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.

Volunteer of the Month: Turgay Demir

Volunteer of the month headshot

February’s volunteer of the month is Get Out, Get Active activator Turgay Demir! He volunteers on the GOGA programme, assisting in the running of trips for fellow students to the amazing countryside right on our doorstep.


Which volunteering programme are you on & what does your role involve?

I am on the GOGA hiking/walking volunteering programme and I have been volunteerıng wıth GOGA since 2016.


How much time do you commit to volunteering per week and how do you manage this alongside your studies?

I spend almost all my Saturdays every week with GOGA during the month. This is quite a manageable activity for me. Because, I am a PhD researcher and a teaching assistant. Therefore, getting out of Leeds at least one day a week helps me to refresh my mind in terms of my mental health and it also motivates me to focus on my routine research and teaching studies. Having plenty of oxygen around the Yorkshire countryside, meeting up with new people and especially making new friends from all around the world are other incentives for me to manage my time and studies.


What made you want to volunteer?

I first joined a GOGA trip as a participant and experienced meeting with new friends and refreshing my mind by going somewhere different from where I live and this made me want to volunteer for GOGA and do something for others.


What is the best thing about volunteering?

For me the best thing is the opportunity to meet with different people from various historical, cultural and educational backgrounds all around the world and recognise and understand their cultural aspects.


What are the challenges?

Everything has its own challenges. For GOGA activities, sometimes participants might not listen to your advice about the trip route which sometimes might be geographically challenging or steep and this could affect the time management during the trips. However, I love challenges and more importantly I love volunteering with GOGA and helping others. Therefore, feeling a bit tired at the end of the day is the only challenging part for me. In general, personally I love challenges and these are manageable challenges for me.


Would you recommend volunteering to others?

I would definitely and wholeheartedly recommend others volunteer, especially with GOGA. You are not just discovering new areas of the world and meeting new people, you are also discovering new personal skills such as leading, coordinating with others, group work and time management.


How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Month?

I am quite happy with such a result. Normally, I do not want and do not like advertising what I have done. But if others appreciate your work and they choose you to be volunteer of the month, it is an absolute pleasure and nice to be recognised for my work as I mostly spend my free weekend time with GOGA during the academic year. GOGA is a lifestyle- only such a lovely programme can bring such lovely project leaders, activators, volunteers and participants together who have totally different backgrounds in the picturesque setting of Yorkshire and beyond.


‘Turgay has been a dedicated GOGA volunteer for many years now. He has assisted several of our walking trips and is knowledgeable about the local area so he regularly steps up to lead one of our walking routes. His passion for walking and bringing people together is evident in the way he engages participants and other volunteers. Turgay is a valuable member of the GOGA team and we’re very grateful for all his work so far’ – Kate Petty, Physical Activity and Wellbeing Officer.


If you are interested in any of our volunteering roles, have a further look on our website.

Why Would You Volunteer?

Do good stuff volunteering graphic

Hi! My name is Nicola and I am the Sports Development Assistant (volunteer) here at Leeds Sport! Whilst I am new to the role and the Leeds Sport team, I am not new to volunteering. Over the last five years I have dedicated over 800 hours to volunteering within the Watersports Sector.

My volunteering journey started off in 2015 when I was sailing at my local club in Manchester. I decided that I wanted to get more involved with the running of the club and was given a few jobs to do each week to help out, including helping to rig the boats and launch them. I really enjoyed this and decided I wanted to become an instructor, but I couldn’t pay for the course fees and so I made an agreement with the centre that if they pay for the course, I will continue to volunteer my time as an Instructor. My experiences grew from there and in 2016 I was awarded the Manchester Sport Young Volunteer of the Year for my dedication to volunteering within the sport sector, alongside my studies.

Manchester Sport Award 2016

I continued to volunteer for the club and moved my way up the committee from Social & Events Officer, to Vice Chairperson and now to Commodore. In 2018 I won the inaugural Panerai Challenger Trophy for my ability to use sailing and windsurfing to overcome difficulties in my life, which led to a £5000 grant to go towards my training and equipment and £10,000 for my club. Now I am a Senior Instructor in Sailing, Windsurfing and Powerboating.

Award Winner

Although winning awards and improving my CV have both been great outcomes from my volunteer work, it’s not really what drives me to keep doing it. The connections that you build with people and seeing that you are making a change in someone’s life through what you’re doing are enough to keep me motivated and enjoying what I do.

Volunteering isn’t always a walk in the park, like with any ‘job’ it can come with its own challenges. For me it was the competition for time between my studies and volunteering and finding a balance, but I found doing volunteering little and often meant that I could manage my studies, whilst still having fun from the volunteering and sports. You just have to find a balance that works for you.


I always recommend that everyone gives volunteering a go because the skills that you develop from it and the opportunities presented are invaluable and not to mention, you’ll have a great time doing it too!

I hope to bring my past experiences to the role and help to improve offerings around campus!

If you are interested in the Sports Development Assistant post or any other of our volunteering roles, find out more on our website

Three Promotions in One Day for our Men’s Football Club

close up of someone's boots playing football
The University of Leeds Men’s Football Club had a very successful day on Wednesday 19th February 2020, with three of their teams achieving three promotions!

The 1st, 2nd and 4th team all secured their respective BUCS league titles with games to spare. A draw was all it took for the 1st team, while both the 2nd and 4th teams won.

Men's football 2s - one of three promotions on 19th Feb

The 1st team were away to Leeds Trinity 1st team, drawing 3-3 after coming from 2 goals down. This point took them to 22 points with two games left to spare. As a result, they’re seven points clear so no one can catch them.

The 2nd team were at home, facing York St John’s 1st team. They won the match 4-1, taking them five points clear with only one game remaining, therefore securing back-to-back promotions. This match was our featured #onetowatch fixture on Twitter, we’ll have all the photos from this game up on our Facebook page next week!

The 4th team were away to York St John’s i2i Academy team. The 4th team won 1-0, retaining their unbeaten record in the league – nine matches, nine wins.

men's football 2s celebrating a goal - one of three promotions on 19th feb

Head of Football at the University of Leeds, Steve Grime said:

Huge congratulations to the club on their three promotions yesterday! Thank you to our Club Captain Matt Welch, 1st team captain Jack Stirland, 2nd team Captains Max Kennedy and Charlie Rodick, and 4th team Captains Will Bainbridge and Nathan Brewster for all their hard work and dedication for making it happen! As they are all third years and moving on, they have left the club in a better place and this is a perfect way for them to finish their University football journey.

Steve Grime - head of football

Finally, a big congratulations from everyone at Leeds Sport to Steve and the club on their very successful seasons!

Free taster sessions for females

TGC climbing 1100x400

This Girl Can – a National Lottery-funded campaign encouraging women to get involved with sport and physical activity – has relaunched with an inspiring advert.

To raise awareness of This Girl Can and to celebrate International Women’s Day, Sport and Physical Activity are hosting a series of FREE taster sessions on Monday 9th March for all University of Leeds students and staff who identify as female.

No experience is needed for any of the taster sessions; all abilities are welcome.

All equipment will be provided so please just turn up in comfortable clothing and footwear and bring a bottle of water with you.

For students:
  • Netball and badminton- 3-4pm @ Sports Hall 1A and 1B, The Edge. For more information and to register your place, please contact Rachel Harrison. 
  • Indoor Climbing- 12-2pm @ the climbing wall, The Edge. These 30 minute tasters are for anyone who would like to try climbing for the first time or to learn how they can take their climbing to the next level. To register your place, please contact Edge Reception. If you would like to discuss anything beforehand, please contact Helen Pepper, Climbing Coordinator.
  • Women’s Wellbeing Walk- meet on the precint outside the main entrance of LUU at 11:55 for the walk to begin at 12:00. The route will incorporate Woodhouse Moor and Woodhouse Ridge and will be approximately 45 minutes in length, weather dependent.
For staff:
  • Netball and badminton- 2-3pm @ Sports Hall 1A and 1B, The Edge. For more information and to register your place, please contact Rachel Harrison. 
  • Indoor Climbing- 12-2pm @ the climbing wall, The Edge. These 30 minute tasters are for anyone who would like to try climbing for the first time or to learn how they can take their climbing to the next level. To register your place, please contact Edge Reception. If you would like to discuss anything beforehand, please contact Helen Pepper, Climbing Coordinator.
  • Women’s Wellbeing Walk- meet on the precint outside the main entrance of LUU at 11:55 for the walk to begin at 12:00. The route will incorporate Woodhouse Moor and Woodhouse Ridge and will be approximately 45 minutes in length, weather dependent.

This Girl Can… Can you?

Become a Media Assistant for Leeds Sport!

Do good stuff volunteering graphic

The role of a Leeds Sport Media Assistant is exciting, varied and flexible. It opens the door to opportunities which are shaped towards your interests and skills you wish to develop. In the role, activities stretch from social media coverage of Varsity to writing blog posts about sport initiatives in Leeds such as Goodgym. It’s a really rewarding scheme and a great way to develop employability skills such as leadership and communication.

ELLIE: Social Media Assistant 

I applied to the Media Assistant role because I intend to go into a marketing career and wanted more experience. My previous marketing roles have been in social media marketing and market research. I wanted to build on this experience in a new industry context. I’m interested in going into a sports marketing career but did not have any experience in this industry. Therefore I thought the role would be a great way to develop my understanding of sports marketing.

I really appreciate the flexibility of the scheme, both in terms of the role and time commitment. I have been able to mould the role to suit areas that I would like to get more experience in. For example, this semester I will be learning more about the Sports Colours Awards, which is a big sports event on campus. Last semester I focused more on social media for a variety of different events such as the Parkrun. This flexibility has allowed me to gain experience in areas that I wanted to develop, whilst also developing other crucial employability skills such as communication. The scheme requires around two hours of work a week during term time. On the whole, it is extremely flexible around your degree.

I’ve really benefited from the scheme so far, not only have I developed my skill set which I have found really useful when applying for graduate roles, but I have really enjoyed being involved in such a wide variety of sports opportunities throughout campus.


MADDY: News and Blog assistant

Maddy Sherratt

 As an aspiring journalist, the role of the media assistant really appealed to me. I wanted to diversify my time between academic writing, keeping active and writing news and blogs. In the past, I’ve worked with financial news organisations and write regular blogs on issues of current affairs and human interest.  However, I wanted to develop knowledge and skills in a new field whilst also gaining reputable writing skills for my year-in-industry and future graduate role. The voluntary nature of the role is incredibly rewarding as both others and yourself benefit from the work you produce. I’ve had the opportunity to interview Olympic hopefuls and inspiring coaches. It’s fascinating to hear and convey stories from the universities key role models in sport.

Adapting my writing style from academic essays to journalistic articles has been a real learning curb for me. I’ve really benefited from learning about digital platforms such as WordPress. I’m also excited to create a video with Ellie for the Leeds Sport Volunteering campaign this month. As well as this, I’ve gained a valuable set of skills ranging from communication, leadership, teamwork and initiative. The role is very flexible around your degree which avoids lots of stress when it comes to managing essay deadlines. This role will also give you direct access to societies and you can assist them with media enquiries.

I would highly recommend this role as it has allowed me to be recognised by other journalists and business professionals on platforms such as LinkedIn and it also provides you with free access to the Edge gym – one of the many advantages of a volunteering role.  


Check out all of our volunteering opportunities for the 2020/21 academic year, including the Leeds Sport Media Assistant, here.

This Girl Can at Leeds

Woman swimming

This Girl Can have just relaunched their campaign with another inspiring advert to motivate more women to take part in sport and physical activity. Women have long faced social pressures, judgement, and fear of talking about issues which society has deemed ‘taboo’ when it comes to their bodies and exercising. This campaign aims to show the unfiltered reality of exercise, whilst celebrating women of all shapes and sizes, abilities and backgrounds, to empower them to become more active and confident. The new campaign also focuses on periods, menopause, pregnancy and motherhood, and how women use exercise as a way to combat symptoms or allow time for themselves.

Since This Girl Can launched in 2015, it has inspired 3.5 million women to get active but there is still a long way to go, with 40% of women aged 16 and over insufficiently active, compared with 35% of men (Active Lives, 2018). Sport and Physical Activity’s new strategy: Do What Moves You also aims to celebrate and encourage anybody of any ability to engage in sport and physical activity, and to get moving in whatever way works for them.

This Girl Can women on matt

There are a number of opportunities available for women to get more active across the campus including:

  • Netball and badminton taster sessions for students and staff @ The Edge on Monday 9 March at 2-3pm. Contact Rachel Harrison for further information and to sign up
  • Female only swim sessions @ The Edge pool (Tuesdays 10:45-11:45 and Fridays 21:15-22:15)
  • Women only strength training courses – the perfect opportunity for beginners or intermediates to learn new techniques to improve their workouts
  • Join the Couch to 5K programme to get more active in a safe, social and friendly environment. The deadline to sign-up is Tuesday 4th February
  • From 27 January there will be a range of beginner’s group exercise classes added to The Edge class timetable including Yoga, Barre Pilates, Body Pump, Zumba and Kaiser/Spin. There are also a range of dance based group exercise classes, which are a great way to have fun whilst exercising including Zumba, Clubbercise, Dance Fitness and Body Jam
  • Join the 5-a-side football social league by registering a team to take part. We will soon be sharing details about our new netball social league for staff. Contact for more information
  • The LOGIK centre will soon be releasing details of their Winter/Spring 2020 programme, which will include antenatal exercise classes as well as the introduction of yoga for menopause. You can check for updates here.

Do you have an inspirational story that you would like to share to help motivate and inspire other women to get active? Whatever it is that keeps you moving – whether it’s playing a team sport, yoga, dog walking, pram pushing, weight lifting, gardening or swimming – we’d love to hear! Contact Beth Fadden, Physical Activity and Wellbeing Manager at




Volunteer of the Month: Matthew Eke

Volunteer of the month matthew eke

Matt talks about the volunteering he is involved in, why he wanted to participate and how it feels to win volunteer of the month. 


Matt has been a great volunteer on poolside and has integrated well into the team. He has been eager to learn and is highly motivated to get the best out of himself and the swimmers he is coaching. He is well mannered and a pleasure to be on poolside with. He continues to push himself to do more and I look forward to continuing his education on poolside.’ Jacob Greenhalgh, Head of Swimming


Which volunteering programme are you on & what does your role involve?

I am a swimming coach for Leeds University Union Swimming and Water Polo Society (LUUSWP) on the Leeds Sport Coaching Scholars programme. I assist the head coach, Jacob with the coaching of all 3 squads (Performance, Competition and Development) at both training sessions and galas (competitions). Most recently, I travelled down with the Performance squad to Ponds Forge in Sheffield to assist with the coaching of University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Trinity University at BUCS.

How much time do you commit to volunteering per week and how do you manage this alongside your studies?

Varies week on week depending on how busy I am with other activities but is usually between 4-8 hours per week if no galas are on at the weekend. Because most of the training sessions are on an evening after lectures have finished it allows me to concentrate on my studies through the day then spend my evenings volunteering.

What made you want to volunteer?

I have been an active member of LUUSWP since I arrived at university 2 ½ years ago, as a swimmer for Competition squad and a Water Polo player for the 2nd Team. Last year I was the Men’s Captain of Competition and Development Swimming Squads where there were some sessions that I had to write and deliver the session when we didn’t have a coach. I had previously coached at my local swimming club before university and found myself getting back into it last year so Jacob, the head coach, suggested I apply for the Coach Scholar program and assist him this year.

What is the best thing about volunteering?

The best thing about volunteering is the feeling of giving back to a society that has done so much for me over my time at university. Some of my best university experiences have been through LUUSWP and I have met so many new people and friends through the society that volunteering for them makes me feel like I am giving back to the society and helping the new members have as good a time as I have had and continue to have.

What are the challenges?

It can sometimes get a bit stressful trying to manage my volunteering around my studies but I always feel better for it afterwards as I would rather be doing activities that keep me busy than sat around my flat doing nothing useful.

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

I would highly recommend volunteering to others as it’s such a good experience and improves upon skills such as time management, leadership and critical thinking that will be needed in later life.

How does it feel to win Volunteer of the Month?

It’s an honour to win Volunteer of the Month as it shows that I am being recognised for my volunteering and gives me encouragement to do more.


Student Volunteering Week kicks off on 10 February with events for you to get involved with and learn more about volunteering opportunities with us!

Balancing Life Survey Results 2019

Balancing Life Imagery

In 2019 we ran our annual survey, Balancing Life, to find out about activity and well-being levels amongst the University population. We use this information to help shape our future plans and initiatives for Sport & Physical activity, so thank you to everyone who took the time to fill it out.

This year’s results coincide with the launch of the University’s new strategic plan for Sport & Physical Activity; Do What Moves You, with our vision to be the best University to be active. The results from Balancing Life specifically help to inform and guide us in regards to one of the strategy’s key aims; to help staff and students improve their health & well-being.

The results were positive, and have given us fantastic new insights to work with and shall help to continually evolve the service we offer;

2019 Key Results:

  • 2172 total survey response, a 48% increase on 2018
  • 75% of campus active, an increase of 1% since 2018
  • 46% of you are doing regular exercise, an increase of 7% since 2018
  • Our staff are 10% more active than the general working population
  • We scored 22 on the SWEMWBS* meaning our mental wellbeing scores are behind the national average
  • 25% of the campus population are fairly active or inactive, down 1% from 26% in 2018
  • Our students are 1% less active than the Higher Education average

To read more about the results from the survey, take a look at our Balancing Life page on our website. The SPA Physical Activity and Well-being Team will be delivering a series of workshops over the month with different faculties and services to discuss the Balancing Life results in more detail. If you would like to find out more about these, please get in touch with our Physical Activity and Well-being Manager, Bethany Fadden.

If you are wanting to make a change to your lifestyle and be more active, we have many options to help you get started. During term time, The Edge offers over 220 exercise classes per week, from quick 30 minute HIIT classes that you can fit into the working day, to more gentle yoga and pilates. If that doesn’t excite you, why not join one of our social leagues and play with your mates? Or, if you are looking to get into running, why not join one of Get Out, Get Active’s wellbeing runs or sign up for the latest entry-level Couch to 5K programme, which is open to all staff and students?


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

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