We caught up with alumnae, staff member and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games volunteer Becki McWhinnie, to find out what it was like to be behind the scenes of the city’s biggest sporting event ever!
Q: What’s your current role at the University?
A: Club Development Manager for UoB Sport & Fitness – this means I manage the student sport side of things, including our 56 sports clubs!
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer for the Games?
A: To get involved with a unique experience on my doorstep. I didn’t want to have the fear of missing out and wanted to be as involved as possible! I played cricket when I was at the University and it is still my favourite sport, so to have the chance to be a part of that at an international level was too good to miss – especially as I used to play at Edgbaston where the event would be!
Q: What role did you have? What were you expected to do?
A:I was a Field of Play Team Member at Edgbaston, supporting the grounds staff in making sure the field was up to scratch for the players. This included things like laying out the (very heavy) boundary rope, checking access to the pitch and putting the covers on when it rained.
Q: Where were you based?
A: Mainly at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. It was great because you got to know a few of the other regular volunteers, but also met new team members every day, so it was very varied.
Q: Did you get to see any of the Games as a spectator?
A: Yes! I was lucky enough to get tickets for hockey, diving and netball. Hockey was my favourite experience by far, watching players and spectators come from all over the word and marvel at the beauty of campus. I was very proud to be a part of it both from the volunteer side and from the alumni / staff side!
Q: How was the experience? What are your favourite memories?
A: Amazing. Being on pitch side during the India- Pakistan game was unbelievable. Two teams with the best supporters created the most amazing atmosphere.
Q: Do you have any unusual/amusing stories of things that occurred?
A: I did sustain a very impressive bruise from the boundary rope at one point – it is so heavy that you need a number of people to move it in sync, so if someone is out of time and you lose your hold it gives you a bit of a bump!
Q: How did it feel to know your place of work was hosting the Games, and many of your colleagues were involved?
A: It made it feel so much like we were a part of it, and felt like sharing something special with everyone. Seeing so many people you recognised when walking around campus as a volunteer or staff make it feel like such a great community.
Student, Judoka, and now Commonwealth Games gold medallist – we spoke to UoB Business student Lachlan Moorhead about his incredible experience at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Sport Scholar Lachlan fought off some tough competition to win University of Birmingham’s first ever Commonwealth gold medal for Team England.
Q: Looking back to the summer, has the medal win sunk in yet?
A: I think my title has sunk in. It’s hard to say, it’s not like us judo fighters get time to ‘smell the roses’ – as soon as we were finished with the Commonwealth Games we were straight into qualification for the Paris Olympics. Better never stops!…
Q: Tell us about your expectations and hopes going into the Games. How had your training and warm-up competitions gone? Did you have any injuries to deal with?
A: Going into the Commonwealth Games I was hoping to win. I wasn’t the favourite, but I drew confidence from my training, and how I’ve faired against the top athletes in the Commonwealth in training. My warm-up completions were very tough events in Europe and Asia, so it’s safe to say I was ready for a challenge. Regarding did I have any injuries… I’m a judo player, so I probably had hundreds! I think I fought with so much tape on my right hand it was completely immobilised!
Q: What are your memories of the judo competition? Were you nervous? Any tense moments during the competition?
A:My memories of the competition are some of most intense but best memories I have. I was nervous throughout the whole build up, and the nerves on the day were (almost) unbearable. But this pressure was a privilege, and I knew I would perform the best under the pressure. The most stressful moment of the day was the first round, where I was 5 minutes into golden score (extra time) before emerging victorious. I was a fine margin from going home empty handed.
Q: How have you balanced your University work with your training and sporting career?
A: I have managed to balance my university studies and sporting career with great difficulty and commitment. I work long days, training throughout the morning and afternoon and studying when I am home. Perusing both endeavours has given me a resilience I can’t imagine getting from anywhere else. That being said, without the support of UoB SportScholarships and the well-being department in the business school, I would not have been able to achieve what I have. Their interest, understanding, and flexibility is the main reason I am able to continue my studies whilst perusing my sporting dreams. For that I am very grateful.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: What’s next for me is to work towards the Paris Olympics. I’ve beaten the fighter in the world top 10 and I’ve broken the top 25 myself. My goal is to win a medal at the Paris Olympics. I’ve trained full-time since I was 18, and I believe if I continue on this trajectory of commitment and sacrifice to the sport, then the sky is the limit.
Twelve commonwealth medals for the University of birmingham
In Alumna and students from the University of Birmingham become sporting heroes in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – securing a total of 12 medals.
Current student Lily Walker and five alumni – Hannah Martin, Holly Hunt, Anna Toman, Lily Owsley and Flora Peel – were part of the gold-winning Team England women’s side which beat Australia to claim Commonwealth Games victory for the first time.
The University of Birmingham Hockey Centre provided an iconic backdrop for their Games victory and all six players had previously played on those same pitches representing the University in British Universities and Colleges Sport and national league hockey.
The University’s game-changing hockey reputation also helped gain medals for Team England’s men’s squad with the return of 2013 graduate, Nick Bandurak. Narrowly missing out on a place in the final after losing 3-2 to Australia, they went onto beat South Africa 6 – 3 to secure the bronze medal with Nick as Team England’s top scorer in the competition.
Hockey alumni Hywel Jones and Dewi Roblin also competed for their home nation, Team Wales, who secured their highest ever Commonwealth Games finish in sixth. The squad beat Ghana 6-1, only to be beaten by finalists India in the next round.
Team Wales’ women’s squad also featured alumni Holly Munro and Xenna Hughes to secure an eighth place finish. Current Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences student, Amy Costello, finished in sixth place in the women’s hockey event as part of Team Scotland.
University of Birmingham students also won medals in the Judo competition. Current Business student and Sport Scholar, Lachlan Moorhead, fought off some tough competition to win University of Birmingham’s first ever Commonwealth gold medal for Team England.
Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences student Rhys Thompson won a bronze medal for Team England in the -100kg category in his first Commonwealth Games.
Judokas Lauren Semple and Yasmin Javadian represented Jamaica and Northern Ireland respectively. Lauren reached the -63kg bronze medal match, just losing out on a medal, but sport scholar Yasmin scooped bronze in the -52kg category for Northern Ireland.
Cyclist Anna Henderson is a current Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences student and won silver in the Women’s Individual Time Trial before an exceptional performance in Women’s Road Race later in the week.
ITU World Triathlon Champion in 2013, Non Stanford secured the silver medal for Team Wales in the Mixed Triathlon and also competed in the Women’s Triathlon event, placing sixth.
In addition to the 12 medallists, there were University of Birmingham students and alumni across multiple competitions at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. MSc Economics alumna, Gemma Atherley, made history for Team Jersey by becoming the first swimmer to make a Commonwealth Games final in the 200-metre backstroke. Gemma raced exceptionally well and finished in eighth place.
Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences student and high jump athlete Laura Zialor reached the final – finishing in eighth place for Team England at her first Commonwealth Games and second-ever major championship.
Alumnus Imran Rahman, was selected to represent Bangladesh in the 100-metre sprint and Biomedical Science alumna, Hannah Leighton, took to the Netball courts for Team Scotland. Their classification match against Northern Ireland ended in their 43-33 victory, placing them ninth overall.
Alumna Heather Cowell opened the Rugby 7s competition at Birmingham 2022 with Team England with a resounding 57-0 win over Sri-Lanka. The team finished in fifth place overall.
Current physics student, Muqtadir Nimji took part in the squash competition with Team Kenya and reached the semi-final of the Men’s Singles Plate competition.
University of Birmingham Director of Sport Andy Allford commented: “Congratulations to all our students and alumni on their sporting success at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Everyone at the University of Birmingham is exceptionally proud of what our campus, staff and athletes achieved during this game-changing summer of sport.”
With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games just around the corner, it is safe to say excitement is building here at the University of Birmingham as we prepare to welcome athletes, coaches and spectators from all around the Commonwealth.
The University of Birmingham is the official host venue for hockey and squash, as well as hosting the largest athletes’ village and training venue for both swimming and athletics; being the official catering provider for athletes, spectators, Games family and workforce; providing accommodation for technical officials and sponsor workforce; and hosting multiple conferences and events across campus venues.
In addition to the above, we are delighted to share that a huge number of staff, students and alumni have been selected to represent their home nations in the Games.
Birmingham 2022 will showcase the very best talent from across the Commonwealth countries, which is why we are thrilled for the students who we have witnessed go from strength to strength this year earn this all-important selection. This includes dentistry student and European under-23 bronze medalist, Yasmin Javadian, who will be proudly representing Northern Ireland at the Games.
Third year student and University of Birmingham Sport Scholar Yasmin has achieved some remarkable accolades during her time at the University, proving she is more than capable of balancing her studies alongside international competition. As a Midlands native herself, we also know how much competing on home soil means to Yasmin, and she’s a fantastic example of the home-grown talent we have here at UoB.
That’s not the only good news for the UoB Judo Club, as Biology student Lauren Semple has also been selected to represent her home nation, Jamaica, in the Games. Lauren, who is also a valued member of the University’s netball club, has recently returned from the British University Judo Championships where she finished in fifth place. We are very much looking forward to following her inaugural Commonwealth Games appearance in Birmingham.
Fellow Judo scholars Rhys Thompson and Lachlan Moorhead will also be competing between Monday 1 – Wednesday 3 August, but will be representing Team England. Fresh from their performances at the recent European Championships, 81kg fighter Lachlan will join his fellow British Judo team mate Rhys, who will compete in the Men’s 100kg category.
One former student who we will be warmly welcoming back this summer is alumna, Gemma Atherley. Gemma, who was very recently a popular member of UoB Swimming Club, will return to Sport & Fitness to train for the Games, as she prepares to represent Team Jersey in this year’s 100m and 200m backstroke events. Netball alumna Hannah Leighton will also be returning to the Midland’s to represent Team Scotland at the NEC arena next month.
Congratulations are in order for alumna and TASS scholar Heather Cowell, who will be taking to the Coventry Arena to form part of England’s Rugby 7s team in the Games. Alumni Oscar Clayton has also been selected as an injury reserve for Team Jamaica.
After seventy-two athletes were confirmed for selection to represent Team England in the Games, there were plenty of reasons for the UoB Athletics Club to celebrate. The list included current student and sport scholar, Laura Zialor, who will compete in the high jump event. Laura will be joined in the Team England athletics camp by UoB alumni and fellow former athletics club member, Chris McAlister, who has been selected to compete in the 400m hurdles.
As news of selections have continued to roll in, Team England have also announced a current UoB student is set to join their 35 strong cycling squad at this year’s games. Sport scholar and Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences student, Anna Henderson, will join the likes of five-time Olympic champion Dame Laura Kenny this summer as she competes in the road cycling event.
Another UoB student who has recently celebrated his selection to represent his home nation in the Commonwealth Games, is squash first team member and current Physics student, Muqtadir Nimji. A huge advantage for Muqtadir is he will compete on the same courts he trains and competes with the University’s squash team at UoB Sport & Fitness.
After some incredible performances for his club during this academic year, including at BUCS Big Wednesday and the University of Birmingham Squash Open, we are really excited to see what Muqtadir has to offer this summer.
It has been a long wait for our hockey stars, as several current students have patiently waited to hear if they too have been selected to join many of our hockey alumni at the Games.
We are delighted to confirm that current student and talented midfielder Lily Walker has been selected to represent Team England; Lily is already extremely familiar with the Birmingham 2022 hockey pitches after putting in some brilliant performances for the University this year. Having only made her international debut in April this year, 20-year-old Lily is the youngest member of this year’s senior Commonwealth squad, and we are really looking forward to seeing her compete on home soil.
Lily will no doubt be well supported by her UoB hockey predecessors, including Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley and Anna Toman, all of whom competed for Team England in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia. Congratulations to alumna Holly Hunt and Flora Peel who will also return to their familiar University pitches this summer. In total, one-third of Team England’s hockey squad is made up of students past and present from University of Birmingham! We are now eagerly awaiting the announcement of Team England men’s hockey team.
After competing in her first Commonwealth Games in Queensland back in 2018, current Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences student, Amy Costello, has once again been selected to represent Team Scotland this summer.
Hockey Wales have also made the all-important Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games announcement recently, with a number of UoB alumni also set to represent their home nation at the Games. This includes Welsh alumni Holly Munro and Xenna Hughes (Women’s team), as well as Hywel Jones (Men’s team).
Following his successful journey at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo last year, we are thrilled that current PhD student and Para Powerlifting champion Ali Jawad MBE will be supporting at the Games this year. As a double Commonwealth Games medalist himself, Ali has been appointed to the board of Commonwealth Games England as an athlete representative.
Another athlete who we are also looking forward to cheering on once again is UoB alumna and Para Triathlete, Alison Peasgood. Alison will be competing for her home nation, Team Scotland. Joining Alison at Birmingham’s Sutton Park this summer is fellow UoB alumna and 2013 ITU World Champion, Non Stanford, who will be hoping to lead Team Wales to triathlon victory in this year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Finally, as well as proudly congratulating their selected students, one of our very own UoB coaches has also earned his place at this year’s Games. Luke Gunn will be taking a short break from his duties as Head of Athletics at University of Birmingham to work as part of Team England’s Endurance Support staff. Having competed in three Commonwealth Games himself, Luke will be sure to bring his experience, insight and knowledge with him.
We have so many reasons to celebrate the fantastic home-grown talent we have at the University of Birmingham, so congratulations to all of those who have been selected. We are also wishing the very best of luck to our athletes who are still waiting to hear, so watch this space for more Birmingham 2022 announcements.
We hope you all enjoyed BUCS Big Wednesday 2022, whether you supported in Nottingham, followed online, or of course played a match.
There was so much to celebrate yesterday, from our Squash club bringing three teams in total, to both the Men’s and Women’s Hockey first teams reaching the Championship Final, and our Rugby League 1s reaching the event for the very first time.
Our Netball 1s have been the ones to watch this season, going into their fixture against Hertfordshire with a real confidence and togetherness. From the first whistle our girls were completely in-sync with one another, and there were some fantastic partnerships on show from the likes of Harriet Sanderson (WD) and Ruth Hughes (C), just to name a few.
The whole team really stepped up for yesterday’s final, and proved exactly why they are EY Premiership Champions, but we must say a special well done to Lottie Robinson (GK) who was relentless in her defense, and Kat Short (GS) who held her nerve under immense pressure.
Another fixture which was incredibly tough to call was the Hockey Women’s 1s match against Nottingham. It looked like the game would end in penalties, until unfortunately Nottingham scored in the final quarter. Nevertheless our girls made it incredibly tough for the home side on the day, as did the Men’s 1s, giving many very proud Lions fans two fantastic games of Hockey despite the result.
Also taking to the pitch in extremely warm weather was our Rugby League 1s. Winning the National Trophy title may have been somewhat unimaginable for the team two years ago, but what they have achieved this season has been heroic and we are immensely proud of how far they’ve come in just one season. It’s also great to see a 42-24 loss to Hull didn’t dampen their spirits, and we can’t wait to get them in front of their home crowd again!
Another club to be receiving a very warm welcome back to UoB is of course our Squash Club, who took over the courts for near enough the full day. Our Men’s and Women’s 1s are now Championship Cup runners-up, thanks to some fantastic performances from sport scholar Ali Khawas, player of the match Megan Van Drongelen, and many more.
Finally, huge congratulations to the new National Trophy Champions, our Squash Men’s 2s, who truly deserved the silverware yesterday. After five incredibly close matches against UWE, it was all down to Sam Sciver– who, after an extremely tense match, did not disappoint!
A fantastic weekend at the BUCS Karate Championships saw University of Birmingham place third overall among top competition.
There were strong performances all round for UoB with so many athletes pulling out their best performances across the competition last weekend. Taking place at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena, UoB’s Karate Club took twenty-two competitors to the championship, accompanied by seven coaches and team members to support them. The championship saw a range of disciplines being performed, showcasing karate at its best.
One competitor who really shined throughout the championship was UoB Sports Scholar Sukhjote Sohal who secured a gold medal in the -75 kg Senior Kumite tournament (fighting). This victory set the tone for the rest of the team who went on to achieve another seven medals across the weekend.
In the female +68 kg Senior Kumite, Mary Roper succeeded in her medal bid, winning a bronze medal in her event. Joseph Estruch, who is also the club’s President, also brought home a medal, securing a bronze in the -60 kg Senior Kumite. Both deserve a huge congratulations after fighting off some tough competition.
Also performing well was Davide Dal Martello who won two medals across the weekend. His first came in the Novice Male Kata event where he and fellow teammate Tom Waltham secured silver and bronze respectively. Martello then went on to win another silver medal in the Male -80 kg Novice Kumite, making it a very successful weekend for him.
In the Intermediate Male Kata, UoB won two medals again, with Theo Gannon and Joey Lim winning silver and bronze in the event to bring the medal count up to eight. There were many other impressive performance of UoB’s Karate members across the weekend, all contributing to UoB’s third place finish in the championship.
President Joseph Estruch was very pleased with his club’s performance. “Overall, a very strong set of results for UoB Karate,” he said, praising the team. “We have the potential to win many more next year.”
With so much talent in the team, next year’s championship may be even better for UoB’s Karate Club. A massive congratulations to Karate and everyone who competed. Next year’s competition is already shaping up to be another success!
A crushing win by Birmingham’s Netball 1s yesterday at Intercept see the Lions straight through to the National Championship Final.
In front of a home crowd, Birmingham never looked like losing. Right from the first centre pass, the Lions kept Exeter out, piling on the defensive pressure and forcing Exeter to make riskier passes. Goal Defence Kate Henshall’s incredible interception early on in the first quarter set the tone as Birmingham looked to start strong. The defence continued to make Exeter’s life difficult, forcing many errors and allowing the Lions to start pulling away. By the end of the first quarter, Birmingham were leading the way 14-3.
Into the second quarter, Goal Shooter Kat Short was still going strong. Birmingham looked firmly in control and starting to settle into their rhythm. Some fantastic plays in centre court from Ruth Hughes (Centre) and Captain Jessie Ducker (Wing Attack) kept the Birmingham shooters well fed. Hughes and Ducker’s partnership was unmatched by the Exeter defence who couldn’t seem to keep up with the pair in mid-court. After Goal Attack Sophie Jackson’s interception stopped Exeter from gaining another goal, Birmingham finished the second quarter 26-7.
The half-time show once again saw an incredible performance from the Birmingham Pussycats cheer squad. The crowd in Munrow Arena was thoroughly entertained by the Pussycats who have really made their mark at the Super Series this year. Even Rory the Lion got involved!
The beginning of the third quarter after half time saw one change for Birmingham with Rosie Gray coming on at Wing Defence. She immediately made an impact by forcing a turnover just as Exeter were trying to make a strong start to the second half of the game. President Lottie Robinson continued to force the Exeter Goal Shooter out of the circle, keeping Exeter’s score down as the third quarter continued. Once again, Short stayed calm and collected, maintaining her shooting to the highest possible level. Even Exeter’s change in Goal Keeper couldn’t keep her out of the circle for long. The end of the third quarter ended 41-16 and a tired looking Exeter side trudged back to their dugout, seemingly demoralised.
Quarter four unfortunately started with an injury for Birmingham with Georgia Pexton taking a nasty fall. After a brief pause in proceedings to help Pexton off the court to assess her knee injury, the game resumed with Exeter coming out of the gates strong. It took a little while for Birmingham to find their stride again, no doubt shaken from Pexton’s injury, but the Lions soon settled back into their usual rhythm. Birmingham made several other changes throughout the last quarter, seeming to rotate their squad nicely to give everyone some court time. Exeter did manage to find some traction throughout this quarter, pulling their score up from their disappointing first three quarters. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Birmingham who finished the match 58-31.
Next up for the Lions, they face Hertfordshire 1s in the National Championship Final on Wednesday 23 March. Hertfordshire, who took everyone by surprise by beating Loughborough in their semi-final, were undefeated in their league and so will be tough competition for the Lions heading into the final. Make sure you catch it!
Next week, we have not one, not two, but eighteen University of Birmingham teams competing in semi-finals or finals for their respective championships and trophies.
This is an incredible achievement for the university sports community. With so much to look forward to, check out our preview below for the upcoming matches:
The Hockey Women’s 1s kick us off at home at the Bournbrook Pitches. This undefeated team will be playing Durham University 1s in the ICG Women’s National Championship for a place in the final.
Next up, the Hockey Men’s 1s and 2s are back in action at home. The Birmingham 1s will face off against Exeter’s 2s while the Birmingham 2s will play Edinburgh’s 1s. Both are playing in the Men’s National Vase and, if both win, we could be in for an all-Birmingham final!
For Squash, the Men’s and Women’s 1s will be facing off against Loughborough Men’s 1s and Edinburgh Women’s 1s. Both teams are in for tough games, with their opponents looking strong, but Birmingham’s huge success so far this year may just give them the upper hand.
Netball fans are definitely in for a treat on Wednesday with our BUCS Super Series event Intercept also coinciding with the semi-final of the EY Netball National Championship. The University of Exeter will be travelling up to Birmingham for this stellar of a match, so make sure you don’t miss it! Catch our full preview of the event here.
Finally, our American Football team will be playing the only away match of this group, battling the University of Nottingham on their home ground. This is sure to be a brutal game for the Lions with Nottingham having come out top of their league. But never say never as our Lions are sure to have some tricks up their sleeve.
Rugby League 1s are ready to storm through to the finals of the National Trophy, preparing to defeat the University of Cambridge for their Wednesday match. After winning their league by a country mile, the 1s will be hoping to use this momentum to win some silverware. Make sure to catch them on the Bournbrook Pitches at 16:30 to cheer them on.
Squash are also battling it out for a place in the National Trophy finals with the Men’s 2s playing Durham Men’s 1s on Wednesday. Once again, they will be in for a difficult match with Durham’s impressive track record. But with three teams into major semi-finals, Birmingham have already proven their capability and are certainly in with a chance.
Our final team in the National Trophy are the Lacrosse Women’s 2s. They will be travelling down to Exeter to face their Women’s 2s for a place in the final. Already through, Nottingham Trent’s Women’s 1s await the winner of this match. If Birmingham win, then we’ll have a Midlands derby on our hands for the trophy decider.
Conference Cup Finals
Birmingham’s Hockey Club are at it again with their Men’s 3s through to the final of the Men’s Midlands Conference Cup. Wednesday will see them face the University of Nottingham Men’s 5s in a derby clash. Birmingham Hockey already have four teams in major semi-finals or finals this Wednesday, and so a win for the 3s will definitely set a winning tone for the rest of the club to follow.
If three teams in semi-finals on Wednesday wasn’t enough squash for you, then you’re in luck as the Women’s 2s and the Men’s 3s are back in action in the Midlands Conference Cup. Both will be playing against Nottingham, the men facing Nottingham’s 4s while the women play the Women’s 3s. This is a huge opportunity to win some silverware for Birmingham’s Squash Club so let’s hope for wins all round.
Netball are also in with a chance of extra trophies with the 5s playing Loughborough’s 6s away from home. Birmingham 1s have already secured their place in the National Championship Semi-Finals, now the 5s will be looking for their own victory with a Midlands Conference trophy to their name.
Playing further afield, Birmingham’s Golf Mixed 3s are preparing to meet Oxford Brookes Mixed 1s at Ruddington Grange Golf Club in Nottingham. Birmingham are currently top of their league with ten points and two matches in hand, so we can expect that they will put in an excellent performance in the Conference Cup. Oxford Brookes sit mid-table in their league and so Birmingham should hope for a comfortable win in this match up.
Badminton’s Women’s 3s are already looking in good shape having not lost a game this year. In their Midlands Conference final, they will play Nottingham Trent 1s for the trophy. After strong performance in their league, Badminton will surely hope for a win here.
For Water Polo, Birmingham’s Men’s 1s are undefeated in their league after some incredible games. Having already defeated Oxford Brookes Men’s 1s in their league, they will be feeling confident heading into their Conference Cup final match on Wednesday. We can definitely expect a good contest here to help contribute to Birmingham’s trophy count.
Finally, to finish off our cup run preview, our undefeated Tennis Women’s 1s head into their Conference Cup final against Loughborough Women’s 4s. Loughborough also remain unchallenged in their league and so we can expect a tight match for this one. The 1s will be looking to dominate early if they are to snatch a victory.
Next week is sure to be a thriller for Birmingham sport. With high stakes, action-packed sport right on our doorstep, make sure you head down to the Bournbrook Pitches or Sport and Fitness to support the Lions. Don’t miss it!
The fourth Super Series event of the year will see Birmingham 1s go head-to-head with University of Exeter 1s on Wednesday 9th March in the EY Netball National Championship semi-final. Exeter, who are currently second place in the Premier South Division, are sure to provide tough competition for the Lions. However, with Birmingham currently in top spot in the Premier North Division, the match will be a real showcase for all netball fans.
Ruth Hughes, Vice Captain of the Birmingham 1s, emphasised the excitement of the event. “It’s our big netball event where loads of fans can come and watch,” she told UBSport. “We’ll be on the show court and it’s just a great event for everyone to come to.”
Not only will there be fantastic netball to watch, but also a half time performance from the Birmingham Pussycats. So far this year, our cheerleaders have led the way for UoB support at XpLoSION, Engage, and Rebellion, and so their performance at Intercept is highly anticipated.
Birmingham have only lost one game this year from their league matches, already proving that they are the team to watch. However, Exeter will pose a new challenge to the squad who are hoping to make it ten wins from eleven on Wednesday. With a place in the National Championship finals on the line, both teams are sure to come out fighting.
Also excited about the match is UoB Netball’s President, Lottie Robinson, who told UBSport of the team’s intense preparation. “All the girls have been working really hard on and off the court,” she said. “We’re all really excited to be playing in front of fans so hopefully we’ll bring home a win.”
With Intercept being the last Super Series event of the year, this is UoB’s opportunity to end the series with a bang. After fantastic performances at XpLoSION, Engage, and Rebellion, it is time for Netball’s Intercept to shine.
To watch the Birmingham Netball 1s, get yourself down to the Munrow Arena in Sport and Fitness on Wednesday 9th Match at 6pm. Don’t miss out!
With Rebellion just days away, UBSport caught up with the Birmingham Lions Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams ahead of Saturday’s matches.
The event, which will take place on Saturday 26th February at the University of Birmingham Sports and Fitness, is set to be a real showcase of UoB’s basketball talent. Starting at 3pm, the women will be playing the University of Wolverhampton whilst the men will play Birmingham City University (BCU) at 5pm. Rebellion will be a key match for both teams as they battle for places in their respective leagues, making it a tense fixture for everyone involved.
Kate Biddulph, the Women’s 1s Captain, encourages everyone to come down and watch the matches. “Tickets are only £3 for a bleachers ticket and £5 for a courtside ticket,” she told UBSport. “So it’s cheap and cheerful. Bring all your friends, bring all your housemates, it’ll be a really good time.”
Taylor Bernard, the Captain of the Men’s 1, echoed Biddulph’s enthusiasm. “It’s our biggest basketball game of the year,” he said. “We have all our fans and supporters come out and watch us. It’ll be great fun.”
Saturday’s event will also include a half time performance by the Birmingham Pussycats who many will remember from XpLosION and Engage earlier this year. It goes to show that Rebellion is not just a basketball game, but an event that the whole university community can get behind.
As for the league, Rebellion is a good opportunity for both teams to climb up the table. For the women, Biddulph was keen to make an impact. “It’s a really important game,” she said. “It’s been really tough obviously without having competition last year for us to pick up some momentum and gel as a team. So I think we’re at a really important point where we could really make this a good win and potentially make second in the table.”
Bernard also stressed the high stakes of the match. “For our Rebellion fixture we will be playing BCU who are currently top of the table,” he told UBSport. “We are fighting to beat Worcester in mid-table so it’s important that we get this win.”
Despite the importance of the matches, both teams are excited to play basketball again in front of home crowds. Matt Dunn, who will be playing in his first Rebellion, had no doubt in what it meant to the players. “I’m personally very excited for it, so are the team,” he said. “We haven’t performed in front of a crowd in a long time so it’s going to be brilliant to have the atmosphere and the support.”
If you would like to watch Rebellion, there’s still time to buy tickets! Just follow the link below to purchase your tickets now! The even promises to be one to remember so don’t miss it!