Row Britannia; Unite & Row for Mental Health!

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Our challenge

Attention all University of Leeds students, staff and alumni! Row Britannia challenge you to row 2,020 miles by Saturday 6 June 2020 to support and raise awareness of mental health and raise £3,000 for Sports Relief.

Track our progress here:

Row Britannia mile

Why are we doing this?

Row Britannia is an inclusive, adaptive sporting challenge by The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) in support of mental health, fitness and wellbeing and is an opportunity for teams throughout the UK to raise vital funds and awareness. Funds raised will support Sport Relief and the British Inspiration Trust.

The Row Britannia Challenge for Sport Relief has the potential to involve every university and college student in the UK.  If every university and college enter a team and raises £3000, they could raise a total of £1.5million for Sport Relief.

We know mental health affects relationships and wellbeing, determines how students learn, and their productivity. Despite the surge in the numbers of students asking for support, it is likely that there are many others in clinical need who are not seeking treatment because of stigma or problems with access to care.

Two students walking down the corridor

How can you help?

We are kicking off our challenge on University Mental Health Day, Thursday 5 March, by hosting a #RowBritannia event to start clocking up our miles. You shall find us on the precinct (as long as yet another storm doesn’t sweep in) or in The Refectory from 8.30am – 3.00pm. We invite you all to participate by rowing as far as you can and making a pledge to help us reach our target.

We shall also be setting up the ergs (indoor rowing machines) on Friday 13 March in the same place to give you all another chance to get in your miles and donate, so don’t worry if you cannot make it to the first event.

We want you all to come together and be part of #RowBritannia. When you are next in the gym, why not row your mile, and let us know by tagging @Leeds_Sport on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter along with the hashtag #RowBrittania and #RowLeedsUni. We also ask you to donate as much or as little as you can to the campaign via our University Just Giving page below.

To raise further awareness and help the campaign to gather further momentum it would be fantastic if you could nominate a mate to row their mile too.

The University of Leeds is committed to supporting this initiative and all our staff and students with their health and wellbeing. Together we can make a difference.

University of Leeds Boat Club Win at the Leeds Sport Awards!

boat club celebrating

The University of Leeds Boat Club have won Student Sport Team of the Year at this year’s Leeds Sport Awards.

The awards were held last night at the first direct arena in Leeds, in celebration of all the fantastic sportsmen and women across the city and their contributions to sport.

The University of Leeds Boat Club has an outstanding record of delivering performance and participation. Over the past few years the results of crews at the club have significantly improved, going from two semi-finals at BUCS regatta in 2018 to nine last year.

Its elite athlete support helped home grown talent like Matt Brigham break onto the international stage in 2019. The club does significant work in the local community with coaching for clubs and schools and social rowing groups for casual participants.

Club Captain, Ella, told us what it meant to the club to win at the awards;

We feel honoured to be able to accept this award and grateful to be part of a club deserving of it. we are so proud of how inclusive we are. There is somewhere for everyone in this club.

Also highly commended at the awards were rowing scholar Matt Brigham and the University of Leeds Women’s Rugby Union Team. Matt has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years, and in 2019 beat two-time Olympic champion, Mahe Drysdale, at Henley, as well as winning gold for England at the Home International Regatta.

Uni of Leeds Women's Rugby at Sport Awards

The Women’s Rugby Union team made history last year as they played alongside the men at Emerald Headingley Stadium in the annual Varsity competition. They are also active members of the local community, taking part in numerous projects and working with local charities for worthwhile causes.

Club captain, Ashley Ross, said;

It was an honour to have our growth and impact as a club recognised at the Leeds Sports awards. We only hope our ethos of inclusivity will continue to attract more females to the game of rugby. It was amazing to see the rise of equality in female sport reflected at the awards with so many amazing achievements by female athletes being highlighted. Events like this will further inspire LUUWRUFC to continue to break down barriers to sport participation and provide an outlet for a diverse group of women to come together, play rugby and most importantly, have fun.

Well done to both our winners and nominees from all of us here at Leeds Sport.

Run the Loop at the Brownlee Centre

Brownlee Run the Loop

Entries are now open for the “Run the Loop at the Brownlee Centre” event

Come join us on the 24th May 2020 for our annual multi-distance running event 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 range of different events to enter – from a 5km to half marathon. You can race and run where current and next generation Olympic champions train!

The closed-road circuit provides a unique opportunity for participants looking to take part in their first road running race and for seasoned PB hunters.

All finishers will receive a goody bag and a celebratory prize. There will be male and female prizes for all distances, and hopefully a few PB’s to be found along the way!

Cycle circut with brownlee centre building behind

The event will 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 24th May 2020

Time: 10.30am start (First event off)

Venue: The Brownlee Centre – Bodington Playing Fields

Information and entry fees

Day/TimeDistanceCostBook
Sunday 24 May, 10:30Half Marathon (13.1 miles). Age 17+£24.00 affiliated, £26.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 24th May, 10.305 km. Age: 11+£10.00 affiliated, £12.00 non-affiliatedEnter here
Sunday 24th May, 10.30 10 km. Age: 15+£17.00 affiliated, £19.00 non-affiliatedEnter here

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.

 

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.