CategoriesEvents Student News

Your Sports Awards 2024 Wrapped

Your Sports Awards 2024 Wrapped

Students, staff and coaches across UoB Sport enjoyed an evening of celebrations and recognition at the Sports Awards 2024!


Introduced by Andy Allford, Director of Sport, we saw the event was hosted by Helen Coy, Participation Development Manager, and Amy Preston, Club Development Manager.


With 13 award categories this year, the evening was full of celebrations across our sportspersons, clubs, and coaches.


Read on for a breakdown of our winners!



Sport Colours are non-performance-based and awarded to individuals based on a member’s contribution beyond their established role, going over and above for their club or for sport across the University. 


Presented by Gary Bilham.


Well done to:

Josh Woods (Athletics), Jack Kadansky (Boxing), Asia Abadie (Fencing), William Clark (Handball), Duncan Gladwin (Hockey), Lucy Dawson (Hockey), Paddy Walton (Hockey) and Sophie Flint (Hockey), Joe Quelch (Men’s Rugby Union), Abi Turner (Netball), Halee Robinson (Netball), Holly Gaiger (Netball) and Maisie Stearns (Netball), Daniel Rhymer (Snooker & Pool) and Jonathan Mulvey (Snooker & Pool), Caitlyn Byrne (Women’s Basketball), Sophie Jarrett (Women’s Rugby Union) and Susannah Chitnis(Women’s Rugby Union).

We then moved on announce our individual and team awards….


This Award recognises individuals who have committed themselves to a cause, activity, or event for the greater good of their club, University, or wider community. 


Presented by Jon Elsmore, Director of Student Affairs.


The winner of this award is Jethro McGraw! A dedicated alumnus, Jethro has voluntarily coached two individual athletes to silverware-earning Great Britain debuts – Tyler Bilyard and Zoe Hunter – in addition to seeing those two athletes win individual medals for UoB at BUCS indoor athletics championships and team medals at BUCS Cross Country Championships.



The Campus League Team of the Year award aims to recognise and celebrate the teams that best embody the Campus League ethos of participation, good sportsmanship and enjoyment of the game.


Presented by Sophie Mallinson, Participation Development Officer.


MFL Society Netball were crowned the winners!  This year saw the club achieving its first win, after several years of straight losses in Campus League.



The Regional Team of the Year award aims to celebrate the achievements of some of our stand-out University teams that compete on a regional level within BUCS.


Presented by Matt Bridge, Deputy Head of the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.


Congratulations to Squash Men’s 3s, who completed the double this season, winning the BUCS Squash Tier 2 League and crowned BUCS Midlands Conference Cup Final Winners.



This award is based on the overall success of a club across a number of areas. This can include – but is not limited to – committee and/or performance achievements, developments and innovation within the club, member engagement and connection with the wider sporting community both in- and external to the university.


Presented by Luke Gunn, Head of Performance.


Birmingham Squash excelled as the country’s top team for overall BUCS Squash Points 23-24 – an improvement from last year’s 2nd place – and both Men’s 1s and Women’s 1s were crowned BUCS National Champions. Women’s 2, Men’s 2 and Men’s 3 – each won their league with Men’s 4 runners-up (behind Men’s 3). Off the court, the club secured two sponsorship deals worth £2000 – the biggest ever sponsorship deals which has seen the development of a new social squash programme, offering 3 committee-led sessions per week, Pay-as-you-go social squash memberships and the continuation of three teams in Warwickshire League, providing opportunity for our lower team players to have more regular competitive match play. 


This year we will see a number of our most successful, highest profile and longest serving scholars graduate.


Amelia Quirk

Amelia has consistently excelled on both the international and national stage during her time studying Biomedical Materials Science followed by postgraduate research within the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. Highlights include a 5th place finish at the 2021 European Indoor Championships, along with several stand-out performances as part of the Great Britain Cross-Country team at European and World Championships. Amelia has also been an integral part of the club’s endurance squad winning multiple individual and teams medals, including the BUCS Cross Country title this year. 


Lily Walker

In 2022, at the end of her second year of study, Lily officially moved from Great Britain Hockey’s Elite Development Programme into the senior full-time setup, before gaining selection for her first World Cup held in Spain and the Netherlands. Her meteoric rise continued that summer when, as the youngest member of the squad, Lily won Commonwealth Gold for England in front of Old Joe on the Bournbook pitches. Lily was crowned University of Birmingham Sports Person of the Year in 2023. With over 50 combined caps for GB and England, Lily now has her sights set on selection for the 2024 Paris Olympics as she graduates from Social Policy.


Lachlan Moorhead

Following a stellar junior career, Lachlan has since become an established senior international athlete as part of British Judo’s World Class Programme. Career highlights, alongside his Business Management studies, include Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Gold and 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Bronze. The GB number one has competed at numerous European and World Senior Championships and recently missed out on Paris 2024 qualification by the narrowest of margins.


Yasmin Javadian

Yasmin graduates from Dental Surgery with the 2022 Commonwealth Games Bronze medal capping off five fantastic years at Birmingham. During this period, she has exemplified the definition of a dual career student-athlete, balancing international judo alongside Dentistry. Yasmin’s long list of achievements include two European Junior Championship medals, British Junior and Senior titles, BUCS Gold, alongside the Bradnock Prize in Behavioural Science as part of her degree.

Thank you to each of you for all that you’ve done for the University, Sport, the Elite Dual Career Athlete Pathway scholarship programme and your Clubs during your time with us. We wish you all the very best for your future endeavours. 



Half blues are awarded to those who have achieved either a BUCS individual medal or a BUCS Team Championship gold medal during the 2023-24 academic year.


Presented by Adam Witt, BUCS Administrator.


We saw nearly 40 students awarded their half blues across Archery, Athletics, Fencing, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Netball, Powerlifting, Rowing, Snooker & Pool, Squash, Trampolining, Waterpolo, Weightlifting and Rugby Union Women’s



Full Blues are awarded to those individuals that have competed internationally at a senior championships.


This category was presented by Olympian and UoB Sport Hall of Fame Inductee, Hannah England.


Well done to our award winners:


From Lacrosse, Lottie Davies and Jessica Westwood….


and from Squash Elliott Morris Devred, Moustafa El Sirty and Nika Urh



This award aims to recognise current students who are regarded as having made the most outstanding contribution to club sport through their role as a coach, working closely with their club committee to direct the development of the club and support members’ personal and performance development.


Presented by Cat Hardiman, Sports Officer


Congratulations to Alex Barker (Women’s Football) for winning this award. Alex’s guidance this year has contributed greatly to the progression and success of the 3s team going the season unbeaten and winning their league.

Working with players on and off the pitch, Alex has supported the entirety of the club by stepping up and supporting the 1s and 2s on matchdays.



The Coach of the Year award is for an individual who is regarded as having made the most outstanding contribution to club sport through their role as a coach.


Presented by Colette Thompson MBE, UoB Sport Hall of Fame Inductee


This year Dean Miller (Athletics) takes the crown. He has grown the Endurance team into a record 150 club members, plus another 50+ alumni and associates that train with us locally.


The University also had a record 4 participants at the World University Cross Country Championships in Oman this February all of whom came home with team medals. Dean was the GB Team Leader for this trip – which is once again the first time a UoB coach has held such a role. In ParaAthletics, Dean led in school outreach and development of a para programme at the University alongside the Birmingham Athletics Academy which caters for 8-16year old beginners in the sport. Dean will be on the GB team staff for the Paralympics this Summer in Paris.



The Outstanding Contribution award celebrates outstanding contribution made by an individual towards the continued improvement of UoB Sport & Fitness and the instances in which they have gone beyond expectations.


Presented by Simon Bray, Director of Campus Services.


Tara Hayes-Pankhurst (Active Residences) was announced as the winner. Tara has been working as part of the active residence’s activators team for 18 months. She has then supported the participation team in running Social Tennis, Social Badminton, and the delivery of kid’s camps. Her efforts have made a positive difference to students living in halls, Sport & Fitness members, students accessing the social sport sessions and wider members of the community.


The National Team of the Year award aims to recognise and highlight the stand-out successes of a select number of our University teams that compete on a national level within BUCS.


Presented by Victor Ubogu, Hall of Fame inductee.


Well done to Cross Country Men’s, who were selected for a number of incredible achievements:


This year, the club have had their most successful year as a team, contributing to the most ever medals by any university at BUCS competitions and in a 150 strong competition. 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.


This is the highest individual accolade awarded by the University of Birmingham, in recognition and celebration of the very highest sporting level. 


Presented by Deborah Longworth, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education.


The nominees for this prestigious award were:


Para-Sport champion Didi Okoh, who is the all-time BUCS points scorer for UoB Athletics, with realistic aims of competing at the upcoming 2024 Paralympic Games.


England U21 Hockey captain and UoB Hockey captain Evie Wood, who is currently training with the senior Team GB squad following in the footsteps of the university’s strong hockey alumni.


GB Senior Swimmer and triple British Champion, Ollie Morgan who’s two gold medals at the Aquatics CG Championships secured his qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games.


GB Senior Athlete and U20 and U23 European Cross Country Champion, Will Barnicoat, who made his senior debut at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.


Congratulations to Ollie Morgan who secured this years title of Sportsperson of the Year!

Thank you to everybody who attended our evening of celebrations and made it so special! The Sports Awards always serve as an excellent reminder of just how much incredible sport and achievements take place across the year- and raise the bar for next year!

Event photo credits: Mark Assinder

Trio walking alongside the outdoor courtsCategoriesEvents

Walk your way into May | National Walking Month

Walk your way into May | National Walking Month

May marks National Walking Month, centred around promoting the benefits of walking on your physical and mental wellbeing.

What are the physical benefits of walking?


From a physical health perspective, walking is a fantastic form of exercise that can increase cardiovascular fitness. When done regularly, it strengthens bones, boosts endurance and improves your heart health. Whether you prefer a slow stroll with a friend in the park, or a faster paced walk whilst listening to your favourite hype songs – all forms of walking are beneficial.

Sport & Fitness centre

How can walking improve mental wellbeing?


Walks can help increase mental alertness and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. They are a great way to clear your head, re-align your focus and self-reflect. Fancy some company? Taking a stroll with friends, family and loved ones provides the perfect opportunity to have a conversation and share thoughts at the same time as keeping active – it’s a win win!

Walking opportunities at the University


Active club


As part of our Active Club Programme, we host Walking Sport sessions which are exactly as the name suggests – playing your favourite sports, but at a slower pace by walking. These sessions are open to all, and offer a gentler form of exercise tailored to all fitness levels. With Table Tennis, Basketball, Football and Netball taking place every week, get involved and meet likeminded people.

Outdoor courts with blossom tree
Outdoor courts with blossom tree

Explore the campus


With a beautiful campus to explore right at your fingertips (or toe-tips in this case), take a scenic walk around our facilities and the wider campus. We may be biased, but the path alongside our outdoor sports courts offers a fantastic view of both sports action and the blooming blossom trees.


The Campus Mile is a guided route around campus, that takes 30 minutes on average to complete at a leisurely pace – we recommend you check the weather forecast beforehand!

Behind view of girl on cross-trainer

Discover our gym facilities


Should the sunny spring weather not hold up, there’s always the option to get your steps in indoors!


With our recent Technogym refurbishment, we have a range of recently installed, world-class cardiovascular equipment for you to track your steps, speed, endurance and more!

Man and woman taking part in Hatha Yoga class with hands reaching up to ceilingCategoriesEvents

Prioritising Mental Health and Wellbeing with The BRIT Challenge 2024

Prioritising Mental Health and Wellbeing with the BRIT Challenge 2024

From Saturday 24 February – Sunday 24 March, Sport & Fitness participated in the BRIT Challenge 2024.

The BRIT (British Inspiration Trust) is a charity focusing on supporting and improving mental health, fitness, and wellbeing. We hosted a number of fitness-focused activities for students, staff and members to get involved in, with some challenges shaped around the number ‘24’, this year’s BRIT Challenge theme.



For those looking to channel their inner zen, we hosted a mix of free self-guided and instructor-led mediation sessions, both in person and online, allowing people to join in from the comfort of their own space!  Meditation is an easy and accessible way to bring a feeling of calm, control and focus to busy life schedules that can often feel overwhelming.

Group in a spin class in cycle studio
Hatha yoga session - participants holding leg up whilst other hand points towards the ceiling


To make our regular class timetable even more accessible, we reduced costs to £2.40 per session, encouraging members and non-members to engage in physical activity in a fun, social and supportive environment. From intense cardio spin classes and body-attack to gentle Hatha and Kundalini Yoga, there was something for everyone to get involved in.

Badminton social sport

Social Sport


During the month we also offered free taster sessions for our popular social sport and sessions, encouraging people to engage in sports they may not have tried before. Sports included basketball, tennis and netball. Participating in sports, regardless of ability level, can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety whilst connecting with others.

Cardio Tennis


Over on our outdoor courts we promoted our, fast-paced Cardio Tennis sessions, designed to combine hand-eye coordination, physical activity and most importantly – fun! To tie into the BRIT theme, we set a 24-shot rally challenge, keeping our participants on their toes.

Tennis coordinator throwing tennis balls at participants
Active Residences free sport programme showcasing new wheelchair basketball sessions

Active Residences


Students who live in University or partner-owned accommodation can benefit from our free student sport and social activities timetable through the Active Residences programme. Alongside the regular timetabled activities including wheelchair basketball, games nights and just run sessions, the team hosted two aesthetic walks around Winterbourne Botanic Garden. Studies prove that walking in nature reduces stress, lifts mood, and promotes overall wellbeing. 

A member in Sport & Fitness gym getting support from a member of the gym team.

240-Hour Fitness Challenge


To ramp up our BRIT Challenge efforts further, from Thursday 14 March, we set a challenge for our members to achieve a combined total of 240-hours’ worth of cardio activity across our treadmills, cross-trainers, rowing machines and spin bikes in just ten days. Our members didn’t disappoint, hitting the target in just three days, and finishing with an incredible 296 hours logged by the end of the challenge period, far exceeding our initial target!

Brit challenge CEO Phil Packer, pictured in front of Sport & Fitness Reception

BRIT CEO visits Sport & Fitness


Midway through the challenge we had a visit from BRIT Challenge Non-Paid CEO, Phil Packer. It was a pleasure to welcome Phil to our Sport & Fitness Centre, showing him around our facilities whilst discussing the importance of promoting physical activity as a key tool for improving mental health and wellbeing.

It was fantastic to have so many students, staff and community members engage with our BRIT Challenge activities this year. We look forward to putting on even more activities next year, whilst continuing to promote activities that help boost mental health and wellbeing across communities.

Men's and Women's Squash club winners hold trophy and stand behind Champions signCategoriesEvents Student News

Treble for Squash Champions on BUCS Big Wednesday

Treble for Squash Champions on BUCS Big Wednesday

And just like that, another season comes to a close with the annual BUCS Big Wednesday Finals showcase, held in Loughborough, welcoming six teams from the University of Birmingham.

With Football, Water Polo and Hockey also competing, it was our Squash club who led the way on the day to secure their second successive BUCS National Championship.


An impressive three-straight 5-0 wins for the Men’s 1s, Women’s 1s and Women’s 2s saw Birmingham remain as the nation’s powerhouse for squash across the UK. 

Women's Squash players in the court
Men's Squash players in court

With the Men’s defeating Heriot-Watt and the Women’s 2 seeing off the challenge of Edinburgh, the treble was secured by Birmingham’s Women’s 1s to mark an incredible achievement for the club. 


A special mention must go to our Squash Head Coach Jon Tate for his ongoing dedication, support, and guidance that has helped the club excel this season.

Men's Football on pitch

Elsewhere, the day was kicked off with Men’s 1 Football as they faced Cardiff Metropolitan 2s in the Aldi Men’s National Trophy.


After taking the lead early on, both teams went in at half-time level as Cardiff pulled a goal back. But it was late on where Cardiff scored late on to steal a 2-1 win.

The travelling supporter turned their attention to the swimming pool next as Water Polo Men’s 1s battled it out against Leeds Men’s 1 in the Men’s National Trophy.


A high-scoring affair was edged by Leeds 11-10 for yet another narrow defeat for our Lions. 


Men's Water Polo competing in swimming pool
Women's Hockey competing on the pitch

With a huge crowd cheering on our hockey players, our Women’s 1s faced Nottingham 1s in the ICG Women’s National Championship final.


Nottingham led the first-half and following a closely fought battle secured the win adding a second to win 2-0 on the day.

It’s been an incredible season of BUCS action, with victories celebrated every single week.


Whether we win, draw or lose, our Lions never fail to bring their fighting spirit to every fixture.

Image of Netball girls in a circle with hands in the centreCategoriesEvents Student News

2024 BUCS Conference Cups Finals

2024 BUCS Conference Cups Finals 

The University of Birmingham and Sport & Fitness was proud to host was proud to host the annual 2023-24 Midlands Conference Cup Finals and support all participants during this exciting time.

Conference cup banner draped over Munrow arena spectator seats

On Wednesday 6 March, the campus welcomed University teams from across the Midlands for a full day of finals. We accommodated a total of 34 finals fixtures across 14 different sports, making it a day to remember. 


The action kicked off with lacrosse, hockey, badminton, basketball, and table tennis finals, all held at our Bournbrook pitches and Sport & Fitness facilities. From the first whistle to the last, every final witnessed a display of dedication and determination, as teams left nothing to chance on the pitches, courts, and tables. 


The day saw triumphs for two University of Birmingham teams! Our Squash M3 and Fencing M1 teams beat their opponents in style, clinching the Conference Cup titles, demonstrating sheer skill, strategy, and teamwork.

Fencing in Munrow Arena
Men's Squash standing in courts
Girl playing tennis on courts in NB kit
Rugby Union team in New Balance kit holding ball in the air

A big shout-out to the volunteers and event staff who made the event a success, along with the spectators who generated a fantastic buzz across campus.

Sports hosted at UoB at the 2023-24 BUCS Midlands Conference Cup Finals:

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Squash
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
Oliver Morgan standing in front of a Great Britain sign wearing a swim cap and goggles.CategoriesEvents Student News

Brum success at BUCS National Championships

Brum success at BUCS National Championships

It was a weekend jam-packed with sport as University of Birmingham athletes across Athletics, Badminton, Climbing, Fencing, Karate and Swimming competed in this year’s BUCS National Championships.

Even mascot Rory the Lion returned to action in the annual 200m Danny Porter Foundation sprint, grabbing a silver medal amongst 16 representatives.


Hosted at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport, the BUCS points rained in for Birmingham with medals, results and records falling across the three-day event.

Didi Okoh celebrating her win.

Athletics completed a team 2nd place for the third year in a row with eight medals for Birmingham athletes. 15 of the athletes set personal best records, with the club securing its most top 8 positions across its most diverse events.

Didi Okoh (60m Ambulant), Kimani Jack (High Jump) and Tyler Bilyard (1500m) brough home gold for Brum, with Tom Bridger (3000m) and Cameron Bailey (400m) scooping silver. The Women’s Team 4x200m also finished second in their event.

Darian Moore (60m) and Zoe Hunter (1500m) completed the medal haul with Bronze finishes. Josh Woods (Triple Jump), Emilie Oakden (Pole Vault) and Orla Brennan (400m) just missed out on a medal with fourth places in their respective sports.

A record-breaking Swimming scooped six top four finishes, including four individual and two team events.


The Men’s and Women’s relay teams set club records finishing fourth and sixth in their respective 4 x 100m events. Para swimmer Lucy Jordan Caws won a silver medal with a season’s best in the 100m Butterfly.


EDCAP athlete Ollie Morgan set the pace with two Gold and two BUCS records in the 100m & 200m backstroke events.

Swimming club member in pool

Results from across the rest of our sports clubs across the weekend:

Two fencing participants dressed in fencing attire.



Liam croft secured 3d place in Men’s Sabre.

Karate team group shot - all wearing red and blue University of Birmingham kit


Men’s Inter Kata – BRONZE – Harri Jordan
Women’s Novice Kata – GOLD – Katherine Galvin
Women’s Inter Kata (–70) – BRONZE – Roni Parnes
Men’s Novice Kumite (-70) – GOLD – Rajan Sidhu
Men’s Novice Kumite (+80) – BRONZE – Tom Harrison
Men’s Novice Kumite (-80) – BRONZE – Jack Maher
Women’s Novice Kumite (+63) – GOLD – Neha Nair
Women’s Senior Kumite (-50) – BRONZE – Lyra Cobb
Men’s Team Kumite – BRONZE
Overall Team Results – SILVER


Men’s Individual 4th – Ian Davis
Men’s Team 4th Place
Women’s Team SILVER

Women's climbing team all with BUCS medals around their neck.
University of Birmingham running at the BUCS Cross Country run.CategoriesAnnouncement Events Student News

Record breaking medal haul at BUCS Cross Country

Record-breaking BUCS Cross Country medal haul  

University of Birmingham Athletics made history with the highest-ever medal haul by any institution at this weekend’s BUCS Cross Country Championships.

The record-breaking weekend saw the Athletics Club beat their 2022 record of ten medals thanks to eight individual medals and five team medals at Temple Newsam in Leeds.


To strengthen their dominance, Birmingham won three of the four team titles with three out of four individual wins available.


The team took its largest ever cohort with 150 competitors across the event supported by staff and alumni.


The Cross County Championships host four races across short and long distance for Men’s and Women’s competitors. In each race, there are individual medals and team medals at stake.

Birmingham post-graduate scholar and GB representative Amelia Quirk claimed her first-ever BUCS title in style, winning her race by a massive 36 seconds.

The Men’s Team completed the first-ever podium sweep at the Championships in BUCS history, with third-year sports scholar Will Barnicoat winning his first ever BUCS individual Gold.

His teammates Tomer Tarragano, a third-year Chemistry undergraduate, and Ollie Smart completed the podium with an unprecedented 1-2-3.

With the Long Distance results contributing to the University’s overall BUCS points, the Athletics Club bought home 72 points, bettering last year’s haul by 30 points.

Sports Awards timings on a screen in the Elgar Concert area.
A group of students waiting outside in he sun on a grass area.

Posting on Instagram, Luke Gunn, Head of Performance and Athletics, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of what we produced this weekend!


“This team has a culture where every athlete looks out for their teammates and coaches that continually go above and beyond to make sure each athlete has the best experience.


“This weekend was truly special and one I feel we will be talking about for many years to come!”


See a summary of the results below:


Men’s – Long
Will Barnicoat – GOLD
Tomer Tarragano- SILVER
Ollie Smart – BRONZE
Team – GOLD
+ Tyler Bilyard, Mike Ward & Noah Campion


Women’s – Long
Amelia Quirk – GOLD
+ Elisha Tait, Elsa Palmer & Kate Willis


Men’s – Short
Elliot Moran – SILVER
Sam Burkitt – BRONZE
Team – GOLD
+ Fin Ward & Ethan O’Shea


Women’s – Short
Charlotte Alexander – GOLD
Rosie Hamilton-James – SILVER
Team – GOLD
+ Rose Chesterfield
& Team – BRONZE
+ Freya Stapleton, Zoe Hunter & Hannah Seager


Next up, sports scholars Tomer Tarragano, Tyler Bilyard, Charlotte Alexander and Elsa Palmer will represent Great Britain at the World University Cross Country CHampions in Oman on 17 February, with the BUCS Indoor Championships taking place on 23-25 February in Sheffield.  

Group BJO photo in front of glass courtCategoriesEvents

British Junior Open Returns to Birmingham

British Junior Open Returns to Birmingham

Widely regarded as the second most prestigious junior open squash competition after the U19s World Junior Squash Championships, early January saw Sport & Fitness host the 2024 edition of the British Junior Open.

Spectator view of glass courts in Munrow Arena

Welcoming 600 talented young athletes from around the world in U11, U13, U15 and U17 grades, individuals battled it out across five days of competition from 3-7 January.


There was a huge buzz across the facility as the Munrow Hall was transformed into a world-class squash glass court, alongside the six current squash courts located on the first floor.

Of the women currently on the world stage, four of the top six have won the BJO U19 title, including the world’s top three players, Nouran Gohar, Nour El Sherbini and Hania El Hammamy. In the current men’s rankings, seven of the top ten have won BJO titles. Day one alone saw 482 matches across 22 courts!

BJO competitors holding backpacks
Two males competing in the glass court
Mascot perry fist bumping children

2024 saw Egypt sweep the board on finals’ day at the British Junior Open, with Mohamed Zakaria and Fayrouz Aboelkheir lifting the Under-19 titles at the University of Birmingham.


All ten champions across the five age groups were Egyptian, with six of the deciders being all-Egyptian affairs.

Andy Allford, Director of Sport at the University of Birmingham, said:


It’s been fantastic to work alongside England Squash, Edgbaston Priory and all the partners involved in putting on the prestigious British Junior Open.

“It remains a fantastic fixture for our sporting calendar and congratulations to all this year’s winners, and those who competed, in some cases travelling across the world to our world class facility here at the University.


“Squash continues to be hugely important, as one of the University’s seven performance sports, led by head coach John Tate at the highest level of BUCS competition. From recruiting world-class athletes to study and compete here at Birmingham to success on the pitch, we’re already looking forward to what 2024 brings.’

“The staff at Sport & Fitness also deserve a notable mention, once again going above and beyond to deliver an international event.”


Sport & Fitness has a huge range of squash and racketball opportunities suited to all ages and abilities including: introductory coaching courses, social sessions, recreational and competitive leagues and events.


Members can book each of our six glass back squash courts via the app. 

Image of Netball girls in a circle with hands in the centreCategoriesAnnouncement Events Member News Student News

UoB to Host the 2023-24 BUCS Conference Finals

UoB to Host 2023-24 BUCS Conference Cup Finals

The University of Birmingham is proud and excited to announce that we have been selected by BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) to host the annual 2023-24 Midlands Conference Cup Finals.


Taking place on Wednesday 6 March, the day will see 14 sports hosted across our exceptional facilities, with the addition of Futsal taking place at Birmingham City University.


Having been selected from multiple institutions, we cannot wait to host this prestigious event for the first time, and provide our student-athletes with the opportunity to play a final on home soil!

Group of lacrosse players in a huddle with lacrosse sticks up in the air.

Sports to be hosted at UoB at the 2023-24 BUCS Midlands Conference Cup Finals:

  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Netball
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Squash
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
A group of footballers hugging eachother.

Thanks and congratulations go to the wider UoB Sport team and departments that made this happen; from those that were responsible for creating and submitting the initial application, to those that have supported the idea since it was first mentioned.


We relish any and all opportunities to showcase the amazing work we do here at UoB, and the 2023-24 BUCS Midlands Conference Cup Finals will be no different!


See our full fixture timetable below:


Basketball (M)

Munrow Arena 1, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Basketball (W)

Munrow Arena 1, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Netball (W)

Munrow Arena 1, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Netball (W)

Munrow Arena 1, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Badminton (M)

Munrow Arena 3, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Badminton (W)

Munrow Arena 3, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Volleyball (M)

Munrow Arena 3, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Volleyball (W)

Munrow Arena 3, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Table Tennis (M)

Slater Hall, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Table Tennis (W)

Slater Hall, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Fencing (M)

Slater Hall, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Fencing (W)

Slater Hall, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Squash (M)

Squash Courts, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Squash (W)

Squash Courts, Sport and Fitness, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT


Hockey (M)

Water based synthetics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Hockey (W)

Water based synthetics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Hockey (M)

Water based synthetics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Hockey (W)

Water based synthetics, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Lacrosse (M)

Metchley Grass Pitches, 126 Metchley Ln, Birmingham B17 0JA


Lacrosse (W)

Bournbrook 3G, Bournbrook 3G, Birmingham B15 2GR


Football (M)

Metchley Grass Pitches, 126 Metchley Ln, Birmingham B17 0JA


Football (W)

Bournbrook 3G, Bournbrook 3G, Birmingham B15 2GR


Football (M)

Metchley Grass Pitches, 126 Metchley Ln, Birmingham B17 0JA


Rugby Union (M)

Bournbrook 3G, Bournbrook 3G, Birmingham B15 2GR


Rugby Union (W)

Bournbrook 3G, Bournbrook 3G, Birmingham B15 2GR


Rugby Union (M)

Metchley Grass Pitches, 126 Metchley Ln, Birmingham B17 0JA


Rugby Union (M)

Metchley Grass Pitches, 126 Metchley Ln, Birmingham B17 0JA


Tennis (M)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Tennis (W)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Tennis (M)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Tennis (W)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT


Golf (Mixed)

Edgbaston Golf Club, 25 Church Rd, Birmingham B15 3TB


Futsal (M)

Doug Ellis, BCU


Futsal (W)

Doug Ellis, BCU




Image of Dean Miller on the trackCategoriesEvents

From Student Athlete to Coach: Para Sport with Dean Miller

From Student Athlete to Coach: Para Sport with Dean Miller

Dean Miller is our Endurance Manager and Coach for the Athletics club here at the University. To mark Disability History Month and International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we spoke to Dean about his journey as a former Para-athlete.


Once a  student himself at the University of Birmingham and part of our Athletics club, Dean provides real insight into the opportunities that were made available to him through the University and beyond, and reflects on how the opportunities have changed over the years within the para-sport field.

Image of Dean Miller coaching students in Font Romeu

Credit: Zach Bridgelands

Q: For those less familiar, what is Para Sport?


‘It’s a fantastic spectrum of events, and actually it’s really hard to describe in just a few words – but it’s a huge thing, it’s a movement. It’s a sporting spectacle based around the Paralympics and Paralympic sport, which is born from the Olympic Games. But our sport is based around sport for disabled people at all different levels, ranging from participation level in clubs athletes, fitness and rehab, right the way through to the real elite and world class side of things at the Paralympic Games, who receive sponsorships and make a living from sport. I’m a massive advocate for Para Sport and we’re trying to do more for the University’.

Q: What opportunities were available to you that helped you get involved in para-athletics in the first place?

‘I actually think that my path was probably slightly different in that prior to joining the University of Birmingham as a student, I was already involved in non-para sport. My dad was an athletics coach. I think it was the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004 that I happened to be watching, which would go on to be my classification, the 1500.

I said to my dad, those guys run like me – could I be on that stage? Then we started to explore how I could get into Para sport, and I was fortunate enough that I was a pretty good club athlete and with my Cerebral Palsy and the level of training, I was able to make some GB teams.

Off the back of that, my profile and where I was in the sport allowed me to come to University of Birmingham and be part of the scholarship program.’

Image of young Dean running on a track for GB

Q: What was your experience on the University of Birmingham Sport Scholarship Programme?


‘I was really well supported as a student athlete here; Birmingham has become my home. As I say, I’ve been here since 2007 now and they supported me well as a student athlete with a disability at a world class level.


I graduated in 2011 as an under-grad, but I’ve never left the place. They continued to support me through a graduate sports scholarship from 2011 to the end of my career in 2015, when I retired for injury. I’m now coaching the Universities athletics team here. I think in terms of opportunities the university is given me as someone within para sport, it’s kind of endless.


And from supporting me with the job, supporting my kind of my athletic skills as an athlete along with socially and educationally.’


Q: What is your fondest memory during your time competing?


‘It has to be the home games. I didn’t ever think I’d compete in front of 80,000 people, which I got to do.


The 2012 Paralympics is the biggest Paralympics ever. It’s the first Paralympic Games ever to be sold out. I remember speaking to one of my training partners at the time that summer and he said, I can’t get a ticket for your event. And I said, I’m sure we’ll be able to sort one out. And actually, at that point I think I realised I was going to be competing in front of a packed-out Olympic stadium.


I think I was one of only two Brits on that evening, so it was a pretty surreal moment. I always describe as I felt like I was running in a PlayStation game. It felt crazy and I probably never experienced anything like that again. For me, having that evening in the stadium to run a Paralympic final was really, really special.’

Q: How have the opportunities available to para-athletes improved since you first got involved, and what specifically does the University of Birmingham offer para-athletes, in terms of opportunities to participate, develop and compete?

It’s funny how opportunities available to us athletes have improved since I first got involved and what specifically was being invested in the athletes. I think the Paralympics and the Paralympic movement and power sport is always like a little sister or brother to the Olympic Games, so we always we are always playing catch-up in that sense.


But as I said, I’ve just spoke about the 2012 Games and what the games did for our sport in helping throw para sport into the mainstream channels, like marketing campaigns.

We’ve seen so much more opportunity, the Paralympic Games are growing. More sports are involved now, and there’s more money in the sport so our athletes can genuinely be world class in the classification in our event and go on top careers, which is something that maybe like 20 years ago and just before the London Games was much smaller.


And you’ve got household names. You’ve got you got your Jonnie Peacock, Johanna Cockcroft, they aren’t just world class athletes, but also celebrities and have made careers and are advocates for para sports. So, I think what the games in 2012 did was massive from a university perspective.’

Dean pictured next to student athlete with track in background

Credit: Zach Bridgelands

Athletics Club running on track in Font Romeu

You can find out more about the Athletics club that Dean coaches using the link below.