Natalie Haythornthwaite Inducted into Sporting Hall of Fame

Natalie Haythornthwaite playing netball

Leeds University Alumna Natalie Haythornthwaite has been inducted into the University’s Sporting Hall of Fame.

Natalie was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Sports Scholars Award Evening held on 14 November, an event which celebrates the successes of all of our scholars who have been awarded a scholarship for the upcoming year. Unfortunately Natalie was unable to attend the evening, but did send us a quick message from down under;

Natalie, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2014 with a degree in Linguistics and Phonetics, is part of the history-making England Roses netball team who won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She has recently been selected again to be part of the England Roses squad who will travel to face the South Africa SPAR Proteas in a three-match test series in a few weeks’ time. In addition, she won the bronze medal at the 2019 Netball World Cup and has over 40 England caps to her name.

Whilst studying at Leeds, Natalie was Vice-Captain of Superleague side The Yorkshire Jets and was named Superleague Player of the Year in 2015. After a brief spell at Manchester Thunder, Natalie joined the newly formed Wasps side and went on to win consecutive Superleague titles with them in 2017 and 2018.

Following success with Wasps, Natalie moved to Australia to play for the New South Wales Swifts in the prestigious Suncorp Super Netball and in September 2019 won the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final. Natalie was part of the England Roses team which was named BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year in 2018 in recognition of their historic Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Natalie Haythornthwaite Hall of Fame Board

You can take a look at the full Sporting Hall of Fame by visiting The Edge. It’s located alongside the sport scholarship board and you can read more about Natalie and all our other Hall of Fame recipients, who include:

  • Johnny Mowlem, Geography and Spanish 1998, Racing Car Driver
  • Rebecca Gallantree, Sports Science 2005, Great Britain diver.
  • Carol Isherwood OBE, History 1982 and PGCE Education 1984, Great Britain rugby union player and founder of the Rugby Football Union for Women.
  • Andrew Shovlin, Mechanical Engineering 1995 and PhD in Mechanical Engineering 1999, Formula 1 Chief race engineer.
  • Ray French MBE, General Studies 1961, England rugby union and rugby league player, rugby league commentator.
  • Giles Long MBE, Geology 1997, three time Paralympic swimming champion
  • Simon Mason, Economics 1994, Great Britain hockey player and vice president of England Hockey

Find out more about Natalie by following her on social media; @natsymone @nataliesymone.

University Celebrates our Sports Scholars

Sports Scholars Group Picture

The University of Leeds Sports Scholars have been awarded their scholarships by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands at the annual sports scholars’ evening.

Over 60 students studying a wide variety of courses, from Dentistry to Philosophy attended the special reception which celebrates their success. All scholars are supported by our Sports Scholarship Programme to help and guide them in achieving their goals to the highest of their ability, both within their sport and their academia.

Head of Sport, Suzanne Glavin said;

“It was a lovely celebration led again by our Vice Chancellor where we took the time as a University to recognise and applaud our most gifted and talented student sport scholars. We are grateful to all our partners from across the University, LUU and Alumni Office for their interest, support and advocacy for sport as an essential part of student experience. It is wonderful to hear more of the incredible success stories about our student athletes and what great ambassadors they are for our University.”

This year the University has over 60 sports scholars studying a variety of subjects, ranging from Digital Media to Zoology. They compete at a range of competitions as individuals and also represent the University with their club teams, whilst working towards both their sporting goals and their academic studies.

Matt Brigham Rowing

In rowing Matt Brigham qualified for the Diamond League Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta and went on in the first round to beat Mahe Drysdale from New Zealand who is the course record holder and two-time Olympic champion in the single scull in the first round, described by one commentator as “the shock of the decade”. Matt was also selected to represent England in a home international regatta, coming away with the gold in the double and silver in the quad sculls.

Kate Waugh competing in triathlon

In triathlon Kate Waugh representing GBR won silver in September in the ITU World triathlon Grand Final in U23s Relay, Silver in the ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup, and Bronze in the triathlon World cup.

Our Sports Scholarship programme provides all of our athletes with a personalised package to support them during their time at Leeds. This includes a personal mentor to help ensure they are maintaining a healthy balance between their sporting career and their academic studies. In addition, they receive free access to The Edge to help with their fitness, health and wellbeing, plus a bespoke bursary to ensure they can manage the financial demands of performance sport.

Find out more about our Sport Scholarship programme online here.

Leeds Varsity 2019 Round Up

cardboard sign saying 'go gryphons' at the Leeds Varsity 2019 netball opener

Leeds Varsity 2019 – the annual inter-university sports Varsity between arch rivals University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. It began in January with the cross country and culminated, as it does every year, with the Rugby Union finale held at Emerald Headingley Stadium, where over 10,000 students cheered on their teams from the stands.

History Makers

It was a historic moment for both the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett’s women’s rugby union teams, as they played at Headingley Stadium for the first time. 

Our team came out on top and beat Beckett 19-12 in a great game of rugby.

University of Leeds Women's Rugby Union team celebrating their Leeds Varsity 2019 win.

University of Leeds Club Captain Ashley Ross had this to say:

“The experience of playing our varsity match with such a huge crowd was incredible, and not one that any of us will forget! It’s a special honour, especially for a university team, and it’s especially significant for us as a women’s team as we often struggle to get the same status as men’s sport. It feels like a massive step forward for gender equality and women in sport – not just playing for our team but every other woman’s team who hasn’t had the same opportunity as men. Thanks very much to everyone who came to support us!”

The men’s rugby union team unfortunately lost their game 25-16. However, they put on a brilliant, battling display they should be proud of. 

Uni of leeds men's rugby union team in a group huddle at headingley stadium for the leeds varsity 2019 finale match.

Highlights

Check out the Leeds Varsity 2019 highlights, thanks to LSTV here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vYzcZz87RU 

Other highlight fixtures included the openers, Netball 1sts and Women’s Hockey 1sts. Both games ended in draws, 41-41 and 2-2 respectively. This showed just how close the competition would be and set the tone for the rest of the event.

In total, the University of Leeds registered 25 wins whilst Leeds Beckett had 33 wins. There were 3 draws on the day which meant the score ended 102-78 points in Beckett’s favour. Ultimately this crowned them Leeds Varsity 2019 champions.
You can see a breakdown of all the results on the Leeds Varsity website.

Congratulations to our Gryphons!

A huge well done to all our Gryphons that took part and competed in the spirit of Varsity. 

A girl in the crowd cheering and shouting at the leeds varsity 2019 netball match

FREE Seminar: Changing the Game – The Leadership Challenge

Maurice Keyworth Building

Sport & Physical Activity have partnered with highly respected leaders in business and sport to bring you a free seminar on Friday 15 November. The seminar, hosted in the Maurice Keyworth Lecture Theatre (University of Leeds Business School) brings together individuals, who in their own unique way have not only improved the performance of a number of organisations and teams, they fundamentally changed the game or industry in which they operated.

Each will give a brief perspective on their experiences ‘changing the game’ of organisations in sport and business, followed by a panel discussion. The three speakers include:

  • Alistair Gray – leading European strategic management consultant and voluntary leader at a number of UK and European sports.
  • Baroness Sue Campbell CBE  – Head of Women’s Football at The FA and former Chair of UK Sport and the Youth Sports Trust

Alistair Gray published The Game Changer with Routledge earlier this year. It outlines how a number of organisations in business and sport have done more than raise their performance – they have also changed the rules of the game in their industry.

Book your free space now for the chance to learn from some of the industry’s best!

 

 

Women’s Rugby Union Team Make History at Varsity

Women's rugby varsity

The Gryphons may not have retained their Varsity title, however Varsity 2019 shall go down in the history books; our women’s Rugby Union 1st team played for the first time ever at Emerald Headingley Stadium.

Leeds Varsity is the annual inter-university sports Varsity between arch rivals University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. It began in January with the cross country and culminated, as it does every year, with the Rugby Union finale held up at Emerald Headingley Stadium where over 10,000 students cheered on their team from the stands.

Unfortunately for the Gryphons, Leeds Beckett have taken the title for this year. Lydia Evans, LUU Activities Officer said:

“Despite the result, it’s been a great day of sport for the Gryphons and every one of our athletes should feel proud to have represented their clubs.”

However, it was a historic moment for the women’s Rugby Union 1st team on Wednesday night, as they took to the pitch for the first time to compete against Leeds Beckett in front of the 10,000 strong crowd at Headingley Stadium. Ashley Ross, the women’s captain said:

“The experience of playing our varsity match with such a huge crowd was incredible, and not one that any of us will forget! It’s a special honour, especially for a university team, and it’s especially significant for us as a women’s team as we often struggle to get the same status as men’s sport. It feels like a massive step forward for gender equality and women in sport – not just playing for our team but every other women’s team who hasn’t had the same opportunity as men. Even though Beckett are our rivals, it’s a great achievement for them too. Winning was an amazing bonus on top of that! We’ll all definitely be celebrating tonight! The opportunity to play in the stadium is one we have been working towards for such a long time now so to see it all come together has been incredible. Thanks very much to everyone who came to support us!”

Our Gryphons put on a stellar performance over 60 fixtures including athletics, handball, tennis and lacrosse. Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport commented;

“I’m really proud of all our Gryphons who played their best whilst representing University of Leeds. It was especially exciting this year to see our women’s rugby union club playing at Headingley with such great support from the student crowd.”

A full list of the results can be found here, and keep an eye out on our social media channels for photos and videos from the day. See you all again in 2020.

First-Class Fixture at Sports Park Weetwood

MCCU vs Yorkshire Cricket Match

On Sunday 31st March – Tuesday 2nd April, Sports Park Weetwood played host to the Leeds-Bradford MCCU vs Yorkshire cricket match. It was the first time that Weetwood had hosted a first-class fixture and there was a real sense of pride and excitement in the air.Spectators Leeds MCCU Cricket vs Yorkshire Match

The grounds looked fantastic, a result of all the staff’s hard work in the week leading up to the event and although there was a chill in the air there was a great turn out of spectators enjoying a hot cup of coffee whilst watching the world class action.

The fixture was one of three 3-day matches against County teams for Leeds-Bradford MCCU. They began their season on the 26th March in a first-class fixture against Derbyshire and have since played Warwickshire at Edgbaston on 5th – 7th April.

It was a privilege for Weetwood to host such a high-profile event, a fantastic opportunity to highlight the MCCU programme and for any prospective students who may be interested in playing cricket at Leeds University to meet key members of the team.

Leeds-Bradford MCCU Cricket vs Yorkshire MatchEstablished in 2001, MCCUs are cricket academies which allow young aspiring cricketers to receive an unrivalled level of training and match-play whilst still furthering their education. They provide a pathway into 1st class county cricket and ultimately England with around a fifth of all English qualified players having been part of an MCCU centre of excellence.

Head of Sport, Suzanne Glavin said;

A huge thank you to Richard Robinson and his grounds staff and Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg and his operational team at Sports Park Weetwood who made the staging of this important fixture for our University such a success.

With excellent outdoor sports provision and a focus on customer service excellence, Sports Park Weetwood is rapidly becoming the venue of choice for many sporting fixtures and performance training camps. Good luck to our Head of Cricket Andrew Lawson and our academy student players for the rest of the season.

Despite losing, the Leeds-Bradford MCCU team competed well against one of the strongest county teams in English cricket and we wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.

 

Brownlee Centre Festival of Running

Brownlee centre festival of running text with a pair of trainers

Entry for the event has now closed as all places have been filled.

Come join us on the 3 of March 2019 for a fun festival of running, for all ages and abilities, at our fantastic Brownlee Centre at the University of Leeds.

Our unique event takes place on our closed-road 1-mile cycle circuit and offers runners a multitude of different events to enter – from a 1 mile race all the way to 20 laps of our circuit in the 20 mile event. You can race and run where current and next generation Olympic champions train!

The Event

On the day, there will be music and performances to provide the fun festival atmosphere. There will also be a marketplace with food and drink available, as well as pop-up shops for all your running needs. The closed-road circuit provides a unique opportunity for those PB hunters and those preparing for a spring marathon.

The event also caters for those who wish to do something a little shorter with races at 5 and 10km. You can even take it steady with a 1-mile race and spend more time cheering on competitors and unwinding.  

All finishers will receive a goody bag and a commemorative medal. There will be prizes in all distances, and hopefully a few PB’s to be found along the way!Cycle circut with brownlee centre building behind

The event will also support an international sports development programme, Gryphons Abroad – supported by the Bambisanani Partnership. A contribution from your race fee will go to the project which changes the lives of young people in South Africa, in particular through the purchase of bikes, bike equipment and educational materials.

You can find out more about this amazing programme here.

Date: Sunday 3rd March

Time: 11am start (First event off)

Venue: The Brownlee Centre – Bodington Playing Fields

Information and entry fees

Day/TimeDistanceCostBook
Sunday 3rd March, 11:001 Mile. Age: 4+ (children must run with a parent/guardian)£8.00 affiliated, £10.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 3rd March, 11:155 km. Age: 11+£10.00 affiliated, £12.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 3rd March, 11:15 10 km. Age: 15+£17.00 affiliated, £19.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 3rd March, 12:30 Half Marathon. Age: 17+ £22.00 affiliated, £24.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 3rd March, 12:30 20 Miles. Age: 17+£27.00 affiliated, £29.00 non-affiliatedEnter here

Alumni Sports Day

Alumni sports day is back and bigger than ever before with over 20 clubs joining us for our annual friendly day of competition.

Loved your time at Leeds? Want to relive your university days? Then dust off your old kit and catch up with old teammates as we invite you to return to Leeds for a day of fixtures against our current Gryphons on Saturday 5th May.

We’re delighted to thank Endsleigh who for the second year running are the official supporters of the Alumni Sports Day 2018.

The fixtures confirmed for this year are:

University Campus:

Team Venue Pitch Time
Badminton Gryphon 3 courts 2-5pm
Basketball Mens Edge Hall 1B 2-4pm
Basketball Womens Edge Hall 1B 12-2pm
Fencing Edge Hall 1A 2-6pm
Handball Edge Hall 1 4-6pm
Korfball Gryphon All 12-2pm
Netball Edge Hall 1A 10-12pm
Netball Development Edge Hall 1A 11-2pm
Squash Gryphon Squash Courts 1:30-4:30pm
Table Tennis Cromer Terrace Cromer 1pm-4pm
Volleyball Edge Gryphon 2-5pm


Sports Park Weetwood:

Team Venue Pitch Time
American Football TBC TBC TBC
Football Men’s Weetwood Soccer 1 4pm
Football Women’s Weetwood Soccer 1 2pm
Hockey Men Weetwood SD1 4pm
Ultimate Frisbee Weetwood 3G 1-3pm
Lacrosse Men Weetwood 3G 4.30-6pm
Lacrosse Women Weetwood 3G 3-4.30pm
Rugby Womens Weetwood Rugby 1 1pm
Cricket Women Weetwood Cricket 2 2pm

 

Swimming & Waterpolo will take place on Sunday 6th May in The Edge pool from 3.45 – 5.15pm. An alumni rowing event will also be taking place on May 12th.


Get involved:

With over 20 sports involved, there’s plenty to see on the day. Fixtures are based either on University campus or up at Sports Park Weetwood so please feel free to spectate on the day.

Alumni can get involved by heading here to find out more and sign up.

Students, please sign up here in order to get your free alumni sports day t-shirt.

 

On the day:

Alumni, please be sure to register upon your arrival. Here you’ll be able to collect your free t-shirt to remember the day.

There are refreshments available to purchase on site up at Sports Park Weetwood. Plus there are a number of cafe’s/shops in close vicinity for those based on Campus.

Photo taking is encouraged, we’d love to see your team snaps! Join in the conversation either on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and use the #sportsday18.

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.

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.

    ———————
    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.

    ———————
    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!

    ———————
    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.

    ———————
    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.

    ———————
    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.

    ———————
    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…