Tour De Yorkshire Trophies Visit University

Group of children with one holding the tour de yorkshire trophies

As part of the Welcome to Yorkshire’s trophy tour around Yorkshire last week, the University welcomed over 50 schoolchildren to the Bodington Cycle Circuit to have a go at cycling and see the famous Tour de Yorkshire Trophies up close.

Pupils from two local schools; Yeaden Westfield Junior School and Meanwood Church of England Primary School, came to the Bodington Cycle Circuit. Here they had a cycling session coached by two international cyclists, followed by the chance to see the trophies up close and ask questions. Their hour-long coached cycling session was led by Jacob Regan and Chris Young, both of who have represented the UK in international cycling events and won British titles.

Tour De Yorkshire Trophies

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said;

“We are thrilled to been able to host the Tour de Yorkshire Trophies at the University of Leeds cycle circuit and give children from two local schools the opportunity to check out the trophy and enjoy a morning being active on bikes in a safe, traffic-free environment with the added bonus of coaching from two international cyclists.”

Man talking to group of school children as Tour de Yorkshire trophies visit university

Each year in the lead up to the race, both the men’s and women’s trophies visit each of the start and finish locations on their very own tour. The trophies have followed the route of the tour by visiting Beverley, Doncaster, Barnsley, Ilkley, Richmond, Scarborough and Halifax, finishing in Leeds. The Tour de Yorkshire is now less than two months away, taking place on Thursday 3rd May – Sunday 6th May. With Leeds hosting the grand finale on Sunday 6th May where the race will finish on The Headrow – on exactly the same spot as where the Tour de France started in 2014.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake said:

“The trophy tour is a great way for communities to get involved and build excitement in the lead up to this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, and we are very excited that Leeds is hosting the last leg of the race.”

Bodington Cycle Circuit

With excitement about the Tour de Yorkshire building in the county, the University encourages members of the local community to come and have a go on the cycle circuit which is the perfect safe, traffic-free environment for anyone wanting to learn to ride a bike or train to improve their skills.

The circuit is one of the longest in the country at one-mile-long (1.6km), completed last year it sits next to The Brownlee Centre – the UK’s first purpose-built National Elite Training Centre and home to Leeds Triathlon Centre.

The facilities, which are open to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, has a full programme of activity. This includes “Pay and Pedal”, HSBC Breeze Rides for women and girls, para-cycling coaching sessions and special training sessions for elite athletes as well as University and local clubs.

Bikes for children and adults are available to hire, along with hand cycles, trikes and tandems for use by riders with disabilities.

Find out more and plan your visit on the Bodington Cycle Circuit webpage.

England call up for Leeds Cricket Scholars

Womens Cricket

As England’s cricket team embark on their tour of India, two of our Leeds Alumni, Kate Cross and Alice Davidson-Richards, have received the honour of joining the squad. With only sixteen places there was strong competition for a position on the team.

During Kate’s time at Leeds, women’s cricket was still a social sport and so she took on the challenge of training with the Men’s MCCU. With her success playing county cricket, Kate gained one of the first full-time professional contracts for England. She proved her determination and commitment to the sport making her first ever debut for England back in 2013.

Former coach Rick Holland told us about Kate’s experience at Leeds:

“She was very much an individual excelling as the landscape of women’s cricket was changing, moving towards the professional era. Kate represented the University of Leeds Women’s Cricket Club and helped less experienced players. She acted as a role model showing what could be achieved with dedication and resilience.”     

New talent was added to the England squad in the form of Alice Davidson-Richards who has recently been offered a contract with England. On her first ever call up to play internationally Alice will be making her debut along with two other uncapped players, Bryony Smith and Katie George.

Alice’s time playing cricket at Leeds gained support from a brand new programme. It aimed to draw the women’s cricket programme in line with the men’s, giving them equal opportunity to learn. She became part of the ‘Leeds Women’s Cricket Academy’ and began working with the best cricketers from the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett. Training over winter and working towards playing two friendly games against the MCC and Loughborough. Competing at a higher level allowed Alice to focus on training all year round and maintain her commitment. She gained valuable experience at Leeds which has translated into her professional career. 

Alice with her MCCU team

This scheme has developed over the years becoming the Leeds Bradford Women’s MCCU. This programme aims to give talented young cricketers the chance to receive top-level coaching. The girls now have more opportunities to compete at a high level whilst advancing their education. Players now compete for several major trophies each year including The BUCS Premier Final and The MCCU two day Championship. Many of the squad also perform with county teams.  Here in Leeds, the programme has developed close links with the Yorkshire Diamonds whom Alice has represented.

 

As both Kate and Alice venture across the world, we wish them the greatest success. Playing against India and Australia’s elite will be a huge challenge but one which our Leeds girls can face. With their strength and determination, we are sure they will both go far and continue competing for England. 

 

Leeds Sports Awards Winners

Two men standing together in rugby and american football kit

The 2018 Leeds Sports Awards was a big day for sport in Leeds as the city celebrated the achievements of athletes, coaches and sports volunteers in 2017.

Celebrations took place in the First Direct Arena where sports-people of all levels and abilities from across the city alongside their coaches, volunteers, sponsors and supporters all came together to celebrate Leeds’ proud sporting heritage and commend the achievements of this year’s nominees in true style.

A whole host of awards were up for grabs and many of the nominees have been involved with the University of Leeds over the years. Alumni, current students and honorary degree holders were nominated over a diverse range of categories giving them plenty of opportunity for recognition of all their efforts and achievements in sport.

The winners and nominees

One of the biggest successes of the evening was the nomination and win from our very own Rugby League and American Football teams. They beat off some fierce competition from Leeds Beckett University Hockey to jointly win the ‘Student Sport Award’  for all their hard work on the ‘It’s ok not to be ok’ campaign, highlighting the positive power of sport. Their campaign has promoted the importance of mental health awareness across the University and got people talking, as well as raising thousands of pounds, for mental health charities. This award gives them recognition from across the city for the fantastic work they are doing.

Jess Bassett, Activities Officer at Leeds University Union said:

It has been an absolute privilege to get to know and work along side Andrew and Aaron on the it’s OK not be OK campaign. It was amazing to see all of the hard work and fundraising efforts from both clubs recognised when they won this award. This campaign has increased the awareness of male mental health in particular and raised money for two very special charities, and alongside celebrating this success we must keep working hard to tackle this because it is OK not to be OK.

On the night Jess Learnmouth won the sportswoman award, Jess trains with the Leeds Triathlon Centre at the University’s facilities including The Edge and The Brownlee Centre. She took home the award beating a number of fantastic athletes including Olympic Gold Medallist Nicola Adams OBE who received an honorary degree from the University in 2015.

Cecilia Allen a Leeds alumna received a highly commended award in the Young Club Team Performance award with the Yorkshire CCC U17 girls, a team she manages. Fellow alumni Dr Malcolm Brown MBE and Jack Maitland also received a highly commended award in the Performance Coach award for their work with triathletes at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. The triathlon theme continued in Tom Bishop who graduated from Leeds in 2013 and was nominated for the Sportsman of the Year award.

The night was a fantastic celebration of sport and a wonderful evening for all. We send a huge congratulations to all the finalists and we are hoping for even more success next year.

A full list of the winners can be found on the Leeds Sports Awards website.

 

University Sport Scholars Celebrated

University of Leeds group shot of sport scholars

This week the University of Leeds Sports Scholars were celebrated at a presentation evening hosted by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Yu.

Over 60 students from a a range of academic schools studying everything from Medicine and Surgery to Engineering have been awarded Sports Scholarships. These scholarships support them in their athletic and academic ventures, enabling them to perform at their highest sporting ability alongside their studies.

The evening celebrated these athletes and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor: International, Professor Hai-Sui Yu gave a talk about how he believed that sport is a global language and we as a University are proud to support these athletes in their endeavours across the globe, wishing them every success for the years ahead both in their academic and sporting careers.

Kim Daybell playing table tennis

The evening also celebrated two students; Kim Daybell and Tyler Smith who are preparing to fly to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next month. Kim will be representing England in Table Tennis and Tyler will be representing Bermuda in Triathlon, a fantastic achievement made possible by their commitment to their sports, as well as their academic schools having the flexibility to allow them to go and compete.

Kim has been a Sport Scholar at the University for 7 years and he shared his experiences about his time here at Leeds, encouraging all the scholars sat in the room to work hard to achieve their sporting dreams and to utilise the support available to them through the Sport Scholarship programme. Kim emphasised how much the University had helped and supported him and without this he would not have been able to train and compete at two Paralympic Games; London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity said:

“It was a great celebratory event of our gifted and talented Sport Scholars, made extra special this year being able to wish both Tyler and Kim good luck for their endeavours at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. It seemed so fitting to be hosted by our Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Relations, Professor Yu who was a very welcomed guest and spoke eloquently about how proud the University are of our sporting scholars as they represent us across the world in the sporting arena”

This year the University has over 60 scholars competing across a huge range of sports, from snowboarding to canoe polo and everything in-between. They compete at a range competitions individually and with their university team while working towards their sporting goals which they set at the beginning of the year.

The Sports Scholarship programme at the University of Leeds provides all our scholars with a bespoke package of support that meets each individuals needs. Following the University’s unique approach every athlete is given a personal mentor who helps ensure that a healthy balance between University work and sporting success is achieved. Our scholars are also supported with free Edge access, physiotherapy and a personalised strength and conditioning programme as well as a bespoke bursary to help ensure they can meet the financial demands of performance sport.

We hope that soon some of our other scholars will be joining Kim and Tyler competing and achieving great things all over the globe.  

Take a look at all our Sport Scholars below and find out more about our Sport Scholarship programme online.

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.

Contract signing for Leeds Gryphon

University of Leeds American Football

Former Leeds gryphon Felix Titherley has recently signed a professional contract with the Rostock Griffins of the GFL (German Football League). He will be playing at the highest level of American Football competition outside North America and it will be an exciting challenge for Felix. His new contract comes after a 5-year career in representing the University of Leeds in American Football and gaining a place on the Great Britain Lions roster in January 2017.

His sporting achievements have been assisted through continuing support from Leeds Sport, particularly with strength and conditioning coaching. Felix trains at least six times a week in the Gryphon Room, working with S&C coach Max Roger. Max shared his delight for Felix’s new opportunity:

Felix Titherley + Max

‘I’m happy and excited for Felix. He has shown how you can achieve your goals by working towards them with consistent, hard work. He is an extremely hard worker and a true 24/7 athlete. He has been doing everything that he can in and out of the gym to be the best that he can be.’

Through continuing training, Felix has gained the strength and athletic ability he will need to compete at the next level. Felix’s dedication to the sport has allowed him to make great improvements and proved him to be an accomplished athlete. The university wishes him the best of success in his new and exciting career. We hope to hear great things in the future.

Win £50 Amazon and Refresh vouchers

Balancing life survey complete to win £50 amazon and refresh voucers - text on a picture of someone walking on grass

Help us to support your activity and wellbeing on campus by filling out the 2018 Balancing Life Survey. Plus you could win a £50 Amazon Voucher or Refresh Card!

Last year’s Balancing Life Survey found that 77% of staff and students at the University of Leeds are active, with 60% of the activity they take part in happening on campus. A survey of this type had never been completed before and it gave great insight into the activity and wellbeing levels of staff and students. Take a look at the full results online here.

The insight gained from last year’s survey has raised the importance of staff and students health and wellbeing on campus, and this has had some fantastic results;

  • The Student Education Services have appointed two full time interns with a focus on improving staff health and wellbeing.
  • The University of Leeds, via the Wellbeing, Safety and Health department are about to recruit a full time role for promoting staff health and wellbeing.
  • Results helped raise the importance of staff being more active and promoting health and wellbeing to colleagues in their own teams as demonstrated by the hundreds of Healthy Week Heroes we had.
  • Sport and Physical Activity has seen an increase in schools across the University engaging with the staff wellness programme

These are all great steps forward and this year’s survey will help to give even further insight and see if there has been a change in results from last year.

This year’s survey is now live for staff and students to complete until the 18th March and all students who fully complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Amazon Vouchers, and staff will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £50 Refresh card vouchers for buying food and drinks on campus. Fill out the survey now!

All survey responses are anonymous and will be used to provide the University with the insight to provide programmes and offers that fit the wants and needs of the staff and students at the University of Leeds.

 

Korfball’s big day out to BUCS regionals

Leeds Korfball

It was an exciting and successful weekend for Leeds Gryphons Korfball Club as they challenged the best teams from across the North and Scotland.

On the 2nd of December Leeds University Korfball Club took 3 teams to Manchester for the qualifying round of the BUCS National Korfball Tournament. The first team were able to showcase their talents as one the best university teams in the country, storming their way through the tournament unbeaten to the top spot. The champion side also claimed the titles of top male and female scorer. Former President and current first team captain Jacob Cooke shared his excitement;

“Such an amazing day for Leeds Korfball, Leeds university 1’s coming 1st overall and qualifying for 1st tier nationals and Leeds university 2’s beating numerous other 1st teams to finish 5th and qualify for 2nd tier nationals. All Leeds University teams played so well, outperforming previous years dramatically. This year could be the most successful in the clubs history and we are excited to see how Leeds Uni 1’s, 2’s and 3’s do at their nationals!”

The second team had a much tougher time in their bid for qualification starting the tournament with a couple of tough losses and a draw. They desperately needed a win in their last game against Lancaster to guarantee qualification. The match strayed away from the game plan with the second team finding themselves on the wrong side of a two-goal deficit. At 5-3 they fought back to 5-5 but a draw would not be enough to qualify. With time and hope running out, Club President scored a last-gasp wonder goal to guarantee qualification to the nationals. The success proved a delight to all involved, particularly Second Team Captain Harriet who said;

“I am so proud of the energy and enthusiasm that our teams displayed. Everyone played the best Korfball of their seasons and the support from side lines was phenomenal”

The third team made a valiant effort in their debut tournament. The majority of the team is made up of beginners who have only just started playing the sport this year. Although they are still finding the ropes of the game they played incredibly, going toe to toe with some of the best teams in the country. They won their first ever game against a strong Manchester side and secured a draw in a scrappy derby game against our very own second team.

What’s next for Korfball?

The first and second teams will be competing at the BUCS national trophy finals on the 4th of March. They will be competing against the top 16 universities in the country and we are looking for a top 8 finish. It has already been a successful year for korfball and we are not ready to give up yet.

University host junior parkrun

Junior Park Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suzanne Glavin

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

 

Commonwealth Selection for Kim Daybell

Kim daybel paralympic table tennis player

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

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

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

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

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

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