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University of Birmingham Sport


The ones to watch at BUCS Nationals

BUCS Nationals will return to Sheffield for its 10th year in 2019; held in a range of high performance venues across the city, the event provides the ultimate 3 days of BUCS Championship events. With several disciplines on the agenda, over 6000 students will come together over the weekend of 15th-17th of February – plus over 500 officials and volunteers who oversee the event to make the sport happen on and off the field. This is certainly not one to miss, so make sure you’re tuned into the one of the greatest weekends University sport has to offer.

In the line-up for this year’s Athletics, Badminton, Judo, Karate, Long-Course Swimming, Fencing and Climbing events are a number of University of Birmingham scholars and students currently preparing to take on one of their biggest competitions of the year. This year, over 200 students will don the Lion and hope to bring back the medal haul back to the West Midlands for the team.

Here’s who to keep an eye out for this year…


The English Institute of Sport will host a range of team and individual indoor athletic events. This world class venue will see track events from 60m sprints to 3000m tests of endurance, and also team relays, whilst the field events include shot put, triple, long and high jump as well as pole vault. Ranked number 1 in the world, Mari Smith in the 800m is one to watch with Issy Boffey (world number 2) also creating great competition. Competing across the 1500m and 3000m distances are scholars James Gormley, Vic Weir and Sabrina Sinha, and in the triple jump is Talent ID student Laura Zialor, who, after opening the indoor season with her best jump since 2016, is definitely one to watch. Plus, of course, the event we are all truly waiting for…the Mascot race! Rory the Lion will be lining up against up to 22 other university mascots in the real race for honour on the Saturday, which is this year raising money for the Danny Porter Foundation.



Also being held at the English Institute of Sport is the Badminton Championships, the fastest racket sport in the world. The 3 days of competition will see some of the best university athletes compete in both singles and doubles competitions. Representing University of Birmingham in singles is 2018’s Bronze individual winner Samodani Wijetunge and Nikki Grest, with Nikki being joined by Lydia Ip to make a strong team in the ladies doubles.



Judo is also set to feature at this National event over the weekend at the iceSheffield venue. The competition is divided into Dan and Kyu grades, which will each feature team and individual events split by weight category. Back representing Team UoB is Lucy Day, who is hoping to continue from last year’s Bronze success in the Dan grade, despite recovering only recently from an injury. In the same -63kg category is Holly Bentham, looking to make her debut at the national event.


On the Saturday and Sunday of BUCS Nationals the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre will host the Karate Championship. This will feature Individual, Men’s Team, Women’s Team and Kata Team events. From University of Birmingham, scholar Mairi Kerin will be returning in seek of a medal following her BUCS Gold last year.


Also being held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre is the Long-Course Swimming championships. The jam-packed line-up of strokes features butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke races from 50m up to 200m, freestyle from 50m up to 1500m, individual medley 200m and 400m as well as both 4x100m freestyle and medley relays. Team UoB is again to take one of its largest teams consisting of Jessica Shaw, Issy Grittiths, Eleanor Morris, Liam Snook, Will Slawson and Charly Neilson.



The Fencing Individual Championships will return to Sheffield in 2018 as part of the BUCS Nationals. They will take place at Graves Tennis Centre where all disciplines of Epee, Sabre and Foil will be featured. UoB will be represented by the top ranked fencers at the University, including scholar Benjamin Bates, who will be hoping for a medal, and students Sophie Duxon, Isobel Rutherford and Aiden Sharp.


On the Saturday of BUCS Nationals the best university climbers will gather at the Climbing Works to compete in both men’s and women’s individual events. Team UoB is sending a strong and sizeable team of 11 climbers, all hoping to cling onto success across a multitude of events. The climbing team includes students Ben Crocker, Joseph Crolla, Bastien Durand, John Luckett, Max Papadopoulos, Alex Slaughter, Alice Boughton, Ella Gilbert, Rebecca Griffiths, Cecilia Hallpike and Lydia Hook. Good luck team!


Don’t forget to follow the progress of our talented team of athletes and cheer them to victory! You can keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram for latest updates and news.


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