Lachlan Moorhead smiling with commonwealth gold medalCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

CWG Gold Medallist Lachlan Moorhead aims for Paris selection

CWG Gold Medallist Lachlan Moorhead aims for Paris selection

PATHWAY TO PARIS – University of Birmingham Judo scholar, Lachlan Moorhead, focuses on maximising his points in hopes of securing a spot at the Paris Olympics.

Lachlan has been practising Judo since he was just five years old, following in his father’s footsteps. Originally from Penistone where he was coached by his father, he is currently in his final year studying Business Management at the University of Birmingham.

 

When joining the University, Lachlan was awarded an EDCAP scholarship, providing him access to tailored support from the Performance Centre and scholarships team. This has allowed him to balance his Judo commitments alongside his academics.

The highlight of Lachlan’s career so far took place at the Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham, where he won gold in the 81kg class.

 

In the lead up to the Paris Olympics, Lachlan has committed to an intense competition schedule, travelling to events across the globe in efforts to maximise his points.

 

Next week he will head to the World Judo Championships hosted in Abu Dhabi, providing him with a final opportunity to hit the qualifying points for Paris in the summer.

Lachlan Moorhead at competition

We caught up with Lachlan in the midst of his busy competition schedule. Check out the interview here. 

 

His other achievements include securing bronze medals at the Kaunas European Junior cup and Junior Championships in 2019. Moving into 2021, Lachlan brought home a bronze medal from the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and became a British Champion at the British Judo Championships, where he won the half-middleweight division.

Sports Awards glass trophies, with squash winning National Team of the Year.CategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Shortlist announced for Sports Awards 2024

Shortlist announced for Sports Awards 2024

With just a few weeks until the University’s event of the academic year, we can now reveal the full list of Shortlisted athletes, clubs, coaches and teams for this year’s Sports Awards 2024.

Sports Awards with Outstanding Contribution on the screen behind.

Returning once again to the Brammall Music Building on Thursday 30 May, the evening will celebrate sporting success across 13 categories with the deadline for tickets closing on Wednesday 15 May.

 

Full evening details will be shared after the ticket deadline, but doors will open from 5.15pm with the Awards beginning at 6.00pm.

 

See our full shortlist below

Campus League Team of the Year

Chip Butty Albion

Econ Hockey

Kinvig Hockey

MFL Society Netball

 

 

Coach (non-student) of the Year

Dean Miller

Gary Humpage

Jennifer Barrett

Jonathan Tate

Michael Gayle

Sam Lee

 

 

Coach (student) of the Year
Alex Barker (Women’s Football)
Anna Lofts (Touch Rugby)
Bella McLeod (Cheerleading)
Holly Thompson (Handball)
Lewis Keates (Women’s Rugby Union)
Maisie Stearns (Netball)
Ryan Ralph (BJJ)

 

Club of the Year

Boxing

CricSoc

Gaelic Football

Handball

Squash

 

ED&I Award

Hugo Murray

Netball

Women’s Basketball

 

Full Blues

TBC

 

Half Blues

TBC

 

National Team of the Year

Hockey W1

Men’s Cross Country

Squash M1

Squash W1

Water Polo M1

Women’s Cross Country

 

Outstanding Contribution
Caitlyn Byrne (Basketball)
Callum Bates and Tom Hathway (Men’s Rugby Union)
Chris Davis (Hockey)
Rebekah Pink (Karate)
Tara Hayes-Pankhurst (Active Res)
Tom Park (Lifesaving)

Sports Colours

TBC

Sports Person of the Year
Didi Okoh (Athletics)
Evelyn Wood (Hockey)
Ollie Morgan (Swimming)
Will Barnicoat (Athletics)

Regional Team of the Year

Basketball W1’s

Fencing M1’s

Handball M1’s

Squash M3’s

 

Volunteer of the Year
Amber Lawson-Smith (Swimming)
Charlie King (Men’s Rugby Union)
Jethro McGraw (Athletics)
Jessica Carter (Hockey)
Maisie James (MFL Society)

Runners pose ahead of Great Birmingham RunCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

UoB set pace at Great Birmingham Run 2024

UoB set pace at Great Birmingham Run 2024

Last Sunday Sport & Fitness team alongside our positive members and students had a chance to take part in Great Birmingham Run – West Midlands’ biggest and best running event, with thousands of runners, walkers and joggers. All participants have challenged themselves to contribute to charity and gain unforgettable memories.

Runners pose ahead of Great Birmingham Run

The anticipation

 

This year’s edition reached the peak of excitement as all entries were sold out – it was impossible not to feel the anticipation and the scale of the event on the day. Commencing on Sunday 5 May, thousands of people started to gather on the streets of Birmingham to either support or participate in the running experience, making it a great way to actively spend their Sunday with close ones.

Route, band and a lot of fun

 

Both 10k and Half-Marathoners gathered on Broad Street at Centenary Square, where accompanied by vibrant music and supportive audience cheers, they all found themselves at the starting line.

 

During their journey, 10k runners could experience not only a dose of endorphins and sweat but also enjoy inspiring sights and iconic Birmingham landmarks – the city’s world-famous Jewellery Quarter, the Chamberlain Clock, St Paul’s Square and the St Martin’s Church. This was not everything for our Half-Marathoners who on their way to reach the goal had some more viewpoints including Selly Park and the return route in Cannon Hill Park showing the spring in full bloom and Edgbaston Stadium.

 

The day was full of energy and little events going on containing good music and entertainment. Great Birmingham Run hosted the local bands and musicians to support everyone throughout the run by playing boosting music, organising cheering points and even the karaoke point! Our team was also there with lots of participants from the Sport & Fitness community, supporting and running together in #UoBTeam t-shirts, spreading the fun and cheer on every mile!

Runners pose ahead of Great Birmingham Run
Runners pose ahead of Great Birmingham Run

On the finish line

 

Nothing can compare with the rewarding feeling of accomplishment combined with the soreness of the leg muscles at the finish line. We could all witness how exhaustion can quickly transform into the biggest smile and joy on runners’ faces, and even experience it ourselves with our community! The sense of achieving the goal after long weeks of preparation was even better when accompanied by new medals, t-shirts and bags filled with rewards.

 

Eddie Lynch (University of Birmingham AC and Cross Country Club) finished an incredible third in Men’s Half Marathon with a time of 01:14:18.

Sharing memories

 

On Thursday 9 May, we hosted the last Level Up Running Workshops, where our members and staff could celebrate each other’s successes, and share their experiences and memories. We also discussed future running goals and plans, as we knew this event had sparked the running excitement in many!

 

Our team wants to say big congratulations to everyone attending the event and thank all the supporters who gave us a regular boost of motivation during the run!

 

See you next year!

CategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Announcer role for Alumna Olympian in Paris

Announcer role for Alumna Olympian in Paris

PATHWAY TO PARIS – University of Birmingham Athletics alumna Hannah England has been named as one of the announcers for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Hannah – whose career has seen her compete at World Championships, Commonwealth Games 2010 and 2014 as well as the 2012 Olympics in London – will be a sport specific English Announcer/MC for Athletics Track & Field, Marathon Finish and Race Walks.

 

With the Olympics taking place from 26 July, Hannah recently returned to campus and the Athletics Track as part of our wider Pathway to Paris Media Day.

 

Since retiring in 2020, her career has seen her work with the BBC as an Athletics correspondent and pundit, as well as offering her expertise trackside at some of the biggest sporting events.

Studying Biochemistry at her time here, Hannah caught with the media as well as comms teams from her former College sharing her experiences as a student, training with the Universities Athletics Clubs and how it impacted her career.

UoB athlete high jumping over barCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

History made at Athletics BUCS Outdoor Championships

History made at Athletics

BUCS Outdoor Championships

University of Birmingham Athletics Club rounded off a memorable 2023/24 season with even more medals at the BUCS Athletics Championships in Manchester.

Did Okoh smiling on track

Third year law student Didi Okoh won the 60m ambulant race as she moved to the club’s all-time highest individual BUCS points.

 

In her three years studying and competing, she has collection 76 points overtaking Commonwealth Heptathlon Champion and alumna Louise Hazel.

This year’s Outdoors Athletics saw Birmingham eclipse their previous best of 19 medals with 21 medals across all events. The club took 72 athletes (previous best of 65) and came away with 230 BUCS points.

The records kept coming as the Men’s team collected their highest-ever points taking, a club record the women’s 4x 100m team and Abby Ives back-to-back 800m  win means that Birmingham have won this event for the last six years.

Abbie Ives running side shot
Men's race ft Tyler Bilyard

Third year Tyler Bilyard, now holds both indoor and outdoor 1500m titles, with post-grad Jake Matthews and fourth year Craig Moncur both score points in 3 different events

See the teams full results below

 

GOLD 🥇

Didi Okoh, 60m Amb

Will Barnicoat, 5000m

Kimani Jack, High Jump

Orla Brennan, 400 Hurdles

Jake Minshull, 400 Hurdles

Thomas Bridger, Steeplechase

Abbie Ives, 800m

Tyler Bilyard, 1500m

 

SILVER 🥈

Fenton Bishop-Timings, Javelin

Jake Matthews, Shot Put

Tomer Tarragano, 5000m

Amelia Briggs-Goode, 400 Hurdles

Women’s 4x100m

Women’s 4x400m

 

BRONZE🥉

Charlotte Alexander, 10k

James Pratt, Javelin

Izzy Skelton, 400m

Lily Holt, High Jump

Martha Collings, Steeplechase

Elsa Palmer, 1500m

Men’s 4x400m

 

4TH

Sam Clifton, Hammer

Dani Hales, 100m Hurdles

Zoe Hunter, 1500m

 

5TH

Elisha Tait, 10k

Elisha Tait, 5000m

Rachel Wall, Javelin

Zion Ateba, High Jump

 

6TH

Jasmine Wilkins, 60m

Jake Matthews, Discus

Will Sutton, High Jump

Josh Woods, Long Jump

Holly Weedal, 5000m

Emilie Oakden, Pole Vault

Isaac Rothwell, 1500m

Men’s 4x100m

 

7TH

Emelina Darvell, Discus

Toby Cherry, High Jump

Ben Gardiner, 800m

Lottie Dewar, 800m

 

8TH

Finlay Ward, 10k

Rosie Hamilton-James, 10k

Isaac Hirschman-Chandler, 5000m

Craig Moncur, Long Jump

Archie Parkinson, 800m

sixty students athletes from Ivy League Exchange posing on the athletics trackCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Birmingham Ivy League Exchange 2024

Birmingham Ivy League Exchange 2024

Just after Easter, a squad of 60 selected athletes, including five coaches, set out on a two-week student exchange to four Ivy League Universities from Harvard, Yale, Penn and Cornell, following in the footsteps of generations of Birmingham student-athletes before them. 

franklin field athletics track

An earthquake, storm, and the experience of a lifetime

 

The adventure began in New York City, where a storm welcomed the team in the heart of Manhattan. Even with the weather, some athletes eagerly ventured into Central Park for their first run! But this wasn’t the only surprise during their trip – following a rewarding Alumni gathering in NYC, the team faced an unexpected challenge – a magnitude 4.8 earthquake. Despite obstacles, our senior athletes and coaches had a chance to share their stories and network with the attendees, having a rewarding experience for both parties impressed by each other’s achievements. Later in the day, the athletes paired up with their student hosts for the three-night visit to the University of Pennsylvania.

Taking wins back home! 

The first competition took place at the iconic Franklin Fields stadium, where Birmingham League had a chance to experience and take three individual wins from our athletes, each achieving personal bests in the process:

 

Josh Woods leading in the Long Jump with 7.41 (PB)

 

James Pratt excelled in Javelin, with 64.74 (PB)

 

Jasmine Wilkins sprinted through 100m, with 11.78 (PB) – an impressive score putting her for consideration for the World U20 Championships in Peru later this summer.

 

A highlight of the trip came at the University of Connecticut Northeast Challenge, where the team shattered records and set the stage for future successes. The quartet of Molly Swingler, Jasmine Wilkins, Zoe Austridge and Maddie Whapples came away with a New University Club Record of 47.13s in the Women’s 4×100 relay.

 

We wanted to say a huge congratulations to all participants and our winners!

IMG_1967

A Journey Across Four Universities

 

After successful and exciting days with our friendly host at the University of Pennsylvania, the journey continued to Cornell University, where the team had to experience a solar eclipse, embracing the time to recover and train in world-class facilities voted one of the top in the US.

Arriving at Harvard, the athletes were greeted by their fellows. Having a full day in Boston, the team toured the impressive campus before visiting the famous Fenway Park for an evening at the Red Sox baseball game – a truly cultural experience.

Arriving at Yale University for the final stage of their journey, the team enjoyed a leisurely four days in New Haven, focusing on recovery, training and sightseeing, including a campus tour, Cherry Blossom Festival, beach visit and more.

Sharing his experience, Luke Gunn – UoB Sport Head of Performance – said:

 

 

“I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of you at the University who assisted in making this event happen be it through fundraising, assistance with logistics or just shared passion for this amazing exchange. We are so proud of this wonderful relationship we have with all 4 universities as it anchors us in connections with counterparts across the pond with similar passions, problems and ambitions.”

The University of Birmingham will be hosting the next exchange in 2026, where we will see the best athletes from Penn and Cornell competing on campus! The Ivy League exchange has been taking place since the 1960s and, based on the enthusiasm from all parties, it’s easy to see this continuing through to the 2060s and beyond.

Sports Awards attendees holding name placeholders in spectator seatsCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Secure your tickets for Sports Awards 2024

Secure your tickets for Sports Awards 2024

Clubs, coaches and recreational teams can now secure their seats for this year’s Sports Awards 2024 evening taking place on Thursday 30 May 2024.

Nominations closed last month across the 13 categories which celebrate the sporting success of the Universities competitive and recreational representatives, welcome over 250 applications this year.

Returning once again to the Brammall Music Building, general tickets for this year’s Awards can now be secured by filling out our online form, open from today.  In a slight change to the usual proceedings and to allow for more availability, individuals can now book their place, as well as up to an allocation of four additional places.

 

There are 200 general tickets allocated and are based on a first-come-first-served basis, so be sure to book early to avoid disappointment. To allow for inclusivity, some larger clubs may be capped at the discretion of the Club Development team to ensure all clubs/teams can be represented.

Please note, all shortlisted nominees across each category will each receive an additional ticket for a guest to join them on the evening. Shortlisted nominees will be contacted at the beginning of May, and any duplicated ticket bookings as a result of earlier bookings will be managed by our team.  

 

Sports club holding medal on stage
Students receiving plaque on stage

To book, CLICK HERE and simply provide your details, the names and email addresses of those attending in your party as well as their respective club/team. Once submitted, each individual will receive a confirmation email – these may not be sent out immediately, but our team will look to process confirmations twice a week. There will also be an option to include an accessibility support that may be required, such as a BSL interpreter. 

 

This year’s event will welcome back last year’s compères Club Development Manager Amy Preston and Participation Manager Helen Coy, alongside a welcome from the University’s Director of Sport Andy Allford.

 

Guest presenters will also introduce each of our awards, with official photographs as well as the chance to have your own group photographs courtesy of Take That Photo.

Champagne glasses in pyramid shape on serving table

Attendees will enjoy a welcome drink on arrival, as well as food options post-awards as well as musical entertainment from the University Music Society ensemble.

 

Keep an eye on the UoB Sport social channels and website for updates, as well as news of this year’s shortlisted nominees in the build-up to Thursday 30 May.

A general view of the Squash court as Saurav Ghosal of Team India and Paul Coll of Team New Zealand compete in the Men's Singles Squash at University of Birmingham Hockey & Squash Centre for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth GamesCategoriesAnnouncement

New government report credits Commonwealth Games 2022

New government report credits Commonwealth Games 2022

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) shared its report documenting the impact of the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham.

The report shows that the Games contributed nearly £1.2 billion to the UK economy. Nearly half of that came in the West Midlands alone and created 22,380 full time equivalent years of employment.

 

Held between 28 July and 8 August 2022, Birmingham brought together 6,600 athletes and team officials from across 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.

 

The Games broke the record for ticket sales at a Commonwealth Games, with a global TV audience of 834.9m, over 215m digital views and 141m social media engagements.

 

It was the biggest multi-sport event in England since London 2012 and delivered the largest-ever fully integrated programme of para sport.

 

It was the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men and Team England rose to the occasion and delivered their best-ever performance at the Games, winning 176 medals, 57 gold, 66 silver and 53 bronze to finish second in the medal table.

 

Launching the report last week at SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit, hosted at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, the UK Sports Minister, Stuart Andrew said:

 

“With over 1.5 million tickets sold, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was a record-breaking event that is still having a positive impact on the region two years on.

 

“This report shows that hosting major sporting events in this country boosts growth, creates jobs and has a lasting social impact for communities and some of the world’s best athletes will once again descend on Birmingham for the European Athletics Championships in 2026.”

The full report can be accessed here.

 

Oliver (Ollie) Morgan cheering with arms up in the air in the pool.CategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Swim scholar Ollie Morgan World’s third fastest in Olympic qualification

Swim scholar Ollie Morgan World’s third fastest in Olympic qualification

PATHWAY TO PARIS – Third year EDCAP scholar Ollie Morgan stunned crowds at the recent British Swimming Championships with a record-breaking swim, securing him a place in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Ollie’s swimming journey has been one to watch, initially joining the University of Birmingham Swimming Club alongside studying Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences. In his second year, Ollie was recognised for his outstanding performance in the pool and awarded an EDCAP (Elite Dual Career Athlete Pathway) scholarship.

 

This week, Ollie became the third fastest 100m Backstroke in the world with a time of 52.70 breaking Liam Tancock’s long-standing British record. His attention will now turn to the 200m event taking place this Sunday. 

Scholar Ollie Morgan performing the backstroke, arm out of the water wearing a red hat.

Through the scholarship programme delivered by the Performance Centre, Ollie has received tailored support and access to specialist resources to help progress his swimming career to the next level.

 

It’s been an incredibly successful year for the swim scholar, with a number of club, University and BUCS records broken.

In April 2023, Ollie became a triple British Champion winning the 50m, 100m, and 200m Backstroke at the British Championships. From this, he then gained his first ever selection to represent Great Britain at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, securing a ninth place ranking.

 

At just 20 years old it has been incredible to see Ollie progress from strength to strength, with much owed to Swimming head coach Gary Humpage and his team within the UoB Swimming team. 

Close up shot of Ollie Morgan wearing red swim cap and goggles on head
Ollie Morgan and Gary Humpage
Image: Instagram, @ollie.morgannn

Speaking on Ollie’s Paris qualification, Gary said: “We are on an incredible journey that started back in October 2021 when Ollie joined us at UOB, I could see he had an incredible talent and had many technical traits of a top class international swimmer.

 

“Ollie becoming triple British champion last year was an incredible achievement that has only ever been achieved once before. From that point, the Olympics was an achievable goal, and since then we have worked everyday on the details that would take us there and formulated a strategy and race plan for the trials to make the Olympic team.

 

“We had an idea of what it would take to win at the trials and worked on the race segments that would lead us to that time in training every session.

To see Ollie race at the Olympic trials was incredible experience and one that I will never forget. We have an incredible team culture within UoB Swimming, the positivity of our team members has really helped in training and competition to achieve incredible results along with the superb support from our MDT team.

 

“I’d like to thank everyone involved. I am absolutely thrilled for Ollie to achieve what he has worked so hard for.”

Gold Medallists Team England celebrate during the Women's Hockey Medal Ceremony on day ten of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at University of Birmingham Hockey & Squash CentreCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Introducing ‘Pathway to Paris’ series

Introducing ‘Pathway to Paris’ series

With all eyes turning towards this year’s summer Olympics taking place in Paris, we’re taking you with us as we showcase the role that students, coaches, alumni and the University will play this 2024.

From athlete hopefuls to media commentary, Birmingham students past and present will be hopeful of helping shape a new sporting legacy following the success of the Commonwealth Games, hosted in Birmingham back in 2022.

 

That’s why we’re bringing readers a new blog series PATHWAY TO PARIS as we highlight the journey that our talented sportspeople at the University are about to embark on. 

A general view of the Squash court as Saurav Ghosal of Team India and Paul Coll of Team New Zealand compete in the Men's Singles Squash at University of Birmingham Hockey & Squash Centre for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

The 2024 Olympics in Paris mark a historic return to the city that last hosted the Games in 1924.  Coinciding with the centenary of the last Paris Games, the city is undergoing extensive preparations, revitalizing infrastructure and creating state-of-the-art venues to welcome athletes and spectators from around the globe.

 

Kicking off on Friday 26 July, this year’s Games will close on Sunday 11 August. Over the next few months, some of our EDCAP and Sport scholars will be taking part in competitions and qualifiers, alongside our world-class sports coaches taking international roles.

 

Watch this space for all the latest selection news. 

With sport very much on the agenda, we caught up with University of Birmingham’s Director of Sport, Andy Allford, to preview an exciting few months building up to the Games.

 

Q: Andy, you’ve experienced an Olympics before first-hand, what is it like to be a part of?

 

A: I’ve been lucky enough to go to two Olympic Games, Beijing as a support staff member and London as an Olympic Team Leader. I was very proud to be part of TeamGB, and it can also be a strange experience as the Olympic Village is effectively a bubble! You have all of these amazing sportspeople all in one place. Your job as an Olympic Team Leader is to ensure the noise around the games doesn’t affect the athlete. 

Q: How have your experiences shaped your career?

 

A: There was much to learn being in the High Performance system, but when sport becomes emotive, it definitely has helped me keep a cool head when the stakes are high at a Games time. The approach to Wellbeing was also useful as the basics (sleep, nutrition, etc) all aid performance at every level. 

Q: Students, staff and alumni will all be involved in Paris, what role is Birmingham playing on the international sport stage? And what are you most excited about?

 

Birmingham has a rich history in sport, being the first UK institution to introduce a sports-based degree option for students back in the 1940s. Since then, we have been at the forefront of perfomance and research, culminating in the Commonwealth Games two years ago – where athletes, coaches and University staff all experienced the work that goes into hosting a global, multi-sport event.

 

TeamGB Pursuit Cyclist Paul Manning, now involved in the backroom staff is one of our most prolific Olympians alongside numerous graduate hockey players to name a few. We’re also a world-class facility, hosting the legendary Team Jamaica two weeks prior to the 2012 London Olympics, before they went on to win 12 medals! 

 

I am most excited about seeing how our students and alumni all get on in Paris. To be involved is an achievement in itself, and everyone at UoB Sport will be cheering them on all the way! 

Wide shot of outdoor pitches at night (water based, tennis/netball and Bournbrook 3G)