BUCS Girls Can

3 girls doing yoga in this girl can t-shirts

Since it’s launch in 2015, This Girl Can has swept the nation encouraging and empowering women to get physically active. Each academic year British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) coordinate a special week of female-focused action, engaging with universities across the country.

If you didn’t already know, we run our very own ‘Uni Girls Can‘ programme which offers a range of activities and opportunities for women to get involved with during their time at university. That’s why as part of the ‘BUCS Girls Can’ week, we’re highlighting all the fantastic things you can get have a go at. Have a look at whats on offer below.

Whats on?

  • Zumball

    A fun, fitness session with a difference. Combining strength exercises and body weight conditioning with a ball to provide a predominantly core and upper body workout. Who knew there was so much you could do with a ball!

    When? Monday 20th November 16:00 – 17:00

    Where? Cromer Terrace

    Cost? £3    Book here

  • Weight Training

    An introduction to weight training, tailored specifically for women only. It will aim to cover the basics of weight training, building confidence to then build in the techniques and exercises into your own training sessions.

    When? Tuesday 21st November, 17:30 – 18:30

    Where? The Edge, S&C Room

    Cost? £3    Book here

  • Woodhouse Workout

    Led by our friendly, inspirational instructor Teejay Jones, Woodhouse Workout takes advantage of the beautiful Woodhouse Moor park right on our doorstep. It combines cardio and resistance training through fun pair work, games and team building.

    When? Wednesday 22nd November, 12:15 – 13:00

    Where? Woodhouse Moor, meet at Cromer Terrace

    Cost? £3    Book here

  • Yoga Flow, Align Your Spine

    A combination of pure movement and vinyasa flow yoga. Open to anyone who wants to learn more about how to use their body correctly. Moving to music to release tension, increase flexibility and build strength.

    When? Friday 24th November, 16:00 – 17:00

    Where? Cromer Terrace

    Cost? £3    Book here



We’ll also be featuring one of our very own Leeds Gryphons Women’s teams as our #onetowatch on BUCS Wednesday so tune in to the @Leeds_Sport twitter account to catch the live action!



Let’s Ride at the Brownlee Cycle Circuit

Brownlee Centre

British Cycling is opening up the cycle circuit at the University of Leeds’ Brownlee Centre for the first of its free-to-attend, Let’s Ride pop-up sessions next weekend.

Whether you want to ride for fun or fitness, this free monthly pop-up event gives you the chance to ride a traffic-free cycle circuit as many times as you want, at a pace that suits you. The first of which takes place on the 9th July at 12pm – 2pm and the second on August 13th.

The event is open to all ages and abilities and the circuit is easy to ride, with volunteers on hand throughout, ensuring peace of mind and safety for all cyclists.

For those wanting to take things up a gear, British Cycling Go-Ride coaches will also be available to help you improve your cycling skills, and local Ride Leaders and Breeze Champions will be there on the day to tell you more about other cycling opportunities in Leeds with HSBC UK Guided Rides and HSBC UK Breeze.

Tom Mutton, British Cycling’s partnership manager for Yorkshire, said:

“From complete beginners to those wanting to take things up a gear, the Lets Ride pop-up sessions will be an ideal way for people to discover or rediscover a love of cycling, or to improve their skills.

Regardless of age or ability, people will be able to come down to the circuit and build their confidence with the help of trained British Cycling coaches and volunteers.

The cycling facilities at the Brownlee Centre – which British Cycling helped to fund – have been extremely well utilised by the local public so far, and with this series of pop-up events and Leeds’ HSBC UK City Ride on the way, this is a really exciting time to get involved in cycling in the city.”

For those without their own bikes, bike hire is available from the venue on the day, including a fleet of tandems, trikes and hand-cycles.


  • Event times: 12pm to 2pm.
  • Parking: Yes
  • Changing facilities: Yes
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Bike hire: No bike, no problem! Bike hire is available on the day, including a fleet of tandems, trikes and hand-cycles. Simply register your free place and turn up on the day


Can you spare a couple of hours a month to help out at Let’s Ride Pop-up Leeds? Email letsridepopup@britishcycling.org.uk to register your interest.



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.





Girl Power!

UGC girl power event

Coming to you as part of International Women’s week, the Uni Girls Can team aim to unite women by combining colour, pattern, jogging and of course cake!

This new event, open to everyone in Leeds follows on from last years hugely successful Catwalk Run, the Uni Girls Can Girl Power event promises to be a social, fun and energising evening. Join us in your brightest gym wear for face painting and a warm up, followed by a led run around the city and local area, and finish with a well deserved cake!

You can choose between three different length runs at a pace to suit you so there is something for everyone.

group of girls chatting and laughing

Event Information

  • Date: Tuesday 7th March
  • Time: 5.15pm for facepainting and warm up
  • Venue: meet at Cromer Terrace Studios
  • Cost: £4.00

Face painting will be free before the event and everyone who takes part will get free cake and a drink afterwards.

All proceeds from this event will go towards our Gryphons Abroad project, to purchase a bike for young women in South Africa to help them get to and from school.






This Girl Definitely Can

3 girls doing yoga in this girl can t-shirts

We met up with our Uni Girls Can student activator to find out a little more about her and the programme…

Name:  Sarah Elkin
Sarah Uni Girls Can activator looking at the camera with a ball Course:  Zoology

What is Uni Girls Can? It’s a mini campaign under the larger umbrella of This Girl Can, aiming to change stereotypes about the type of women that are active, because there is no stereotype, everyone of all ages can be active and we want to show that it is easy and fun. Encouraging people who aren’t active to come to sessions and stick at it can be hard, but this is why our events have one main aim: to have fun! half the time you are doing exercise without even realising it, we always make it a priority to have a friendly approachable feel.

What’s your fave post exercise food treat? Always pasta, it’s not the most imaginative treat, but after exercising I always want carbs and lots of them.

What does a Uni Girls Can activator do? I try to engage as many women as possible into becoming active and entering a healthy lifestyle, including staff, students and any other women around Leeds!

Interesting fact about yourself: I travelled all the way from South Africa to Newcastle with no shoes on.

Why should people engage with Uni Girls Can? It’s a great way to meet a whole network of like minded people – who understand the constant struggles of trying to stay active and healthy, I find being active with company makes it so much easier to stick to it, there is always someone there to support you.

Favourite hobbies: Definitely Horse riding, many people think it’s ‘not a real sport’ but I can assure you it most definitely is! My newest love is for pole dancing, being a generally active person I thought I would find it easy but I admire my teacher now for making it look that way.

What activity have you never done but want to try?  Synchronized swimming, whenever I go to the pool it is just for fun and to splash about, this sport looks almost as fun, the faces they pull are hilarious.

Who is your role model? One of my friends I met through rowing, she is constantly getting me to go to the gym with her, I don’t know how she has so much motivation it’s ridiculous. She is also really good with her eating, her diet puts mine to shame, how she has so much self-control I do not know, all I know is if she is doing it I should be too!

This BUCS Girl Can

girl having fun at stacey copeland boxing session at the university of Leeds

It’s This BUCS Girl Can Week from 7th – 13th November  and we have a whole host of fun things for you to get involved in!

Make sure you also sign up on our Uni Girls Can webpage which showcases activities, how to fuel your body, leadership opportunities and voluntary work, as well as one-off events covering a range of activities and topics.

This BUCS Girl Can Week Activities 2016

Date & Location Activity Get Involved
2 – 2.45pm
Cromer Terrace Studios
Beginners Yoga Free for Edge members, £3 for non-members
Cromer Terrace Studios
Rowfit Free for Edge members, £3 for non-members
The Edge: Hall 1B
Womens 5 a-side Football Drop in Session Free for Edge members, £3 for non- members
No need to book, just turn up!
12:15 – 1pm
Meet at Cromer Terrace Studios
Women’s Woodhouse Workout Free for Edge members, £1 for non- members 
5.30 – 6.30pm
Cromer Terrace Studios
Intro to Boxing £3
12:05 – 12:40pm
Meet at Cromer Terrace Studios
Fun Lunchtime Run FREE
10 – 3pm
Sports Park Weetwood
Outdoor Leadership Day FREE
1 – 4.30pm
Roundhay Park
Beginners Outdoor Rowing Trip £5
9am – 5:30pm
Walking Trip to Wensleydale – Aysgarth Falls £9

Get yourself signed up for something and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ThisBUCSGirlCan and #UniGirlsCan on twitter.

Leeds Sport has a huge range of activities for you to try so make sure you check out our Social Sport Sessions, Get Out, Get Active Programme and Leadership opportunities. 


Come Have A Ball Success

Uni Girls Can hosted their first new event of the academic year on the 11th October; Come Have a Ball.

The inaugural event of the year welcomed 25 women to The Edge sports hall where activities included bubble ball and zumball; fun fitness activities using a range of balls from footballs to medicine balls. The University’s Islamic Society were just one group who joined us for the event and were really impressed with what our Uni Girls Can Programme has to offer.

Here’s what our participants had to say:

“Being able to be in an environment where you are not judged and it isn’t all about looks is really refreshing”

“I loved working as a team and it really felt like women doing it for ourselves”

“So much in how we are raised is about unhealthy competition between women, but this event completely wasn’t like that and was just about fun.”

“At Uni I find it really hard to find time for sports but I really want to do more. It was handy that this was just on my doorstep.”

For more pictures of the event, have a look at our Facebook album. If you are interested in signing up for future Uni Girls Can events, you can keep an eye out on both our website or Facebook page. These include a yoga and healthy treats session, a women’s only boxing session and a women’s only badminton session.


Gallantree takes 6th in Rio

Rebecca in Rio

University of Leeds alumna Rebecca Gallantree and her diving partner, Alicia Blagg, kicked started the British Diving’s team Olympic competition this Sunday, in the womens’ 3m synchronised springboard event.

The Chinese pair ran away with the event by a massive 32 point margin leaving it a hotly contested, 4-way fight for the bronze medal spot. The Leeds based pairing started promisingly in their first two dives, but following a number of improving dives by the Australian and Canadian Teams, the duo ended up with a respectable 6th on 292.83 points.

FREE Places at GO TRI Festival

Women swimming waiting for start of go tri event

As part of the fantastic Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds Weekend on the 11th June there is a GO TRI festival taking place.

GO TRI is a fun and friendly way to get started in triathlon, so if you have been thinking about giving it a go, this is your chance. Plus we have 50 FREE places up for grabs!

Our 50 free places will get you free entry into the GO TRI Triathlon (200m Swim, 10km Bike, 2.5km Run).

Claim your FREE place by emailing Oliver Hylands (Triathlon Development Officer): O.Hylands@leeds.ac.uk for your free code. 

To help you prepare for the event we will be hosting various free, beginner friendly training opportunities. Find out more on our triathlon webpage get involved section.

More information about the event and beginners tips can be found on the GO TRI website.

Leeds Varsity – Social Leagues

On Wednesday 11th May our best Social League sides will take on Leeds Beckett University in the annual Social Leagues Varsity. We’ve won Varsity for 4 of the past 5 years and our teams are ready to make that 5 wins!

Leeds Beckett University are hosing this year so come along and cheer on our teams from 12pm.



  • Team: Sports Science
  • Time: 2 – 4pm
  • Location: Leeds Beckett Headingley Campus: Blue Hall

O2 Touch Rugby

  • Time: 12 – 1pm
  • Location: Leeds Beckett Headingley Campus: 3G Pitch

Hockey (5 a-side)

  • Team: Physoc
  • Time: 1 – 2pm
  • Location: Leeds Beckett Headingley Campus: Hockey Pitch

Football (5-a-side)

  • Team: Leodons
  • Time: 12 – 1pm
  • Location: Leeds Beckett Headingley Campus: MUGA

Football (7-a-side)

  • Team:F.K Akademicheskii Slav Soc
  • Time: 1 – 2pm
  • Location: Leeds Beckett Headingley Campus: 3G Pitch

Keep up to date with all the action by following us on Twitter.