Strength and Conditioning Coaches Workshop

strength and conditioning room

On Thursday 20th July, the inaugural Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Coaches Workshop brought together S&C Coaches from Universities across the North of England to share knowledge and ideas.

Assisted by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), who sent down National Network Manager Craig Williams to attend, the purpose of the workshop was to address common issues faced by these coaches, and use each other’s experiences to piece together solutions.

The day revolved around two presentations. The first by Jon Kantor form the University of Nottingham, who discussed ‘Quality in Quantity – An S&C service in Higher Education’, and the second by Tom Walton from Northumbria University who gave in insight to their Internship programme. Both talks were highly insightful, and sparked in-depth discussion on the topics.

Staff members at coaching workshop listen to presentation

 

Andy Woodward, a staff member from Barnard Castle School also attended the day, initiating interesting conversations in to bridging the gap between school and University.

 

 

Roundtables throughout the day focused on monitoring the University athlete, and addressing the issue of athletes being away from University for large portions of the year due to holidays. Discussions were fruitful, with the different experiences of coaches blending together with various ideas to put in to practice over the coming year.

Staff members sat listening to presentation

 

The day proved to be a great success for everyone involved with the plan to continue this type of workshop in years to come. For further information please contact Max Roger on M.Roger@leeds.ac.uk

Leeds Sport Blogs have landed!

A brand new blogs page has been launched this month alongside the arrival of the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series, with a blog about how to strength and condition like a Brownlee.

Leeds Sport, the team who deliver sport here at the University of Leeds, are a highly qualified team. From coaching to volunteering, playing socially or competitively to hosting huge sporting events, it’s all covered, so we thought we’d bring some of that expertise directly to you in the form of a blog.

Each month there will be tips, tricks, skills or advice from a member of our team or some of the talented and dedicated students we work with. You can read more about why we launched our blog here with a welcome from Assistant Head of Sport, Patrick Craig.

Our first blog covers 5 recommended exercises for strength and conditioning training for triathlon. The blog comes from strength and conditioning coach, Tim Jarrett, who works with our top Leeds Gryphon athletes on a daily basis, including our triathletes. This is highly topical with the latest race in the World Triathlon Series calendar coming to Leeds this weekend with both Leeds Sport alumni Alistair and Jonathon Brownlee competing in the event.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels or on the blog page itself for future blogs!

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Strong Start for Powerlifting & Weightlifting Society

strength and conditioning room

Newly formed in October 2016, the University of Leeds Powerlifting & Weightlifting society, have made an impressive start in their first year by claiming victory in the Northern University powerlifting competition.

On the 6th May, the club headed to their first competition organised by the Yorkshire and North East Powerlifting Federation (YNEPF), open to all university teams in the North. The team based format of the competition takes the best 3 men and women’s scores from each university to get a team total.

The team achieved the overall first position with the best team score, the best women’s team, best men’s team, and their 2017/18 captain Kieran Gray was the best male lifter. Kieran also broke the bench press record, lifting 170kg, and the deadlift record by lifting 285.5kg.

Club President Danny White spoke to us about the results:

“Everyone displayed exceptional individual performances, with all 7 team members taking a podium position in their weight categories. This has brought the number of members qualified for nationals to 6; those that are still within the junior age category will be competing at the British Junior Championships in November 2017. Next year we aim to have a team compete at British University Championships and qualify for the World University Championship, in addition to bringing as many new powerlifters into the sport as we can!”

Individual Results:

Kieran Gray1stU105kg
Matt Chivers3rdU105kg
Nick Humphries2ndU66kg
Belal Ahmed1stU66kg
Wura Oyenekan1stU72kg
Josie Penfold1stU63kg
Meri Raty2ndU63kg

 

What happens at a powerlifting competition?

At a powerlifting competition, competitors complete 3 types of lift: the squat, bench press and deadlift, with 3 attempts in each to lift the heaviest weight possible. Upon arrival at a competition each competitor is weighed and put into a weight category, so that strengths can be compared between powerlifters of different bodyweights. For the squat, there are 3 attempts that increase in weight in which Judges will give athletes a white light for a successful lift or a red light for a bad lift. This is repeated for the bench press and then the deadlift, by which point each competitor should have achieved a valid attempt in each of the 3 lifts.

How does the scoring work?

The heaviest weight lifted in each of the squat, bench press and deadlift is combined to get a total. This total is used to give each competitor a ‘wilks score’. This is a way of comparing everyone’s strengths taking in to account different bodyweights. For example, a male with a 100kg bodyweight who lifts a total of 550kg would achieve a wilks score of ~335, whereas a male lifter of 90kg bodyweight with a 550kg lift total would score a wilks of 351. This allows all bodyweights to be competitive, making this a highly accessible and inclusive sport.

Competition preparation

Preparation for a competition varies from athlete to athlete, as it depends on their training programme and time available whilst balancing university studies. Individuals have a programme to follow in the gym. In the run up to a competition the programme increases the weight being lifted until athletes are generally hitting their opening attempts in the week prior to the competition. Team members have also got to be the right weight for their weight class, so there can also be some last minute weight loss involved.

More about the club and how can you get involved

The club became an official society in early October 2016 founded by Danny White (President) and Osura Bangamuwa (Captain). The clubs aims are:

  1. Provide a supportive and encouraging environment for powerlifters and weightlifters of all ages and abilities
  2. Provide affordable training, cheaper than coaching available elsewhere in Leeds

There are 3.5 hours of training per week at The Edge coached by personal trainer (PT) and powerlifter Chris Baldwin, at a cost of £30 per year to members and Tom Millbank (PT and strongman). Since it’s launch, the club now has around 50 members who range from absolute beginners to national level competitors.

To find out more, head to the clubs official webpage.

 

 

 

 

Triathlon take home the team double

After taking three of six available individual medals and two gold team medals at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Standard Distance Triathlon, the University of Leeds has retained its title as number one institution in the BUCS Triathlon rankings for the third year running.

A record number of students competed at this years Championships in Southport, with a large number of students from the Leeds Triathlon Centre taking part.

In the women’s race, Sarah Hodgson claimed the silver medal as the first finisher from the University of Leeds, behind Elle Twentyman from Bath. Sarah improved on her BUCS Sprint bronze medal she won back in 2014. An impressive four University of Leeds athletes finished in the top 7, with Rachael Hawker narrowly missing out on a podium position coming in 4th. Emma Pickering came in at 6th position closely followed by Natasha Sinha in 7th leaving the women’s team gold medal in absolutely no doubt.

womens BUCS triathlon winners

The University of Leeds Men’s Team included two individual medal placings with Sports Scholars Alistair Rogers and Jack Willis achieving 2nd and 3rd place respectively. After returning from injury just a couple of months ago, final year student Alastair produced the fastest swim and cycle time for the whole field, but was overtaken in the run by University of Stirling student George Goodwin. Ed Beecher came in at 10th place securing the top spot in the team competition for the University of Leeds.

mens BUCS triathlon winners

 

Head of Sport Suzanne Glavin said:

It’s fantastic to see the continuing success of our Triathlon teams here at the university. Our partnership with the Leeds Triathlon Centre is clearly paying off, allowing our students access to some of the best coaching in the country at some incredible training facilities here on university campus. Congratulations to all athletes who took part!

Despite a slow start in the BUCS Duathlon placing sixth overall, the University of Leeds have dominated the BUCS Sprint and Standard to run away as the number one institute for Triathlon, leading closest competitor Bath by 43 points.

 

Scholar Voted RFL University Player of the Year

Rugby pitch Sports Park Weetwood

Sports Scholar, James Woodburn-Hall, has been voted as the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) University Player of the Year. The Cec Thompson award is presented to the player who has performed outstandingly on the field throughout the University Rugby League season. 

James Woodburn-Hall is in his final year at the University of Leeds studying Sports Science and Physiology. Having played at Super League level for London Broncos prior to joining the University, James has been a key player for the student team since his arrival. The team has since gained promotion in to the BUCS Premier A division, the top league in the country.

Alongside completing his studies, he’s also played regularly for Halifax RLFC who play in the Championship. On top of this, James has just been selected to play for the English Students team and will be heading to compete in the Student World Cup in the Student World Cup over in Australia in July.

Performance Sport Manager David Bond said:

James approaches his training and academic studies with commitment and professionalism and is a shining example of a model student-athlete at the University of Leeds. He’s an athlete who is achieving highly both on the pitch and in the classroom, and this award comes as no surprise particularly following his nomination for the ‘Athlete of the Year’ at this years Sports Colours Awards. Congratulations James, thoroughly deserved!

The award was presented to James as part of the RFL’s magic weekend at St James Park, Newcastle, on Saturday 20th May. A huge congratulations to James for this fantastic achievement.

Gryphons Take Gold at BUCS Regatta

Boat House

On the 29th of April, the University of Leeds Boat Club headed to the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham for the annual British Universities and Colleges (BUCS) Regatta. The Gryphons were out in full force turning out 14 boats across all 4 of their squads.

To prepare for the weekend, the senior squads headed over to Lake Vyrnwy in Wales over the Easter break for a training camp, whilst the others continued their grueling training regime. The hard work and training paid off in particular in the Novice Women’s Single Sculls for Tara, who claimed 1st place and a BUCS gold medal!

Tara from UOLBC with gold medal

Results of all finals can be seen below:

Saturday 29th

Mens Intermediate Lightweight 1x, C Final – 4th

Mens Intermediate 8+, C Final – 5th

Womens Beginner 1x, A Final – Gold

Mens Beginner 4x, A Final – 4th

 

Sunday 30th

Womens Beginner 4+, D Final – 1st

Mens Intermediate 2x (a), C Final – 6th

Mens Intermediate 2x (b) , E Final – 5th

Mens Beginner 8+, C Final – 5th

Mens Intermediate 4+, E Final – 1st

 

Monday 1st

Womens Intermediate 4+, D Final – 1st

Womens BUCS 8+, E Final – 1st

Womens Intermediate 2x, C Final – 2nd

Mens Beginner 1x (a), A Final – 6th

Mens Beginner 1x (b), B Final – 5th

 

Brownlees launch £5m triathlon and cycling facility

Brownlee Centre

A new £5m University of Leeds sports facility launches this week, named after its most successful sporting alumni.

The Brownlee Centre, chosen in honour of Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny, sits alongside a new 1 mile (1.6km) cycle circuit – one of the longest in the country – at the University’s Bodington Playing Fields in north Leeds.

The brothers will officially launch the centre and cycle circuit on Friday 28 April. The facilities, open to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, will be available to use and book from Tuesday 2 May and include changing rooms and a café.

The circuit has a full programme of activity including “pay and pedal”, HSBC UK Breeze Rides for women and girls and special training sessions for elite athletes, 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.

Investing in the future

Partnership funding from British Cycling, British Triathlon and others is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University of Leeds.

It will also be a new National Elite Training Centre for Triathlon, home to Leeds Triathlon Centre. The UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training base, it will combine a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services, to provide world-class facilities to enhance triathlon training in the region.

Alistair said: “This day marks a great day for cycling in Yorkshire. The start of the Tour de Yorkshire builds on a fantastic legacy and, thanks to these new facilities, Leeds continues to be a real centre for excellence when it comes to cycling and triathlon.”

Alistair studied sports science and physiology at Leeds and won gold in the triathlon competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Brownlee Centre

His brother Jonny, a Leeds history graduate who took silver in August, added: “A big thanks to the University and all of the supporters, because this centre and circuit will inspire everyone, from beginners through to elite athletes.”

Yorkshire’s legacy

The new facility helps mark some significant weeks for cycling and triathlon in the region: the Tour de Yorkshire takes place across the coming weekend, while the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds returns to the city in June.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said: “We are very proud of the Brownlee brothers’ achievements and it’s an honour to have these brand new facilities named after two of our most successful sporting alumni.
“The Brownlee Centre and the new cycle circuit offers students, staff and the wider cycling and triathlon community a truly inspiring, world-class training facility.
”It rightly puts the University of Leeds at the forefront of providing one of the best sport and physical activity environments in the UK.
“It also builds on the excellent cycling legacy provided by Welcome to Yorkshire’s leadership in securing the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014.”

It rightly puts the University of Leeds at the forefront of providing one of the best sport and physical activity environments in the UK

SIR ALAN LANGLANDS

Cycle Circuit

Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s Director of Cycling, said: “One of British Cycling’s key aims is to ensure that everyone – regardless of age or ability – has access to high quality facilities in order to get on a bike for the first time, to get back into cycling after time away from the sport, or to develop their skills on a bike.
“This facility will deliver exactly that for the people of Leeds – a region which has produced several successful elite sportspeople over the years who will have inspired countless local residents to take up cycling.

“We are delighted to see the circuit open and we look forward to seeing the local community truly embrace the facility.”

“This facility will deliver exactly that for the people of Leeds – a region which has produced several successful elite sportspeople over the years who will have inspired countless local residents to take up cycling.”

JONNY CLAY, BRITISH CYCLING

Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Triathlon, said: “The Brownlee Centre is a fantastic new facility in Leeds and continues our focus on ensuring our elite triathletes have the world-class facilities they need to deliver medal-winning success.”

He continued: “With the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds coming to the city in June, the centre also provides the opportunity for locals to develop their cycling and triathlon skills as they get ready for race day and provides the perfect platform for triathlon fans of all abilities to get inspired and give the sport a try.”

“[It] provides the perfect platform for triathlon fans of all abilities to get inspired and give the sport a try.”
JACK BUCKNER, BRITISH TRIATHLON

Joe Krasinski, from thriving Leeds cycling club albaRosa, said the importance of the new facilities for local clubs could not be understated: “This is a fabulous addition to the flourishing Leeds cycling landscape for youth and adult club members.
“Having had a session on the circuit, we were simply blown away by the professional facilities, the size and challenge of the circuit, its flexible use potential and welcoming staff. Our youth riders, coaches, volunteers and parents were all buzzing – and aching – afterwards!”

albaRosa will be providing youth coaching on Thursday evenings and race skills and fitness training in partnership with Ilkley, Valley Striders and Bronte Tykes cycling clubs on Monday evenings.

Sport at Leeds

Cycle Clubs

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said: “We really value our continuing relationship with the Brownlees. The dedication and commitment they demonstrate through regular training sessions on campus and their continued global success really inspires our students and staff.
“They enable us to showcase to students how we can tailor degrees to allow athletes to train and compete at the highest level.”

Leeds University Union’s Activities Officer, Taiwo Ogunyinka, added: “The Brownlee Centre and cycle circuit signify another positive step by the University towards raising the experience of sports and physical activity for students.
“Not only does this further cement the position of the city and the University as a hub of elite triathlete development, but also widens participation and offers a resource of world-class standards to all students.”

The University is one of the UK’s leading sports institutions, with the Brownlees following in the footsteps of a number of Olympic champions.
At last year’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games, four University of Leeds alumni were part of the TeamGB squad. All three of the men’s triathlon team were Leeds alumni, with Gordon Benson joining the Brownlee brothers.

Four of the six Team GB Rio games triathlon competitors will be based at the new facilities.

The Bodington Playing Fields have hosted numerous national standard cross country competitions. Its running routes are also used weekly by Leeds Triathlon Centre’s elite training squad, which includes the Brownlees.

The site will also continue to be used for grass sports including football and rugby. The next phase of development will see three additional grass pitches, with work scheduled for completion in autumn 2017.

The University has invested more than £25m in new sports facilities over the past 10 years, including a new £1m boat house. The latest improvements complement nearby Sports Park Weetwood, the University’s flagship 100-acre facility used by students and members of the community for hockey, football, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, American football and more.

More information

For full details of how to use the new facilities, visit www.leeds.ac.uk/cyclecircuit

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.

Our sporting alumni will be dusting off their old kit and catching up with old teammates as they return to Leeds for a day of fixtures against our current Gryphons on Saturday 29th April.

We’re delighted to thank Endsleigh who are the official supporters of the Alumni Sports Day 2017.

The fixtures confirmed for this year are:

University Campus:

Team Venue Pitch Time
Badminton Gryphon All 2-5pm
Basketball Mens Edge Hall 1B 3-6pm
Basketball Womens Edge Hall 1B 1-3pm
Fencing Edge Hall 1A 2-6pm
Handball Edge Hall 1 6-8pm
Korfball Gryphon All 12-2pm
Netball Edge Hall 1A 12-2pm
Netball Development Edge Hall 2 3-5pm
Squash Gryphon Squash Courts 1:30-4:30pm
Volleyball Edge Hall 2 5:15-7:15pm

 

Sports Park Weetwood

Team Venue Pitch Time
Football Mens Weetwood 3G 2pm
Football Womens Weetwood Soccer 1 4pm
Hockey Men Weetwood SD1 12-4pm
Hockey Women Weetwood SD2 12-4pm
Lacrosse Men Weetwood 3G 12-2pm
Lacrosse Women Weetwood 3G 2-4pm
Rugby Womens Boddington Rugby 3 1pm
Cricket Women Weetwood Cricket 1 2pm

 

Swimming & Waterpolo will take place on Sunday 30th April in The Edge pool at 3.45 – 5.15pm.

American Football will also happen on an alternative date. 


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. If you’re an alumni looking to get involved in the day, head to the alumni section of the University of Leeds website.

 

A Golden Year for Scholar Gillian Finnerty

Sports Scholar Gillian Finnerty has had an incredibly busy year representing both The University of Leeds and Great Britain, all whilst undertaking her PhD in CDT Bioenergy.

Gillian headed to Kazakhstan back in January 2017 for the World Winter Student Games , just a month after recovering from breaking her arm during training. The games is widely recognised as the biggest global winter multi-sports event for student-athletes with 11 days of competition and over 2,500 participants from more than 50 countries.

Over the past year Gillian has regularly competed in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and has achieved a huge medal haul:

British Universities Dryslope Championships, Edinburgh, UK – Nov 2016

  • Gold – Big Air
  • Gold – Slopestyle
  • Gold – Snowboard Giant Slalom
  • Silver – Snowboardcross

British Universities Indoor Regionals Snowsports Championships, Milton Keynes, UK – Feb 2017

  • Gold – Slopestyle
  • Gold – Snowboard Giant Slalom

British Universities Indoor Finals Snowsports Championships, Castleford, UK – Mar 2017

  • Silver – Slopestyle
  • Gold – Snowboard Giant Slalom

British Universities Alpine Championships ‘Above & Below’, Alpe D’Huez, France – Mar 2017

  • Gold – Big Air
  • Gold – Slopestyle
  • Gold – Snowboardcross
  • Silver – Snowboard Giant Slalom

I was so excited and proud to represent GB and The University of Leeds at the World University Winter Games this year. It was such a great competition and atmosphere and we all had a fantastic time. Massive thanks to Leeds Sport for my scholarship which has really helped me afford to go to the Winter Games, as well as with training in the gym and with Physio. It’s really been invaluable in my recovery and preparation for the competitions“. Gillian Finnerty.

A huge congratulations to Gillian for all her hard work this year, it’s fantastic to see the impact our Sports Scholarships can have.

Find out more about our Leeds Sport Scholarship scheme and our other scholars from the 2016/17 year here.

Student Success at BUCS Nationals

Performance

British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Nationals returned to Sheffield this weekend and saw 125 students from the University of Leeds compete across 8 sports.

Saturday saw our women’s climbers Holly Murray and Phoebe Blackney take 9th and 10th places respectively, out of a field of 131 competitors.

Judo cleaned up the medals in the individual categories with Matthew Lenney taking Bronze, Gianluca Guerriero Silver and Cian Grace taking Gold. Whilst in Karate, Dario Fernandez Ainaga took Bronze in the Male Intermediate kata.

Over in the swimming, the competition was incredibly tough with big names such as Rio Olympian Max Litchfield and University of Leeds Alumni and Paralympian Claire Cashmore competing. However that didn’t stop the Gryphons as Claire Collins reached the final and placed 6th in the women’s 200m IM and both University of Leeds medley teams made the 400m finals with women claiming 8th and the men 9th.

Sunday brought us the athletics final with a number of results for Leeds athletes. In field, Christine Nick took 7th in the shot put, and Anna short narrowly missed out on a medal in the long jump following a tie in 3rd position. Unfortunately her competitor beat her to the bronze scoring higher with her next best jump, but Anna did achieve a new PB with a jump of 5.76m. On the track, John Ashcroft claimed 6th position in the 1500m final, and after a fantastic turn of speed on the back straight, Will Snook ran his way to a Silver medal in the mens 800m.

Also on Sunday, Leeds athletes impressed in the trampolining finals. Abbey Boyle achieved 10th out of 38 in the BUCS 1 competition, and Club president Tara Wales stamped her mark placing 15th out of 54 in BUCS 2. Harry Sharman finished the day on a high claiming 2nd place in the mens BUCS 3A competition.

A huge congratulations to all students who participated in BUCS Nationals and represented the University Leeds. A full list of results can be found here.