CategoriesEvents

University of Birmingham Sport Hall of Fame

Sport Hall of Fame

Thursday 14 September saw the University host its inaugural Sport Hall of Fame evening – and what an evening it was!

 

The Sport Hall of Fame evening gave us the opportunity to officially welcome and celebrate the very first cohort of UoB-affiliated individuals that have significantly contributed to the University’s rich sporting heritage, as well as the national and international landscape of sport in front of a room full of esteemed alumni, staff and guests.

The University of Birmingham was founded at a time of dramatic change for sport and society, which the institution embraced with open arms in its early years, and continues to do so today. From developing and launching the first taught sports-based degree in 1946, to becoming home to the most comprehensive University partnership the Commonwealth Games has ever seen in 2022, the University of Birmingham has continued to build and sustain the platform required for individuals to reach greatness in their field.

From global breakthroughs to global medals, the University’s investment in sport has paid dividends in its role in the development of sporting participation, performance and expertise throughout its 123 years. We are incredibly proud that we – and all of the many that have come before us – have continued to invest these aspirations and resources into sport. Whether for the recreation, education and health of its staff, students and the public, or for the development of some of Britain’s sporting pioneers and legacies, the University has consistently recognised the integral role of sport in its work.

While it is often tempting to celebrate solely the achievements of the sportspeople themselves, we were delighted that the evening also acknowledged and honoured those that have supported, influenced, contributed to and ultimately paved the way for these successes. This is something that the Sport Hall of Fame will look to continue doing on an annual basis for years to come.

Game Changers

Ever since it was founded in 1900, the University has had a knack of attracting and producing game-changing individuals that have made a significant contribution to their field, whether that be research, academia, sport or all three.

 

Our Hall of Fame Game Changers have been inducted on the basis of having made a prominent and distinguished impact in sport, contributing insurmountably to its landscape and continued development.

  • Sir Raymond Priestley
  • Albert Davis ‘Dave’ Munrow
  • Bill Slater CBE
  • Barbara Slater OBE
  • Penny Briscoe OBE
  • Mahdi Choudhury

Image of Penny Briscoe OBE

“Receiving this award on behalf of my late-father is very much an honour and very much appreciated” – Tim Slater, on behalf of his late-father Bill Slater (Wolverhampton Wanderers and England footballer, Olympian and former UoB Director of Physical Education)

PERFORMANCE PRACTITIONERS

Behind every great sportsperson is a whole network of support personnel, applying their expertise to achieve those marginal gains and collaborating as a multi-disciplinary team to reach performance goals.

 

Our Hall of Fame Performance Practitioners celebrates those that, during their career as a coach or performance practitioner, have exemplified this by providing bespoke and/or influencing athletes’ performances significantly towards success at the highest levels within their sport.

  • Bud Baldaro
  • Emma Bachelor
  • Colette Thomson MBE
  • Phil Pask

Image of Phil Pask

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Birmingham – it was awesome when I first arrived here in 1978, but walking through it today is like walking onto Mars! It’s fantastic and great to see the University continue to go from strength to strength.” – Phil Pask (former professional rugby player, England National Squad and British & Irish Lions Squad physiotherapist)

SPORTSPEOPLE

Our Hall of Fame Sportspeople category awards those that have evidenced success at the pinnacle of their sport. This may be an Olympic, Paralympic or World Championships’ medal, or a significant period of sustained excellence at the highest level of competition.

The following individuals not only meet these criteria, but many are either still competing and/or are continuing to make their mark in the world of sport in different ways.

  • Ali Jawad
  • Chrissie Wellington OBE
  • Pamela Relph MBE
  • Lily Owsley
  • Victor Ubogu
  • Laura Keates
  • Lora Fachie OBE
  • Hannah England
  • Paul Manning MBE
  • Kat Merchant
  • Adam Pengilly
  • James Rodwell

“It’s a real honour to be recognised by the University; I loved my time here and it was while I was studying here that I first got on a tandem. It means a lot to come back, even though I don’t recognise the campus any more…it’s really exciting to see the improved sporting facilities, they’re great!” – Lora Fachie OBE (Double Paralympic Para-Cycling Champion)

 

“It’s great to be back and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame here for the first time; it’s amazing to be recognised for my sporting career. I feel a little overwhelmed to come back and be amongst some really prestigious company here at the University and I’m really surprised to get this honour with the amount of amazing sportspeople that have come through Birmingham. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved in the sport.” James Rodwell (Olympic Rugby 7s Silver Medallist & former GB Rugby 7s Head Coach)

What an incredible list! We are so proud to be affiliated to such a long and decorated list of individuals, with so many more to celebrate and honour going forward as the Sport Hall of fame becomes an annual event.

“I feel prouder than ever to be the Director of Sport of an institution that has contributed in so many ways to sport. It was a truly inspiring evening!” – Andy Allford (Director of Sport)

We’re looking forward to not only inducting many more game-changing, profile-raising and legacy-building individuals over the coming years, but also displaying all 2023 inductees in pride of place within our fantastic Sport & Fitness facility.

CategoriesEvents

The IBSA World Games: A Round Up

The IBSA World Games: A Round Up

The University of Birmingham was incredibly proud to host the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games during the last two weeks of August, during which we welcomed over 1250 blind and partially-sighted athletes from 70 countries onto campus. The IBSA World Games are an international multi-sport event that occurs every four years and enables blind and partially-sighted athletes to compete in a number of sports.

As well as welcoming Men’s Blind Football, Women’s Blind Football, Judo, Archery and Showdown onto campus – 5 of the 10 sports! – we also hosted a ‘Give it a Go’ Activation Zone, where people were encouraged to try out a variety of sports throughout the second week of competition.

Judo and Men’s Blind Football, which took place in our Munrow Arena and on the Bournbrook 3G pitches respectively, were particularly hotly-contested events, as they formed part of the qualification process for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris.

As the IBSA’s President, Ilgar Rahimov, stated in his speech during the Closing Ceremony, we were fortunate to host and witness “sporting excellence every day”, as participating athletes “excited and inspired the world.”

University of Birmingham Sport thoroughly enjoyed the buzz that The IBSA World Games brought to our facilities and hope that our members and the wider community managed to get involved in some of the action!

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Swim club group photo, wearing new balance kits on red backgroundCategoriesEvents Student News

A Stellar Season For The Swim Club This Summer

A Stellar Season For The Swim Club This Summer

The swimming strokes have been in full force this summer, with students competing in a number of events across the UK and beyond! From the British Swimming Championships and the Island Games, to the World Deaf Swimming Championships and World Aquatic Championships, we are so proud of the Club’s achievements this season.

 

SWIM ENGLAND SUMMER NATIONALS

 

The National Summer Meet is Swim England’s biggest domestic swimming event of the year. Taking place across 2 – 6 August this year, the Summer Meet forms part of a swimming competition structure in Great Britain whereby the top ranked swimmers are invited to compete at the British Swimming Summer Championships.

 

Five students from the Swimming Club competed; Adrian Ting, Ben Newell, San Menzer, Ellie Sibbald and Ella Jenkins. We saw some incredible swims across the five days, with strong performances in both the heats and the finals. 

The squad came away with three club records, two gold medals , one fourth place finish and two top ten finishes. 

A superb way to finish the season that as undoubtedly been the Club’s most successful season ever, with 75 club records set and record high levels of representation and participation at meets of all levels. 

Coach Gary Humpage with arm around swim student Adrian Ting

Coach Gary Humpage (left) and Adrian Ting (right)

WORLD DEAF SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

Earlier this month,Lucy Jordan-Caws headed to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to compete in the sixth World Deaf Swimming Championships. Alongside intensive training, across the summer Lucy spent time fundraising to cover the costs associated with competing. With generous donations from friends, family and organisations including the Rob George Foundation, she successfully met her fundraising target.   

 

Lucy gave it her all against some tough competition, finishing in 6th place in 200m butterfly, 11th in 100m butterfly, 13th in 50m backstroke and 16th in 50m butterfly and setting two personal bests and two season bests in the process. 

 

She will now be focusing her time towards qualifying for the 2025 Deaflympics, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Lucy Jordan-Caws standing infront of World Deaf Swimming Championships board
Lucy Jordan -Caws swimming

OLLIE MORGAN REPRESENTS GREAT BRITAIN IN JAPAN

 

July saw Elite Swimming Scholar, Ollie Morgan, travel to Fukuoka, Japan to represent Great Britain at the World Aquatic Championships.  Ollie has had an incredible season, becoming a x3 British Champion at the British Swimming Championships and becoming the second-fastest British man in history to swim the 50m backstroke earlier this year.

 

Ollie made it all the way to the semi-finals in Japan, securing 9th place in both his 100m backstroke (Olympic A qualifying time) and 200m backstroke (Olympic B qualifying time) – what an incredible result! His next goal is to be selected for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

Close up shot of Ollie Morgan wearing red swim cap and goggles on head
Ollie Morgan pictured swimming mid backstroke, coming up for air

Photo creds: Mines Kasapoglu

The team start back training in September to prepare for BUCS and Swim England Winter Nationals, and long term preparation towards Paris Olympics trials.

Keep up-to-date on the clubs achievements via their  social media.

Georgia standing on the right hand side of large banner promoting Rothesay Classic Tennis eventCategoriesEvents Student News

Love at First Swing: Georgia’s Tennis Journey from Player to Spectator

Love at First Swing: Georgia’s Tennis Journey from Player to Spectator

Recent Business Management graduate, Georgia, really got into playing tennis during her time as a student.

Cloudy day at the priory, with a view of the tennis courts

EMBRACING THE COURT

 

In January, she first decided to try out one of our Cardio Tennis sessions, which involves completing cardio-based circuits whilst hitting tennis balls!

 

After going to a few sessions, Tennis coordinator, Jack, suggested that Georgia should try out the popular Try-a-Sport tennis course, helping her develop her skills week by week. Other than P.E back in school, Georgia hadn’t really engaged in any tennis activity in a while.

Near the end of the term Jack found himself with a spare ticket to the Rothesay Classic Tennis Tournament, taking place at the Priory in Edgbaston – just a short walk from campus! He offered them to Georgia who saw it as a great opportunity to get a glimpse of the action of her new found passion.

spectator view of outdoor tennis court
picture from 'bereal app' with front camera showing georgia smiling for a selfie, and bak camera showing spectator view of the court

FROM THE SIDELINES

 

Georgia went for the afternoon and saw a few matches which she really enjoyed, further inspiring her to keep playing tennis as a graduate.

 

‘I had a great centre court seat and got to see some tough competition, including Katie Boulter, current British Women’s number one.’

Interested in trying out tennis? We have opportunities to play at different ability levels – find the one that works for you!

Fran playing Netball in Vitaly Roses KitCategoriesEvents Student News

Netball World Cup: 5-minutes with Francesca Williams

Netball World Cup: 5-minutes with Francesca Williams

Ahead of England’s first game of the Netball World Cup against Barbados this evening, we sat down with England Goal Defence and UoB Alumni Francesca Williams.

Fran smiling at a fellow Vitaly Roses

Photo creds @bensnapsstuff

Fran has played netball professionally since graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2021 and is part of the recently-crowned Vitality Super League Champions, Loughborough Lightening. During her time at Birmingham, Fran was an invaluable member of the UoB Netball Club Performance Squad and an Elite Sports Scholar.

 

Read on to hear more about how Fran’s time at Birmingham helped to prepare her for life as a full-time, professional netballer, how she managed to balance her Economics degree alongside elite sport, what she enjoyed most about being a student-athlete at UoB and what she’ll be taking into this year’s World Cup from her debut experience in 2019.

 

How do you feel your time at the University of Birmingham helped to prepare you for life as a full-time England Rose?

 

My time at the University of Birmingham, and in particular working with the Performance Centre as part of the scholarship set up there, was huge in terms of the role it played and how it helped me to prepare to become a full-time athlete.

I made the transition from the England pathway onto the Vitality Rose’s full-time programme whilst studying at the university and I think the performance sport support network that the University has set up is something that enabled me to do this so seamlessly – it’s something I’ll always be grateful for. I really feel like the scholarship programme and Performance Centre practitioners helped me understand what it’s like to live and train as a full-time athlete while I was studying, going above and beyond to support me and provide the individualised help that an athlete needs – whether that be on court, in the gym, with your nutrition or managing your dual-career lifestyle.

What did you enjoy most about representing UoB Sport in BUCS?

 

The thing I enjoyed the most about representing the University and being involved in BUCS while I was at Birmingham was the fun that I had with it and the life-long friends I’ve made.

The BUCS Premier League is huge in netball – it’s got athletes from across different super league teams and international programmes, so it’s a really good standard of netball that challenged me to consider other areas away from my usual role on court, ultimately improving my overall game.

BUCS Women's 1 Squad group photo in UoB kit for BUCS

How did you manage to balance your Economics degree with elite-level netball and everything that comes with it?

 

I managed to complete my Economics alongside being a full-time athlete purely because of the flexibility that the Economics department and the Business School gave me.

 

I made the transition to being a full-time athlete whilst I was at the university, so as I started to play netball more regularly, attend more frequent England camps and travel abroad for tournaments, that’s when I decided to split my second year. This is something I didn’t know was even possible until I started discussing options with my scholarship Performance Lifestyle mentor, who offered me support and helped me make that communication between my lecture and coaches to ensure it worked seamlessly.

 

Once I’d built those working relationships, I felt so supported throughout my degree, in terms of when I maybe needed extensions or deadlines or rearranging exams or even sitting exams away from the University. I actually took some exams once on a tour with England Netball, so that flexibility was just massive in ensuring I could keep up both academics and elite sport. All of that wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have that support and communication help from the scholarship team.

Fran playing Netball for BUCS

In 2019, you were the youngest player on the England Roses Netball World Cup Squad: what did you learn during that experience that you’ll take with you to South Africa?

 

Although I’m no longer the youngest member of the squad, the experience I had four years ago has definitely made me feel really prepared, confident and ready for what’s to come this summer, especially the intensity of tournament netball. We’re going to play eight games in ten days and knowing what that feels like each day, having to play a completely different style against other international teams, that’s massive.

 

I think it’s also just made me feel really hungry to make even more of an impact on the team in this tournament and see what I can do and push myself to, you know, really strive for more. I think four years ago I was just excited to be there and I couldn’t wait to soak in the environment and enjoy the whole experience. I’ll still do the exact same this summer, but I feel even more ready to step up.

What are you most looking forward to about the 2023 Netball World Cup?

 

Aside from the competition element – because I’m super competitive and can’t wait for that! – the thing I’ll enjoy the most is the fact that it’s in South Africa. It’s really exciting that an African nation is hosting the netball World Cup for the first time, as every time I’ve been to South Africa before they’ve always been amazing hosts and super welcoming and I can’t wait to see what kind of show they put on. And you know, that culture come to life through the way that they put on the World Cup and run the tournament. I think the crowds and the way that everyone’s going to get behind all the teams and as well as support our own team, I think that’s going to be massive.

 

We can’t wait to watch Fran and the rest of the England Roses squad in action over the coming 10 days and wish them all the very best of luck. For those of you that wish to tune in and support from home, all matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, with one game per day also available on the Sky Sports YouTube channel and  BBC channels  from Monday 31 July 2023.

Hockey players on pitchCategoriesEvents Student News

Birmingham 2022: A Year On

Birmingham 2022: A Year On

This Friday 28 July 2023 marks the first anniversary of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and a year on from Birmingham hosting the largest sporting event ever to take place in the West Midlands – an achievement within which the University played a huge part.

Squash courts at the Commonwealth Games
Hockey winners posing with medals on hockey pitches

As Official Partner of Birmingham 2022 – the most comprehensive University partnership the Games has ever seen – host of the largest Athletes’ Village and official host of both the Hockey and Squash competitions on campus, the #B2022 legacy is one we are incredibly proud of.

 

To celebrate, we’re taking a brief look back at some of the stand-out achievements from the Games and the enormous part our University campus and community played in making the event the unforgettable success that it was and will always be remembered for.

Game Changing Sport, Game Changing People, Game Changing Legacy.

 

It goes without saying that we are so proud of our community’s achievements during the Games, as well as our immediate UBSport team’s involvement.

 

· Over 500 UoB students, staff and alumni volunteered in different roles, helping to accommodate and support 3500 athletes and officials on campus

 

· 20 UoB baton bearers brought the Queen’s baton home and shared their inspiring stories

 

· More than 2500 staff and contractors were accredited

 

· 20 UoB students and alumni competed at B2022, with 13 medals won:

Cyclist Anna with silver medal around neck, holding up England flag
Yasmin smiling in Judo clothing under the stadium lights

GOLD🏅 Lily Walker, Lily Owsley, Hannah Martin, Flora Peel, Holly Hunt, Anna Toman (Hockey), Lachlan Moorhead (Judo)

 

SILVER🥈 Anna Henderson (Cycling), Non Stanford (Triathlon), Joel Makin (Squash)

 

BRONZE 🥉 Yasmin Javadian (Judo), Rhys Thompson (Judo), Nick Bandurak (Hockey)

Lachlan Moorhead, -81kg Judo Gold Medalist for Team England & current UoB Elite Sport Scholar

 

“The Birmingham Commonwealth Games was incredibly special to me – to win in front of my family and friends meant everything and is something I will never forget. Beating the calibre of opponents I did to win the title gave me the boost and motivation I need, as I now concentrate on qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics.”

Dean Miller, Baton Bearer & UoB Athletics Club Endurance Manager

 

“For me, being able to celebrate the Commonwealth Games as a baton bearer in my adopted home-city was a magical and humbling experience. The experience really kicked off the party atmosphere for me, throughout which Birmingham was centre stage. I was, and still am, immensely proud of how the city and the University showcased themselves to the world and hosted a remarkable 2 weeks of sport. I’ll never forget it!”

Image of Dean Miller holding baton in CWG branded tshirt
Lily playing Hockey on the blue astroturf hockey pitch at CWG

Lily Walker, Hockey Gold Medalist for Team England & current UoB Elite Sport Scholar

 

“My biggest achievement to date is winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal here on the University pitch in front of Old Joe and an incredible crowd. Having represented the University on this pitch for five years in both BUCS and the Premier League, to being selected to represent my country in my home city – I have some amazing memories that I will treasure forever.”

Hugh Sproston, Team England Futures’ Team Leader & UoB Sports Scholarship Manager

 

“I volunteered as part of the Team England Futures programme, which ran alongside the Games and provided selected talented young athletes with a ‘behind-the-scenes’ experience. This aimed to inspire and prepare them towards future Major Games and it was my role to ensure each young athlete had the opportunity to make the most of the experience. It was fantastic to see first-hand the influence that Birmingham 2022 had – and will continue to have – on inspiring this country’s next generation of athletes.”

CWG volunteers sat on spectator seats overlooking sports field

To mark this anniversary, Birmingham is celebrating with a FREE 10-day festival, 28 July to 6 August.

As a principal partner for the festival, The University of Birmingham is excited to support the delivery of a packed event schedule at Centenary Square in the city centre, as well as host a number of free exhibitions and public workshops throughout the festival at The Exchange.

Local South African team with University of Birmingham Rugby Union smiling for group photoCategoriesEvents Student News

A Rugby Journey Beyond the Field: Men’s Rugby Union Tour South Africa’s Wonders 

A Rugby Journey Beyond the Field: Men’s Rugby Union Tour South Africa’s Wonders 

Our Men’s Rugby Union embarked on their first performance rugby tour in 2023. It was a fun-filled tour combining rugby, sightseeing, and experiencing the diverse cultures of South Africa.

 

Head Coach Tom Drewett took 28 players on the tour ranging from first team players all the way to fourth team social players, with aims of broadening the offer of rugby at Birmingham. Despite a delayed departure and luggage issues –  the boys didn’t let it stop them from having an incredible time!

Rugby Union group photo at Motherwell High School
Rugby Union with large seal

X2 MATCHES ON SOUTH AFRICAN TURF

 

The club played two matches and took part in a specialist coaching session with two former Springbok players. The team claimed victory across both matches, beating the oldest Rugby club, the Villagers, (58 – 0) on a wet evening under the beautiful Table Mountain, and Park Rugby u21’s (38 – 12)  showing skill to beat a tough, physical South African team

The club were then hosted by both teams with a good hearty South African Braai.

 

Players took the opportunity to mingle, with many swapping their touring shirts and kit!

Unveiling South Africa’s Spectacular Sights

 

The tour was also chance to make some great memories; from eating the local delicacies, to touring the endless sights South Africa has to offer – including a Cape Peninsula tour, wine tasting, a Hout Bay boat ride with seals and penguins, and a Stellenbosch University Rugby Stadium tour. 

 

The club also had the chance to watch the Junior Springboks train against the Maties 1st XV in preparation for the Junior World Cup. To top it off, in the Club house, they came across Coach Tom’s photo on the wall, celebrating the winning of the South African Club champs in 1997!

Rugby Union in classroom sat down in rows of tables
Rugby Union group photo standing in front of safari cars

GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

 

A highlight of the tour were the two outreach/community days, which were supported by the University of Birmingham impact fund. Children were provided with boots and kits, kindly donated to the club.

 

The first outreach day involved a visit to Langa township, the oldest in South Africa, eating in a local ‘bar’ and soaking up the atmosphere. In the evening, the club coached 40 children from Langa who are involved with the Ubombo project run by former Langa residents and now successful businessmen. This was an incredible experience for everyone, and after the coaching session the club learnt and sang songs with the young children.

 

Day two of outreach was in Motherwell township just outside Port Elizabeth. The club visited a primary school and high school, meeting the students and teachers as an opportunity for the players to experience the life of a young person in Motherwell and providing them with kit to support their rugby journeys.

Group of elephants on safari
CLUB RIDING ON QUAD BIKE
Picture of a giraffe on safari

Into the Wild

The tour ended with a three-game safari competition, with the club splitting into smaller groups with aims to see the most spectacular sightings on each game drive. The sightings were incredible with Rhinos (Black and White), elephants, cheetahs and lions!

 

The tour was an astounding success, and the club hope to build on the links made with Ubombo project and the Motherwell Rugby Club.

Men’s Rugby Union tour to South Africa was an unforgettable experience that combined the passion for rugby with the exploration of a vibrant and diverse country.

 

Interested in playing Rugby at our University?  Whether you’re an experienced player or new to the sport, there are opportunities for everyone to participate in Rugby at the University – check them out below!

Picture of UOB athlete running alongside Ivy League competitorCategoriesEvents Student News

Welcoming x4 Ivy League Athletics Teams To Compete On Our Track

Welcoming x4 Ivy League Athletics Teams To Compete On Our Track

Last week we had a once in a lifetime exchange visit from 4 Ivy League Universities to re-start a partnership which dates back to 1962.

 

The University of Birmingham has a strong relationship that dates back nearly 70 years with 4 of the most prestigious Ivy League Universities: Harvard, Yale, Penn & Cornell.

 

On a 4-year cycle, this includes visits to Birmingham from pairs of universities at a time, staying with Birmingham student-athletes for 3-4 days during which we compete against them in an Athletics Match, host a formal dinner and organise some tourist experiences for their students and staff.

 

Athletes and staff from the American Universities were all on campus on Saturday 24 June for a historic Athletics Match at the University of Birmingham Track in a double-header match against our very own UoB Athletics Club.

Picture of UOB Athletics team in group photo smiling on Athletics track after match

This spectacularly coincided with a University Open Day, displaying the very best that Sport has to offer here at Birmingham with parents and prospective students able to witness first-and our vibrant community of student – athletes engaged in an exchange that is unique to Birmingham.

 

In the match itself, Birmingham were victorious over the combined Harvard & Yale team retaining the Bob Ashwood Cup for another 4 years!

 

Unfortunately the Penn & Cornell team, edged out the Birmingham team in the final few events by a mere 8 points to keep the Professor Michael Hayes Trophy stateside.

2 men running towards finish line- one from UOB
Women's Relay team passing the baton while running

We were absolutely delighted that Professor Hayes, now 93 years old, who founded the exchange whilst an academic here at Birmingham in the 1960s was able to come over from his Limerick home, to attend the weekend’s festivities – speaking with great fondness of the exchange with all student-athletes, coaches and alumni in attendance.

 

 

The exchange was formally kicked off with a Welcome Reception in Lapworth Museum, hosted by Stephen Jarvis and supporting words from Yale Director of Athletics, David Shoehalter and our own Birmingham Athletics Presidents, Imogen Shepperd and Josh Woods.

Picture of man running at speed

David Shoehalter:

 

‘We absolutely love coming to Birmingham, you guys always give our team such a great reception. It’s been too long since our great schools have been able to do this exchange and we can’t wait to have you visit us again next year.’

 

Professor Micheal Hayes also had these words for all the athletes, at the end of Athletics Match on Saturday:

 

‘Sport is one of the strongest vehicles for learning and setting you up for the next stage of life. And I believe, that your coaches are some of the greatest educators in this pursuit; I firmly believe this. Thank you to all your coaches for continuing to support this fantastic exchange – as I know you will look back on this week for many years to come with immense fondness’

 

Athletes sat on the track
UoB female athlete throwing shotput

Finally, on Saturday evening we hosted a banquet at Staff House, for all our incoming Penn & Cornell visitors (who arrived on Saturday for the Match). This banquet for 220 attendees fully funded by the Athletics Club, saw our student hosts sitting with the 60 strong American visitors as well as VIP guests from previous exchanges and 3 tables of Birmingham Athletics Club alumni, who all competed in the exchange back in the 1980s.

This is only one of many incredible events that our Athletics team get involved in- there have been endless achievements across the year. Want to find out more about our largest sport club? Explore via the button below.

Photo creds: Nathan Styles Porter, Didi Okoh and Zach Bridgeland.

Selfie of Kacper and Ross at the top of a mountain with the sunset in the backgroundCategoriesEvents

150+ miles in 20 hours | The Longest Day Challenge

150+ miles in 20 hours | The Longest Day Challenge

On Sunday 11 June, two of our UoB Sport and Fitness Operations staff took on an incredible challenge.

 

Duty Manager Kacper, and Senior Duty Manager Ross decided to complete ‘The Longest Day’ challenge as an opportunity to fundraise for British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, causes close to both of their hearts.

As one of the most intense one day physical challenges, Ross and Kacper underwent six months of training in the lead up to make sure they were as prepared as possible.

Image of climbing rocky cliffs

What is the longest day challenge?

Taking inspiration from the “The Longest Day!” YouTube video documentary from Global Triathlon Network channel, the following activities have to be completed within a tight 20-hour window.

1) Walking the 8-mile Ranger Path to the mountain peak of Snowdon.

2) Cycling 39 miles from Snowdon to Cadair Idris.

3) Walking the 5.5-mile Pony Path loop to the mountain peak of Cadair Idris.

4) Cycling 101 miles from Cadair Idris to Pen-y-Fan.

5) Walking the 4-mile Path to the mountain peak of Pen-Y-Fan.

 

‘After a gruelling 20 hours, we have successfully completed our fundraising endeavour in support of the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research. We have experienced many highs and lows both in relentless rain and scorching sun. Starting at 4am and finishing at midnight, we have conquered three of the highest peaks in Wales and cycled through over half of the country to reach each mountain.’

Map of the 20 hour activities
Selfie of Kacper and Ross sat down next to bike

Kacper and Ross have already exceeded their optimistic fundraising goal of £1,000 and express their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported them through the journey, both through encouragement and generous donations.

 

Want to support the cause? Donations to the just giving page will go a long way in aiding the ongoing efforts to combat heart disease and cancer, ultimately improving the lives of countless individuals.

Ready to take on your own challenge? Our facilities provide the perfect opportunity to train and build your stamina! Explore our memberships today.

Text: BUCS awards shortlist announcedCategoriesEvents Student News

UoB Sport shortlisted for two 2023 BUCS Awards

UoB Sport shortlisted for two 2023 BUCS Awards

The University of Birmingham Sport celebrated making the 2023 BUCS awards shortlist for both the Special Recognition and Diversity and Inclusion categories.

BUCS Awards shortlist- Image of all shortlists for the special recognition awards including Georgia Pexton

This year’s Sports Awards Student Coach of the Year Georgia Pexton (Netball) makes up the final five in line to be named in the Special Recognition awards.

 

This award recognises an individual’s commitment to their club or sports department over their time at university, be it as a player, as a committee member or a volunteer. It is awarded to a final year student who have shown an outstanding contribution either through performance or participation.

 

Georgia has some brilliant achievements under her belt including: coaching for the Netball Women’s 5s team, managing the 6s, and taking 5s to a BUCS League Win, along with BUCS Conference Cup Finals.

Active Residences, which is a sport and exercise programme designed for UoB Students living in the University or part-owned accommodation, has also been shortlisted for an award in the Diversity & Inclusion category.

 

Offering a variety of classes, sports and activities to help support students to engage with sport, a win would mark a second award of the 2022/23 academic year as Active Residencies claimed the Team of Teams Award at the University’s Campus Services Awards.

The winners of the 2023 BUCS Awards will be announced on Thursday 13 July at the ceremony taking place at the University of Leeds.

 

If you’re looking to support Georgia & Active Residences, tickets are still available by clicking the button below!