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!



Women In Sport: Taking On The World

5 panel members laughing and one talking

The Uni Girls Can team have hosted two brilliant events, bringing 5 inspirational women to the University of Leeds.

Coinciding with Leeds University Unions International Women’s Week the Uni Girls Can team welcomed staff, students and the local community to join their interactive panel discussion and introductory boxing class.

The women’s only introduction to boxing session was delivered by European silver medallist, Stacey Copeland. Places were in high demand and sold out in just one hour, with 50 people on the waiting list. The session was fun, energetic and provided a basic introduction to the technical sport of boxing. Stacey is very passionate about her sport and the journey she has taken in a male dominated arena. This energy and enthusiasm contributed to making for a fantastic session enjoyed by everyone.

women in a boxing lesson smiling

Stacey then joined fellow panellists, Non Stanford- World Champion Triathlete, Alison Rose- Physiotherapist to top athletes including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Emily Freeman- 200m champion and Sarah Speers- Head Synchro Swimming Coach for Leeds, for an honest and insightful panel discussion on topics such as women’s media coverage, the school system, barriers to participation and much more!

It was clear from all of the panellists that their childhood and parents or grandparents were key influencers in getting them into sport. There was strong opinion that generally the way the media represents and discusses female sports women is more focused on how they look rather than what they have achieved e.g. do the Williams sisters look too masculine? Or what did they wear to the Sports Personality Awards?

There was a strong sense from the panel of the importance of women championing other women, be that encouraging each other to participate or buying tickets to watch women’s sports.

When the audience was asked how many of them had watched either a live women’s sports game or viewed it on TV in the last 6 months 70% had and the panel agreed that the BBC and other media should show women’s sport and treat it as the norm because the population would support it.

It was a very insightful evening and a pleasure to be joined by such inspirational women from a range of professions within sport. Both the panel and the audience could have kept talking for hours!

Due to the clear demand for women’s sessions like this, the Uni Girls Can team are aiming to get Stacey back for another boxing lesson after Easter. Watch out for more information on the Uni Girls Can Facebook page and webpage.


Gillian Finnerty takes Gold

three snowboarders on a podium

Gillian Finnerty, University of Leeds student and Sports Scholar, has won Gold for her freestyle snowboarding in the recent British Universities Indoor Championships. 

Gillian has recently returned after a three month break from her studies at the University of Leeds to train and compete with the British Boardercross team in Austria. Here she entered her first international freestyle competition, the Zillertal Valley Ralley in Gerlos, Austria, and ranked 5th. In her second international freestyle competition, this time in Mayrhofen, she placed 1st!

On her return to the UK, Gillian celebrated a Gold medal in the female freestyle snowboarding event at the British Universities Indoor Championships which took place in Castleford.

This weekend Gillian will take on the Scottish Slopestyle and has qualified for the World University Games next winter in Kazakstan for Snow boardercross and is hoping to  also qualify for slopestyle.


GO TRI Leeds Aquathlon

Swimmers in the water smiling

Have a go at swimming and running in one fun event!

With no time pressure, lots of supportive volunteers and free swimming caps for all participants our Get Out, Get Active Aquathlon is perfect for anyone wanting to give multi-sport events a go.


*Please note booking has now closed for this event*

Date: Sunday 13th March
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Cost: £5 + free swimming cap
Location: The Edge Swimming Pool and running loop around the University of Leeds Campus

We have two distances available so you can choose whichever suits you:

GO TRI Sprint

  • Swim distance- 200m
  • Run distance- 3 km

GO TRI Mini Sprint

  • Swim distance- 100m
  • Run distance- 1.2km

Still Undecided?

If you’re still unsure if our GO TRI event is for you then read Louise’s story of her first attempt at a similar event and how she overcame her nerves on the GO TRI website.

Swimming & Running Sessions

We run weekly swimming and running sessions open for everyone to take part in which could help you get ready for the GO TRI Leeds Aquathlon. Take a look at what’s available on the Get Out, Get Active webpage.

If you have any questions then please get in touch with Ben Witz (Sports Development Officer) via email: B.Witz@leeds.ac.uk or call 0113 380 1430. 

Fitness Courses are Back!

Our popular fitness courses are back at The Edge!  Led by our team of expert Personal Trainers these courses will increase your motivation and enhance your fitness results. The courses are just £60 for a 6 week course and there are plenty of options to choose from so whatever your fitness level there’s something for you!

All courses will take place in a reserved area of the new weights training area opposite the gym reception.

“I wanted to feed back that the Women’s only strength training programme was really great and completely changed my attitude to the gym!” Daisy Payne (Edge student member)

Our fitness course start soon and are always popular so make sure you fill in the form below today to book your place now!

The courses:

Courses start week commencing 8th of February 2016 and cost £60 for a 6 week course of fitness training. Non-members will also need to pay an additional £7.50 Fitness Suite entrance fee per visit. There are a range of dates and times available. The courses have a maximum group size of 6, with a minimum of 2 needed to run the course.

Women only & Unisex Strength Training Courses

These courses are both aimed at beginners, and are aimed at educating and coaching, but the instructor will always seek to make the class challenging. There is no difference between unisex and women only courses in terms of content.

“Aimed at beginners, the purpose of this course is to build your confidence in using our free weights equipment. Really take your workout to the next level and reap the fitness benefits of using free weights correctly”.

Olympic Lifting Courses

“Aimed at weightlifters who may be interested in how to Olympic lift like the professionals. Learning these new lifts will certainly enhance your athletic performance”.

Merel, Jen and Fran all recently completed one of the Women Only Strength Training courses.


Fran: “Being able to know how to use the equipment in the strength training room has given me the confidence to be able to get myself fitter and stronger for hockey”


Book today!

Please contact our fitness team for more information and to book your place today!

Fields marked with an * are required


BUCS Wednesday Round Up

Sports Hall Volleyball

This week saw an epic battle in women’s volleyball, seeing our women come back from 2-0 down to take the win over Varsity rivals Beckett 3-2.

As it is #ThisBUCSGirlCan campaign in partnership with Sport England ‘This Girl Can’ campaign and BUCS we focused on our women in sport and our teams didn’t disappoint.

Our fencing women carried on storming the league beating, Sheffield University in a Yorkshire derby which will only boost their confidence in the Cup run and league!

Another thrilling match between Christie Cup foe University of Liverpool in women’s netball, it was end to end throughout with the visitors coming away victorious by one point 35-34. The women’s 2s conquered Leeds Beckett to win 35-33 in another exciting fixture.

For more scores see below

Sport Home Result
Badminton Mens 2 Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd 8 0 WIN
Badminton Mens 3 University of York Mens 3rd
Badminton Womens 1 Sheffield Hallam University Womens 1st
Fencing Mens Lancaster University Mens 1st 135 76 WIN
Fencing Womens University of Sheffield Womens 1st 135 110 WIN
Football Mens 1 Liverpool John Moores University Mens 1st 0 0 DRAW
Golf University of Central Lancashire Mixed 2nd 2 4 LOSS
Hockey Womens 2 Durham University Womens 4th 1 3 LOSS
Hockey Womens 4 University of York Womens 2nd 0 1 LOSS
Hockey Womens 5 Newcastle University Womens 4th 0 3 LOSS
Hockey Womens 6 Sheffield Hallam University Womens 3rd 0 3 LOSS
Hockey Womens 7 University of Huddersfield Womens 1st 1 7 LOSS
Hockey Womens 8 University of York Womens 3rd 0 5 LOSS
Lacrosse Mens 1 Manchester Metropolitan University Mens 1st (Manchester) 13 5 WIN
Lacrosse Womens 1 University of Liverpool Womens 1st 24 2 WIN
Lacrosse Womens 2 Durham University Womens 3rd
Netball 1 University of Liverpool Womens 1st 35 36 LOSS
Netball 2 Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Womens 2nd 35 33 WIN
Netball 5 Northumbria University Womens 4th 22 37 LOSS
Netball 6 Northumbria University Womens 5th 33 37 LOSS
Rugby Union Mens 1 Newcastle University Mens 1st 7 24 LOSS
Squash Mens 1 Newcastle University Mens 1st 2 3 LOSS
Squash Mens 3 Newcastle University Mens 3rd 2 1 WIN
Tennis Mens 2 Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Mens 4th
Tennis Mens 3 Durham University Mens 4th
Tennis Mens 4 York St John Mens 1st
Ultimate (Outdoor) University of Sheffield Mens 1st 10 5 WIN
Volleyball Mens Lancaster University Mens 1st 3 0 WIN
Volleyball Womens Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Womens 1st 3 2 WIN
Sport Away Results
Badminton Mens 1 University of Sheffield Mens 1st
Badminton Womens 2 University of Sheffield Womens 1st
Basketball Womens 1 Bangor University Womens 1st 33 50 LOSS
Basketball Mens 2 Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Mens 3rd 70 59 WIN
Basketball Mens 1 Sheffield Hallam University Mens 2nd
Basketball Mens 3 University of Sunderland Mens 3rd 48 63 LOSS
Football Mens 2 Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Mens 4th 3 0 WIN
Football Mens 4 York St John University Mens 3rd 4 3 WIN
Hockey Mens 3 Durham University Mens 4th 1 2 LOSS
Hockey Mens 5 Durham University Mens 5th 1 8 LOSS
Hockey Mens 1 Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Mens 1st 1 3 LOSS
Hockey Womens 1 University of Nottingham Womens 1st 1 4 LOSS
Hockey Mens 2 University of Sheffield Mens 2nd
Hockey Mens 4 University of York Mens 2nd 2 1 WIN
Netball 4 Newcastle University Womens 3rd 44 52 LOSS
Netball 3 Northumbria University Womens 3rd 24 38 LOSS
Rugby League 1 University of Hull Mens 1st 6 66 LOSS
Rugby Union Mens 4 Teesside University Mens 1st 17 17 DRAW
Squash Mens 2 Northumbria University Mens 2nd 3 0 WIN
Table Tennis Mens 1 Newcastle University Mens 1st 4 13 LOSS
Tennis Womens 2 Leeds Beckett University (Carnegie) Womens 2nd 0 12 LOSS
Tennis Mens 1 University of Central Lancashire Mens 1st 12 0 WIN
Tennis Womens 1 University of Manchester Womens 1st

Leeds Gryphons fly on the slopes

Snow sports

The women led the way on the BUCS Dryslope competition winning multiple events in Edinburgh over the weekend with Leeds Gryphons securing 64 BUCS points in total.

Scholar Gillian Finnerty won both the snowboard slope style and giant slalom, followed by silver in the big air and a respectful bronze in the board cross. On the flip side skier Jenny Davies impressed in the slalom, winning slalom gold and placing silver in the giant slalom.

Some solid performances in the boy’s team with Oliver Chapman securing bronze in the snowboard big air and Edward Midwater placed fifth in the ski big air.

Great work form Leeds Snowriders this weekend – inspired you to get on the slopes? Check out them out here.

Snow Scholar soars into Team GB

University of Leeds Snowboard Sports Scholar Gillian Finnerty will be joining the Great Britain training camp in the snowboard cross early next year.

Gillian has had great success this past year dominating the BUCS snowboarding circuit and recently won the Indoor England and British Championships in snowboard cross.

Despite freestyle being her favourite discipline she was advised to give snowboard cross a go. At the recent talent ID event she clocked second fastest time just behind Olympian Zoe Gillings and was quickly asked to join the GB side for training out in Austria at the beginning of 2016.

Snowboard cross is where four or six snow boarders race on a course filed with banked turns, kickers, rollers and other obstacles. The fastest people go through to the next round until there’s a winner.

“It’s basically like being on a snowboarding rollercoaster in a form of a race. It’s really fun providing you don’t end up crashing!” Gillian beams.

Gillian has decided to have a two month suspension of her PhD studies at the University while she focuses on her Snowboard cross.

“This is a really great opportunity for me and I’d like to thank the admin staff for the Bioenergy CDT and my supervisors for being so supportive and allowing me to do this.

“I’d also like to give a shout out to my snowboard sponsors; Raven Snowboards, Volt Snow Co, Misguided Fools, minus-nine and NUCO. And of course a big thanks goes to my parents for helping me with the costs!”

Gillian has dived straight into it as the indoor season begins and has won the British the indoor SBX champs most recently. She will be based with the team in Zell am Ziller in Austria, from the end of December until end of February. She will then go on to the BRITS in Tignes to compete in all disciplines, and then compete for the University at BUSC main event, getting those all important BUCS points for Leeds.

Best of luck or the year ahead Gillian!

A Roaring Success

Our first event as part of the Uni Girls Can launch week, combined the zoo project, a colour run and the Great British bake off to create the Catwalk Run!

With the aim to embrace the fun, glamorous side of being a woman which often isn’t associated with being active, the event kick started with free face painting, nail art discounts and showcased some of the beautiful, African inspired gym wear from un-official brand sponsor Lornah Sports. One lucky participant, Megan Walker, even won her own Lornah look outfit after entering our Launch week ‘What inspires you to get moving?’ social media competition.

Bedecked in colour, print and pattern, a parade of 30 students, staff and members of the local community (including some keen youngsters joining their mum) then united in setting the city alight on the urban run part of the event. Energized and buzzing from the run, we embarked on Hidden Café to enjoy well deserved coffee, cake and a natter! More lucky winners, Giulia Pe and friend, enjoyed a goody bag of healthy treats and pampering goodies, including a voucher from Happi Food and an Edge day pass, for their creative Lornah Roar photograph.

Thank you to all who attended our first event, we had a great time! Don’t worry if you missed this one, this is only the first of our colour, pattern and print inspired runs!

Catwalk Run

Think zoo project, colour run and bake off and you’ve got the Catwalk Run. With our unofficial sponsor Lornah Sports we will be embracing our fun, glamorous and colourful side and hitting the town for an evening urban run.

Meeting at Cromer Terrace Gym from 4pm we will be offering free nail art and face painting and there will be a chance to sample the Lornah Sports beautiful gym wear.

We will then head off in small groups for a gentle run to the First Direct Arena to ‘strike a pose’ and award our competition winner with their Lornah look outfit, before heading out in different level running groups to brighten up Leeds with our array of colour and pattern! There will be 1 mile, 2 mile and 3 mile run options so all abilities are catered for, just go at your pace.

The run will finish back at Hidden Cafe for a well deserved slice of cake and a good natter! So dig out your brightest, most patterned clothing and join us as glamour meets running!

Find out more about Uni Girls Can.

*There will be storage options for bags, car keys etc at the start of the run.