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2017 – Dive into the New Year

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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.


Rebecca Gallantree Welcomed into Hall of Fame

Rebecca Gallantree, Malcolm Brown, Ady Jinchcliffe, Sir Alan Langlands, Suzanne Glavin

Rebecca Gallantree is one of Britain’s most successful springboard divers and has been welcomed into the University’s sporting hall of fame. She joins a number of notable sportsmen and women including Simon Mason, Carol Isherwood, Giles Long and Ray French.

Rebecca graduated from the University of Leeds in 2005 with a 1st Class Degree in Sports Science, during her degree she made her international debut in the 3m Springboard event. Following this she went on to win 4 consecutive British titles, the 4th securing her place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Rebecca Gallantre diving

After London, Rebecca and partner Alicia Blagg won two silvers in the 2013 FINA Diving World Series and bronze at the 2013 European Championships. In 2014 the pair won bronze at the World Series before claiming the Commonwealth title at Glasgow 2014.

In 2015 Rebecca rewrote the record books becoming the first female British diver to be crowned world champion, winning this accolade alongside Tom Daley in the team event at the World Aquatics Championships.

Rebecca went on to win a gold and silver medal at the British Championships later that year and in 2016 she qualified for her 3rd Olympic games, representing Great Britain at Rio 2016.

“Diving has given me the incredible opportunity to represent Team GB at 3 Olympic Games and become a Commonwealth and World Champion.”

Rebecca Gallantree


Rebecca Gallantree with Hall of fame frame

Rebecca was presented with her hall of fame frame after her friend and world renowned coach, Ady Hinchcliffe gave a summary of her career. He spoke about the importance of Rebecca balancing her studies at the University with her training and the invaluable experience she gained. Ady also described Rebecca’s personality and how her grit and determination ensured she never gave up on her dream to become a world class athlete.

“It’s a absolute privilege to induct such an accomplished Olympic athlete to our Hall of Fame. Becky is so understated in her achievements and we are delighted to provide her with this recognition as she is a great inspiration to young budding talented athletes”

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity at The University of Leeds

Rebecca’s frame will be on display in The Edge from November.

University Sport Scholars Announced

Group picture of UOL: sport Scholars

37 student athletes have been presented with their University of Leeds Sport Scholarships for 2016/17.

To present the athletes with their scholarships were the University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands and world renowned Triathlon Coach Malcolm Brown.

Malcolm Brown Olympic Coach to Brownlee Brothers Talking

The students have been awarded a University of Leeds Sport Scholarship to support them in their aspirations to compete at the highest level alongside studying for a world class degree.

The University has a unique approach that tailors each scholarship to the needs of each individual athlete. Athletes have their own personal mentor to ensure they are achieving a balance between academic and sporting excellence. As well as a specific strength and conditioning programme, physiotherapy, free access to The Edge and a bespoke financial bursary.

“It was lovely to congratulate our scholars on being selected and to wish them all the best during their time as a Sports Scholar at Leeds.”

Suzanne Glavin – Head of Sport & Physical Activity at The University of Leeds.

Among the Sports Scholars selected this year are Sam Dickinson who trains as part of the world renowned Leeds Triathlon Centre alongside the Brownlee brothers. Sam has won 3 Junior European Cup races and placed 8th in the Junior World Grand Final 2016.
Jack Perry is also a Sports Scholar this year and plays Wheelchair Basketball for GB U20s, he is aiming to compete in the World Junior Championships next year.


University of Leeds Sport Scholars 2016/17

Name  Sport Degree
Ben Sneesby Alpine skiing Law
John Ashcroft Athletics Fluid Dynamics CDT
Ellie Dooley Athletics Neuroscience
Georgia Malir Athletics Sport and Exercise Science
Phil Seseman Athletics Medicine
Martin Andersson Cricket Economics and Management
Oliver Bocking Cricket Economics
Sebastian Hatchett Cricket Chemical Engineering
Peter McDermott Cricket International Relations
George Scott Cricket Geography
Rosie Blount Cycling Medicine
Emma Kurtis Fencing History
Yasmin Sanderson Horse Riding English and History
Catlin Baty Lacrosse International Marketing and Management
Josh Blower Lacrosse Chemical Engineering
Bea Skingsley Netball Accounting and Finance
Harry Aaronson Rugby League Economics and Russian
Reece Brunt Rugby League Medicine
George Milton Rugby League Human Physiology
George Shaw Rugby League Geological Sciences
James Woodburn-Hall Rugby League Sport and Exercise Science
Radford Ramage Shooting Biochemistry
Jenny Davies Snowsport Sport and Exercise Science
Gillian Finnerty Snowsport Bioenergy CDT
Kim Daybell Table Tennis Medicine
Hope Kightley Tae Kwon Do Childhood Studies
Richard Allen Triathlon Nutrition
Sam Dickinson Triathlon Sport and Exercise Science
Greg Chambers Triathlon Sports Science and Physiology
Mary Hodgson Triathlon Biology
Alastiar Rogers Triathlon Sport and Exercise Science
Alastiar Weymouth Triathlon Sustainability and Environmental Management
Jack Willis Triathlon Mathematics
Will Carter Ultimate Frisbee Geophysics
Rachel Newbrough Football Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Hannah Patchett Water Polo Human Resource Management
Jack Perry Wheelchair Basketball History

Record Breaking Leeds Varsity

uni rugby team cheering winning varsity 2016

Record breaking crowds of over 15,535 people watched The University of Leeds beat Leeds Beckett University in the Rugby Union finale event at Headingley Carnegie Stadium to round off an amazing few days of competition.  

The 12th year of the competition between local rivals, The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University was as competitive as ever and resulted in the final score of 32 – 31 in favour of Leeds Beckett University. This was one of the closest Leeds Varsity competitions ever where just one match could have clinched it for The University of Leeds.

This year saw the introduction of a new event, parkrun varsity in which over 100 students turned up to represent the University of Leeds and take an easy victory over counterparts Leeds Beckett University. There was also another new headline event with the women’s netball taking place on the Tuesday night with well over 300 spectators who cheered the University of Leeds to victory.

The finale day itself was packed with intense competition and both universities battled hard against each other throughout the day.

The University of Leeds started the day off in style with a comfortable win in the indoor rowing, followed on with a strong start in pool for the biathlon who later went on to win both the men’s and women’s as they did in 2015. The university continued to dominate in the pool, effortlessly winning both the men and women’s swimming gala and water polo making them undefeated for the 7th year running. There was some fierce competition down at The Edge with the University hosting the badminton, volleyball and korfball. After some hard battled fixtures, the University came out on top in the korfball with an impressive 12 – 7 victory.

Meanwhile up at Sports Park Weetwood, the men and women’s hockey teams dominated over Leeds Beckett winning 7 out of their 8 fixtures with only the women’s 1st team narrowly missing out on a victory. Having suffered some heavy defeats in the previous year, the women’s football club also dominated, and took a clean sweep of victories against our local rivals.

Back indoors, the university netball teams put in a sterling performance with wins from the 2nd and 3rd teams. The impressive Tuesday night victory 33-29 clearly inspired the other teams to victory.

Fixtures were split evenly this year across the two Universities and it seems Leeds Beckett University enjoyed a home turf advantage with victories in all 6 tennis matches, both men and women’s lacrosse and the men and women’s handball.

The Varsity day culminated with the men’s rugby union finale at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. The overall scores were nail bitingly close leaving the rugby union side going out on to the field with everything to play for. With a record breaking attendance of 15,535, the 2016 Leeds Varsity is officially the biggest ever. The boys held their nerve and gave it their all to secure hard earned a 20 – 9 victory against league above side Beckett.

Coach Mark luffman said:

“The hard earned victory is a fitting reward for the boys as it shows just how hard the team have worked in pre-season and how much progress they have made over the past year. It was not an easy Beckett side to beat.

The crowd were fantastic and it’s great to have the support of so many students to give the team that extra boost when they need it.”

Claiming that final Varsity point settled the scores at 32 – 31. Congratulations Leeds Beckett University for their overall victory and well done to all players, coaches, volunteers, staff and spectators for the huge commitment and dedication to Leeds Varsity 2016. Thank you also to RAG for raising money for a fantastic cause, climbing out, and our student media societies for their coverage of the game.

A full list of the results can be found here, and keep an eye out on our social media channels for photo’s and videos from the day.


University Alumnus Called Up To England Squad

Rugby pitch Sports Park Weetwood

University of Leeds Alumnus, Alex Lozowski has been named in Eddie Jones’s 45-man elite player squad ahead of Englands Old Mutual Wealth Series against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia later in the year.

men playing rugby at varsity

Alex completed his Economic and Philosophy degree from The University of Leeds in 2014. Whilst at Leeds he played for Leeds Carnegie and the University of Leeds 1’s Team.  After completing his degree Alex went on to play for Wasps and moved to Saracens this summer, starting in place of injured international Owen Farrell at the number 10 Fly half position.

Being chosen in Jones’s Elite Player Squad is a fantastic achievement and Alex will train with the squad at Brighton College from 2-4 October ahead of the opening game in the series against South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 12 November (2.30pm).



Two shortlists for the National Fitness Awards

The Edge has been shortlisted for National Fitness Awards!

The Edge has been shortlisted in the Regional Gym of the Year and Group Exercise Gym of the Year at the National Fitness Awards, an annual event which recognises excellence and achievement in gyms throughout the country.


The awards are organised by leading fitness industry magazine Workout, with support from headline sponsor ServiceSport, and in each category up to seven finalists have been selected, who will now go through to the next stage of the judging process where they will be out to impress by showcasing first hand the great work going on in their clubs.


This stage involves a visit to each finalist by a member of the Workout team who will take a look around the facilities and chat to members and staff before compiling a comprehensive report, which will then be passed on to an expert judging panel to decide the lucky winners.


Trophies will then be handed out a glittering awards ceremony on Friday December 2 at The Athena in Leicester, which will be hosted by boxing world champion Ricky Hatton and award winning personal trainer and star of The Apprentice Katie Bulmer-Cooke.


National Fitness Awards’ director Judith Halkerston said: “The quality and quantity of National Fitness Awards’ entries just keep improving year on year and everyone who has been shortlisted this year should be really proud of their achievement so far as competition was so strong and standards so high”.


“The team is really looking forward to visiting all our shortlisted clubs and seeing some of the great work that is going on in the fitness industry on a daily basis.”

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!

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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:

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