Annual Leeds Sports Awards
This year’s Leeds Sports Awards were again a big success for the University with three University sports teams listed as finalists and the Women’s Rugby Union team announced winners of the Student Sport: Participation award! Runners up in their categories included The Volleyball club which was a finalist in the Student Sport: Performance category and Joy Cummings and the Women’s Rugby Club were both shortlisted as finalists in the Student Sport: Participation category. Congratulations to the winning team and runners-up!
As part of our work using the power of sport to strengthen local communities, the University sponsored the Inspirational Community Champions award, with Head of Sport Suzanne Glavin presenting the award at this year’s Leeds Sport Awards.
Supporting elite student athletes
Thanks to the support of colleagues from across SPA we have been able to support our elite student-athletes with National Governing Body elite exemptions, to train during the last two lockdown periods in the Edge on campus. This has been a huge support for these students enabling them to balance their studies and train effectively, a number of whom are now preparing to represent GB international events.
We have also recently been accredited by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) initiative. This enables us to provide further support to our elite athletes ensuring they can pursue both their academic and sporting careers simultaneously. All Dual Career Accredited Sites receive training and a toolkit of resources to equip them with practical dual career support and bring together all parties who work with the athlete.
Women’s Rugby League
In the season of 2020- 2021 we have seen our partnership strengthen not only with Leeds Rhinos Women’s Rugby League but also with the governing body England Rugby League.
We have played host to numerous England Senior Women’s training sessions as part of their preparation for the upcoming 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Our prestigious rugby facilities at Sports Park Weetwood have also drawn the attention of the wider professional rugby community with the facility being chosen as one of two central COVID Safe venues to host Women’s Super League (WSL) matches.
In the coming months, we look forward to welcoming the England Senior Men’s Rugby League 1st team to Weetwood as they too prepare for the Rugby League World Cup, as well as welcoming back the Leeds Rhinos Women’s Super League team in August for their home WSL matches.
Great success at Bodington Cycle Track
The hard work to ensure our facilities are safe and accessible has allowed us to welcome back over 75% of our community customers to the Bodington Cycle Circuit, within the first week following of the lifting of restrictions on 29 March. The University community has re-engaged with the facility, taking advantage of free access to the circuit for “pay and pedal”. Staff and students are using the facility in greater numbers than pre lockdown, whether this is during the “pay and pedal” sessions, which have seen a fivefold increase compared with 2019 or LUU club training session. Our pay and pedal sessions have seen nearly 100% increase of the number of participants, during the months of April and May compared to the same time, two years ago. It’s been so popular that one community user described the circuit as “the best thing since sliced bread!”
Mental Health Awareness Week
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, we hosted the University’s participation in this year’s BRIT challenge. 138 staff members took part in the inclusive virtual distance challenge to raise awareness and funds to support young adult mental health. Staff members tallied up an impressive 3,876.4 miles via walking, running, cycling and even roller skating and raised over £1000! Thank you to all who took part and donated in support of this great cause.
Summer camps for children
We have launched brand-new Gryphons Go Kids Camps. The first one will run in August and will be held at The Edge. Children can be booked onto either a one week or two-week camp. Children will have the opportunity to use our amazing facilities to swim, climb, explore the outdoors, as well as develop their physical skills and make use of our superb educational facilities. Read more information or make a booking here.