteers) will be the parkrun Varsity victor!

Helpful Information for on the day

  • Register beforehand
  • Print off and bring your barcode
  • Leave bags and coats at the finish line not the start line
  • Get to the start line for 8:50am
  • Please listen carefully during the run briefing
  • It’s a run not a race, you’re an ambassador for the University of Leeds. Please be considerate to other runners and park users
  • Wear your university’s colours, GREEN for Uni, PURPLE for Beckett.
  • Try to seed yourself on how fast you think you’ll be able to complete the run
  • Cross the finish line the third time it comes into sight
  • After crossing the finish line stay in order until given a finish token
  • Get your barcode and finish token scanned at your University-specific scanning station
  • Our Get Out, Get Active team have recently set up their own run club so if you’d like a club to run for, please select Get Out, Get active – Uni of Leeds run club when you sign up.

Become a Gryphon

Become a Gryphon

At the University of Leeds we provide one of the best sporting experiences in the UK and Leeds is known as “The Home of the Gryphons”.

So how do you Become A Gryphon? It’s simple, all you need to do is get involved in sport in whatever way suits you. Whether you want to volunteer, play socially, compete at the highest level or simply support the Leeds Gryphons clubs you’re joining the Leeds Sport community and becoming a Gryphon.

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New Varsity Event

Each year Leeds Varsity gets bigger and better, like last year when the rugby finale reached a record breaking attendance of 14,232.

As much as we love the climatic rugby fixture, we also know that Varsity is about more than the finale. We have over 60 fixtures across over 25 sports in just one day making it an incredibly unique event. With this in mind, to make this year even greater, we’ve added in a brand new event – The Netball Varsity Opener.

woman about to throw netball

On Tuesday the 4th October, our University of Leeds Netball first team will journey over to the Leeds Beckett Sports Arena where they will go head to head with Leeds Beckett first team in a fierce battle for that all important Varsity point.

The game will begin at 7.30pm making this the first ever 24 hour varsity. Doors will open at 6.30pm, with refreshments available in the fanzone and pre-game and half-time entertainment from both Universities dance and cheer teams, this is an event not to miss.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be the captain of such a special & prestigious club. It’s my 3rd varsity and its such an enjoyable event. All the club have been training extremely hard throughout pre-season and the atmosphere and excitement is building the closer it gets.”

Club Captain Beth Horridge


Tickets are available to purchase online now and cost only £2.


If you would like any more information on Leeds Varsity please head to our website or follow us on social media @leedsvarsity and Leeds Varsity – Uni Fans.

Social League teams get free facility access!

Social Sport

Over the past couple of years, following your feedback and the new sport and physical activity strategy, we’ve been working hard to reduce the cost of participating in sport at Leeds with the ultimate aim of improving your student experience.

As a result of this work the University will be contributing additional hundreds of thousands of pounds to reduce the cost of participating in sport to each student. As a part of this work Social League student participants will receive free facility access for their fixtures and training, meaning there is no need to purchase a Sports Pass to access facilities.

Eligible Leagues

All leagues that are eligible for this free access are;

  • 11 a-side Football
  • Netball
  • Small Sided Hockey
  • 5 a-side Football (unofficiated)

Free Entry Fee for Powerleague

We have removed the £25 team entry fee associated with our 5 a-side and 7 a-side Powerleague Leagues (either held at The Edge or at the Powerleague centre). The only cost associated to these fixtures will be the Powerleague set £32 per week per team for guaranteed games, referees and fixtures.

Find out more about the new Leeds Sport Fund and view our FAQ’s online here.


Staying Fit and Healthy
Stay on top of your health and fitness this academic year with an Edge membership to enjoy fantastic facilities including the swimming pool, fitness suite and exercise class programme.

Hurry! Annual online Edge memberships currently have £20 off during August and you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of five Fitbits, get yours here now:


Casual Sport Access
If you are not interested in the gym, pool or classes but do want to access sports facilities generally or outside of your club sessions e.g. casual squash, badminton, 5 a-side, basketball bookings or climbing sessions then you can still purchase a Sports Pass.


This exciting new change is all part of our commitment to reducing the cost to individual students of playing sport at the University of Leeds. Find out more here.
If you have any questions please contact Rachel Weaver (Social Sport Coordinator):

Your Varsity Needs You!

Students, are you still in Leeds this summer? We’re looking for models to be a part of this year’s Varsity campaign which will be displayed all over campus in the run up to this year’s event – and don’t worry you don’t have to play sport to be a part of the campaign. This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved with the biggest sporting event in the University calendar. The photo shoot will take place on Friday 19th August from 9am – 5pm (schedule tbc).

If you are interested and available on the aforementioned date, please contact for more information before 12pm Wednesday 17th August.


7th University Graduate Rio Bound

Laura sugar running over the line on athletics track

Laura Sugar, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2012 has been selected to represent Team GB at the Rio Paralympic Games this September.

Laura who previously competed for Wales in the national Hockey side swapped her stick for the track in 2012 and hasn’t looked back, recently winning Silver in the 2016 Muller Anniversary Games.

Laura competes in the 200m T44 Classification and will be taking centre stage on the 14th September when she represents Great Britain at the Paralympics for the first time in her career.

Find out more about Laura and the seven other athletes from the University competing in Rio on our webpage here.

New £5m cycle track’s wheels in motion

new cycle track birds eye view


Starting gun fired on £5m sports facility fit for Olympians

Work has officially started on a £5m University of Leeds sports development that will enhance facilities for cycling and triathlon in the region.

The project for a 1.6km (1 mile) outdoor cycling circuit and refurbished sports pavilion on the University’s Bodington playing fields in North Leeds will provide a traffic-free environment for cycling.

The 6m-wide, Tarmac-surfaced circuit should be ready early next year for University students, staff and the wider community to use for all levels of cycling including recreation, coaching and competition.

The development comes just after some 8,000 people took part in the Leeds Sky Ride earlier this month, with part of the city centre closed to traffic for the two-wheeled enjoyment of all ages.

What’s more, there are just days to go before the Rio 2016 games start. The city’s Olympic competitors, including University of Leeds alumni Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and Gordon Benson, will have access to the new facilities at Bodington.

The pavilion will create a home for British Triathlon’s world-leading Leeds Triathlon Centre, providing strength and conditioning training, physiotherapy and other support services.

The proposals, which are part of the University’s sports and physical activity strategy, have been drawn up in partnership with British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Leeds City Council.

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


Patrick Craig, the University’s Assistant Head of Sport, said:

“This is a success story for cycling in the city and beyond. It will ensure cyclists of all abilities in Yorkshire and across the north of England have some of the best facilities in the UK available close to home.

We’ve already seen how the University’s graduates have dominated top level sports cycling through the Triathlon World Series, an achievement which everyone in Leeds can be proud of. Opening this new track reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK.

I’m also very pleased to say to competitive cyclists anywhere in the region that this circuit is available to them to train on. This is a University of Leeds facility which will be ready and waiting to help our students and graduates and everyone else to use to improve their performance.”

Charles Johnston, Sport England’s Property Director, said:

“Thanks to this new development, British triathletes will have access to the dedicated world-class training and support facilities they need to be the best.

But it’s not all about Olympians. When Sport England invests in facilities, we make sure everyone can benefit, regardless of ability. This centre is no different. I’m looking forward to seeing our top athletes and members of the community all using and enjoying these fantastic facilities for years to come.”

artists impression of cycle track

John Mills, Director of Coaching, Education and Development at British Cycling, said:

“We’re very pleased that the closed road circuit is now a step closer. We look forward to continuing to work with the University of Leeds on this exciting project, which will provide a traffic-free facility for Leeds residents to cycle on for both sport and recreation.”

The Brownlee brothers’ coach, Malcolm Brown MBE, a performance coach at Leeds Triathlon Centre, said:

“Leeds Triathlon Centre will shortly have a home in this exciting new development. We are very grateful to all the key partners who have contributed to enable us to put down roots in the city. We now have a platform for further expansion of the sport.”

Angie Foley, a volunteer at Leeds Mercury Cycling Club, said:

“This is a really exciting time for cycling clubs across Leeds. Our club currently uses a car park for coaching young children, which is a huge barrier for progression, stopping many from cycling beyond the age of around 12. The new purpose-built facility at Bodington will help us to keep young people cycling through their teenage and well into their adult years.”

The improvements complement Sports Park Weetwood nearby, 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.

The Bodington site is currently used for grass sports including football and rugby. These uses will continue after the redevelopment.


Great Britain’s Triathlon Olympic team

  • Five of the six athletes selected for Great Britain’s Triathlon Olympic team train at the Leeds Triathlon Centre, which is a collaboration between the University of Leeds, British Triathlon, and Leeds Beckett University, offering elite training for top triathletes. The new cycling circuit will become part of this centre.
  • University of Leeds graduates claimed every place in the Team GB men’s triathlon squad. They are Jonny Brownlee (BA History 2012), Alistair Brownlee (BSc Sports Science and Physiology 2009) and Gordon Benson, (BSc Nutrition 2016). All three continue to make regular use of training facilities at the University, including the pool at The Edge centre and will use the new circuit.
  • Vicky Holland and Non Stanford, also members of Leeds Triathlon Centre, are two of the three selected for the Olympic women’s triathlon team.



University Hosts Triathlon VIP Dinner

With the announcement that the World Triathlon Series will return to Yorkshire in 2017, Leeds has reinforced its status as one of the global centers for world class triathlon and the University of Leeds continues to be a major influence in the sport locally, nationally and internationally.

This was cemented when dignitaries from across the triathlon world came together at the University of Leeds for a reception jointly hosted by Vice Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands and the Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake. Guests in attendance included the ITU Executive Board, British Triathlon and senior members of staff from across the University and the city of Leeds. Sir Alan spoke passionately about how important triathlon is to the University and the city, reinforcing our commitment to supporting the development of sport on the world stage.

artists impression of cycle track

This comes at a time when the University awaits planning permission for a £4.7m cycle track and triathlon performance centre development at The University of Leeds. The new development will be home to the Leeds Triathlon Centre and 5 of the athletes who have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Rio Olympics this summer.

“The Leeds Triathlon Centre will shortly have a home in this exciting new facility development. We are very grateful to all the key partners who have contributed to enable us to put down roots in the city. We now have a platform for further expansion of the sport”

Malcolm Brown, Performance Coach Leeds Triathlon Centre

UK Sport and British Cycling have joined the University of Leeds to fund the exciting new project, strengthening the partnership between the organisations and the University.

“We are delighted to be able to add this new cycle track and sports pavilion to our growing portfolio of top class sport facilities. To be able to do this is partnership with world leading sports bodies including British Cycling, British Triathlon, UK Sport and Sport England reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK and demonstrates our desire to support the development of sport on the world stage”

Patrick Craig, Assistant Head of Sport

Find out more about triathlon at the University of Leeds on our triathlon webpage.