CategoriesStudent News

Rebellion Preview: The Super Series Continues Here!

With Rebellion just days away, UBSport caught up with the Birmingham Lions Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams ahead of Saturday’s matches.

The event, which will take place on Saturday 26th February at the University of Birmingham Sports and Fitness, is set to be a real showcase of UoB’s basketball talent. Starting at 3pm, the women will be playing the University of Wolverhampton whilst the men will play Birmingham City University (BCU) at 5pm. Rebellion will be a key match for both teams as they battle for places in their respective leagues, making it a tense fixture for everyone involved.

Kate Biddulph, the Women’s 1s Captain, encourages everyone to come down and watch the matches. “Tickets are only £3 for a bleachers ticket and £5 for a courtside ticket,” she told UBSport. “So it’s cheap and cheerful. Bring all your friends, bring all your housemates, it’ll be a really good time.”

Taylor Bernard, the Captain of the Men’s 1, echoed Biddulph’s enthusiasm. “It’s our biggest basketball game of the year,” he said. “We have all our fans and supporters come out and watch us. It’ll be great fun.”

Saturday’s event will also include a half time performance by the Birmingham Pussycats who many will remember from XpLosION and Engage earlier this year. It goes to show that Rebellion is not just a basketball game, but an event that the whole university community can get behind.


As for the league, Rebellion is a good opportunity for both teams to climb up the table. For the women, Biddulph was keen to make an impact. “It’s a really important game,” she said. “It’s been really tough obviously without having competition last year for us to pick up some momentum and gel as a team. So I think we’re at a really important point where we could really make this a good win and potentially make second in the table.”


Bernard also stressed the high stakes of the match. “For our Rebellion fixture we will be playing BCU who are currently top of the table,” he told UBSport. “We are fighting to beat Worcester in mid-table so it’s important that we get this win.”

Despite the importance of the matches, both teams are excited to play basketball again in front of home crowds. Matt Dunn, who will be playing in his first Rebellion, had no doubt in what it meant to the players. “I’m personally very excited for it, so are the team,” he said. “We haven’t performed in front of a crowd in a long time so it’s going to be brilliant to have the atmosphere and the support.”


If you would like to watch Rebellion, there’s still time to buy tickets! Just follow the link below to purchase your tickets now! The even promises to be one to remember so don’t miss it!


To buy your tickets, click here!

Rory the Lion mascot running on the indoor track at BUCS NationalsCategoriesStudent News

What a weekend at BUCS Nationals

The atmosphere in Sheffield was brilliant, and it was really encouraging to see the eye-catching red of the Lions all around both venues. 

 

ATHLETICS & CROSS COUNTRY

Overall, it was the most successful BUCS indoors yet for our Athletics and Cross Country Club, with the most medals and most points accumulated in the club’s history, leaving them in second place in the overall championships.

 

During Friday’s qualification rounds, Diani Walker made her way to the final unscathed before picking up BUAC’s first medal of the weekend with a silver, the first of many medals to come. Other highlights from Friday’s qualifiers included all four of Birmingham’s 800m runners making it through the heats.

 

 

On Saturday every event had an athlete make it through their respective heat/semi-final. Individual highlights included Saskia Millard qualifying fastest across the women’s 3,000m heats, then going on to get BUAC’s first gold medal of the championships. Maisie Grice finished not far behind with a personal best of 9:29.86, earning her a bronze medal in her first 3,000m indoor final.

 

 

In the Men’s race Mike Ward stayed at the front pack throughout taking BUAC’s second gold medal, and then the Women’s 800m final saw both Tilly Simpson and Cesca Brint racing together, with Cesca achieving an indoor personal best of 2:07.53, earning her a silver medal in the process.

The 1500m final was yet another that featured two BUAC athletes, with Sabrina Sinha gaining a gold medal and Emily Thompson winning a well-earned bronze. In the men’s triple jump Josh Woods opened up with a 14.95m effort, which would prove enough to take home the gold medal in this event – the first medal of the field athletes.

 

 

It was however the Men’s long jump that was one of the most anticipated events for BUAC, with the duo of Sam Khogali and Jake Burkey forming of the strongest pairings the club has had for a very long time. BUAC president Jake took home a huge gold medal with a leap of 7.50m, and Sam finished with a bronze. 

 

 

Finally, the two relay teams stepped out to finish the championships. The girls were up first and Olivia Kimbowa ran a storming first leg before handing the baton over to Hannah Jones, with Jasmine Clark taking the third leg. Following her victory in the 1,000m at the Grand Prix on Saturday, Izzy Boffey ran a hugely important anchoring leg, consolidating the silver medal for the Women’s squad.

 

 

For the boys, all eyes were then on Harry Fisher to anchor the men home after some great runs from his team mates, and he brought the baton home in third place – another UoB medal! 

Two female University of Birmingham athletes hugging and smiling after their race

SWIMMING

Congratulations to our swimming club who performed excellently Ponds Forge Sports Centre over the weekend. Both the Women’s and Men’s representatives all qualified for the 100m and 1500m heats, and the mixed 4x100m medley relay saw Ollie Morgan, Tom Hamilton, Abi Lacey and Laura McNab finish in 4:05.18 for a new club record.

 

 

In Sunday’s final session the club won a brilliant three medals for UoB, with Frances Newe becoming BUCS Nationals champion with a gold medal in the 400IM in a 6-second PB. Both Ollie Morgan and Laura McNab returned home with bronze medals.

University of Birmingham swimmer facing the camera on the side of the pool with competitor athletes adjusting their swimming caps in the background

CLIMBING

BUCS Nationals was a great first competition of the year for UoB’s climbing club. Congratulations to Sammy Oakes for winning the men’s category and Kylar Giorgi for placing 2nd.

 

 

FENCING

Well done to both the Men’s Sabre fencers who made it through to T64, and the Women’s Foil athletes, who performed exceedingly well and made it to the final 32 at nationals.

 

 

BADMINTON

The way our Badminton Club worked together during Nationals was outstanding. A special shoutout goes to the Women’s Doubles team who sailed through the qualifying rounds, as well as to our Mixed Doubles who made it through to the quarter finals!

ramadan and exerciseCategoriesNutrition Physiology Psychology

Keeping fit during Ramadan

Muslims who choose to fast during Ramadan will abstain from eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset each day for one month.

It’s a busy time for those who have to fit in their regular daily tasks along with prayer time, but should this schedule and the limitations on consumption mean that you can’t keep exercising during this period?

Although Ramadan may not be a time to push your limits or set personal records, there are definitely still ways to maintain your workouts and schedules. As it’s a time for worship, self-reflection and an opportunity to become a better person, Muslims across the world use this holy month of fasting and prayer to restore not only their relationship with God but their relationship with themselves. One of the main aspects of preparing for Ramadan is to figure out ways to better yourself and implement them during the holy month.

We chatted to our Personal Trainers at Sport & Fitness, to find out a bit more about sports nutrition during Ramadan, what they recommend doing, and when.

Sessions undertaken in the morning after sunrise

Not only does this get the workout done early when you might feel your most energetic, but you’ll have a good amount of fuel to go on.

Pros: You will benefit from eating and drinking from the previous evening and before dawn

Cons: There’s little opportunity to refuel, rehydrate, and recover after these sessions

  • Suhour (the last meal before the beginning of the day’s fast) should be eaten as close as possible to sunrise and athletes should choose foods that contribute to sport nutrition needs for the day. Low GI carbohydrate choices are recommended to allow slow release of glucose.
  • Higher sodium foods at Suhour may be beneficial to promote fluid retention and aid hydration.
  • Eating some slow-digesting casein protein (eg. Cottage cheese, greek yoghurt, other dairy products) immediately before sunrise will provide your body with a continuous source of amino acids for the hours to come.
  • Consumption of ‘‘slow’’ proteins at meals consumed before dawn to help with protein balance over the day is advised.  Sufficient fluids and electrolytes (especially sodium) should be consumed after sunset and before sunrise to ensure full replacement of sweat losses and to prevent progressive dehydration.

Sessions undertaken in the evening, scheduled to finish just before Iftar

Potentially the best time for Muslims to exercise during Ramadan is right before sunset when they will have the opportunity to refuel and recover straight away afterwards.

Pros: You’ll benefit from the ability to eat for recovery at Iftar (breaking fast) and during the rest of the evening

Cons: These sessions are undertaken with minimal pre-exercise nutritional support

  • When training or competition are scheduled late in the day, athletes should be careful to limit glycogen depletion and sweat losses by restricting activity levels and exposure to warm environments during the day.
  • Carbohydrate-rich foods should be consumed at the break of fast.
  • Athletes should try to consume at least 20 g of rapidly digested and absorbed high-quality protein soon after exercise whenever possible, as well as high-quality protein-rich foods at each meal opportunity during the evening and before dawn.

Sessions undertaken in the evening after breaking fast

A good option for those with less free time, working out after eating can be beneficial.

Pros: 2 – 3 hours after the break of the fast gives the best opportunities to fuel and hydrate before, during, and after

Cons: It must be balanced against the importance of sleep!

  • Strength training is best performed later in the day to ensure protein can be consumed soon after exercise in order to maximise training adaptations.
  • Consume small amounts of carbohydrate during exercise undertaken after the fast is broken, even if there is little need for additional fuel.

Finding an exercise routine that fits around this time can be difficult, and should only be taken on by people who are used to exercise. If you’re continuing to work out during Ramadan, cardio and heavy weights are not recommended – your body isn’t functioning on its usual fuel, and exercise could be dangerous if taken too far. If you’d like to chat with one of our Personal Trainers regarding training that works around your lifestyle, email the Gym team today. And remember, if you’re feeling unwell due to illness or fasting, please do not take part in exercise until you feel fully well and able!

Runners shaking hands after raceCategoriesStudent News

A Record-Breaking Weekend of BUCS Action For UoB

It was medals-galore for the University of Birmingham this weekend, with many of our clubs competing across the country at the highest level.

ATHLETICS

University of Birmingham Athletics and Cross Country Club were simply outstanding at the BUCS Cross Country Championships in Horsenden Hill, London. After fighting off tough competition from the likes of Loughborough and St Mary’s Universities, our club won more medals than any other institution in the event’s history!

The pressure was on for our athletes, with the added incentive of World University Cross Country selection up for grabs too, but our club did not disappoint. The display of depth in the Men’s and Women’s shorter races not only made for an incredibly special day for the team, but also shows the potential for this team to grow its influence in the coming years.

In the men’s long race, Sports Scholar Will Battershill won the individual gold medal in epic style, whilst also securing the overall team win alongside club mates Will Barnicoat, Mike Ward and Joe Hudson. UoB claimed the top 4 spots in the men’s short race, with scintillating runs from Ethan O’shea, Tom Keen, Ollie Smart and Kristian Imroth, earning a team gold and team silver in the process, with another 4 Birmingham students finishing in the top 15.

In the Women’s races our cross-country stars really excelled as part of a team, with a special mention to long course team silver medallists Saskia Millard, Charlotte Alexander and Maisie Grice. The women’s team also won the gold medal in the short race. UoB is currently awaiting the selection for the GB World University Cross Country team later this week, but with teams of 6 male and females looking to be selected, we could well have 4-5 athletes earning GB call-ups.

A huge amount of credit to the students but also to our Athletics coaches who work extremely hard to produce these top quality athletes, including our coaches featured in our Game Changer campaign, Bud Baldaro.

SQUASH

Closer to home, our Sport & Fitness Club hosted BUCS Squash Premier League Stage 2, another exciting BUCS competition this weekend, with other Universities from around the UK arriving to compete.

There were some fantastic results across the board, with the Men’s 1s winning the competition undefeated and topping the table. Women’s 1s placing second, after narrowly missing out to the University of Nottingham in a close game. This gives us a strong advantage going into the cup with our teams being higher seeded.

GYMNASTICS

Also this weekend, our Gymnastics Club travelled to Leicester for BUCS Gymnastics competition. Well done to Hannah Wedgewood, Holly Clark, Chandra Bhamidimarri, and Olivia Rabaiotti for their brilliant silver medal win in the Women’s All Round final, contributing to our BUCS points tally. Our club returned home with an incredible nine medals overall across the participatory levels.

KORFBALL

On Saturday 6th February, three of our korfball teams set of for Cardiff to compete in a BUCS Regionals Tournament. Each team finished second in their group leading to a battle of the UoB teams, with the 1s coming out on top. They have now qualified for the BUCS National Championships.

OUR WINNING WEEKLY LEAGUE CLUBS

Finally, we’d like to say a huge congratulations to our Netball Women’s 1s, who have won the EY Premiership North BUCS Division and now progress onto the quarter-finals. Also on a winning streak this year are our Hockey Women’s 1s who have remained unbeaten all season and if they secure a win or draw on 9th Feb (2:30pm at home) they will have finished at the top of the ICG Women’s Premier National League – a title we have not won to date!  

Term 2 is off to a flying start for lots of our clubs, and with many BUCS medals still up for grabs and the closing of leagues over the upcoming weeks. Turning an eye to BUCS Nationals on the weekend of the 18th – 20th February with over 100 athletes competing across 5 sports.

We’re very much looking forward to seeing what’s to come for our Lions.

CategoriesStudent News

Double Victory for Birmingham Lions at Engage

After dominating performances, UoB’s men’s and women’s rugby clubs triumphed over Nottingham Trent and Loughborough at Engage.

Opening the second Super Series event of the year with the women’s match, the event looked fated to be a spectacular one. The pre-match build-up heard a lot of talk about the talent in Loughborough’s squad, especially with their impressive undefeated league record heading into the game. For other teams, they may have felt defeated before the match had even begun. But for Birmingham, they seemed to thrive under the pressure. Within the first six minutes, Amber Swinglehurst had broken through the Loughborough defensive line and scored the first try of the match, which was swiftly converted by Sophie Jones to make the score 7-0 Birmingham.

A stunned Loughborough team then made several mistakes in quick succession, allowing for Charlotte Daley to make a fantastic run down the left wing to score the second try of the match. Once again, Sophie Jones was cool under pressure and made a difficult conversion with ease. Loughborough managed to sneak in a lucky try off a loose ball but, heading into half time, Birmingham looked to be in control.

The second half was where the real fireworks began. Charlotte Daley once again stormed down the left wing, dodging three opposing players before she dove over the try line. Another collected conversion by Sophie Jones, followed by tries for Vice Captain Sophie Jarett and Molly Chidzey, brought the score up to 31-12. With the end of the match in sight, Charlotte Daley made an incredible interception to score her hat-trick in the 81st minute of the game.

The final score: 36-12, with Charlotte Daley winning a well-deserved Player of the Match.

It was a tough act to follow, but the men certainly lived up to expectations. Like the women, they made their mark quickly, with Matt Harrison scoring within the first five minutes and leaving Nottingham Trent scrambling to keep up. Despite an equaliser soon after, the Lions took this in their stride with Harrison scoring his second of the night which was coolly converted by Nick Blain. Birmingham barely played a minute in their own half, scoring two more tries in quick succession before Trent finally managed to score again, making it 24-14.

With half time looming, Will Pearce made an excellent run through the Trent defence, diving over the try line much to the crowd’s excitement. A successful conversion by Blain saw Birmingham heading back to their dugout firmly in control with the score at 31-14.

After half time, the tries just kept coming. Some fantastic play from Traynor and Bugg ended with tries for each of them, the Lion’s score creeping higher as the minutes went on. As players began to tire, Nottingham Trent started to make a small comeback, scoring two tries quickly to bring the score up to 50-37. But the Lions had the last say, finishing the game with a bang by scoring and converting their last try in the dying seconds of the match.

Final score: 57-42, with Will Pearce winning Player of the Match for his excellent contribution.

With Engage over for another year, both teams can reflect on their success as they start to think about recruitment once again for next season. There’s never been a more exciting time to play rugby and it’s safe to say that this year’s event will go down as one of the most successful Super Series events ever. It was certainly a night to remember.

CategoriesStudent News

UoB Women’s Cricket Third in Country at National Indoor Finals Day

In front of a home crowd at Edgbaston Stadium, UoB’s Women’s Cricket secured a thrilling third-place finish at the National Indoor Finals Day on Saturday.

The day was already set to be a spectacle with eight university teams from across the country heading to Birmingham in the hopes of securing the title. Competing in Group 2, Birmingham faced off against Kent, Edinburgh, and Cardiff Met in three matches to make it through to the semi-finals.


Match 1 against Kent got Birmingham off to a good start with Kent batting first and making 85-5. Tilly Mason bowled incredibly well, finishing with figures of 3-12 off her two overs. When Birmingham came to bat, they cruised along, knocking off the runs required with no wickets lost. Batting highlights included Gemma Porter’s 27* and Tilly Mason’s 24*.


Birmingham’s second match against Edinburgh was more of a challenge. After batting first, Birmingham put on an impressive 82-4 with Mason again scoring freely, making 28*. She was well supported by Ellie Harris who defied Edinburgh’s bowlers and scored an extra 11* runs to Birmingham’s total. Once again, Birmingham bowled well with Mason taking 2 wickets and Captain Sophie Hoyes also taking 2-22. But Edinburgh just managed to chase down the runs with only five balls to spare.


Match 3 saw Cardiff Met bat first and scoring an incredible 121-1. It was always going to be a tough ask to chase such a huge total and, unfortunately, Birmingham were unable to catch up. However, Holly Reeder’s 21 and Becca Woodnorth’s 12 would prove useful and gave all the Birmingham fans something to cheer for.

After suffering two losses and drawing on points with Edinburgh, a tense waiting game ensued as the match umpires discussed and calculated the run rates to decide who went through to the semi-finals. Eventually, after what was described as “the closest tie they’d seen”, the umpires declared Birmingham through to the semi-final.


Birmingham batted first, making 63-6 with Porter once again showcasing some incredible and scoring 35 runs. Loughborough’s bowlers performed well and restricted Birmingham’s total. It was a difficult innings in which to score however the end total was very defendable.


When Birmingham came to bowl, they started off strongly and managed to contain Loughborough’s famously destructive batters. Hoyes and Porter both took wickets, making Loughborough work hard to chase the runs down. Sadly, Birmingham’s final dreams were not to be as Loughborough managed to win the match with an over to spare – a close game worthy of a semi-final.


Loughborough would go on to win championship, however Birmingham’s performance meant they achieved third in the table. Sophie Hoyes, Birmingham’s Captain, expressed how proud she was of the team.

“We went into the finals with zero expectations,” she said. “But I was massively proud of how everyone performed individually and as a team.” Hoyes went onto say how grateful the squad was for the crowd’s support at Edgbaston. “It really boosted everyone,” she added. “We’re now looking forward to taking our success into the outdoor season!”


The performance in the indoor competition certainly bodes well for the summer’s outdoor championship. With Birmingham already preparing for their next matches, it is safe to say we can expect a lot more excitement from this squad in the months to come!