Tennis club students group photoCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Students channel their Wimbledon spirit with event volunteering

Students channel their Wimbledon spirit with event volunteering 

A number of our students have been working and volunteering to support a range of major tennis events across the British grass court season.

Head of Tennis at the University, Jack, has spent time training students and seeking out opportunities for tennis enthusiasts to get more involved in the action with on the ground support in Birmingham and beyond.

Two tennis students standing in front of spectator seats
Tennis Activator

A student volunteer states:


‘Thank you for organising the volunteering at the tennis last week, I had a great time working with the other assistants and I had a good chance to develop my coaching and also learn how a large tournament is run.’

Highlights include:


  • 12 activation zone Volunteers at the Rothesay classic in Birmingham


  • 30 ground staff at the Rothesay classic


  • Queens club


  • Wimbledon catering and grounds staff


Student stood infront of spectator seats in stadium

Congratulations to the tournament winners Yulia Putintseva (Rothesay classic) and Tommy Paul (Cinch Championships). Many of the club will be following the Wimbledon action across the next week!

Will Barnicoat close up with text 'BUCS Awards 2024'CategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Active Residences and Men’s XC Shortlisted for BUCS Awards

Active Residences and Men’s XC shortlisted for BUCS Awards

This year we have been nominated for two BUCS Awards. Our Active Residences programme and Men’s Cross Country Club have both been recognised for their outstanding achievements across 2023-24.

Active Residences 

Shortlisted for: Active Wellbeing Programme Award


Delivered in partnership with Accommodation, Active Residences is a free, year-round sport and exercise programme accessible to students living in UoB Halls.


Now in its second year of delivery, Active Residences was devised to address gaps in how sport engaged with the University community, focusing on increasing engagement amongst international students and ethnic minorities.

Last year, the programme was shortlisted for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Award.

Active Res Yoga session
Active res student holding tennis racket on court

From safe spaces to run during dark evenings, to calming yoga classes, indoor and outdoor sport and other social events, the programme offers a diverse timetable of activities for students to get involved in. 


The Active Residences programme has been invaluable to many students looking to get involved in sport, either for the first time, or for those looking for ways to stay fit whilst making friends alongside their studies. Students have said: 

Active residences rounders group photo

‘Over Christmas, I was being downward both because of the weather and most of my friends were not there. I found out about Active Residences and my first session was cardio which I really enjoyed. Thank you for being so supportive, kind and friendly during these sessions.’  


‘I’m super grateful for this Active Res programme, it relieves my university stress and has single handedly improved my uni experience.’ 

 Coordinated and facilitated by students and staff, Head of Sport Development, Chris Anthony, reflects on what it means to be shortlisted for a BUCS Award this year: 


 ‘Active Residences has been a wonderfully collaborative programme to be a part of and it’s fantastic that all those that have made such a difference to the active wellbeing of students in our halls have been recognised for their hard work.’ 

Group photo of Men's XC medallists

Men’s Cross Country 

Shortlisted for BUCS Team of the Year Award 


Last month, our Men’s Cross Country Club won the National Team of the Year at our Sports Awards event. It’s great to see the club’s success and culture acknowledged at a national level in the BUCS Awards 2024. 


Headed by Dean Miller, the combined Athletics and Cross Country endurance club has expanded to a record 150 members and an additional 50+ alumni and associates who maintain strong connections with the University.  

It has been an incredible 12 months for the club, let’s recap some of the highlight achievements: 


 A record four athletes competed in the World University Cross Country Championships in Oman in February 2024, all of whom brought home team silverware. Dean was the GB Team Leader for this trip – which is once again the first time a UoB coach has held such a role.


The Men’s team this year completed their first ever clean sheet on the podium with Will Barnicoat taking GOLD, Tomer Tarragano Silver and Ollie Smart Bronze achieving Team GOLD in the BUCS Cross Country Long race. 


The Cross Country Short Team did not disappoint either with Elliot Morgan winning Silver, Sam Burkitt securing Bronze with overall Team Gold. Nine current students have also been selected to compete for GB at European level. 

Men's race ft Tyler Bilyard
Men's XC champs action photo

Dean describes the culture of the Men’s Cross Country Club: 


‘We are immensely proud of the depth and breadth of performance across the year.  The highlight being a record breaking and dominant BUCS Cross-Country victory, the energy and culture of the 80 strong group, led by Captain Michael Stevens has been paramount to these achievements..’

About the Coach 


Dean has taken the Athletics and Cross Country Club from strength to strength, winning Coach of the Year at the Sports Awards. In ParaAthletics, Dean led in school outreach and development of a para programme at the University alongside the Birmingham Athletics Academy which caters for 8-16 year old beginners in the sport.  

Dean holding Coach of the Year award
Hannah Pearce playing hockeyCategoriesAnnouncement

GB Sevens and South Africa Hockey selections for Olympics

GB Sevens and South Africa Hockey selections for Olympics

PATHWAY TO PARIS – Current University of Birmingham EDCAP scholar Hannah Pearce and alumna Heather Cowell have both been selected by their countries to represent their sport at the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024.

Hannah will represent South Africa following selection for the Women’s Team in what will be her debut Olympics, having competed in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham back in 2022.

Credit @hannah_pearce02

Her selection holds even more weight as she battled to recover from a recent ACL injury that hampered not just her selection, but her playing career.


Part of the University’s Elite Dual Career Athlete Pathway, Hannah is studying for a MA Inclusion (Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties).


As well as on EDCAP scholarship, Hannah joined UoB on a Commonwealth Games Scholarship which supported her financially towards her tuition fees.


CWG scholarship was aimed at elite athletes from Commonwealth countries alongside the Games legacy of Birmingham 2022.


Following her injury, she received intensive interdisciplinary support to accelerate her rehabilitation and get her back to playing with the national squad, being based back in SA primarily since new year.


Part of EDCAP combines a holistic approach to supporting dual career student-athletes. Not only through S&C/physio supporting rehab, but input from nutritionists, psychologists, physiologist and performance lifestyle advisor.

Alumna Heather Cowell has been named in the GB Women’s Rugby Sevens Squad. Heather joined Birmingham as part of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and was also a gymnast before committing to rugby.

Cowell actually performed gymnastics at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, competing at an international level until the age of 20.

Her rugby career has seen her play for Worcester Warriors and Harlequins, but it is on the international stage where she has continued to perform.

Selection for the 2022 Commonwealth Games was followed up with taking part in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in South Africa, before a successful 2023 European Games confirmed GB’s qualification for Paris.

Heather Cowell scoring try
Credit @hevcowell
Team GB Hockey Olympics Paris 2024CategoriesAnnouncement

Birmingham Hockey Alumni make up third of Olympic Squad

Birmingham Hockey Alumni make up third of Olympic Women’s Squad

PATHWAY TO PARIS – Five Birmingham alumni have been selected to represent Team GB Hockey at this year’s upcoming Olympic Games 2024.

Amy Costello, Hannah French, Lily Owsley, Flora Peel, Anna Toman have been included in the 16-strong squad which was announced ahead of this week’s Team GB ‘Kitting Out’ media sessions at Birmingham NEC.


Current third year University of Birmingham scholar Lily Walker will be on stand-by for the Women’s reserve list which would take the total of Birmingham representation to six.


Lily Owsley on the hockey field

Birmingham’s most decorated current hockey international Lily Owsley has been selected for her third Olympic Games having previously enjoyed medal success in both Rio and Tokyo.


The women’s squad features a wealth of Olympic experience with four athletes from the Rio 2016 squad being selected for Paris.


Men’s alumnus Nick Banderak misses out on selection for the Men’s team, with over a third of the squad making their Olympic debut.

Women’s Head Coach David Ralph said: “A huge congratulations to the players that have been selected to represent Team GB at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Whether this is your fourth Games or your first, being selected for an Olympics is an incredibly special moment which I know means a lot to all of our players.


“The GB women’s squad has a long history at the Olympic Games, and we now have the opportunity to create our own history. This is our moment and our chance to create memories for life.


“To the whole squad, I want to recognise their hard work and dedication that they’ve shown for the whole cycle. They have all played and will continue to play a really important role in terms of making sure the selected squad go into the Games in the best position possible.”

The Paris 2024 Olympic Hockey squad:


· Giselle Ansley – Kingsbridge


· Fiona Crackles – Kirkby Lonsdale


· Sophie Hamilton – Banbury

· Tess Howard – Cambridge

· Sarah Jones – Cardiff


· Hollie Pearne-Webb – Captain – Belper


· Izzy Petter – Loughborough

· Miriam Pritchard (GK) – Oxford

· Sarah Robertson – second Games – Melrose

· Laura Roper – fourth Games – Sutton Coldfield


· Charlotte Watson – first Games – Dundee

Reserves for the women’s team:

· Grace Balsdon – Canterbury

· Jess Buchanan (GK) – Glasgow




· James Albery –Hertford

· David Ames – Captain – Cookstown

· Will Calnan – first Games – Chobham

· Jacob Draper Grifiths Town – Pontypool

· Gareth Furlong –Cambridge

· David Goodfield –Telford

· Lee Morton – Glasgow

· Nick Park – Reading

· Ollie Payne (GK) –Torquay

· Phil Roper – Chester

· Liam Sanford – Wegberg Germany

· Rupert Shipperley – Cwmbran

· Zach Wallace – Caterham

· Jack Waller – Kingston

· Sam Ward – Leicester

· Conor Williamson – Esher

Reserves for the men’s team:

· James Mazarelo (GK) – Bowden

· Tim Nurse – first Games – Bournemouth

· Tom Sorsby – second Games – Sheffield


Mark Pearce SteeplechaseCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Birmingham Talent Hub scholars on radar for Paris

Birmingham Talent Hub scholars on radar for Paris

PATHWAY TO PARIS – With the UK Athletics Outdoor Championships 2024 taking place in Manchester from 29 – 30 June, current student Oliver Dustin and alumni Issy Boffey, Mark Pearce and Sarah McDonald train hard to qualify and gain selection for Team GB at the Paris Olympics 2024. 

Oliver Dustin


Current Healthcare Technologies master’s student, Oliver, is an 800m runner originally from Workington. Running from the age of nine, he took every opportunity to get on the track through clubs, school and the University.


Back in 2021, Oliver temporarily held the fastest worldwide time in the Men’s 800m. He had a taste of Olympic level competition in Tokyo, but unfortunately didn’t secure a spot in the final race due to his performance at the heats.


After facing several challenges on his journey, including illnesses and injuries post Toyko Olympics, Oliver has remained positive and worked incredibly hard to get himself back on the track and performing optimally.

Ollie Dustin running
Issy Boffey holding medal to camera

Issy Boffey


University alumna, Issy, is an 800m runner who graduated in 2022 with a degree in Biomedical Sciences.


Beginning her running journey at the young age of eight, Issy has numerous medals under her belt, securing gold in the U18, U20 and U20 European Athletics. She then progressed to senior level representation, securing first place at the 1,000m at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.


2023 was a strong year for the athlete, achieving personal bests in the 800m indoors and outdoors, along with a winning national title at the British Indoor Championships.


Coached by Luke Gunn, Head of Performance at the University, Issy has become good friends with Luke and wife Hannah England outside of athletics!

Mark Pearce


Originally from Hertfordshire, Mark is a 3,000m steeplechase athlete who graduated in 2018 with a degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Mark was part of the BUCS Cross Country team at the University, and in his final year decided to try out steeplechase, as one of the few distanced running events he’d not yet done. That same year, he won first place in the England U23 championships.


Fast forward to 2021, he became the 3,000m steeplechase British champion. More recently in May 2024, Mark achieved his personal best in Brussels, to then be selected for Team GB at the European Athletics Championships this month in Rome.

Mark Pearce close up
Sarah McDonald on track

Sarah McDonald


Sarah is a middle-distance runner from Newcastle, specialising in the 1,500m. Graduating from the University with a degree in Medicine back in 2018, she is returning this year to embark on her journey into Dentistry


Over the last few years, Sarah has accumulated several GB titles. In 2017, she became a finalist in the European Cross Country championships, running the fastest leg of the day. Moving into 2018, Sarah competed in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, placing eight in the 1,500m.


In 2019 she became a semi-finalist in the Doha World Championships, topped by a gold finish at the European Cross Country mixed relay.

Our Paris hopefuls demonstrate impressive sporting journeys, and we now look to the end of June where we hope to see the Paris Olympics become the next part of their exciting paths.

Make sure to keep up to date with our #PathwayToParis journey via our blogs and Instagram channel.

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



Gaelic Football




ED&I Award

Hugo Murray


Women’s Basketball


Full Blues



Half Blues



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


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



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



Fenton Bishop-Timings, Javelin

Jake Matthews, Shot Put

Tomer Tarragano, 5000m

Amelia Briggs-Goode, 400 Hurdles

Women’s 4x100m

Women’s 4x400m



Charlotte Alexander, 10k

James Pratt, Javelin

Izzy Skelton, 400m

Lily Holt, High Jump

Martha Collings, Steeplechase

Elsa Palmer, 1500m

Men’s 4x400m



Sam Clifton, Hammer

Dani Hales, 100m Hurdles

Zoe Hunter, 1500m



Elisha Tait, 10k

Elisha Tait, 5000m

Rachel Wall, Javelin

Zion Ateba, High Jump



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



Emelina Darvell, Discus

Toby Cherry, High Jump

Ben Gardiner, 800m

Lottie Dewar, 800m



Finlay Ward, 10k

Rosie Hamilton-James, 10k

Isaac Hirschman-Chandler, 5000m

Craig Moncur, Long Jump

Archie Parkinson, 800m