Gold Medallists Team England celebrate during the Women's Hockey Medal Ceremony on day ten of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at University of Birmingham Hockey & Squash CentreCategoriesStudent News

Past and Present UoB Stars Selected for Birmingham 2022

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.”

CategoriesStudent News

Past and Present UoB Stars Selected for Birmingham 2022

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.

University of Birmingham men's hockey team photo with their silver medalsCategoriesStudent News

The Lions Did Us Proud At BUCS Big Wednesday

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!

Six University of Birmingham athletes wearing their medals at the BUCS Karate ChampionshipCategoriesStudent News

UoB Place Third at BUCS Karate Championships

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!

University of Birmingham netball player takes a shot during a game in the Munrow ArenaCategoriesStudent News

Intercept: The Lions Dominate Exeter in 58-31 Victory

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!

Netball Squad Team PhotoCategoriesStudent News

Intercept Preview: Final Super Series Event of the Year!

Intercept is almost here with the University of Birmingham Netball team raring to go!

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!

Basketball players from the University of Birmingham pose in front of the basketball hoop in their red match kitCategoriesStudent News

Rebellion Preview: The Super Series Continues Here!

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!


To buy your tickets, click here!

Runners shaking hands after raceCategoriesStudent News

A Record-Breaking Weekend of BUCS Action For UoB

It was medals-galore for the University of Birmingham this weekend, with many of our clubs competing across the country at the highest level.

ATHLETICS

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.

SQUASH

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.

GYMNASTICS

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.

KORFBALL

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.

The women's rugby team pose for a celebratory team photo between the rugby posts at University of BirminghamCategoriesStudent News

Double Victory for Birmingham Lions at Engage

After dominating performances, UoB’s men’s and women’s rugby clubs triumphed over Nottingham Trent and Loughborough at Engage.

Opening the second Super Series event of the year with the women’s match, the event looked fated to be a spectacular one. The pre-match build-up heard a lot of talk about the talent in Loughborough’s squad, especially with their impressive undefeated league record heading into the game. For other teams, they may have felt defeated before the match had even begun. But for Birmingham, they seemed to thrive under the pressure. Within the first six minutes, Amber Swinglehurst had broken through the Loughborough defensive line and scored the first try of the match, which was swiftly converted by Sophie Jones to make the score 7-0 Birmingham.

A stunned Loughborough team then made several mistakes in quick succession, allowing for Charlotte Daley to make a fantastic run down the left wing to score the second try of the match. Once again, Sophie Jones was cool under pressure and made a difficult conversion with ease. Loughborough managed to sneak in a lucky try off a loose ball but, heading into half time, Birmingham looked to be in control.

The second half was where the real fireworks began. Charlotte Daley once again stormed down the left wing, dodging three opposing players before she dove over the try line. Another collected conversion by Sophie Jones, followed by tries for Vice Captain Sophie Jarett and Molly Chidzey, brought the score up to 31-12. With the end of the match in sight, Charlotte Daley made an incredible interception to score her hat-trick in the 81st minute of the game.

The final score: 36-12, with Charlotte Daley winning a well-deserved Player of the Match.

It was a tough act to follow, but the men certainly lived up to expectations. Like the women, they made their mark quickly, with Matt Harrison scoring within the first five minutes and leaving Nottingham Trent scrambling to keep up. Despite an equaliser soon after, the Lions took this in their stride with Harrison scoring his second of the night which was coolly converted by Nick Blain. Birmingham barely played a minute in their own half, scoring two more tries in quick succession before Trent finally managed to score again, making it 24-14.

With half time looming, Will Pearce made an excellent run through the Trent defence, diving over the try line much to the crowd’s excitement. A successful conversion by Blain saw Birmingham heading back to their dugout firmly in control with the score at 31-14.

After half time, the tries just kept coming. Some fantastic play from Traynor and Bugg ended with tries for each of them, the Lion’s score creeping higher as the minutes went on. As players began to tire, Nottingham Trent started to make a small comeback, scoring two tries quickly to bring the score up to 50-37. But the Lions had the last say, finishing the game with a bang by scoring and converting their last try in the dying seconds of the match.

Final score: 57-42, with Will Pearce winning Player of the Match for his excellent contribution.

With Engage over for another year, both teams can reflect on their success as they start to think about recruitment once again for next season. There’s never been a more exciting time to play rugby and it’s safe to say that this year’s event will go down as one of the most successful Super Series events ever. It was certainly a night to remember.

Seven of the women's cricket team stoof with their bronze medals at the National Indoor FinalsCategoriesStudent News

UoB Women’s Cricket Third in Country at National Indoor Finals Day

In front of a home crowd at Edgbaston Stadium, UoB’s Women’s Cricket secured a thrilling third-place finish at the National Indoor Finals Day on Saturday.

The day was already set to be a spectacle with eight university teams from across the country heading to Birmingham in the hopes of securing the title. Competing in Group 2, Birmingham faced off against Kent, Edinburgh, and Cardiff Met in three matches to make it through to the semi-finals.


Match 1 against Kent got Birmingham off to a good start with Kent batting first and making 85-5. Tilly Mason bowled incredibly well, finishing with figures of 3-12 off her two overs. When Birmingham came to bat, they cruised along, knocking off the runs required with no wickets lost. Batting highlights included Gemma Porter’s 27* and Tilly Mason’s 24*.


Birmingham’s second match against Edinburgh was more of a challenge. After batting first, Birmingham put on an impressive 82-4 with Mason again scoring freely, making 28*. She was well supported by Ellie Harris who defied Edinburgh’s bowlers and scored an extra 11* runs to Birmingham’s total. Once again, Birmingham bowled well with Mason taking 2 wickets and Captain Sophie Hoyes also taking 2-22. But Edinburgh just managed to chase down the runs with only five balls to spare.


Match 3 saw Cardiff Met bat first and scoring an incredible 121-1. It was always going to be a tough ask to chase such a huge total and, unfortunately, Birmingham were unable to catch up. However, Holly Reeder’s 21 and Becca Woodnorth’s 12 would prove useful and gave all the Birmingham fans something to cheer for.

After suffering two losses and drawing on points with Edinburgh, a tense waiting game ensued as the match umpires discussed and calculated the run rates to decide who went through to the semi-finals. Eventually, after what was described as “the closest tie they’d seen”, the umpires declared Birmingham through to the semi-final.


Birmingham batted first, making 63-6 with Porter once again showcasing some incredible and scoring 35 runs. Loughborough’s bowlers performed well and restricted Birmingham’s total. It was a difficult innings in which to score however the end total was very defendable.


When Birmingham came to bowl, they started off strongly and managed to contain Loughborough’s famously destructive batters. Hoyes and Porter both took wickets, making Loughborough work hard to chase the runs down. Sadly, Birmingham’s final dreams were not to be as Loughborough managed to win the match with an over to spare – a close game worthy of a semi-final.


Loughborough would go on to win championship, however Birmingham’s performance meant they achieved third in the table. Sophie Hoyes, Birmingham’s Captain, expressed how proud she was of the team.

“We went into the finals with zero expectations,” she said. “But I was massively proud of how everyone performed individually and as a team.” Hoyes went onto say how grateful the squad was for the crowd’s support at Edgbaston. “It really boosted everyone,” she added. “We’re now looking forward to taking our success into the outdoor season!”


The performance in the indoor competition certainly bodes well for the summer’s outdoor championship. With Birmingham already preparing for their next matches, it is safe to say we can expect a lot more excitement from this squad in the months to come!