University of Leeds represented at 2019 Leeds Sport Awards

Leeds sport awards 2019 finalists announced

The University of Leeds Netball Club and Boat Club have been made finalists in the Student Sport, Special Contribution Category of the 2019 Leeds Sports Awards.

Netball have increased their outreach work this year and are doing lots for the local community. Seven of their members are working towards coaching qualifications to enable them to coach in local primary schools across Leeds every week. Over ten of the club’s members umpire at social leagues across Leeds, with some working towards their umpiring qualifications too. In addition to this, 2 of their members run a weekly social netball session, open to anyone who wants to try out netball or play in a relaxed environment. On top of all this, the teams are excelling in their BUCS leagues, raising money for charity and trying to increase the profile of netball across the district.

Netball team warming up

Boat Club want rowing to be a part of breaking down barriers to higher and further education. 23 of their members coach in the community as part of an outreach programme where they deliver weekly sessions in local secondary schools. They aim to not only get young people active, but also build their confidence.
Once a term, the club volunteer at the RowLeeds Indoor Champs, where hundreds of school students come together to put their training to the test. The club also work closely with The Gorse Boat Club (TGBC). TGBC was founded in 2016 and is the school boat club for 5 academies and 1 sixth form centre from across Leeds. The two clubs often train together and UoLBC invite TGBC boats to their club regattas at the end of each term.

This year the boat club have also chosen to focus on mental health, working to improve the support they give to their members. In September, their 20 committee members were trained on how to support their members mental health and they’ve introduced a clear signposting system within the club. In October they did a 12 hour ergathon outside LUU to raise money and awareness their chosen charity: Mind.

rowing boat on the water

Sports Scholar Sam Dickinson has also been made a finalist for Sportsman in the Senior Achievers Category.
Sam is a member of the UK Sport Lottery Funded World Class Performance Programme and trains at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. In 2018, he won a silver medal in the U23 event at the ITU World Championships.

Sam Dickinson posing for a photo

In addition to our students being recognised, our Sports Performance Manager, Sarah Robinson, coaches at the City of Leeds Synchronised Swimming Club, who’ve been shortlisted for Young Club/Team in the Young Achievers Category. Sarah coaches the junior team and duet/solos towards the British Championships as well as the England Talent Development Squad 2019.  

The winners will be unveiled at the awards on Thursday 28 February at the First Direct Arena.

Tickets for the event are available here
A full list of the 2019 Leeds Sports Awards nominees is available here

Varsity Cross Country Round-up

Runners at the varsity cross country men's race
The points are shared in the first Varsity event of 2019.

Leeds Beckett men won their race overall, while in the women’s race, the University of Leeds claimed the point.

the men's team runners on the start line at varsity cross country 2019

The men’s race started proceedings, with 43 runners registered from not only the universities, but from local clubs too. The 6.4km course was completed in just 18:07 by Alex Yee from Beckett who claimed first place. Nathan Marsh from the University of Leeds finished third with a time of 19:28. Leeds Beckett took the overall Varsity point; they had 3 runners place in the top 6.

Top 3 finishers in the men's race posing with Sago the pony at varsity cross country 2019

The women’s race started just after the men had set off with 21 runners on the start line, again, entries were not only from the universities, but local clubs too. The course was completed in 22:10 by Bronwen Owen from Beckett who finished first. University of Leeds sports scholar Kate Waugh finished in third place with a time of 22:42. Overall, the University of Leeds won the point, with 3 runners finishing in the top 6.

top 3 finishers in the women's cross country varsity race 2019 posing with sago the pony

In total there were 63 runners, who provided some entertaining racing and raised just over £240 for local charity, Hope Pastures. They brought Sago the pony along to the event to see the runners and supporters.

A big thank you to all the volunteers that helped make the event possible, including the course erectors/dismantlers, timekeepers, recorders, entry desk, raffle ticket sellers, marshals and supporters.

This leaves the overall varsity score poised at 1-1.

A full list of results is available here.

Varsity Cross Country Preview

Beckett and University of Leeds students at the start line, with the words 'let the games begin' overlaying the image

After being crowned 2018 Varsity Winners, we are determined and ready to retain the Varsity title. The Cross Country Club are the first to take on the challenge, with the Varsity Cross Country Race kicking off the 2019 campaign.

This year marks the 10th Varsity Cross Country event and it is taking place this Saturday, the 12th January.

University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University cross country runners

The races are a little different this year, with the most notable change being that the women’s and men’s race are the same distance (6.4km) and they will be starting at the same time. There are two varsity points up for grabs. The first 6 women and first 12 men to finish from each University will count towards the two separate team event scores.

This is a highly anticipated event, as it’s the opening event for Varsity 2019. We’re hopeful for a win to kick-start our title defence!

As well as being a rival competition, the day is also about giving to charity. The entry fee of £3 goes towards local charity ‘Hope Pastures’, their goal is to prevent suffering and to improve and save the lives of animals. With your donations they rescue, rehabilitate and rehome horses, ponies and donkeys in need.  On the day of the race they are even bringing one of their Shetland ponies along, keeping our supporters’ company.

Cross country runners posing for a photo with a white shetland pony

The event is open to anyone who would like to take part. All entries take place on the day, simply turn up at 10:30 at the Leeds Beckett Track Pavilion (LS6 3QT) with your £3 entry fee to get your race number. It’s that simple to get involved.

If you’re a bit overwhelmed from exams and revision, this could be a great way to unwind and de-stress.

Runner smiling with his thumbs up

For more information check out the Facebook event here.


Tom de Glanville named in England U20s Elite Player Squad

University of Leeds sports scholar Tom de Glanville has been named in the 32 man England U20s Elite Player Squad.

The announcement was made by England Rugby on Friday 4th January.

Tom de Glanville head shot

Tom studies Biology at the University of Leeds, whilst also playing for Bath Rugby A. Tom is a sports scholar here at the University which allows him to study for a world class degree and play sport at the highest level.

Tom has previously represented his country at Under 18 level, where he featured in test matches against France and Wales.

The squad will compete in the 2019 Six Nations as well as the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina. They open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland on Friday 1 February. The side then take on France on Saturday 9 February live on Sky Sports.

The U20s next face Wales on Friday 22 February, live on S4C, before a second home fixture of the tournament with the side playing against Italy on Friday 8 March live on Sky Sports. Their final fixture of the Six Nations will be against Scotland on Friday 15 March live on Sky Sports.

The 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship will be held in May/June.

Tickets for the England under 20 fixtures can be found here.

Tom de Glanville kicking a rugby ball

Full Squad


Olly Adkins (Gloucester), Josh Basham (Durham University), Will Capon (Bristol Bears), Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), James Dun (Bristol Bears), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Samson Ma’asi (Northampton Saints), Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), James Scott (Worcester Warriors), Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Willis (Wasps).


Tom De Glanville (Bath), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Cadan Murley (Harlequins), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Gus Warr (Sale Sharks), Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks).

Fundraising with the University of Leeds Women’s Hockey Club

Picture of the women's hockey committee
This semester, the University of Leeds Women’s Hockey Club have been very busy with lots of charity events and they don’t intend to stop!

Raffle Prizes

They started off the term with Race Night, the annual fundraiser hosted by the women’s hockey club. It’s a night of horse races, a raffle and lots of fun to raise money for SUDEP ACTION (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). The hockey club puts a lot of effort into giving to this charity, as tragically they lost a member of the club Emily Sumaria, to epilepsy 5 years ago.

There was lots of support for the event, with the men’s hockey club attending to help raise money.  Local companies were very generous, donating a wide range of amazing raffle prizes. The Community Secretary even donated her house in Portugal for a week! Loads of people were vying for the coveted raffle tickets, resulting in lots of happy winners.

The evening, held at Grovesnor Casino, was a huge success and the club managed to raise over £1000. This was a great event to kick-start the fundraising for the year. Shortly after this, they completed the annual Channel Swim Challenge. This is a challenge where the club swims the length of the channel collectively, at The Edge swimming pool. With 27 girls taking part this year, they managed to swim the equivalent of 2 and a half channel swims. One of the girls, Sadie Abel, swam the whole distance of the channel on her own, which was a tremendous achievement!

members of the hockey club in the swimming pool holding a SUDEP charity banner

Throughout the term, all 8 women’s hockey teams held Macmillan Coffee mornings. Getting the teams together with lots of cake was definitely a welcome idea and they managed to raise over £500. The last charity event of the semester is the ‘Hockey Hot Pot’. This is where each person puts in £3 and the teams have to cook a meal for their squad using as little money as possible. Whatever is left over is then donated to charity.

So far, the total raised is £4216. Their target for the year is £17,000, we’re sure they’ll achieve this and beat last years total of £16,687!

Girls hockey team with cakes

If you would like to help the club reach their target and donate to a very worthwhile cause click here.

The Edge wins ‘Education Facility of The Year’ at the National Fitness Awards 2018

We are proud to announce that Sport & Physical Activity, The Edge has won ‘Education Facility of The Year’ at the National Fitness Awards 2018.

The National Fitness Awards is an annual event which recognises excellence and achievement in gyms throughout the country. The Education Facility of the Year category is aimed at gyms which are based within a school or college or on a university campus.

The University of Leeds beat some stiff competition from six other shortlisted institutions including Coventry University and the University of Edinburgh

Shortlisted gyms have all been scored on being able to offer a  wide range of excellent facilities, with staff engaging with students, staff and the wider community; successfully spreading the positive word of health and fitness to the younger generation. Judges have shortlisted Sport & Physical Activity and scored The Edge highly based on the rage of equipment and group classes available, as well as how as a service we are able to support a range of sports clubs and elite athletes, and how The Edge facility enhances the experience of those living and working on campus.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity had to say …

“I’m delighted for the whole team who work tirelessly to provide a great experience for all our users. It’s especially pleasing that the award recognises not just the range of our facilities but how we engage students, staff and the community and how we are successfully spreading the word about health and fitness. This effort is in line with our new joint emerging plan “Do What Moves You” which will be published in January 2019″.

This fantastic achievement builds on The Edge being runner-up in the ‘Group Exercise Gym of the Year’ at the 2017 awards.

National Fitness Awards’ event director Judith Halkerston said:

“All our winners have had an arduous journey to this point – the standard of entries seems to just get stronger year on year and every facility that walked away with an award should be extremely proud”.

University Celebrates Sport Scholars

The University of Leeds Sports Scholars have been awarded their scholarships by the University chief operating officer, Tim Peakman, and chief financial officer, Jane Madeley at a special reception evening.

Over 60 students studying a variety of courses, from Medicine to Geography, are all supported by the Sport Scholarship Programme to help and guide them in achieving their goals to the highest of their ability, both within their sport and their academia.

One student who was celebrated this year is Joanne Pettitt, who is studying Physician Associate Studies and has represented team Scotland at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at netball. She has also represented Scotland at the European Championships in 2017 and the European World Cup Qualifiers 2018.

“I have been lucky enough to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and at the 2015 netball world cup in Sydney”.


Sam Dickinson has also been awarded a sport scholarship following a successful year in triathlon. He was a late starter to the sport, but two years after his introduction he became British junior champion and topped the table at the British Triathlon Super Series in 2015. In 2016, he won silver at the ETU European championships and represented GB at the ITU World Championships. This year he won silver in the U23 elite race at the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast.



The university has over 60 scholars competing from a vast variety of sports, from rugby players to snowboarders, competing at a range of competitions throughout the year. The scholarship programme gives each athlete a personalised package of support to meet their individual needs. This includes a personal mentor who helps ensure that they are managing and maintaining a healthy balance between University work and sporting committments.

Scholars also receive free access to The Edge, to help aid with their fitness, sport and wellbeing. A personal programme of nutritional advice, physiotherapy and strength and conditioning training, as well as a bespoke bursary to ensure they can manage their financial demands of performance sport.

This year a dual career policy has also been introduced.

Dual Career Policy

The University of Leeds dual career policy seeks to ensure that our student-athletes who are training, competing and studying at the very highest level have the support in place to allow them to succeed. The policy allows them to achieve their sporting and educational aspirations without sacrificing one to be a success in the other. You can read the full policy on the Student Education Service website here.


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



BUCS This Girl Can Week round-up

Clubbercise TGC header

BUCS This Girl Can Week ran from the 19-25th November 2018, based on Sport England’s campaign ‘This Girl Can’.

Loads of you got involved in many different ways. Here’s a look back at how.

On Monday, the start of BUCS This Girl Can week, one of our Gryphons swam the entire length of the channel down at The Edge! Sadie, a member of the Women’s Hockey club, completed 1344 lengths in the pool and has managed to raise over £650 so far – if you’d like to to add to that tally, then you can donate here

hockey charity swim

Women’s Football starred in our #OneToWatch on Twitter for BUCS Wednesday, whilst over on Instagram, Women’s Hockey took over for the day.
Ailie Rennie, the women’s football club captain, wrote a fantastic blog about her experiences and the opportunities football has given her as part of This Girl Can week. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, have a look here.
It was an amazing effort by all teams as usual, but the pick of the bunch from BUCS Wednesday was Squash 1s and Lacrosse 1s, winning 4-0 and 12-6 respectively.

Women's football

Over the weekend, Jiu Jitsu competed in the Atemi Nationals and Women’s Cricket played fixtures for the BUCS Indoor league. Jiu Jitsu finished 2nd overall, with Emily Knight earning an individual silver in the Green Belt! Cricket managed to win 5 out of 7 of their fixtures, finishing 3rd in their league.

Jiu Jitsu clubwomen's cricket club

We also highlighted our fantastic female volunteers and all the great work they’re doing in the community. Did you know 71% of our sports volunteers are female?

It was great to see so many of you getting involved in the campaign. We look forward to seeing what you get up to for the rest of the year!

A New Partnership for University

leeds rhinos

We have been working with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation (LRF) to develop some new volunteering opportunities for our students. 

The LRF has recently won Foundation of the Year award from Rugby Football League (RFL) due to their amazing work in the local area. This new partnership has been created to expand the number of volunteer programmes available to University of Leeds students, with some staff also being involved. It will look to build on new experiences to work with schools, the wider community and performance sport.

Head of Sport & Physical Activity, Suzanne Glavin shared her support for the new programme:

“We are hopeful that this pilot will be very successful and allow us to continually expand the programme. Our ambition is to have up to 300 students as part of this partnership! We would love to see students volunteering across Leeds on a range of different projects to benefit the wider community.”

The following projects are being piloted in 2018/19:


Working with LRF schools programme, we will be training and sending 15 students to help assist in schools. The volunteers will come from our many clubs and societies and will work alongside a designated LRF schools cluster coach. Through working alongside a qualified coach the volunteers develop their skills and also bring their own sport to local primary schools in Leeds.

Head of Community and Engagement at Leeds Rhinos Foundation Gareth Cook said:

“We are delighted to be working with the University of Leeds on these projects. Our work in schools now reaches over 100 schools so the support from the students will be extremely valuable. Last year we launched our Physical Disability Rugby League team, which was a huge success and in the next year we expect more people to get involved and more fixtures for the team. To have a team of volunteers focussing on their S&C will be a great resource for the team.”

Strength and Conditioning

Students will also be given the opportunity to assist with strength and conditioning (S&C) sessions for the Leeds Rhinos Physical Disability team. A number of our own staff will work alongside the students to help develop the squad. They will be assisting the Rhinos training and helping them prepare for their upcoming season.


If you would like to find out more about volunteering at Leeds then take a look at our volunteering page.