CategoriesAnnouncement

Paris Olympics 2024: The lineup

#PathwaytoParis | Full athlete, coach and staff list 

Pathway to Paris – With the 2024 Olympics starting this Friday on 26 July, there will be athletes competing for Olympic success, coaches ensuring that their athletes perform at their peak, and support staff helping the Games to run smoothly and effectively.

Confirmed Athletes 

  • Current student and Elite Dual Career Athlete Pathway (EDCAP) scholar Oliver Morgan, a five-time British Champion, makes his Olympics debut for Team GB Swimming.
  • 4x400m relay athlete and staff member Hannah Kelly heads to her first Olympics with Team GB. Hannah is also an alumna of the University.
  • Five UoB Sport alumni – Amy Costello, Hannah French, Lily Owsley, Flora Peel and Anna Toman – have been selected for Team GB’s hockey squad, with current scholar Lily Walker on stand-by as part of the reserves.
  • Silver 2022 Commonwealth games medalist and National Time Trial champion, alumna Anna Henderson joins Team GB’s Cycling team.
  • Former TASS scholar and alumna Heather Cowell is named in Team GB’s Women’s Rugby Sevens squad.
  • Middle-distance runner and alumna Georgia Bell secured her Team GB spot at the UK Championships.
  • Alumni Annie Caddick and Josh O’ Brien have both been selected to represent Team GB in Para-Rowing.
  • Reigning KL3 canoe sprint Paralympic champion and alumna Laura Sugar MBE will join Team GB.
  • Current EDCAP scholar Hannah Pearce will join the South Africa Hockey team.
  • Alumnus Imranur Rahman will run in the 100m for Bangladesh.
  • Sport Hall of Famer Lora Fachie OBE is also on her way to Paris, as the two-time Paralympic Games’ Pursuit Champion and multiple Para-Cycling World Championships medallist, joins the Para cycle team once again.
  • Current scholar Megan Richter and alumna Alison Peasgood has been selected in Team GB’s largest ever paratriathlon squad. 
Lily Owsley and Flora Peel travel to Paris
Lily Owsley and Flora Peel travel to Paris
Ollie Morgan and Head Coach Gary Humpage
Ollie Morgan and Head Coach Gary Humpage

Confirmed Coaches and Support Staff

  • Penny Briscoe OBE continues her role as Paralympic Team GB’s Chef de Mission, a position she has held since 2014 as well as being the Director of Sport for the team.
  • Former Paralympian and Athletics coach Dean Miller joins Team GB’s coaching staff as Athletics Endurance Manager for Paralympics GB.
  • Sport & Exercise Sciences alumnus Ollie Armstrong is Lead Physiologist for Athletics Canada.
  • Alumna, Olympian, and University of Birmingham Sport Hall of Famer Hannah England joins the media team, as stadium announcer for athletics.
  • Hockey umpire and alumna Hannah Harrison officiates matches across the tournament.
  • Physiotherapy alumna Emma Ferguson will join up New Zealand as the Men’s Hockey physiotherapist.
  • Former University Performance Lifestyle Lead Maimee Titmuss-Morris is the Paralympic Staff Wellbing Manager.
Ollie Armstrong joins the Canada Athletics staff
Ollie Armstrong joins the Canada Athletics staff
Dean Miller will join team GB's Paralympic staff as Athletics Team Coach for Endurance
Dean Miller will join team GB's Paralympic staff as Athletics Team Coach for Endurance

University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Tickell: 

 

‘Sporting success is in our DNA at the University of Birmingham. We have supported the development of some outstanding athletes and coaches over many decades – particularly our Hall of Fame Game Changers. We wish all our students, staff and alumni taking part in the Paris Olympics every success this summer.’

Sports Awards attendees holding name placeholders in spectator seatsCategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Secure your tickets for Sports Awards 2024

Secure your tickets for Sports Awards 2024

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Sports club holding medal on stage
Students receiving plaque on stage

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

 

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

 

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

Champagne glasses in pyramid shape on serving table

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

 

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

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

Nominations now open for Sports Awards 2024

Nominations now open for Sports Awards 2024 

All 2023/24 students can now nominate individuals, clubs, coaches and recreational teams across 13 categories celebrating their sporting successes at this year’s University of Birmingham Sports Awards.

Open from 28 February, nominations are now open and will close on Thursday 28 March giving students one month to put forward nominees across a range of categories.

This year’s Sports Awards, taking place on the evening of Thursday 30 May at the Brammall Music Building, will recognise all levels of sporting achievements from our volunteers to our elite athlete scholars.

Members of the netball team all lined up on the back line, crouching and ready to run.
A group of Lacrosse team members in a huddle with Lacrosse sticks in the air.
Three members of the netball club holding hands and preparing to Mexican wave with Rory the Lion.
Group of students stood on stage at the Sports Awards.

Categories include:

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.

NOMINATE HERE

Coach of the Year (non-student)
For an individual who is regarded as having made the most outstanding contribution to club sport through their role as a coach.

NOMINATE HERE

Coach of the Year (student)
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.

NOMINATE HERE

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.

NOMINATE HERE

Full Blues
Awarded to those individuals that have competed internationally at a senior championship.

NOMINATE HERE

ED&I Award
This award acknowledges and celebrates the diversity and inclusion of sport within our clubs.

NOMINATE HERE

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

NOMINATE HERE

National Team of the Year
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.

NOMINATE HERE

Outstanding Contribution
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.

NOMINATE HERE

 

Sport 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.

NOMINATE HERE

Sports Person 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.

NOMINATE HERE

 

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

NOMINATE HERE

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.

NOMINATE HERE

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

With more than 200 people in attendance last year – including the Vice Chancellor and Principal of University of Birmingham Adam Tickell – we’re hoping to make this year’s event even bigger with a selection of arrival drinks, food options and post-event entertainment.

Fran Williams wearing her England netball dress, wearing a Goal Defence bib.CategoriesStudent News

New year, same scholar success

New year, same sports scholar success  

2024 started with a bang for our outstanding university scholarship athletes and alumni, who have broken in the new year with some incredible performances on the national and international stage, particularly in hockey, netball and cross-country.

Great Britain Men and Women Hockey squads embarked on the road to Paris 2024 after qualifying at the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.

 

In Spain,  GB Women featuring current EDCAP scholar and social policy student Lily Walker as well as four alumni, Lily Owsley, Anna Toman, Amy Costello and goal-scorer Hannah French closely battled to secure their spot, beating Ireland 2-1, after losing 3-2 to Belgium in the semi-finals.

 

GB Men secured their spot after beating New Zealand 3-1 to reach the final in Muscat, Oman. The team featured talented alumni Nick Bandurak. Both teams will now prepare for the Olympic Games in just over six months’ time.

Amelia Quirk reaching the finish line, with arms raised in the air at the European Cross Country Championships.

EDCAP scholarship athletes and current students Evie Wood, Alice Atkinson and Betsan Thomas have been named in the Women’s GB Elite Development Squad (GB EDP) for 2024, with fellow scholar Harvey Edwards being named as a reserve for the men’s squad.

 

The programme aims to help junior players smoothly transition to senior international hockey, providing those who have Olympic potential with the support they need. This is an amazing achievement for these players and shows real promise as they look to follow in the footsteps of those named above.

 

Sunday 28 January was a crucial but exciting day for England Netball as the England Roses played in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup Final in Leeds.

 

University of Birmingham alumni Fran Williams played in goal defence whilst captaining the team to the final, alongside fellow alumni Ellie Rattu. The Roses put in an incredible performance, but narrowly missed out on the win to the strong team Origin Australian Diamonds.

 

One week later, the Athletics club came home with a record-breaking medal haul of 13 medals at the BUCS Cross Country Championships. Not only this, but the team won 3 out of the total 4 for both team and individual titles – an exceptional achievement for the team.

Lily Owsley of Great Britain breaks with the ball from Pippa Hayward during the Women's hockey semi final match betwen New Zealand and Great Britain on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Hockey Centre on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images.
Sports Awards timings on a screen in the Elgar Concert area.
A group of students waiting outside in he sun on a grass area.

Over a gruelling course, EDCAP Scholars Amelia Quirk and Will Barnicoat continued their success from the European Cross Country Championships in December and dominated the field in the Women and Men’s Long Course, bringing home 2 gold medals.

 

Will was closely followed by fellow scholar Tomer Tarragano and Oliver Smart, in a Birmingham 1-2-3, the first clean sweep on the Podium at BUCS Cross Country in history.

Three athletics members running in the European Cross Country Championships, heading for the finish line.
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!”

MAn

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
Team – SILVER
+ 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.  

Stage at the Sports Awards 2023CategoriesAnnouncement Student News

Sports Awards 2024 | Save the date this 30 May

Sports Awards 2024 | Save the date 30 May  

The University of Birmingham Sport will celebrate the achievements of its 2023/24 sporting stars at this year’s coveted Sports Awards 2024 taking place on the evening of Thursday 30 May.

Returning once again to the decadence of the Brammall Music Building, athletes, coaches and students can now add the date to their sporting calendar ahead of the annual event.

 

This year sees 13 categories open for nominations, of which details will be announced in the coming weeks, with the full list of categories including:

 

Campus League Team of the Year
Coach of the Year (non-student)
Coach of the Year (student)
Club of the Year
Full Blues
Half Blues
National Team of the Year
Outstanding Contribution
ED&I Award
Sport Colours
Sports Person of the Year
Regional Team of the Year
Volunteer of the Year

Glass trophy for Georgia Pexton - Coach of the Year
Glasses of champagne on a table with someone pouring drinks.
Group of students joined by Carolyn Cutbill at the Sports Awards.
Group of students stood on stage at the Sports Awards.

The Sports Awards 2023 recognised all levels of sporting achievements from our volunteers to our elite athlete scholars.

Standouts included; Athletics scooping Club of the Year for their impressive BUCS points contribution; Hockey Women’s 4s named as Regional Team of the Year for their treble winning season; Cheerleading awarded with Outstanding Contribution supporting wider UOB events; and the Sailing Club acknowledged with the PRIDE Award helping to reduce cost barrier for its members.

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

Andy Allford, Director of Sport at University of Birmingham, said: “Sport remains a key part of student life for many during their time at Birmingham and it’s important we continue to take the time to celebrate achievements at every level.

 

“It’s always one of my favourite nights of the year and over the years, we’ve been able to widen the recognition and status of our sporting stars across the University. We’re already looking forward to reading through each nomination and coming together this May to celebrate in style.”

Andy Allford presenting at the Sports Awards.

With more than 200 people in attendance last year – including the Vice Chancellor and Principal of University of Birmingham Adam Tickell – we’re hoping to make this year’s event even bigger with a selection of arrival drinks, food options and post-event entertainment.

 

With a number of guest presenters from roles across the University, keep an eye out across University of Birmingham Sport social media channels and our weekly Sports Desk newsletter – which covers all our BUCS highlights each week – for further details.

 

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

12:00

Basketball (W)

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

14:30

Netball (W)

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

17:00

Netball (W)

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

19:30

Badminton (M)

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

12:00

Badminton (W)

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

12:00

Volleyball (M)

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

18:30

Volleyball (W)

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

15:00

Table Tennis (M)

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

12:00

Table Tennis (W)

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

16:00

Fencing (M)

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

19:00

Fencing (W)

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

19:00

Squash (M)

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

14:30

Squash (W)

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

14:30

Hockey (M)

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

19:30

Hockey (W)

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

17:00

Hockey (M)

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

12:00

Hockey (W)

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

14:30

Lacrosse (M)

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

12:00

Lacrosse (W)

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

14:30

Football (M)

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

14:30

Football (W)

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

14:30

Football (M)

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

14:00

Rugby Union (M)

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

19:30

Rugby Union (W)

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

17:00

Rugby Union (M)

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

14:00

Rugby Union (M)

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

14:00

Tennis (M)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

11:00

Tennis (W)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

11:00

Tennis (M)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

14:00

Tennis (W)

Tennis Courts, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

14:00

Golf (Mixed)

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

09:30

Futsal (M)

Doug Ellis, BCU

16:15

Futsal (W)

Doug Ellis, BCU

19:30

 

 

Will Barnicoat running through the finish line, covered in mud.CategoriesAnnouncement Member News Student News

Scholars Stun During Action-Packed Weekend

Scholars Stun During Action-Packed Weekend

Whilst the majority of us are winding down for Christmas, our incredible University performance athletes continue to compete and succeed, both on international and domestic stages.

 

The weekend of 9-10 December especially saw a huge number of UoB student-athletes shine, spearheaded by third year Mechanical Engineering student and Elite Scholar Will Barnicoat.

 

Will (pictured above and on the left below, credit: Clay Shaw 2023) produced a perfectly executed race through the mud at the European Cross Country Championships in Brussels to claim his second consecutive title and significantly contribute to British Athletics’ most successful outing at the event ever, despite moving up an age category.  

Two runners, with their thumbs up, covered in mud.

Will said: “It feels surreal to have claimed a gold medal in a new age category, I honestly couldn’t believe it when I crossed the line. It feels great to have set it in stone that I can turn up to major events and collect medals on a regular basis.”

 

“My preparation in the lead up to the race was great and the UoB EDCAP scholarship programme has played a key role in my progression and success throughout. From S+C and Physiotherapy to Performance Lifestyle and Nutrition, it’s really helped me get to where I am now.”

Amelia Quirk running through mud.

In addition to Will’s individual gold, all four of the UoB representatives (Tomer Tarragano, Amelia Quirk (pictured left) and Zoe Hunter) came home with a Team Gold in the U23 Men’s, Senior Women’s and U20 Women’s categories respectively.

 

This can only mean extremely exciting things ahead of the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Cross Country Championships in February 2024, where the UoB Athletics Club will be looking to retain their Women’s Team title and go one better than their Men’s Team Silver from 2023.

On the other side of Europe in Bucharest, the British Swimming team – featuring triple British Champion Ollie Morgan – made history at the European Short Course Championships, as they finished top of the medal table for the first time.

 

Coached by the University’s very own Head of Swimming Gary Humpage, Ollie added to British Swimming’s impressive medal tally by claiming his first international medal – and the first of its kind for the University too – in the 4×50 Medley Relay, where the Great Britain team finished second.

With the addition of making the final of the 50m Backstroke and only narrowly missing out on spots in both the 100 and 200 finals, as well as continuing to improve on his personal best times across all three distances, the event provided a fitting conclusion to an absolutely phenomenal year of performances and progression for Ollie.

 

Ollie says: “It was amazing to be a part of another medley relay team, this time at a short course competition, which isn’t the strongest part of my competitive season. I was able to pull off a great swim and it fills me with pride to be a part of a record-breaking British Swimming team, as well as to get my hands on my first piece of international silverware!”

 

Whilst Ollie awaits the results of his nominations for the 2023 Propulsion Swimming ‘British Breakthrough Swimmer’ and ‘Most Improved British Swimmer’ awards, we already can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store for him!

Four swimming athletes celebrating on a podium, holding hands in the air.

University Elite Scholars Evie Wood (pictured below left) and Alice Atkinson competed for England at the FIH Women’s Junior World Cup in Chile, where they narrowly missed out on retaining their place on the podium from 2022. The team placed 4th after losing to Germany in the bronze medal match.

The University of Birmingham’s affiliation to success on the international hockey stage remains as strong as ever, as honourable mentions must also go to current Social Policy student and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lily Walker, who despite being selected to play alongside Evie and Alice at the Junior World Cup, instead played in Argentina as part of the Great Britain Senior Women’s squad in the first round of the 2023-24 FIH Pro League.

Lily played alongside alumna Lily Owsley (pictured below right) who achieved her 100th GB Cap during the series – a phenomenal feat for the 29-year-old UoB Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences graduate. The Argentina Pro League also saw fellow alumnus Nick Bandurak achieve his 50th combined cap.

Evie Wood, a hockey goalkeeper, dressed in full kit and helmet on, stood in front of the goal.
Lily Owsley cheering with her fist clenched.

Medals and podium places were also won on the domestic stages across the same weekend by a handful of the University’s high-performing student-athletes.

 

At the BUCS Individual Squash Championships, the University of Birmingham and its Squash Club were delighted to have 2 atop the men’s podium. Moustafa El Sirty (below left) claimed his debut BUCS title after producing quite the comeback in the final, whilst Will Salter (below right) emphatically won the bronze medal. Hana Ismail placed a fine fourth in the Women’s competition.

 

Fellow scholar and last year’s BUCS Individuals champion Elliot Morris-Devred was absent from the tournament as he competes for Wales at the WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championships, currently ongoing in Tauranga, New Zealand. Wales have currently qualified top of their group for the quarter finals after commanding victories against the host nation, Republic of Korea and, most recently, Czech Republic.

A squash player in a glass-back squash court bending to reach for the squash with the racquet.
Will Salter in a glass-back squash court bending to reach for the squash with the racquet.

We had three scholarship representatives present at the British Senior and Junior Judo Championships, all of whom came away with medals.

 

First year Biological Sciences student Summer Shaw (pictured second from the left below) was crowned the champion in both the junior and senior -48kg competitions, whilst fellow scholars Lachlan Moorhead and Ben Levy won the silver medals in the senior -81kg and junior -73kg categories respectively.

To conclude an incredible array of performances and results from just one single weekend, at the British Rowing Indoor Championships – an event that was hosted in Birmingham in conjunction with FitFest 2023 and saw numerous British and World Rowing Records broken – the University’s very own Katie Mole made the home crowd proud as she claimed the Women’s 2000m gold.

 

After such a high volume of success in a relatively short amount of time, recognition and applause must go not only to the athletes themselves, but their coaches and the University practitioners and personnel that provide tailored and unwavering support throughout all aspects of our student-athletes’ lives. 

Evie Wood on the floor in her goalkeeping kit, with her hockey stick in the air.CategoriesMember News Student News

Five Minutes With: Evie Wood

Five Minutes With: Evie Wood

Third year Geology student and UoB Elite Sport Scholar Evie Wood is no stranger to the international hockey stage. A long-time member of the Great Britain Elite Development Programme (GB EDP) and having starred in the 2022 England squad that secured a historic bronze medal at the 2022 Junior World Cup, Evie has returned to the squad for this year’s FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, this time as Co-Captain. First year sport scholar Alice Atkinson (pictured with Evie below) also features in the squad.

 

We caught up with Evie before she travelled to Chile for the tournament – where England have qualified for the quarter-finals after topping their pool – to find out what it is about international hockey that she enjoys so much, how she prepared for the tournament before travelling and what she believes sets Birmingham apart from other universities.

Evie Wood and Alice Atkinson stood on the hockey pitch hugging eachother and smiling.

Q: Last year you were part of the history-making, bronze medal-winning England squad at the Junior World Cup. This year, you’ve been named as Co-Captain. What are you most excited about this year’s tournament?

Firstly, I’m really excited to play in Santiago. The venue looks amazing and I haven’t been to Chile before so looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere and culture there.

 

Secondly, in tournaments such as the Junior World Cup you come across teams from all continents. In our pool we play New Zealand, Japan and USA which are all teams we rarely get to play, so it’s an exciting challenge to compete against these different styles of hockey. 

 

Q: What do you love most about playing international hockey?

I love both the performance aspect and the travel that comes with international hockey. Playing high level, pressured games is exciting, and to be able to play these games all around the world is what makes it different to your club games. 

 

Q: How – if at all – has your training regime changed over the last couple of months, in preparation for travelling to Chile?

On pitch, we have been training weekly with the England U21 squad. In August, we also played in a Four Nations tournament in Germany where we competed against the German, Indian and Spanish U21 squads.

 

Since Chile will be much warmer than England in December, we have been prepping off pitch in the heat chamber (pictured below) and sauna at the University to get some heat acclimation in before we arrive.

Evie Wood workin in the heat chamber, on a bike, with a member of the performance team supporting her.

Q: How do you cope with balancing elite-level hockey and international competition, alongside your academic studies?

I’m currently in my third year at UoB studying Geology. I decided to split my third year (complete it over two years instead of one) which has given me more time to train and focus on the Junior World Cup, whilst also completing my degree alongside this. Over the last two years, my lecturers have been really accommodating of my hockey commitments and I have had regular meetings with both my academic tutors and the Scholarships Team at Birmingham to help me manage both work and hockey load. 

 

Q: How has the EDCAP programme supported your development as an elite-level hockey player?

The range and the level of support we can access through the UoB EDCAP scholarship programme, I believe, is unmatched and has made a huge impact on my development as an athlete. Having strength and conditioning coaching three times a week, along with physiotherapy, nutrition and lifestyle support available helps me become a more well-rounded athlete both on and off the pitch. 

Q: Why would you recommend UoB to aspiring hockey players?

The most important thing for me is the team culture and I feel that the whole hockey club at Birmingham creates an environment where everyone feels welcome. This alongside the amazing facilities and the high level of coaching is what I believe sets Birmingham apart from other universities.

 

 

Q: Looking ahead, what is next on the cards for you after the Junior World Cup has finished?

After the Junior World Cup I’ll no longer be eligible for the U21s, so I am looking forward to developing within the GB EDP environment and then senior squad trials at the end of next year.

What They Said…

Dave Sheldon

“As part of her preparations for the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Santiago (Chile), where temperatures regularly exceed 30 degrees Celsius, EDCAP scholar and Goalkeeper Evie Wood followed a heat acclimation protocol, drawn up by myself and fellow UoB Sport Physiologist Dan Lothian.

 

Evie completed weekly bike sessions in the University’s environmental “heat” chamber, supplemented with regular post-exercise sauna bathing as a practical alternative, allowing her to maintain her usual hockey-specific training alongside this. 

 

Exposure to these environments drives a number of key physiological and thermoregulatory responses, resulting in a lower core temperature, heart rate and perception of effort, as well as an increased sweat rate and thermal comfort, to name but a few. All of this meant that Evie was well-equipped and ready to take on that Chilean heat!”

 

– Dave Sheldon, UoB Sport Physiology Lead (left)