We are proud to have partnered with England Squash to host the prestigious British Junior Open tournament again this year. Bringing together the best junior Squash players from 53 countries for the U19’s tournament, there was a great buzz in the building across the week!
Recognising our Scholars
Two of our first year Scholars took part in the British Junior Open, both with strong Squash backgrounds including rankings in the December 2022 BUCS Individuals and the Professional Squash Association. Hana Ismail is one of our Elite Dual Career Athlete Pathway (EDCAP) Scholars, studying Medical Life and Geo Sciences. Our second Scholar, Olivia Besant, is one of our Squash Scholars who is studying first year Physiotherapy. With Hana finishing in 16th place representing Egypt, and Olivia in 23rd place representing England, they both gave an incredible performance!
Spanning across 5 days, we saw 650 players competing in 552 high-energy games. Our Munrow Arena was transformed with training courts and the main Glass court which was overlooked by hundreds of spectators.
On the final day of tournaments, we saw Finnlay Withington (England) and Amina Orfi (Egypt) claim their well-deserved under 19s titles.
British Junior Open winners Finnlay Withington (Left) and Amina Orfi (Right) holding their trophies.
A big well done to everyone who took part in the tournament this year, including those who volunteered to help make the event happen!
Interested in playing Squash at UoB? From social squash, to student squash teams, to performance squash, we offer something to suit all levels of abilities and personal goals.
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!
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!
It was medals-galore for the University of Birmingham this weekend, with many of our clubs competing across the country at the highest level.
University of Birmingham Athletics and Cross Country Club were simply outstanding at the BUCS Cross Country Championships in Horsenden Hill, London. After fighting off tough competition from the likes of Loughborough and St Mary’s Universities, our club won more medals than any other institution in the event’s history!
The pressure was on for our athletes, with the added incentive of World University Cross Country selection up for grabs too, but our club did not disappoint. The display of depth in the Men’s and Women’s shorter races not only made for an incredibly special day for the team, but also shows the potential for this team to grow its influence in the coming years.
In the men’s long race, Sports Scholar Will Battershill won the individual gold medal in epic style, whilst also securing the overall team win alongside club mates Will Barnicoat, Mike Ward and Joe Hudson. UoB claimed the top 4 spots in the men’s short race, with scintillating runs from Ethan O’shea, Tom Keen, Ollie Smart and Kristian Imroth, earning a team gold and team silver in the process, with another 4 Birmingham students finishing in the top 15.
In the Women’s races our cross-country stars really excelled as part of a team, with a special mention to long course team silver medallists Saskia Millard, Charlotte Alexander and Maisie Grice. The women’s team also won the gold medal in the short race. UoB is currently awaiting the selection for the GB World University Cross Country team later this week, but with teams of 6 male and females looking to be selected, we could well have 4-5 athletes earning GB call-ups.
A huge amount of credit to the students but also to our Athletics coaches who work extremely hard to produce these top quality athletes, including our coaches featured in our Game Changer campaign, Bud Baldaro.
Closer to home, our Sport & Fitness Club hosted BUCS Squash Premier League Stage 2, another exciting BUCS competition this weekend, with other Universities from around the UK arriving to compete.
There were some fantastic results across the board, with the Men’s 1s winning the competition undefeated and topping the table. Women’s 1s placing second, after narrowly missing out to the University of Nottingham in a close game. This gives us a strong advantage going into the cup with our teams being higher seeded.
Also this weekend, our Gymnastics Club travelled to Leicester for BUCS Gymnastics competition. Well done to Hannah Wedgewood, Holly Clark, Chandra Bhamidimarri, and Olivia Rabaiotti for their brilliant silver medal win in the Women’s All Round final, contributing to our BUCS points tally. Our club returned home with an incredible nine medals overall across the participatory levels.
On Saturday 6th February, three of our korfball teams set of for Cardiff to compete in a BUCS Regionals Tournament. Each team finished second in their group leading to a battle of the UoB teams, with the 1s coming out on top. They have now qualified for the BUCS National Championships.
OUR WINNING WEEKLY LEAGUE CLUBS
Finally, we’d like to say a huge congratulations to our Netball Women’s 1s, who have won the EY Premiership North BUCS Division and now progress onto the quarter-finals. Also on a winning streak this year are our Hockey Women’s 1s who have remained unbeaten all season and if they secure a win or draw on 9th Feb (2:30pm at home) they will have finished at the top of the ICG Women’s Premier National League – a title we have not won to date!
Term 2 is off to a flying start for lots of our clubs, and with many BUCS medals still up for grabs and the closing of leagues over the upcoming weeks. Turning an eye to BUCS Nationals on the weekend of the 18th – 20th February with over 100 athletes competing across 5 sports.
We’re very much looking forward to seeing what’s to come for our Lions.