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
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!

SPORTS COLOURS

 

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….

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

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.

CAMPUS LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR

 

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.

REGIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

 

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.

CLUB OF THE YEAR

 

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. 

GRADUATING SCHOLARS

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

 

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

 

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

STUDENT COACH OF THE YEAR

 

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.

COACH OF THE YEAR

 

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.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION

 

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.

NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

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.

SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR

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

CategoriesEvents Student News

Celebrating our Sporting Superstars: Sports Awards Round-up

Celebrating our Sporting Superstars: Sports Awards Round-up

Students, staff and coaches across UB Sport enjoyed an evening of celebrations and recognition at the Sports Awards 2023! Introduced by Andy Alford, Director of Sport, the event was hosted by Helen Coy, Participation Development Manager, and Amy Preston, Club Development Manager.

 

With 13 different award categories including some new additions- it was brilliant to see so many sportspersons, clubs, and coaches being recognised for their sporting contributions across the year.

Read on for a breakdown of our winners!

Sports colours winners

SPORTS COLOURS

 

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 Carolyn Cutbill, Deputy Director of Sport.

 

Well done to Dani Ashwell and William Moss (Hockey), Georgia Pexton, Harriet Sanderson and Chloe Smith (Netball and Social Netball), Fin Proffitt (Athletics), Xinhe Xiong (Men’s Football) Lewis Keates, Will Bugg and Sophie Rollings (Rugby Union), Thomas Blake (Squash), and Zohaib Naqvee (Handball).

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

VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

 

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.

 

 Harriet Westlake won in this category, due to her dedication to the Politics Netball club, creating an inclusive and welcoming competitive community, organising the Campus League team, organising weekly matches against other universities, increasing participation from one team to two, and involving over 100 students in netball over the past two years.

PRIDE AWARD

 

This award acknowledges and celebrates the diversity and inclusion of sport within our clubs.

 

Presented by Adam Witt, BUCS Administrator.

 

The winner of this award was announced as the Sailing club, due to their work to reduce the cost barrier for members by paying for kit and allowing members to borrow, introducing accessible boat to cater for disabilities, and the captain of the club has worked with a local charity supporting young gang members, using sport as a tool for positive reinforcement.

CAMPUS LEAGUE TEAM OF THE YEAR

 

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 Beccy Hodson, Participation Development Officer.

 

Kinvig Hockey were crowned the winners, who have grown the team with new people across different year groups. They have help multiple socials, and are currently third in the league!

REGIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

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 Hockey Women’s 4s, who were selected due to their three wins acros BUCS Tier 2 League, BUCS Conference Cup Finals and EH National League.

CLUB OF THE YEAR

 

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 Chris Anthony, Head of Sport Development.

 

The Athletics club were awarded the well deserved title for their various accomplishments across the year. 

 

With over 25% of its 247 members medalling at competitions, over 365 BUCS points earned, multiple events attended and over 7500 hours completed for the Commonwealth Games 2022, it’s been an incredible year for the club!

GRADUATING SCHOLARS

Across the evening we also celebrated the achievements of our graduating scholars, and the impact they’ve had upon teams, clubs, and the University as a whole during their time with us. 

 

Millie Giglio- having played a pivotal leadership role within the Women’s Hockey Performance Squad, both on the BUCS Premier League and National League stages throughout her 4 years at Birmingham,  as well as the GB Elite Development Programme, 2021-22 UBSports’ Person of the Year Millie successfully captained the England U21 squad to a history-making bronze medal at the 2022 Junior World Cup.

 

Kira Rothwell a firm fan favourite on the Vitality Netball Superleague scene that has continued to progress along the England Netball performance pathway. Consistently retaining her place on the prestigious England Roses Futures programme and gaining multiple selections to represent England during her time at the University, Kira’s been integral to the Netball 1s’ monumental rise up the BUCS rankings since enrolling at Birmingham 4 years ago.

 

Megan Richter despite only joining the University in September for a one-year Masters in Cardiovascular Sciences, Megan has made the absolute most of her time at Birmingham, engaging fully with the support provided by the Performance Centre and Scholarship programme to prepare for and achieve a fantastic fourth place at the senior Para Triathlon World Championships.

 

Thomas Keen – coming in as European U18 800m Champion, Tom has continued to develop as an esteemed track athlete, claiming individual BUCS medals, international vests and even a British U20 record during his throughout his 5 years at Birmingham. This summer will see him break into the senior age category, after rounding out last season ranked 2nd in the 1500m in the U23 age group.

 

Sunni Jardine – the linchpin of the University’s Rugby Performance Squad, Sunni is the only player outside of the BUCS Superleague to be selected to represent England Students more than once. Ahead of graduating this summer, Sunni has signed a 2-year contract with a professional French team in Bordeaux.

 

Kiera Marshall – with a career high world ranking of 105, Kiera has not only successfully claimed 2 individual BUCS medals during her time at Birmingham – most notably the gold this year – but also recently led the Women’s Squash 1s to a commanding victory at this year’s BUCS Big Wednesday.

 

Stuart MacGregor – and last but certainly not least, with a career high world ranking of 129 and a hard-earned BUCS individual silver medal under his belt, Men’s Squash 1s’ long-standing captain Stuart MacGregor played an essential part in leading the team to its first Championship Team title since 2016.

Thank you to each of you for all that you’ve done for the University, Sport, the EDCAP scholarship programme and your Clubs during your time with us and we wish you all the very best for your future endeavours.

Millie Giglio headshot
Megan Richter headshot
Thomas Keen headshot

HALF BLUES

 

Half blues are awarded to those who have achieved either a BUCS individual medal or a BUCS Team Championship gold medal during the 2022-23 academic year.

 

Presented by Gary Bilham, Head of Philanthropy.

 

We saw 50 students across awarded their half blues across Athletics, Squash, Archery, Karate, Weightlifting, Swimming, Ultimate Frisbee and Rugby Union Women’s.

FULL BLUES

Full Blues are awarded to those individuals that have competed internationally at a senior championship and this year were awarded to: Andrew Stamp (Trampolining), Lily Walker (Hockey), Oliver Morgan (Swimming) and Megan Richter (Para-Triathlon) following their impressive progression and standard of performance on the senior stage.

STUDENT COACH OF THE YEAR

 

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 Florie Craddock, Sports Officer

Congratulations to Georgia Pexton, who has managed the Women’s 6s and coached the Women 5s leading to a BUCS League win, along with placing as runners-up in the BUCS Conference Cup Final.

COACH OF THE YEAR

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 Mark Burns, UB Sport’s Performance Centre Lead.

 

Mairi Kerin’s dedication to the Karate Club earnt her the top title, helping the club achieve an overall total of 10 BUCS individual medals and the club’s highest ever BUCS finish.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION

 

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.

 

This year Cheerleading won the award, as a consistent contributor to wider UBSport events, performing at all super series and open days and being proactive in putting their names forward to take part in new events.

NATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

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 Luke Gunn, Head of Performance.

 

Well done to Squash Women’s 1s, who, for the first time in over ten years, claimed their first individual and Championship team title, as well as an individual bronze medal.

Lily walker action shot

Image provided by WorldSportsPics.

SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR

To finish the award ceremony, the Sportsperson of the year award was presented. This is the highest individual accolade awarded by the University of Birmingham, in recognition and celebration of the very highest sporting level. 

Presented by Cathy Gilbert, Head of External Relations, the nominees were: Lily Walker (Hockey), Andrew Stamp (Trampolining), Oli Morgan (Swimming), Lachlan Moorhead (Judo) and Will Barnicoat (Athletics).

 

Lily Walker was selected for a number of incredible reasons, most notably securing gold in the Commonwealth Games last year on campus!

Thank you to everybody who attended this event 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