127 Miles, 3 Days

andy and james standing at the canal

Andrew Lockwood (Professional Development Manager at The University of Leeds) embarked on an epic fundraising challenge this year; running from Liverpool to Leeds in just 3 days. Yes you read that correct he ran 127 MILES in just 3 days! This mammoth effort was in aid of two charities close to his heart, The Bambisinani Partnership linked to our Gryphons Abroad programme and Sheffield Hospital Charity.
Andy has completed numerous marathons and realised that he would need to push himself to encourage friends and family to part with their cash. After finally deciding to take on the challenge Andy realised it was something either very impressive or totally irrational from the reactions he got from family and friends.

” A few years ago I cycled Liverpool to Leeds and it got me thinking could I run it? To be honest, I had no idea what I had let myself in for”

half way sign on the canal

It was a very tough few days but keeping him company was Andy’s equally ‘adventurous’ friend James who joined him for the whole challenge. Many friends, family and colleagues also joined the pair for part of the second and third day and a 20 strong crowd ran with them to the finish in Leeds city centre and helping them to celebrate their amazing achievement.

” The last day was hell but the thought of getting to the finish kept me going, as we arrived at granary wharf to friends and family you couldn’t get the smile off my face. To achieve something as huge as that and to know you’re making a real difference to peoples lives at home and abroad will live with me forever”

Andy wrote a blog about the whole experience and has raised  a fantastic £1500 so far for these great charities. If you have a spare few pounds then you can still donate online.

To get involved in the fantastic Gryphons Abroad project and be part of the team going next year check out the website.

Sports Colours Awards

Netball team receiveing club of the year award

Following a fantastic year of sporting success, Leeds Sport are excited to announce the ticket launch for the prestigious annual event; The Sports Colours Awards.

This is the evening where our students step out of their tracksuits and into black tie to celebrate the success of all of our Leeds Sport participants throughout the year. This includes our Leeds Gryphon athletes, sports coaches, officials and all the volunteers that make sport possible at The University of Leeds.

“There have been some fantastic achievements throughout the year which are cause for a celebration; Sports Scholar Kim Daybell has been selected for the Rio Paralympics, 3 teams picked up BUCS Trophy medals (a gold and two silvers) and there have been 2 individual gold’s and 2 silver’s at BUCS nationals. We’ve continued to dominate in all triathlon activity claiming all 3 top spots in the BUCS Biathlon. As well as having two alumni; Alistair and Jonny Brownlee pre-selected for Rio 2016, and it’s likely to be an all Leeds affair with current student Gordon Benson and alumnus Tom Bishop looking very strong for the 3rd spot.

In our Social Leagues, Sport Science claimed an impressive, if not unsurprising, double as both football and netball won their leagues in semester one. We’ve also seen  9 students selected to represent the University in South Africa through our Gryphons Abroad programme.

This year has also seen some incredibly adverse weather conditions that have pushed our resources to the limits and it is testament to the work of both students, staff and the local community that sport has managed to keep its head above the water!”

Activities officer Piers Cottee-Jones

The event will take place on the evening of Wednesday the 27th April as part of Leeds University Union Celebrate week.

To find out who has been nominated for the awards and to purchase your tickets click here!

Gryphon’s Big Bike Ride

group of people riding bikes in the sunshine

Get on your bike for a beautiful return ride to Ilkley with a stop off for coffee and cake, all in aid of the Gryphons Abroad programme.

The  Gryphons Abroad programme aims to deliver a life changing programme for students in Leeds and South Africa.

Bike Ride Details

Date: Saturday 12th March
Time: 9am Registration
Distance: 35 miles
Location: Setting off from Leeds University Union
Cost: £10 + FREE t-shirt.
50% of the cost will be donated directly to the Gryphons Abroad Programme

Bookings are now closed for this event.

The Route

We will meander through Headingley, Bramhope and Otley before riding along the River Wharfe into Ilkley, taking in the breathtaking scenery along the way. In Ilkley we will stop for coffee and cake before getting back on our bikes and returning to Leeds for celebratory drinks in the Terrace Bar at Leeds University Union.

The route has been chosen to ensure it is not overly difficult however it is recommended that participants have confidence riding on roads and that 35 miles is within their physical ability. The ride will be led by University Ride Leaders who will be available for help and support throughout the ride.

What You Need

  • A bike (Road or Hybrid)
  • A Helmet
  • Reflective Clothing
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear for all weathers e.g. rain jacket
  • Food and Refreshments
  • Money for coffee and cake (optional)

Raising Funds

Gryphons Abroad School kids


In June 2016, the Leeds Sport team with the Bambisanani Partnership will be delivering an international sports development programme, Gryphons Abroad in South Africa.
The team will be delivering an innovative programme aimed at providing education opportunities for children in South Africa through a cycle to success programme.

The Gryphons Big Bike ride will raise awareness and much needed funds for the programme. 50% of the registration fee will go directly to the programme to purchase books, equipment and cycle provisions to ensure the programme has a lasting legacy giving children access to education.

If you have any questions please contact Andy Lockwood: a.lockwood@leeds.ac.uk 


Do Something Life-changing

A team of 3 staff and 11 students have been chosen to lead the life-changing Gryphons Abroad project in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region of South Africa which will raise student aspirations through education and increase student access to education.

One of the exciting projects the team will undertake is increasing the number of girls who have access to education. To achieve this the team aim to take a bike each to South Africa to give to a student. Some students are expected to complete jobs at home such as making the breakfast and dinner meaning they do not have the time to walk hours to school and back each day. Having a bike will considerably reduce the time it takes for these students to get to school meaning they will be able to attend and access education as well as doing their jobs at home.

We need your help!

If you have any old adult bikes that you no longer need then please donate them in January:

  • Needed: Adult mountain bikes and hybrid bikes (no Road bikes please)
  • When: 11th January – 12th Febraury, 12 – 1pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Where: You can donate bikes at Cromer Terrace Studios 

In order to get all the resources the team need for this project and ship everything to South Africa they also need to raise over £30,000 in just 5 months. The team have already kick started their fundraising with a 12 hour Spin-a-thon and donations from ticket sales of guest speaker Sean Conway have a current total of around £500.
There is still a long way to go but keep a look out for some exciting events happening soon!

For more information please contact the project lead, Any Lockwood: a.lockwood@leeds.ac.uk 

Free Strength & Conditioning Sessions!

American Football

To help develop our student clubs we will be hosting a number of free Strength & Conditioning sessions for students to attend. This is a unique opportunity to learn from highly experienced professional S&C coaches, with previous experience of working at both Olympic level and in professional sport.


  • Tuesday 1st December at 18:00 pm – Focusing on S&C for female athletes

Where: Leeds Gryphons Strengh & Conditioning Room in The Edge

You will learn

  • How to structure an S&C session
  • How to structure a long-term training programme
  • The principles of training
  • How to create sports and individually specific training programme

In addition, you will receive:

  • Access to coaches contact details
  • The opportunity for further guidance on your training
  • A list of S&C resources recommended by the S&C team to further direct your training.

Register your interest to attend this session using the form below, you will be notified if you have secured a place 3 days in advance of the session.

Coach Education – Massage Course Student Discount


The aims of the Coach Education Programme are to give students, staff and members of the public the opportunity to develop important skills and gain qualifications within all areas of sport.

This includes: coaching, officiating and performance support. We offer National Governing Body Awards, First Aid Qualifications, SCUK Workshops and Professional Fitness and Leisure Qualifications. All of our courses are priced to offer the best rates for our customers. Completing these courses with us can directly lead to paid work or give you the valuable experience needed in areas that interest you whilst providing you with contacts that will support you through your development in order to achieve your goals.

Upcoming courses:

Sports Massage course: Saturday 12th-Wednesday 16th December. Special student discount £500!
FA Basic Referee course: Starting Tuesday 1st December-£110
Futsal Referee Conversion Course: Friday 18th December-£40
Kinesiology Taping and Strapping: Sunday 20th December- £100

Still undecided if it is for you? Then have a read of a student who undertook one of the courses and how she made money from gaining a qualification. 

Sally Warren

Which courses have you done?

Sport and Remedial Massage Diploma

Why did you choose to do these courses?

At the end of my first year of my BSc Sports and Exercise Sciences degree, I developed an interest into rehabilitation and the hands on practicalities of treatment. Applying my theoretical knowledge and anatomy I knew sports massage would be a beneficial course for me to go on, providing me with extra skills, enhancing my degree knowledge and prospective for a physiotherapy masters.

Did you enjoy the course?

I really enjoyed the course. It was an intense week of working hard with a lot to learn but the course leaders were supportive and I felt learning it all together helped me grasp it in one go and learn efficiently. We practised the massage on different students throughout the week, having the opportunity to rotate and develop the massage skills on a variety of physiques, injuries, shapes and sizes.

Would you recommend these courses to others?

I would recommend the course to others if you are interested in rehabilitation, working in physiotherapy, or wanting extra practical skills to enhance your degree.

What have you used your qualifications for?

Since graduating at The University of Leeds with a 2:1 in Sports and Exercise Sciences in 2014, I am now studying my MSc Pre-Registration Physiotherapy degree at Kings College London to become a qualified physiotherapist. Having the massage diploma has proved to be extremely beneficial for me because on placements/ in the work environment I will have that extra knowledge and confidence. I have used my massage diploma for volunteering at pre/post running massages, sports club events, live events such as working backstage at the Clothes Show Live Birmingham with the top UK dancers, and my own private massaging. The more experience you can gain will help to enhance your skills further and you will have more of an advantage in the competitive field.

Have you gone onto any paid work as a result of your qualifications?

If you remain insured you can work self-employed or take your skills into sports teams or private massage. I have continued massaging as a result of my qualification since, both volunteering and paid.

What are you doing now?

Studying MSc Pre-Registration Physiotherapy

FREE Strength and Conditioning Sessions!


To help develop our student clubs we will be hosting a number of free Strength & Conditioning sessions for students to attend.

Our first session will be focusing on racket sports.

When: Thursday 12th November, 19:45 – 20:45

Where: Leeds Gryphons Strengh & Conditioning Room in The Edge

This is a unique opportunity to learn from highly experienced professional S&C coaches, with previous experience of working at both Olympic level and in professional sport.

You will learn

  • How to structure an S&C session
  • How to structure a long-term training programme
  • The principles of training
  • How to create sports and individually specific training programme

In addition, you will receive:

  • Access to coaches contact details
  • The opportunity for further guidance on your training
  • A list of S&C resources recommended by the S&C team to further direct your training.

Register your interest to attend this session using the form below, you will be notified if you have secured a place by the 6th November 2015.

Leeds Varsity 2015

It was a day full of rain but that didn’t dampen the mood for Leeds Varsity 2015.

The 11th year of the competition between local rivals, The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University was as competitive as ever and culminated in a record attendance at the rugby finale. 14,250 spectators attended the match at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, a bigger crowd than the Namibia v Georgia Rugby World Cup Game taking place at the same time!

As ever the day was packed with intense competition and both universities battled hard against each other throughout the day. Each university took the overall lead at different points in the day, making it too close to call leading into the rugby finale.

The University of Leeds started the day off in perfect style with a 3-0 win in the indoor rowing, this followed on from a good start in pool for the biathlon who later went on to win both the men’s and women’s. The university continued to dominate in the pool, effortlessly winning both the men’s and women’s swimming gala and water polo. Still on home turf at The Edge the university took a clean sweep in the handball winning both men’s and women’s matches as well as winning the korfball 17 – 9.

In the hockey the women won 3 of their 4 matches, the 4th team scoring a massive 9 goals to Leeds Becketts-0! The men’s 1’s and 4’s meanwhile won their games with the 4th team getting to double figures against Leeds Beckett. Over the fence on the 3G the women’s lacrosse team won their game but the men couldn’t keep up with beckett. Despite the awful weather the football went ahead on some very wet pitches with Leeds Beckett succeeding in both the men’s and women’s games.

Due to the weather some rugby games were cancelled and the Golf had to be abandoned with both sides splitting the point up for grabs. There were serious doubts about the rugby finale at Headingley Carnegie Stadium but following an emergency pitch inspection everyone was assured the game would go ahead!

Back indoors and the university netball teams had some very close matches, the 2nd team won in the last game of the day and the 3rd and 4th team missed out on victory by just one or two points. Meanwhile the university table tennis team took a convincing 16-1 win and the men’s squash teams won both their games against beckett. Luckily the cricket was indoor away from the rain and both men’s and women’s 1st teams came away victorious.

One of the last games of the date was the rugby league game which was the closest it’s ever been with just 1 point in it. Leeds Beckett won 23-22 as the University missed a last second penalty from the halfway line.

Going into the rugby final the results were too close to call and the boys went on the field with everything to play for in front of a deafening crowd at Headingley Carnegie Stadium. Despite a valiant effort by the team Leeds Beckett took the lead and the University couldn’t catch up. Leeds Beckett won 27 – 13 to make the overall Leeds Varsity score 30.5 – 27.5 on the night. Congratulations to Leeds Beckett University on their 11th varsity win.

“It was truly a fantastic day of sport and to have nearly 15k supporters in the stadium is a testament to the hard work of the Leeds Sport and Carnegie Sports teams and a reflection of how university sport can engage and inspire a significant proportion of our student community.

To be defeated by 3 points is desperately disappointing, but the progress we have made over the past couple of years following the launch of our Sports Strategy and the creation of the Leeds Sports team (previously Separate LUU and SPA sports development teams) is significant – and the whole team are committed to getting a varsity win within the next few years.”

Rob Wadsworth- Head of Sport

Well done to all players, coaches, volunteers, staff and spectators for the huge commitment and dedication to Leeds Varsity 2015.

A full list of results can be seen below and check out the Leeds Varsity 2015 photo album on the Gryphons Sport Facebook Page.


American Football:  Uni 0-55 Beckett
Athletics M (Track & Field):  Uni 52-87 Beckett
Athletics W (Track & Field):  Uni 46-77 Beckett

Badminton M1:  TBC
Badminton M2:  Uni 4-5 Beckett
Badminton M3:  TBC
Badminton W1:  Uni 6-2 Beckett
Badminton W2: TBC
Basketball M1:  Uni 60-68 Beckett
Basketball M2:  Uni 65-55 Beckett
Basketball W1:  Uni 35-47 Beckett
Biathlon W:  Uni 1-0 Beckett
Biathlon M:  Uni 1-0 Beckett

Cricket M1:  Uni 10-5 Beckett
Cricket M2: Uni 5-10 Beckett
Cricket W1: Uni 10-5 Beckett
Cross Country: Uni 1-0 Beckett

Football M1: Uni 0-1 Beckett
Football M2: Uni 3-6 Beckett
Football M3: Uni 1 – Beckett 1 (Uni lost on penalties)
Football M4: Uni 3-3 Beckett (Uni lost on penalties)
Football W1: Uni 1-11 Beckett
Football W2: Uni 0-5 Beckett
Football W3: Uni 0-16 Beckett

Golf (Mixed): Uni 1-1 Beckett

Handball M: Uni 26-22: Beckett
Handball W: Uni 26-24 Beckett
Hill Climb: TBC
Hockey M1: Uni 4- Beckett 1
Hockey M2: 1 3 Beckett
Hockey M3: TBC
Hockey M4: Uni 9-0 Beckett
Hockey W1: Uni 2-0 Beckett
Hockey W2: Uni 2-0 Beckett
Hockey W3: Uni 4-1 Beckett
Hockey W4: Uni 9-0 Beckett

Indoor Rowing: Uni 3-0 Beckett
Korfball: Uni 17-9 Beckett

Lacrosse M1: Uni 1-16 Beckett
Lacrosse W1: Uni 20-8 Beckett
Lacrosse W2: Cancelled

Netball 1: Uni 23-47 Beckett
Netball 2: Uni 46-42 Beckett
Netball 3: Uni 34-35 Beckett
Netball 4: Uni 34-36 Beckett

Rugby League 1: Uni 22-23 Beckett
Rugby Union M1: Uni 13-27 Beckett
Rugby Union M2: Cancelled
Rugby Union M3: Cancelled
Rugby Union W1: Uni 10-33 Beckett

Squash M1: Uni 5-0 Beckett
Squash M2: Uni 3-0 Beckett
Squash W1: Uni 1-3 Beckett
Swimming M: Uni 105-15 Beckett
Swimming W: Uni 69-48 Beckett

Table Tennis M1: Uni 16-1 Beckett
Tennis M1: Uni 0-12 Beckett
Tennis M2: Uni 0-12 Beckett
Tennis M3: TBC
Tennis M4: TBC
Tennis W1: TBC
Tennis W2: TBC
Tennis W3: TBC

Volleyball M1: TBC
Volleyball W1: Uni 3-0 Beckett

Waterpolo M1: Uni 22-9 Beckett
Waterpolo W1: Uni 23-7 Beckett

Become a Gryphon

Become a Gryphon

Leeds is “The Home of the Gryphons” and becoming a Gryphon is simple, all you need to do is get involved in sport!

We have a huge amount of opportunities for you to get involved in sport from joining a club and representing the University, becoming a coach, volunteering at our numerous events or simply supporting the LEEDS Gryphons Sports Clubs!  From the players, to the coaches, to the volunteers and to all your friends and supporters, everyone is invited to be part of our community and be a gryphon.

Join the Gryphon community by signing up to our monthly newsletter below:


First Name:



Medal in the National Lifesaving Championship for Leeds Alumni!

Life Saving

Congratulations to Ben Witz, Sports Development Officer at the University of Leeds who competed in the Royal Life Saving Society National Speed Championships at the iconic London 2012 Aquatics Centre earlier this month.

Ben is a former sports scholar at the University of Leeds and is currently working at the University as part of the Get Out, Get Active team. This year was Ben’s most successful at the RLSS Championships competing alongside the UK’s leaders in lifesaving sport including members of the GB and Northern Ireland teams.

The RLSS UK’s National Speed Championships help to promote lifesavers’ skills, knowledge and techniques and also plays an important role in spreading the society’s water safety messages as the drowning prevention charity.

Ben Witz Lifesaver


Over 500 people entered the Speed Championships and Ben fought it out to win his first ever individual medal in the 200m Super Lifesaver event, finishing in a brilliant 3rd place. He also came close to a second bronze medal with his partner in the Rope Throw event and was just 0.7 of a second off 3rd place. In the Medley Relay Ben and his 3 teammates also medalled achieving 3rd place.

Ben had a fantastic competition adding two bronze medals to his collection and coming away with 4 PB’s in his swims.


For more information on Lifesaving Sport – Visit the RLSS website