CategoriesStudent News

The Lions Did Us Proud At BUCS Big Wednesday

We hope you all enjoyed BUCS Big Wednesday 2022, whether you supported in Nottingham, followed online, or of course played a match.

There was so much to celebrate yesterday, from our Squash club bringing three teams in total, to both the Men’s and Women’s Hockey first teams reaching the Championship Final, and our Rugby League 1s reaching the event for the very first time.

Our Netball 1s have been the ones to watch this season, going into their fixture against Hertfordshire with a real confidence and togetherness. From the first whistle our girls were completely in-sync with one another, and there were some fantastic partnerships on show from the likes of Harriet Sanderson (WD) and Ruth Hughes (C), just to name a few.

The whole team really stepped up for yesterday’s final, and proved exactly why they are EY Premiership Champions, but we must say a special well done to Lottie Robinson (GK) who was relentless in her defense, and Kat Short (GS) who held her nerve under immense pressure.

Another fixture which was incredibly tough to call was the Hockey Women’s 1s match against Nottingham. It looked like the game would end in penalties, until unfortunately Nottingham scored in the final quarter. Nevertheless our girls made it incredibly tough for the home side on the day, as did the Men’s 1s, giving many very proud Lions fans two fantastic games of Hockey despite the result.

Also taking to the pitch in extremely warm weather was our Rugby League 1s. Winning the National Trophy title may have been somewhat unimaginable for the team two years ago, but what they have achieved this season has been heroic and we are immensely proud of how far they’ve come in just one season. It’s also great to see a 42-24 loss to Hull didn’t dampen their spirits, and we can’t wait to get them in front of their home crowd again!

Another club to be receiving a very warm welcome back to UoB is of course our Squash Club, who took over the courts for near enough the full day. Our Men’s and Women’s 1s are now Championship Cup runners-up, thanks to some fantastic performances from sport scholar Ali Khawas, player of the match Megan Van Drongelen, and many more.

Finally, huge congratulations to the new National Trophy Champions, our Squash Men’s 2s, who truly deserved the silverware yesterday. After five incredibly close matches against UWE, it was all down to Sam Sciver– who, after an extremely tense match, did not disappoint!

CategoriesNutrition Physiology Psychology

What you need to know before running a 10k

If you’re worried about leaving it too late to start training, or simply have concerns about committing to your first ever long-distance run in front of a crowd, this blog should dispel some of those fears, and help you to separate fact from fiction when it comes to running events.

I DON’T KNOW IF I HAVE THE MOTIVATION FOR IT

We often talk about being physically fit, but your mental fitness and wellbeing is just as important when it comes to training for a 10k or further. Before we tackle how you’re going to run the distance, it’s important to firstly decide why you’re considering doing it, so let’s break it down.

First and foremost, it’s important that you’re joining us for the Great Birmingham Run for you and only you. In other words let’s not get caught up with trying to beat the personal best of a friend, or taking up running because our colleagues run home from work. There are several reasons for taking up running and setting yourself a 10k challenge, but the most important one is that you’re doing it because you really want to – and will be your best source of motivation too.

IT’S BEEN TOO COLD AND WET TO START TRAINING

Granted the recent weather has been particularly grey and gloomy – but for some people, these are their perfect running conditions. On those wet and miserable mornings or cold dark evenings, you need to ask yourself what your main motivation is for joining #TeamUoB for the 10k and keep reminding yourself of it.

Whether you’re trying to become a healthier version of yourself, want to eventually run a marathon, or are just hoping to get back into running after a prolonged period of time, this must be at the forefront of your mind when you’re finding training tough.

Every trainer will also tell you that a treat every now and again won’t do you any harm, so if you have to reward yourself with a sweet treat after particularly cold runs – do it!

WHAT IF I GET A BAD FINISHING TIME

This is where we should say it’s the taking part that counts, but we know how important finishing times are to any runner. One thing we will say however to anyone reading this who hasn’t signed up for the Great Birmingham Run because they think they’ll be too slow, is just be honest with yourself and you can’t go wrong.

Each one of us is capable of running a 10k, whatever your age or ability. That doesn’t mean that we’ll all be running it in the same timeframe – which is perfectly fine. The best way to complete the course is to set yourself a realistic target, especially if you’re just setting out, and then you can improve on this week on week.

If you initially plan your training sessions to build up your running programme gradually, you’ll find it much easier to notice the improvements you’re making. This will also help you to not put too much strain on your body, and prevent you from any pre-race injuries. Pacing yourself doesn’t mean finishing the 10k in a longer time, it just means you won’t burn out before the finishing line. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t run the full distance either. There will be plenty of participants walking (or skipping) too.

I’VE NEVER RUN IN FRONT OF A CROWD BEFORE

Any long-distance runner will be able to recall a time they’ve completely forgotten there’s a crowd there. Huge cheering crowds can be brilliant for your motivation, as they’re genuinely there to support you around the course, and the elated atmosphere really helps too, but the most important people are those who you’re running with.

That’s why #TeamUoB is such an encouraging network of individuals. There’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line as part of a team in a sea of matching t-shirts, but having a whole community there for you before the run itself is really helpful. Particularly if you’re new to a 10k, other members can offer friendly advice from how often to train per week and how far, to what to eat on the day and which trainers will be kinder to your feet!

You may even meet some future running buddies too, or decide to join the Green Heart Runners or Cool Runnings.

I WILL BE CELEBRATING RAMADAN

It’s a busy time for those who have to fit in their regular daily tasks along with prayer time, so we hope to be able to advise in any way we can about the best ways to exercise. Although Ramadan may not be a time to push your limits or set personal records, there are definitely still ways to maintain a training regime ahead of running a 10k.

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. You can find out what they had to say here.

We hope this has helped you to make up your mind about joining us at the Great Birmingham Run, but you can always visit our webpage for more details about #TeamUoB, including how to sign up.

Water aerobicsCategoriesYour Membership

Aqua Fit, Swim Fitness and Aqua Natal: What is the difference?

Aqua Fit, Swim Fitness and Aqua Natal: What is the difference?

Based on their class names alone it can be difficult to know the difference between our water-based group exercise classes at Sport & Fitness. To help, we’ve put together a brief overview of each class, so you can get a better idea of what to expect when heading down to the pool!

Aqua Fit

With five classes throughout the week, Aqua Fit is our most regular Group Exercise class in the pool. Mostly taught from the poolside, Aqua Fit is an instructor-led 45-minute aerobics class that provides a full-body toning workout.

Using the resistance of the water, as well as aqua equipment (such as inflatable dumbbells!), Aqua Fit provides a fun, thorough workout, whilst keeping any impact on your joints to a minimum.

The lack of significant weight on your joints makes Aqua Fit popular with those new to Group Exercise and looking to improve their movement, or anyone returning from injury, but it really is for everyone! Each class is taught to a lively playlist that will make your time in the pool fly by!

Swim Fitness

If you’re looking for a Group Exercise class that incorporates swimming, Swim Fitness is the class for you! Coached by our qualified level two swim teachers, you’ll be led through a structured lane swimming session each week. Swim Fit is designed to build speed and endurance, by combining different strokes and intensity levels at each session. 

Due to the nature of Swim Fitness, it is recommended that you are a confident front crawl swimmer prior to attending. There is no requirement for a specific speed or pace; everything is based of your effort level rather than swimming speed.

We offer three Swim Fitness classes throughout the week, so whether you’re a daily swimmer looking to add some variation to your routine, or just looking for a weekly workout in the pool, Swim Fitness will have what you’re looking for.

Aqua Natal

As you may guess from its name, Aqua Natal is a class for those that are pregnant! Aqua Natal offers a gentle exercise programme for those wishing to continue a light form of exercise whilst pregnant.

During Aqua Natal, the instructor is likely to teach from within the pool, guiding participants through each exercise whilst discussing the various stages of pregnancy. A blend of exercise, relaxation and fun in the water, Aqua Fit is perfect for anyone looking for gentle exercise to keep them active throughout their pregnancy.

With over 150 classes per week at Sport & Fitness, there is something for everyone. Our popular exercise classes are inclusive and suitable for all abilities. Discover our exercise class timetable.

CategoriesStudent News

UoB Place Third at BUCS Karate Championships

A fantastic weekend at the BUCS Karate Championships saw University of Birmingham place third overall among top competition.

There were strong performances all round for UoB with so many athletes pulling out their best performances across the competition last weekend. Taking place at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena, UoB’s Karate Club took twenty-two competitors to the championship, accompanied by seven coaches and team members to support them. The championship saw a range of disciplines being performed, showcasing karate at its best.

One competitor who really shined throughout the championship was UoB Sports Scholar Sukhjote Sohal who secured a gold medal in the -75 kg Senior Kumite tournament (fighting). This victory set the tone for the rest of the team who went on to achieve another seven medals across the weekend.

In the female +68 kg Senior Kumite, Mary Roper succeeded in her medal bid, winning a bronze medal in her event. Joseph Estruch, who is also the club’s President, also brought home a medal, securing a bronze in the -60 kg Senior Kumite. Both deserve a huge congratulations after fighting off some tough competition.

Also performing well was Davide Dal Martello who won two medals across the weekend. His first came in the Novice Male Kata event where he and fellow teammate Tom Waltham secured silver and bronze respectively. Martello then went on to win another silver medal in the Male -80 kg Novice Kumite, making it a very successful weekend for him.

In the Intermediate Male Kata, UoB won two medals again, with Theo Gannon and Joey Lim winning silver and bronze in the event to bring the medal count up to eight. There were many other impressive performance of UoB’s Karate members across the weekend, all contributing to UoB’s third place finish in the championship.

President Joseph Estruch was very pleased with his club’s performance. “Overall, a very strong set of results for UoB Karate,” he said, praising the team. “We have the potential to win many more next year.”

With so much talent in the team, next year’s championship may be even better for UoB’s Karate Club. A massive congratulations to Karate and everyone who competed. Next year’s competition is already shaping up to be another success!

CategoriesStudent News

Intercept: The Lions Dominate Exeter in 58-31 Victory

A crushing win by Birmingham’s Netball 1s yesterday at Intercept see the Lions straight through to the National Championship Final.

In front of a home crowd, Birmingham never looked like losing. Right from the first centre pass, the Lions kept Exeter out, piling on the defensive pressure and forcing Exeter to make riskier passes. Goal Defence Kate Henshall’s incredible interception early on in the first quarter set the tone as Birmingham looked to start strong. The defence continued to make Exeter’s life difficult, forcing many errors and allowing the Lions to start pulling away. By the end of the first quarter, Birmingham were leading the way 14-3.

Into the second quarter, Goal Shooter Kat Short was still going strong. Birmingham looked firmly in control and starting to settle into their rhythm. Some fantastic plays in centre court from Ruth Hughes (Centre) and Captain Jessie Ducker (Wing Attack) kept the Birmingham shooters well fed. Hughes and Ducker’s partnership was unmatched by the Exeter defence who couldn’t seem to keep up with the pair in mid-court. After Goal Attack Sophie Jackson’s interception stopped Exeter from gaining another goal, Birmingham finished the second quarter 26-7.

The half-time show once again saw an incredible performance from the Birmingham Pussycats cheer squad. The crowd in Munrow Arena was thoroughly entertained by the Pussycats who have really made their mark at the Super Series this year. Even Rory the Lion got involved!

The beginning of the third quarter after half time saw one change for Birmingham with Rosie Gray coming on at Wing Defence. She immediately made an impact by forcing a turnover just as Exeter were trying to make a strong start to the second half of the game. President Lottie Robinson continued to force the Exeter Goal Shooter out of the circle, keeping Exeter’s score down as the third quarter continued. Once again, Short stayed calm and collected, maintaining her shooting to the highest possible level. Even Exeter’s change in Goal Keeper couldn’t keep her out of the circle for long. The end of the third quarter ended 41-16 and a tired looking Exeter side trudged back to their dugout, seemingly demoralised.

Quarter four unfortunately started with an injury for Birmingham with Georgia Pexton taking a nasty fall. After a brief pause in proceedings to help Pexton off the court to assess her knee injury, the game resumed with Exeter coming out of the gates strong. It took a little while for Birmingham to find their stride again, no doubt shaken from Pexton’s injury, but the Lions soon settled back into their usual rhythm. Birmingham made several other changes throughout the last quarter, seeming to rotate their squad nicely to give everyone some court time. Exeter did manage to find some traction throughout this quarter, pulling their score up from their disappointing first three quarters. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Birmingham who finished the match 58-31.

Next up for the Lions, they face Hertfordshire 1s in the National Championship Final on Wednesday 23 March. Hertfordshire, who took everyone by surprise by beating Loughborough in their semi-final, were undefeated in their league and so will be tough competition for the Lions heading into the final. Make sure you catch it!

Rory The LionCategoriesStudent News

BUCS Cup Run Preview

Next week, we have not one, not two, but eighteen University of Birmingham teams competing in semi-finals or finals for their respective championships and trophies.

This is an incredible achievement for the university sports community. With so much to look forward to, check out our preview below for the upcoming matches:

Championship Semi-Finals

The Hockey Women’s 1s kick us off at home at the Bournbrook Pitches. This undefeated team will be playing Durham University 1s in the ICG Women’s National Championship for a place in the final.

Next up, the Hockey Men’s 1s and 2s are back in action at home. The Birmingham 1s will face off against Exeter’s 2s while the Birmingham 2s will play Edinburgh’s 1s. Both are playing in the Men’s National Vase and, if both win, we could be in for an all-Birmingham final!

For Squash, the Men’s and Women’s 1s will be facing off against Loughborough Men’s 1s and Edinburgh Women’s 1s. Both teams are in for tough games, with their opponents looking strong, but Birmingham’s huge success so far this year may just give them the upper hand.

Netball fans are definitely in for a treat on Wednesday with our BUCS Super Series event Intercept also coinciding with the semi-final of the EY Netball National Championship. The University of Exeter will be travelling up to Birmingham for this stellar of a match, so make sure you don’t miss it! Catch our full preview of the event here.

Finally, our American Football team will be playing the only away match of this group, battling the University of Nottingham on their home ground. This is sure to be a brutal game for the Lions with Nottingham having come out top of their league. But never say never as our Lions are sure to have some tricks up their sleeve.

Trophy Semi-Finals

Rugby League 1s are ready to storm through to the finals of the National Trophy, preparing to defeat the University of Cambridge for their Wednesday match. After winning their league by a country mile, the 1s will be hoping to use this momentum to win some silverware. Make sure to catch them on the Bournbrook Pitches at 16:30 to cheer them on.

Squash are also battling it out for a place in the National Trophy finals with the Men’s 2s playing Durham Men’s 1s on Wednesday. Once again, they will be in for a difficult match with Durham’s impressive track record. But with three teams into major semi-finals, Birmingham have already proven their capability and are certainly in with a chance.

Our final team in the National Trophy are the Lacrosse Women’s 2s. They will be travelling down to Exeter to face their Women’s 2s for a place in the final. Already through, Nottingham Trent’s Women’s 1s await the winner of this match. If Birmingham win, then we’ll have a Midlands derby on our hands for the trophy decider.

Conference Cup Finals

Birmingham’s Hockey Club are at it again with their Men’s 3s through to the final of the Men’s Midlands Conference Cup. Wednesday will see them face the University of Nottingham Men’s 5s in a derby clash. Birmingham Hockey already have four teams in major semi-finals or finals this Wednesday, and so a win for the 3s will definitely set a winning tone for the rest of the club to follow.

If three teams in semi-finals on Wednesday wasn’t enough squash for you, then you’re in luck as the Women’s 2s and the Men’s 3s are back in action in the Midlands Conference Cup. Both will be playing against Nottingham, the men facing Nottingham’s 4s while the women play the Women’s 3s. This is a huge opportunity to win some silverware for Birmingham’s Squash Club so let’s hope for wins all round.

Netball are also in with a chance of extra trophies with the 5s playing Loughborough’s 6s away from home. Birmingham 1s have already secured their place in the National Championship Semi-Finals, now the 5s will be looking for their own victory with a Midlands Conference trophy to their name.

Playing further afield, Birmingham’s Golf Mixed 3s are preparing to meet Oxford Brookes Mixed 1s at Ruddington Grange Golf Club in Nottingham. Birmingham are currently top of their league with ten points and two matches in hand, so we can expect that they will put in an excellent performance in the Conference Cup. Oxford Brookes sit mid-table in their league and so Birmingham should hope for a comfortable win in this match up.

Badminton’s Women’s 3s are already looking in good shape having not lost a game this year. In their Midlands Conference final, they will play Nottingham Trent 1s for the trophy. After strong performance in their league, Badminton will surely hope for a win here.

For Water Polo, Birmingham’s Men’s 1s are undefeated in their league after some incredible games. Having already defeated Oxford Brookes Men’s 1s in their league, they will be feeling confident heading into their Conference Cup final match on Wednesday. We can definitely expect a good contest here to help contribute to Birmingham’s trophy count.

Finally, to finish off our cup run preview, our undefeated Tennis Women’s 1s head into their Conference Cup final against Loughborough Women’s 4s. Loughborough also remain unchallenged in their league and so we can expect a tight match for this one. The 1s will be looking to dominate early if they are to snatch a victory.

Next week is sure to be a thriller for Birmingham sport. With high stakes, action-packed sport right on our doorstep, make sure you head down to the Bournbrook Pitches or Sport and Fitness to support the Lions. Don’t miss it!

Netball Squad Team PhotoCategoriesStudent News

Intercept Preview: Final Super Series Event of the Year!

Intercept is almost here with the University of Birmingham Netball team raring to go!

The fourth Super Series event of the year will see Birmingham 1s go head-to-head with University of Exeter 1s on Wednesday 9th March in the EY Netball National Championship semi-final. Exeter, who are currently second place in the Premier South Division, are sure to provide tough competition for the Lions. However, with Birmingham currently in top spot in the Premier North Division, the match will be a real showcase for all netball fans.

Ruth Hughes, Vice Captain of the Birmingham 1s, emphasised the excitement of the event. “It’s our big netball event where loads of fans can come and watch,” she told UBSport. “We’ll be on the show court and it’s just a great event for everyone to come to.”

Not only will there be fantastic netball to watch, but also a half time performance from the Birmingham Pussycats. So far this year, our cheerleaders have led the way for UoB support at XpLoSION, Engage, and Rebellion, and so their performance at Intercept is highly anticipated.


Birmingham have only lost one game this year from their league matches, already proving that they are the team to watch. However, Exeter will pose a new challenge to the squad who are hoping to make it ten wins from eleven on Wednesday. With a place in the National Championship finals on the line, both teams are sure to come out fighting.

Also excited about the match is UoB Netball’s President, Lottie Robinson, who told UBSport of the team’s intense preparation. “All the girls have been working really hard on and off the court,” she said. “We’re all really excited to be playing in front of fans so hopefully we’ll bring home a win.”

With Intercept being the last Super Series event of the year, this is UoB’s opportunity to end the series with a bang. After fantastic performances at XpLoSION, Engage, and Rebellion, it is time for Netball’s Intercept to shine.


To watch the Birmingham Netball 1s, get yourself down to the Munrow Arena in Sport and Fitness on Wednesday 9th Match at 6pm. Don’t miss out!