What happened in Semester 1?

It’s been a fantastic semester for Get out, Get Active. We’ve been as busy as ever engaging existing participants and volunteers as well as recruiting new ones to take part and support our activities. As it’s reaching the end of 2019, we’re taking some time to look back and reflect on Semester 1.


We’ve hosted more walks than ever before with 1,179 participants getting out and about in Yorkshire and beyond this semester. We have visited some of our firm favourites: Ilkley Moor, Malham Cove and Haworth in Yorkshire, Ambleside, Keswick and Windermere in the Lake District and Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast.


We introduced one new walking location to our programme this semester- Knaresborough in North Yorkshire. Participants enjoyed a walk along the riverbank and in the woodland before they had some free time to enjoy the town. Participants explored Knaresborough Castle and enjoyed the views of the majestic Victorian viaduct.

Next semester you can expect some brand new walking trip locations in Yorkshire, the coast and Wales. We are also hosting the first ever walking trip to Scotland! You can book onto our walks now. Click here to browse the trips and secure your ticket.

Food workshops

This semester we re-introduced our food workshops which were attended by 57 participants.

GOGA food workshop

Our Mexican themed workshop saw participants cooking up vegetarian enchiladas topped with a spiced tomato sauce and double cheese. The complimentary side dishes were chunky guacamole and creamy corn and black bean salsa. The vegan workshop was back by popular demand and participants cooked Sicilian aubergine stew (Caponata) and raw coconut balls.

Our workshops begin again in February.

Indoor and outdoor climbing

Our climbing programme was bigger than ever before this semester with 44 participants enjoying the regular indoor sessions at the climbing wall at the Edge and outdoor trips at Almscliffe Crag. The beginner indoor sessions are perfect for anybody who wishes to give climbing a try. They provide you with an understanding of the skills and techniques used in climbing which can be transferred outdoors.

Our indoor sessions begin again in February and our outdoor trips return

GOGA climbing

in March.

Balance classes

Our balance classes have been as popular as ever with over 300 participations in our pilates, yoga and Garuda classes. Garuda Matwork joined our programme this semester. Instructor, Sandy, has enjoyed teaching the innovative exercise system which encompasses the principles of pilates, breath work and asana practices of yoga as well as elements of Tai-Chi.

The classes are a fantastic way to take a break away from your desk at lunchtime and they complement other forms of activity. They require no level of commitment; you simply sign up and pay the entry on the day. The balance classes will return to the programme at the end of January after the exam period.

Couch to 5K

We hosted our first ever entry level Couch to 5K programme this semester. 25 staff from across the university community took part in the programme which culminated  in a graduation event for all participants at the Leeds 5K series at the Brownlee Cycle Centre. All runners completed a chip-timed 5K run at the EvenSplits licensed event.

Many Couch to 5K participants signed up to the programme as they were returning to or starting exercise for the first time after illness and injury and long absences. Other motivations to take part in the programme included a desire to increase self-confidence around running.

The run leaders carefully designed sessions to help participants progress and build up their fitness whilst improving their technique and knowledge about running. They were recognised for their inspiring work as they were awarded the Health and Wellbeing Champions award as part of the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Health and Safety 2019.

There is a continuation pathway for the participants and many have joined our run club that meet twice weekly for a lunchtime run. It’s great to see participants joining the wider running community on campus.

The next Couch to 5K programme will be beginning on Tuesday 4th February. You can read more about it and book onto the next Couch to 5K here.

Looking forwards…

Kayaking will be returning to the programme next semester with the first session in mid-February. The session will take place on the Leeds-Liverpool canal which is an ideal setting to experience flat water kayaking outdoors.

Thank you to our participants, volunteers and activators. It has been a fun semester and we’re very much looking forward to Semester 2. On behalf of the GOGA team, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. See you in 2020!