University host junior parkrun

children running

Ten years ago the Sport and Physical Activity service at the University of Leeds started the third parkrun in the country on Woodhouse Moor. Since then parkrun has grown rapidly with 202,495 events in 17 countries worldwide! 

Following the University’s close relationship with parkrun and the opening of The Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit last year, Sport and Physical Activity and parkrun have teamed up once again, this time to launch a junior parkrun. The Bodington junior parkrun will take place on the University’s cycle circuit where children (aged 4-14yrs) will complete a 2km loop.

parkrun is all about inclusiveness, wellbeing and bringing together people in the community, the Bodington Cycle Circuit is the perfect location to achieve this with the tarmac circuit used for the run and The Brownlee Centre providing an indoor space for a drink and place to talk after the event.

The University invested £5m to create these facilities last year and one of the key aims is to provide space for members of the local community to use. Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at The University of Leeds said;

“We are committed to providing facilities where we can, for keeping the local community as active as they can be. So we are delighted to be able to support and host the Bodington Junior parkrun.”

Sport & Physical Activity have provided the £3k funding to launch this parkrun, which has bought the equipment needed to run the event. They are also providing the facilities for free, displaying their commitment to providing opportunities for children to be active.

“Encouraging children to be physically active at an early age is creating habits for life. We are keen to do this alongside encouraging young people to be aspirational about coming to study for a world class degree at the University of Leeds.

parkrun is a great inclusive offer; I love taking part in my local parkrun on Saturday mornings and would encourage everyone to get involved as a participant, a volunteer or a supporter.”

Suzanne Glavin

The Bodington junior parkrun launches this Sunday (25 February) at 9am and if you would like to get involved all you need to do is register on the website here. You only need to do this once then just turn up on the day.

 

Commonwealth Selection for Kim Daybell

Kim daybel paralympic table tennis player

Kim Daybell’s latest success in selection for the Commonwealth Games.

After reaching the quarter finals of the men’s individual in Rio back in 2016 and successfully gaining 2 silver medals in the PTT US Open, Kim Daybell is back. In April 2018 Kim will be off to Australia with England’s Table Tennis team to play in the Commonwealth Games. Clearly delighted he shared his thrill in being selected for the team;

“I’m really excited. It’s the first time para has had a standing event. To be part of the first one is going to be very exciting and to go to Australia will be a good trip. It will be nice to stand side by side with the able-bodied players and get the same coverage and the same recognition.

We are representing England rather than GB and it will be interesting to see if it has a different feel to it. We could play against our colleagues from Scotland or Wales, who we’ve never had to play against before. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Athlete Kim Daybell ready to serve holding table tennis bat and ball

Kim will be making his Commonwealth debut in Australia competing alongside 10 fellow team members who between them will be challenging 9 medals over the course of the competition. Team England are confident of success and believe Kim and his fellow athletes will provide strong competition. The University of Leeds is supporting Kim along the way and wishes him the best of success in the upcoming Games.

Mantality retreat success

Group of males wearing matching t-shirts holding giftbags at mantality retrea

Last weekend, three University of Leeds students journeyed to Weetwood Hall Hotel to partake in a three-day retreat with Leeds Rhinos legend Stevie Ward to look into male mental health. The Mantality retreat aims to encourage men to be more open and honest with each other consequently helping them to achieve a greater sense of control over their lives and empowering them to achieve their best.

The participants on the retreat expressed a range of reasons for wanting to take this fantastic opportunity, seeing it as a way to push their own boundaries by doing something that they didn’t feel comfortable with. By attending with an open mind they were encouraged to look at their past, present and future experiences and how this has affected their ideas of masculinity. 

So what was it all about?

The weekend was composed of a range of activities to increase self-awareness. From yoga to meditation workshops, each challenged ideas of manliness. This opportunity allowed everyone to be inspired to do things they wouldn’t normally do as men, and most importantly talk.

The group were encouraged to speak about their thoughts through a ‘men’s circle’. This offered the opportunity to share their feelings and allow themselves to be vulnerable in a safe and comforting environment. Feedback from our students told that all those taking part felt as though they were able to share their experiences. Working together to find ways of fulfilling their potential, they were able to remove limiting beliefs of what it means to be a man.

Andrew Marks, the Charity Secretary for Leeds University Rugby League, reflected on the weekend:

“I learnt that’s it is OK to be open about your feelings, to be vulnerable, and to have issues. I learnt a lot about myself, moving on from the past and how to be more present in today’s society.  We discovered how to really focus on our lives moving forward and it helped me realise how to be the best version of myself. I discovered how to be myself and take off the mask we put on to society. Summed up by an Oscar Wilde quote, ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’”

A huge thanks to the footsteps fund for giving our students this fantastic opportunity. Also a special thank you to Stevie and the Mantality team for running this incredible programme.

International Student Exercise Classes Success

This Christmas, the University of Leeds flagship fitness facility – The Edge, offered a unique series of free exercise classes for its international students and the wider Leeds Global Community.

The classes included the ever popular, Les Mills Body Pump and Body Combat along with some brand new virtual led classes taught in Mandarin. The University of Leeds has invested significantly in their Group Exercise Timetable providing one of the largest programmes in the country, with over 220 classes on offer per week during term time.

Suzanne Glavin (Head of Sport) said; “It’s really important that we make sure that our sport and group exercise class provision at the University of Leeds meets all our students’ needs, including our international students. We were grateful and delighted to capitalise upon our strong collaborative working with Les Mills. We were delighted that we could pilot their excellent virtual classes, and be the first to launch those taught in Mandarin. Our international Chinese students who remained in Leeds over the Christmas period enjoyed a taste of home through taking part in Mandarin virtual group exercise classes“.

The Edge now has a fully kitted out virtual studio, offering a range of virtual classes for both beginners and the more experienced exercise class goer.

155 class bookings were made over the two weeks of Christmas for this new venture and feedback received from the students was resoundingly positive.

 

I think it’s a really brilliant idea to put these classes during December, especially for international students. I really enjoyed the class, there were loads of weights and bars available which was good. I would definitely attend again! Thanks for putting them on!” – Miranda

I attended two virtual classes and they were very good, especially that the instructions were in Mandarin. I enjoyed them and realised that I really need more exercises. I’d like to book again if similar classes will be available in the future” – Huiming 

The Edge has been recognised at the National  Fitness Awards over three consecutive years, coming runner-up in the National Group Exercise Award category in 2017.

 

New Year, new Varsity series

3 male cross country runners

Leeds Varsity is back. Our 9th annual Cross Country Varsity kick started the 2018 series and saw each university claim a point in the race for the title.

Each January we take on local rivals Leeds Beckett in our first Varsity event of the year. With two separate races, a 9.5km male race, and a 6.2km female race, there are a total of 2 points up for grabs. Over the years the event has seen some impressive names compete for those all-important Varsity points; Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Gordon Benson, Non Stanford and Tom Bishop to name a few.

Women's cross country team gather for team photo in a field

Similar to parkrun Varsity, students, staff, alumni and members of the public are welcomed to take part in this event with the top six female  and top twelve male students then gaining points for their respective universities.

This year it was Leeds Beckett (LBU) Women who came out on top in the first race of the day. Helen Warburton of LBU crossed the line in first postion, closely followed by Beth Garland from UoL Cross Country.

Over in the men’s event it was the Leeds Gryphons who claimed the overall men’s title with Sam Dickinson, Josh Woodcock-Shaw and Nathan Marsh taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions respectively, however Alex Lee of LBU secured the top spot.

 

The University of Leeds Cross Country coach, Greg Hull said:

“It’s always great to kick-off the Varsity series with the cross country races, seeing not just our students, but staff and members of the public taking part in an inevitably great event. Both teams put in a fantastic effort on the day and the women weren’t far away from making it a 2 point lead. Thanks to everyone who ran, set up the course, the officials and spectators for braving the cold winds and mud to help us put on a great event and also raise £190 for Hope Pastures Charity

Well done to everyone who was involved in the day. Head to the Varsity website or follow the Varsity Facebook and Twitter to find out more about the series. Up next will be American Football Varsity so keep a look out for more information.

Tackle mental health at Mantality retreat

American football and rugby league players together in a line

Mental Health is a continued hot topic at the University of Leeds recently, with Rugby League and American Football clubs leading on a mental health campaign “Talking Tackles It”.

In a continued effort to help raise awareness and opportunity to discuss this topic, Leeds Sport has worked alongside Leeds Rhinos player Stevie Ward to offer a rare opportunity for a handful of male students. Although best known for his performances on the pitch, off the pitch he works to promote greater discussion around the issue of male mental health through his online platform Mantality.

Taking the online platform a step further Mantality has now put together its first retreat alongside high performance coach Craig White.

 

Logo for new mantality
   

The retreat will be held at Weetwood Hall, starting on Friday the 26th Jan at 8:30am and finish at 7pm on Sunday the 28th Jan.

In this 3-Day Retreat, we will be creating the perfect environment for you to finally step into your power as a man. We will be sharing knowledge, experience, insight, and tools to enable you to cut free from your limiting beliefs, cultivate more presence in your life, and move forwards into a life fuelled with passion, a life on your own terms, a life you really want.

 

How to Apply

There are five spaces available on the retreat for University of Leeds students which have been funded by The Footsteps Fund. Those wishing to apply are asked to express their interest in an email to Eamonn Laird at e.h.laird@leeds.ac.uk as soon as possible. Questions to consider include:

What is your motivation for going on the retreat?

Why do you feel attending will benefit you?

How do you think you will be able to take what you learn and impact those around you in a positive way?

For any other information please contact Eamonn Laird on the address above.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight their way to bronze at UKBJJA

Martial Arts

Brazillian Jiu Jitsu took bronze at their first competition of the year with five gold, three silver and two bronze individual placings.

On the 25th November, the Brazillian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) society competed in a UK Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association (UKBJJA) competition at Warwick University. BJJ is a grappling combat sport where competitors aim to control and then submit each other. Matches start from the feet with both competitors aiming to takedown, control and submit their opponent on the floor. Matches run for a minimum of five minutes and can only end earlier if one competitor manages to make the other tap/submit- whether this be through a joint lock or choke. Submissions are positions in which an opponent is forced to tap/submit otherwise could suffer a bone breakage or passing out unconscious. Otherwise, a point’s decision will be given to the competitor who won more advantageous and controlling positions.

The UKBJJA are a national organisation that put together BJJ Competitions for Universities to stake their claim as the best Brazillian Jiu Jitsu society in the UK. Last weekend was our first competition of this academic year and University of Leeds successfully came third out of all the universities that competed.

Divisions are separated by weight and experience. There are beginner (up to two years), intermediate (up to three years) and advanced (plus three years). All matches are either gi or no gi. In gi matches, competitors are required to wear a gi (martial arts suit that looks like pyjamas) which has a larger focus on grips. No gi events are faster moving. Matches are set up in a tournament scenario, where competitors will need to have up to five matches to take gold.

All together the University of Leeds took 5 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 2 bronze, with medals coming from the intermediate and beginner divisions. Everyone who competed fought their hearts out, with some of our competitors having to pull out of their brackets due to injury.

The medal winners included Nathan Wanjau, who in only his second competition won three gold medals, one in the beginner no gi category, another in the beginner gi category and his third in the beginner Absolute Openweight division in which he had to fight opponents of any and all sizes. Alannah Russell took gold in her weight categroy and bronze in the Absolute Openweight female division. Chinyere ‘Lily’ Chilliredclaw Wokocha also claimed gold in the beginner Absolute Openweight no gi women’s division, alongside silver and bronze in gi women’s division. Finally, Sean Maguiness competed in the Intermediate division and came away with double silver in both gi and no gi under 69kg division.

If you’d like to find out more about the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu society here at Leeds, please visit their page or head to their Facebook group

Gryphons Crowned Women’s Dry-Slope Champions

For the first time in recent history, University of Leeds Snowriders were announced as this years Women’s British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Dry Slope Champions with stand out performances from Sports Scholar Gillian Finnerty and team mate Jenny Davies.

In the women’s snowboard event, Finnerty retained her gold medal title in the big air competition, with a huge 180° to seal the win. She then took a second gold in the slopestyle for an impressive 4th year running. In the Snowboard Cross (SBX) and Giant Slalom (GS), Finnerty picked up two silvers, missing out in the GS by just 0.2 seconds. Fellow Leeds Gryphon Lucy Wyatt made a great first impression claiming 18th in the GS in her first ever snowboarding competition. Finally the team picked up 4th in the team duals having been knocked out in the semi finals by eventual winners Loughborough.

Over in the men’s event, snowboarder and freestyle captain Oliver Chapman was impressive on the jump in the big air event but narrowly missed out on the finals after falling on his 540° attempt in the semis.

In the women’s ski event it was Jenny Davies who shone claiming two golds in the ski slalom and again in the ski giant slalom. Last year Davies was on track for first position but ended up straddling a gate in her second run so this year she was back with a vengeance and put a big distance between herself and second place to claim the gold she deserved.

As for the men’s ski event, Chris Guest put in a good display finishing 33rd in Ski Slalom and 49th in Ski GS. President and freestyle skier James Hough was performing well in the big air but the incredibly high standard of the group prevented him reaching the top eight to go through to the finals. It was Team GB athletes who claimed first and second in men’s ski disciplines. Click here for a list of full results from the weekend.

A huge congratulations to Gillian, Jenny and the rest of the team who headed to BUCS dry slope. Looking forward to seeing your achievements in the rest of the season!

BUCS Girls Can

3 girls doing yoga in this girl can t-shirts

Since it’s launch in 2015, This Girl Can has swept the nation encouraging and empowering women to get physically active. Each academic year British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) coordinate a special week of female-focused action, engaging with universities across the country.

If you didn’t already know, we run our very own ‘Uni Girls Can‘ programme which offers a range of activities and opportunities for women to get involved with during their time at university. That’s why as part of the ‘BUCS Girls Can’ week, we’re highlighting all the fantastic things you can get have a go at. Have a look at whats on offer below.

Whats on?

  • Zumball

    A fun, fitness session with a difference. Combining strength exercises and body weight conditioning with a ball to provide a predominantly core and upper body workout. Who knew there was so much you could do with a ball!

    When? Monday 20th November 16:00 – 17:00

    Where? Cromer Terrace

    Cost? £3    Book here

  • Weight Training

    An introduction to weight training, tailored specifically for women only. It will aim to cover the basics of weight training, building confidence to then build in the techniques and exercises into your own training sessions.

    When? Tuesday 21st November, 17:30 – 18:30

    Where? The Edge, S&C Room

    Cost? £3    Book here

  • Woodhouse Workout

    Led by our friendly, inspirational instructor Teejay Jones, Woodhouse Workout takes advantage of the beautiful Woodhouse Moor park right on our doorstep. It combines cardio and resistance training through fun pair work, games and team building.

    When? Wednesday 22nd November, 12:15 – 13:00

    Where? Woodhouse Moor, meet at Cromer Terrace

    Cost? £3    Book here

  • Yoga Flow, Align Your Spine

    A combination of pure movement and vinyasa flow yoga. Open to anyone who wants to learn more about how to use their body correctly. Moving to music to release tension, increase flexibility and build strength.

    When? Friday 24th November, 16:00 – 17:00

    Where? Cromer Terrace

    Cost? £3    Book here

 

 

We’ll also be featuring one of our very own Leeds Gryphons Women’s teams as our #onetowatch on BUCS Wednesday so tune in to the @Leeds_Sport twitter account to catch the live action!

 

 

Gryphons Unite to Tackle Mental Health

American football and rugby league players together in a line

Thank you to Mark Webster for donating his time for photography: www.markwebsterphotography.com

In light of men’s mental health awareness the University of Leeds Rugby League and American Football clubs have teamed up to raise money for the James Burke Foundation and CALM. Both charities work to raise awareness of male mental health and provide support services, with the James Burke Foundation being set up in memory of a University of Leeds student.

“In April of this year we lost a teammate named James Burke to suicide. This affected not only the club but everyone who knew him. We wanted to do something to make a difference and raise awareness of mental health to make sure this never affected another club in our university again. After speaking to American Football we found out they were in a similar situation so with both clubs having been affected by mental health and suicide we decided to pull together and make a collective effort to change the stigma that comes with mental health.

We want to encourage both men and women to speak out and know that its ok, to not be ok”

Andrew Marks, Rugby League

Kyle, who was a teammate of James has written a blog about what happened and you can read it on our Leeds Sport blog.

You can support the clubs throughout November to help raise funds and awareness of mental health by getting involved in one of the many exciting events:

  • Clean Shave

    Whats in store?

    To kick off the month of events the guys from Boris&Co are coming to University Square in LUU (opposite Santander) to give out free cutthroat shaves from a professional barber (worth £25).

    So if you’re planning to do Movember, or just haven’t had a shave for a while then come along and get a clean shave and throw a few coins into the donation buckets to support the mental health charities.

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    Where? Opposite Santander, LUU
    When? 1st November, 10am – 4pm, drop in whenever
    Cost? Throw a few coins into the buckets to support the charities Boris &Co logo

  • Pizza & Pool

    Whats in store?
    Come and enjoy some free pizza and pool in the Loft (above Blackwells, opposite the Parkinson Building). it’s a great place to chill out with some mates and have a chat.

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    Where? The Loft, above Blackwells, opposite the Parkinson Building
    When? Fridays in November 2-4pm
    Cost? Free

  • Move for Mental Health - 4th November, 9am

    Whats in store?
    Support the American Football and Rugby League clubs by getting involved in the Woodhouse Moor parkrun with them. This free fun 5k run (or walk) is a great way to start your weekend!

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    Where? Woodhouse Moor, Red Boots Statue opposite the Business School
    When? 4th November, 9am
    Cost? Free

  • Birthday Game

    Whats in store?
    Come and watch the University of Leeds Rugby League Club take on Leeds Beckett in this Varsity re-match at Bodington Playing Fields. Taking place on the birthday of James Burke there will be a minutes pause before the match in his memory.

    Our University cheerleaders will also be at the match with a half time routine and following the game there will be a post match party at Pyramid in LUU, details below.

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    Where? Sports Park Weetwood
    When? 8th November, 2pm KO
    Cost? Free

  • Pyramid Party

    Whats in store?

    Drinks, a raffle, and a player pledge auction to help raise money for both of the amazing causes that support men’s mental health awareness.
    As if that wasn’t enough, freestyle dance will be performing and the cocktails that each of these teams has designed; Cool Rummings and Pornstashe Martini will be on sale at the event and throughout the whole month of November, with a pound of each cocktail sold going to the charities. Non alcoholic drinks will also be available at the bar.
    This is the perfect place to start your Wednesday night and support these mental health charities.


  • Yorkshire Carnegie v Bristol

    Whats in store?

    Get down to Headingley to see Yorkshire Carnegie take on Bristol on Friday 17th November. As well as the rugby, there will be live music from Hyde Park Brass Band ahead of the game and at half time. Plus you’ll spot the boys bucket shaking around the ground raising money for our two fantastic causes. If you see them, throw a few pennies their way!


  • Movie Night

    Whats in store?
    Come and enjoy a film in the comfort of LUU, there’ll even be popcorn! American Football have chosen The Longest Yard, and Rugby League have chosen Cool Runnings. We’ll be heading to twitter to vote for the one you’d like to watch so check out @leeds_sport on Monday to get your votes in.

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    Where? Pyramid Theatre
    When? Friday 24th November, Bar Open 6pm, Film Starts 6.30pm
    Cost? Pay as you feel

  • Movember Fruity

    Whats in store?
    Everyone’s favourite Friday night out will have a Movember twist! The American Football and Rugby League club will be there with donation buckets so make sure you drop in a few coins to support the charities and get yourself to Terrace for some pre-fruity cocktails made by the clubs; Cool Rummings and Pornstache Martini. A pound from these goes towards the charities.

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    Where? Terrace and Stylus, LUU
    When? 24th November, 7pm
    Cost? £4.50 for Fruity and make sure you throw a few coins into the buckets to support the charities

If you would like to donate to the charities then you can give as much or as little as you like online below.

Check out everything that’s happening by following Leeds Sport and the Clubs on social media…