Brownlee Centre Festival of Running

Brownlee centre festival of running text with a pair of trainers

Come join us on the 3 of March 2019 for a fun festival of running, for all ages and abilities, 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 multitude of different events to enter – from a 1 mile race all the way to 20 laps of our circuit in the 20 mile event. You can race and run where current and next generation Olympic champions train!

The Event

On the day, there will be music and performances to provide the fun festival atmosphere. There will also be a marketplace with food and drink available, as well as pop-up shops for all your running needs. The closed-road circuit provides a unique opportunity for those PB hunters and those preparing for a spring marathon.

The event also caters for those who wish to do something a little shorter with races at 5 and 10km. You can even take it steady with a 1-mile race and spend more time cheering on competitors and unwinding.  

All finishers will receive a goody bag and a commemorative medal. There will be prizes in all distances, and hopefully a few PB’s to be found along the way!Cycle circut with brownlee centre building behind

The event will also 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 3rd March

Time: 11am start (First event off)

Venue: The Brownlee Centre – Bodington Playing Fields


Information and entry fees

Sunday 3rd March, 11:001 Mile£8.00 affiliated, £10.00 non-affiliated

Sunday 3rd March, 11:005 km£10.00 affiliated, £12.00 non-affiliated

Sunday 3rd March, 11:0010 km£17.00 affiliated, £19.00 non-affiliated

Sunday 3rd March, 11:00Half Marathon£22.00 affiliated, £24.00 non-affiliated

Sunday 3rd March, 11:0020 Miles£27.00 affiliated, £29.00 non-affiliated


We will see you on the start line!


The Edge wins ‘Education Facility of The Year’ at the National Fitness Awards 2018

We are proud to announce that Sport & Physical Activity, The Edge has won ‘Education Facility of The Year’ at the National Fitness Awards 2018.

The National Fitness Awards is an annual event which recognises excellence and achievement in gyms throughout the country. The Education Facility of the Year category is aimed at gyms which are based within a school or college or on a university campus.

The University of Leeds beat some stiff competition from six other shortlisted institutions including Coventry University and the University of Edinburgh

Shortlisted gyms have all been scored on being able to offer a  wide range of excellent facilities, with staff engaging with students, staff and the wider community; successfully spreading the positive word of health and fitness to the younger generation. Judges have shortlisted Sport & Physical Activity and scored The Edge highly based on the rage of equipment and group classes available, as well as how as a service we are able to support a range of sports clubs and elite athletes, and how The Edge facility enhances the experience of those living and working on campus.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity had to say …

“I’m delighted for the whole team who work tirelessly to provide a great experience for all our users. It’s especially pleasing that the award recognises not just the range of our facilities but how we engage students, staff and the community and how we are successfully spreading the word about health and fitness. This effort is in line with our new joint emerging plan “Do What Moves You” which will be published in January 2019″.

This fantastic achievement builds on The Edge being runner-up in the ‘Group Exercise Gym of the Year’ at the 2017 awards.

National Fitness Awards’ event director Judith Halkerston said:

“All our winners have had an arduous journey to this point – the standard of entries seems to just get stronger year on year and every facility that walked away with an award should be extremely proud”.

BUCS This Girl Can Week round-up

Clubbercise TGC header

BUCS This Girl Can Week ran from the 19-25th November 2018, based on Sport England’s campaign ‘This Girl Can’.

Loads of you got involved in many different ways. Here’s a look back at how.

On Monday, the start of BUCS This Girl Can week, one of our Gryphons swam the entire length of the channel down at The Edge! Sadie, a member of the Women’s Hockey club, completed 1344 lengths in the pool and has managed to raise over £650 so far – if you’d like to to add to that tally, then you can donate here

hockey charity swim

Women’s Football starred in our #OneToWatch on Twitter for BUCS Wednesday, whilst over on Instagram, Women’s Hockey took over for the day.
Ailie Rennie, the women’s football club captain, wrote a fantastic blog about her experiences and the opportunities football has given her as part of This Girl Can week. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, have a look here.
It was an amazing effort by all teams as usual, but the pick of the bunch from BUCS Wednesday was Squash 1s and Lacrosse 1s, winning 4-0 and 12-6 respectively.

Women's football

Over the weekend, Jiu Jitsu competed in the Atemi Nationals and Women’s Cricket played fixtures for the BUCS Indoor league. Jiu Jitsu finished 2nd overall, with Emily Knight earning an individual silver in the Green Belt! Cricket managed to win 5 out of 7 of their fixtures, finishing 3rd in their league.

Jiu Jitsu clubwomen's cricket club

We also highlighted our fantastic female volunteers and all the great work they’re doing in the community. Did you know 71% of our sports volunteers are female?

It was great to see so many of you getting involved in the campaign. We look forward to seeing what you get up to for the rest of the year!

A New Partnership for University

leeds rhinos

We have been working with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation (LRF) to develop some new volunteering opportunities for our students. 

The LRF has recently won Foundation of the Year award from Rugby Football League (RFL) due to their amazing work in the local area. This new partnership has been created to expand the number of volunteer programmes available to University of Leeds students, with some staff also being involved. It will look to build on new experiences to work with schools, the wider community and performance sport.

Head of Sport & Physical Activity, Suzanne Glavin shared her support for the new programme:

“We are hopeful that this pilot will be very successful and allow us to continually expand the programme. Our ambition is to have up to 300 students as part of this partnership! We would love to see students volunteering across Leeds on a range of different projects to benefit the wider community.”

The following projects are being piloted in 2018/19:


Working with LRF schools programme, we will be training and sending 15 students to help assist in schools. The volunteers will come from our many clubs and societies and will work alongside a designated LRF schools cluster coach. Through working alongside a qualified coach the volunteers develop their skills and also bring their own sport to local primary schools in Leeds.

Head of Community and Engagement at Leeds Rhinos Foundation Gareth Cook said:

“We are delighted to be working with the University of Leeds on these projects. Our work in schools now reaches over 100 schools so the support from the students will be extremely valuable. Last year we launched our Physical Disability Rugby League team, which was a huge success and in the next year we expect more people to get involved and more fixtures for the team. To have a team of volunteers focussing on their S&C will be a great resource for the team.”

Strength and Conditioning

Students will also be given the opportunity to assist with strength and conditioning (S&C) sessions for the Leeds Rhinos Physical Disability team. A number of our own staff will work alongside the students to help develop the squad. They will be assisting the Rhinos training and helping them prepare for their upcoming season.


If you would like to find out more about volunteering at Leeds then take a look at our volunteering page.

New career moves for Scholar Harry Aaronson

Rugby League player Harry Aaronson is making moves back to his former club Swinton Lions RFLC.

As a sports scholar, TASS athlete, England Universities player and the University team’s performance captain Harry has already made his mark in the world of rugby league. Leaving his position at Keighley Cougars after two years and 19 appearances in the 2018 season Harry is ready to move back to the club that first started his rugby league career. Despite receiving the Cougars Young Player of the Year award in 2017 and also securing the try of the season accolades in both seasons Harry is set to move on to new and exciting things with the Lions.

Whilst studying Social Policy at Leeds Harry has been a key member of the University Rugby League team.  Working with the boys he has helped them retain their title as the only Leeds team in a BUCS Premier North division. He was also selected to play for England Unis team where he made a strong impression scoring three tries and kicking 10 goals in his four appearances in the 2018 season.

Swinton’s Head Coach Stuart Litter has been impressed by Harry over his time away from the club:

“Harry has been steadily progressing and is a player who we have kept our eyes on. Harry’s highlight reel from the past few seasons shows the electric pace he can add to our squad.” 

Moving to a championship team Harry is going to be challenged in his game and to perform his best. He spoke to Swinton Lions about his move:

“I feel like re-joining is a massive step up for me and I believe that the team that Stuart and Andy (the Lions Chairman) are putting together is promising. The Championship next season has some quality teams and I am looking forward to testing myself against them. I had an amazing two years at Keighley but I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with my fellow Lions.”

Sure to prove himself as a strong asset to his new team we wish Harry the best of luck as he continues to make tracks in the world of rugby league. 


*Quotes courtesy of

A new induction into the Sporting Hall of Fame

Famous alumnus Johnny Mowlem, has been inducted into the University’s Sporting Hall of Fame.

Johnny, who graduated from Geography and Spanish in 1988, is one of Great Britain’s most successful racing drivers; having been ranked amongst the top sports car and GT drivers in the world.

His career began in 1989, and a mere six years later he was crowned British Champion.

During his career Johnny has competed in every class of sports car world championship racing with victories and podiums at virtually all of the worlds major endurance events, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours.

“When thinking about my career, what brings a smile to my face most, is the 24 hours of Daytona race. I was 16 times a competitor and 10 times on the podium, to win that race, was a real highlight!”

Johnny was inducted into the hall of fame at the sports scholarship awards evening. An event which celebrates the successful students who have been awarded a sports scholarship for the year head.

Prior to the evening awards Johnny spent time with the sports scholars talking about his career and success. Inspiring our students who are at the beginning of their own sporting careers.

In the future Johnny will continue to inspire our students by supporting the sports scholarship programme. Helping students in their aim to gain sporting success whilst still studying for a world class degree.

Johnny Mowlem with the head of sport and physical activity and head of the facilities directorate

Above: Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity, Johnny Mowlem and Dennis Hopper, Director of Facilities Management.

You can take a look at the full Sporting Hall of Fame by visiting The Edge. It’s located alongside the sport scholarship board and you can read more about Johnny and all our other Hall of Fame recipients, who include:

  • Rebecca Gallantree, Sports Science 2005, Great Britain diver.
  • Carol Isherwood OBE, History 1982 and PGCE Education 1984, Great Britain rugby union player and founder of the Rugby Football Union for Women.
  • Andrew Shovlin, Mechanical Engineering 1995 and PhD in Mechanical Engineering 1999, Formula 1 Chief race engineer.
  • Ray French MBE, General Studies 1961, England rugby union and rugby league player, rugby league commentator.
  • Giles Long MBE, Geology 1997, three time Paralympic swimming champion
  • Simon Mason, Economics 1994, Great Britain hockey player and vice president of England Hockey

Find out more about Johnny by following him on twitter; @johnnymowlem


On the 3rd October 2018 history was made when the University of Leeds beat local rivals Leeds Beckett University to win their first ever Leeds Varsity.

Leeds Varsity is an iconic event in the city of Leeds’ sporting calendar, and consists of fixtures across the year culminating in one final day of competition where 50+ fixtures are played and the winner is crowned.

For the past 13 years Leeds Beckett have walked away with the trophy but this year was the turn of the Leeds Gryphons.

Going into the final couple of days of competition the gryphons were up 4-2 following the cross country, american football, Intra-mural varsity, cricket and futsal fixtures being played earlier in the year.

On Tuesday night two openers were played, Netball and Hockey. First the women fought hard in the netball and in the second half built up a small lead which they maintained to win 48 – 41 taking a point from Beckett. Over in the Hockey we weren’t so lucky with both men’s and women’s games ending in a draw and Uni losing out narrowly on penalty flicks.

This made the score 5-4 going in to the final day of fixtures.

All our students fought valiantly throughout the day with great determination knowing that every point really does count. Some of the highlights were badminton and volleyball taking a clean sweep of wins, volleyball men and women even won in straight sets. Over in the pool water-polo won both men’s and women’s fixtures to make that their ninth year undefeated.

Our men’s and women’s football first teams also won with the men coming back from 3-1 down to draw 4-4 and take the game to penalties.

Meanwhile on the hockey pitch our women’s fourth team made it look easy, winning by a huge margin of 13-2.

Many other teams had close games and narrowly missed out on points but everyone put in a huge effort, including the large crowds supporting each fixture throughout the day.

All the results from the day can be seen on the Leeds Varsity website here.

With so many fixtures happening throughout the day staff and students checked the website regularly to check what the final scores were, and just before the Rugby Union final took place it was confirmed.

The score was 30-28 to the University of Leeds, an historic moment.

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

“We are so proud of how all our students performed across the various sports competitions, they gave it their all, demonstrating skill, fitness and expertise.

Our joint UOL and LUU staff teams have been exceptional in providing fantastic support to our students to enable this to happen. A true partnership in action.

We so hope that all University and Union staff can share in this success and wish our Leeds Gryphons well for the academic year on and off the field.”

Following the rugby union finale game played in the Emerald Headingly Stadium in front of over 10,000 people (in which Beckett took a significant win) Leeds University Union Activities Officer, Lauren Huxley and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tom Ward, had the pleasure of collecting the overall varsity winners trophy.


A proud moment for everyone at the University of Leeds.

Lauren said,

“We WON VARSITY! For the first time ever we triumphed over Leeds Beckett in the overall scores and took the Trophy! So a huge congratulations to everyone who was involved, we are so proud of every team, every member, and everyone who helped with the fixtures and events in any way!”

Bring on next year!

Raising mental health awareness with UoLBC

2018/19 is set to be an exciting year for the University of Leeds Boat Club. They’re gearing up to celebrate 100 years of the boat club in 2019 and their senior crews are both aiming for Henley qualifications off the back of their most successful seasons in 25 years.

They are also going big on pushing the mental health agenda. Their committee have all completed mental health training so that they can understand how best to support their members. And their two fundraising secs have just launched the Club’s support of this year’s chosen charity: Leeds Mind.


On Friday 5th October the club will be running their first charity fundraiser of the year: a 12 hour ergathon. Think a marathon, but on an indoor rowing machine. For 12 hours straight, they will keep the flywheel spinning, all in aid of a great, local charity. If you’ve ever been on the rowing machine you’ll know how difficult 12 minutes of rowing is, let alone half a day.

The rowers are going to have to dig deep and work as a team and will need all the support they can get. They will be outside the union from 8am-8pm, so pop over and say hi! You can find out more about the great work Leeds Mind are doing, and why UoLBC cares so much about mental health.

And this is just the start! Keep an eye out for Naked Calendars next month and more challenges on the ergs. There may even be an attempt on a world record.

Rowing at the University of Leeds

The boat club is still open to new members! They are experts in teaching people to row and have hundreds of opportunities. Coaching, volunteering, social rowing or high performance pathways (you can even get onto the GB Start programme), they welcome anyone who wants to row and work hard to accommodate everyone. Whether you have rowed before or not, want to get out on the water once or five times a week, get in touch with the guys at UoLBC.


2018/19 Group:



University of Leeds Rowing Novice Men at BUCS Regatta 2018

Use 60 gyms nationwide at no extra cost

want free access to uni gyms across the country?

As part of the UNIversal Gym Membership scheme all staff and student annual premium Edge members can now access 60 gyms nationwide at no extra cost.

This fantastic member benefit is perfect for anyone visiting friends or family across the UK who want to use the gym in a different city. It also means that students can use the University gym closest to them at home when back for the holidays.

How does it work?

  • Buy your staff or student Premium Edge Membership online here
  • Pick up your UNIversal membership card from The Edge reception
  • Take your student or staff ID card along with your UNIversal Gym Membership card to gain access to 60 University gyms across the UK

Check out the table below for a full list of all university gyms included in the scheme.

Can I get a UNIversal Gym Membership Card?

The UNIversal gym memberships are available to all staff and students who have an annual premium Edge membership.This also includes students in University halls who upgrade to a premium Edge halls membership.

The scheme is valid for all premium memberships bought after 1st July 2018.

If you’ve not got your Edge premium membership yet, buy it online now.

If you have any questions please email: to speak to a member of the team.

Which university gyms are included? 

All 60 university gyms listed below are included in the scheme and members can use any of these with their UNIversal membership card.

Bournemouth University Nottingham Trent University University of Leeds
Brunel University Oxford Brookes University University of Leicester
Buckinghamshire New University Royal Holloway, University of London University of Lincoln
Canterbury Christ Church University Sheffield Hallam University University of Liverpool
City, University of London St Mary’s University Twickenham University of Manchester
Coventry University University College London University of Nottingham
De Montfort University University of Bradford University of Plymouth
Edge Hill University University of Bristol University of Portsmouth
Goldsmiths University of London University of Chichester University of Roehampton
Keele University University of Cambridge University of Sheffield
Kings College London University of Derby University of South Wales
Lancaster University University of East London University of Southampton
Leeds Beckett University University of Edinburgh University of Stirling
London South Bank University University of Essex University of Surrey
Loughborough University University of Exeter University of Sussex
Manchester Metropolitan University University of Glasgow University of the West of England
Middlesex University University of Gloucestershire University of Warwick
Newcastle University University of Hertfordshire University of Winchester
Newman University University of Hull University of Wolverhampton
Northumbria University University of Kent University of York

This list is correct as of 10th Sept 2018. For the most up to date list visit the BUCS webpage here.