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

Lets 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.

FAQ

  • 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

Volunteer

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.

 

 

Gryphons Abroad: The Trip of a Lifetime

Gryphons Abroad Amy Grabe teaching children

Gryphons Abroad is without doubt one of the best things I’ve ever done. There is nothing I could ever write that would accurately sum up the project, or describe the amazing experiences I had. The only way to understand is to apply and experience it for yourself; I just wish I could do it every year.

Although the fundraising target of £2,000 can seem daunting there is truly no need for it to be. Whilst it is an individual target, the rest of the team are more than willing to help you in any way they can. I made a quick start on my fundraising, and this definitely paid off. I started doing cake sales in the Edge, giving me a real starting point and a confidence boost. I also applied for a Leeds for Life grant and I was awarded £500, securing almost half of my target by doing just two things. To make sure that my fundraising didn’t impact on my uni work, I designated a few hours in the evenings to planning and for the rest of my events to take place during the weekend, that way I didn’t need to do any fundraising during weekdays. To top up my fundraising total, I organised a charity afternoon tea, raffling off specially made cakes and this was definitely successful! I also did a sponsored zip wire, and wrote to local businesses telling them about the volunteering securing another £500!  Fundraising money always seems a little bit off-putting but it just takes some careful planning. It is by no means about who can put on the biggest event, it is just about giving yourself enough time to plan it all out, being thorough and realistic is key!

 

Amy speaking to children in South Africa

 

The trip to South Africa itself was just amazing, it is full on but you really do only get out what you put in; on this trip you’ve got absolutely nothing to loose and only great memories to gain! I had just as much fun as the kids we worked with, and probably even more at times, there is absolutely nothing that you don’t want to do or get involved in. What makes it even better is the team you’re with. Before the trip, none of us knew each other, but I know for a fact that I’ve made friends for life through Gryphons Abroad and its horrible to think that without this project, I most likely wouldn’t have met them! Everybody has the same goal, to make a real impact on the lives of those we’re working with, immediately giving us all a common purpose.

I decided to sign up for Gryphons Abroad 2017 after seeing a post on the VLE and I am so glad I did. I wanted to volunteer at uni, but with having so many other commitments I just couldn’t consistently give a certain number of hours each week to a society. I wanted to try something new, meet different people and make a difference whilst having fun. Gryphons Abroad 2017 went above and beyond this, it was hard work but I had the best time ever doing things I never thought I would get the chance to do.

There is no other project I know that combines teaching young people to cycle in the mountains, going to a game reserve, teaching over 100 kids how to be leaders and visiting an orphanage meeting the most incredible children and giving them things that will change their lives. I just wish I could explain the true extent of this project, but the only way to do that is to experience it for yourself!

Amy 

P.s To get a real feel for the trip, have a look at our photo’s here.

 

British Cycling Open New Disability Hub at The University

Brownlee Centre

The University of Leeds new Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit will become British Cycling’s newest HSBC UK disability hub. 

The new facility, part-funded by British Cycling, was officially opened last month with state-of-art training facilities, including a 1.6km (1-mile) cycle circuit – one of the longest in the country.
HSBC UK disability hubs provide dedicated para-cycling coaching sessions for riders who want to keep fit, have fun and improve their performance. The sessions, led by British Cycling Go-Ride coaches and supported by local volunteers, help riders to achieve a variety of goals; whether this be to get into a new sport, improve fitness and confidence on a bike, rehabilitation from injury or to train for a competition.

Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most successful ever female Paralympian, welcomed the announcement, saying:

“Disability hubs provide a fantastic opportunity for people with all different types of impairments to get into cycling. Cycling should be accessible to everyone, and these disability hubs are making a huge difference.”

British Cycling development manager, Rob Mace, added:

“The disability hubs have been a huge success across the country and we are very pleased to be expanding the programme to Leeds. This will provide a great opportunity for riders with disabilities to develop their cycling skills, make cycling a part of their lives and possibly one day compete for Paralympic medals.”

Named in honour of the University of Leeds’ most successful modern Olympians, The Brownlee Centre sits alongside a 1.6km (1-mile) closed-loop cycle circuit at the University’s Bodington Playing fields in north Leeds. The facilities are open to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Find more details on how to use the new facilities here.


British Cycling’s investment into the project has also helped to provide a fleet of bikes at the facility, including adapted bikes such as handcycles, tandems and trikes, making the new disability hub sessions accessible for those who don’t have access to their own bike.
Suzanne Glavin, head of sport and physical activity at the University of Leeds, added:

“We are delighted to work alongside British Cycling to ensure that we can provide a truly inclusive offer of cycling at our fabulous new £5m facilities at the University of Leeds. We want to maximise the use of our one mile off road cycle circuit and believe it is the perfect environment for people of all abilities to learn to ride safely as well as train and compete.”

 

The sessions cost just £2 if you book online in advance or £5 on the day, with groups typically focusing on improving fitness, technique and confidence. These sessions run monthly throughout the year with all dates listed in the events section of the British Cycling website.
To speak to someone at British Cycling about disability hubs and what they offer, please call 0161 274 2070 or email development@britishcycling.org.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