February 14, 2019, by Charlotte Gauja

#GreenandGold gear up for BUCS Nationals 2019 | Friday 15 – Sunday 17 February

The Annual British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championships are back for 2019, this weekend.

The action has returned to Sheffield for three action packed days of student sport bringing together individual BUCS Championship events which take place across the city at venues including the English Institute of Sport and Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. And this year’s UoN athletes are eager to improve on last year’s record medal haul.

Over 6000 students are set to take part in the event with over 500 officials and volunteers making the sport happen on and off the field of play, with individual medals up for grabs in nine different sports including badminton, judo and athletics.

University of Nottingham will be taking 148 athletes to the finals having prepared meticulously alongside their coaches and team of conditioning experts at the High Performance Zone in David Ross Sports Village.

We caught up with UoN Badminton scholar and 1st year physiotherapy student, Emily Westwood as she heads to Sheffield her first BUCS Nationals. Emily recently started University of Nottingham as a mature student after she stopped playing badminton full-time last year. Emily reached a career high ranking of 32nd in the world and aims to bring her experience to cope well under-pressure to her doubles pairings this weekend to achieve results for the Green and Gold.

Speaking to UoN Sport before the weekend, Emily said, “I have never been to Nationals before and don’t know what to expect- I wasn’t aware of all the other sports also heading to Sheffield so I am looking forward to supporting the green and gold athletes and want to wish them the best of luck!”

“This weekend I am competing in the woman’s doubles, with Li Lian Yang and Phone Pyae Naing mixed doubles. Li Lian and I recently won the Irish open together which felt great as we have never actually been on court playing together before- we have played against each other a lot in the past and known each other for a while because of that. We work well as a team and she’s hard not to get on with because she’s so relaxed.”

We also caught up with NOVA scholar, psychology student and last year’s Nationals breaststroke finalist, Cira Fletcher.

Speaking about her return to the water at Ponds Forge this weekend, she said, “I’m quite excited about Nationals this weekend, having raced last year I know it’s a great atmosphere to race in. I finished 5th and 6th in breast stroke last year and it gives me confidence going into to this year as I know my times are better and I’m improving.

“I’m a bit nervous but that’s typical before a race for me and I’m excited for the opportunity to go faster this year. To prepare for a race I usually to listen to music to calm down and get into the zone, I’m feeling confident at the moment and I can’t wait to get started.”

“I share a house with Polly Holden so I’ve been supporting her for her 10k in Doha and she’s given me messages of support for Nationals at the weekend. Swimming is an individual sport, but it helps that we have a big team going and supporting each other. We understand each other and help support each other when we are racing.”

“The NOVA UoN Sport Scholars train at David Ross Sports Village and we get support for long course swimming which will hopefully really help us this weekend. A huge thank you must also go to Speedo who support us with kit and equipment to advance our programme.”

The results from Nationals last year’s record breaking weekend are below:

BUCS Nationals 2018 Result Highlights


  • Women’s Singles: Gold medal (Li Lian Yang)
  • Men’s Singles: Bronze medal (Phone Pyae Naing)
  • Mixed Doubles: Gold medal (Li Lian Yang and Phone Pyae Naing)
  • Men’s Doubles: Bronze medal (Sam Smith and Harry Arksey)


  • 800m Breaststroke: Silver medal (Polly Holden)
  • 400m Freestyle: Bronze medal (Polly Holden)
  • 100m Breaststroke: 6thplace (Cira Fletcher)
  • 50m Breaststroke: 5thPlace (Cira Fletcher)


  • Short Range Rifle: Bronze medal (Tim Jeffery)


  • Men’s Epée Last 16: (Henry Kopra)
  • Men’s Foil Last 32: (Alexander Jones)


  • Men’s Team Kumite: Bronze medal
  • Men’s -63kgs Senior Kumite :  Bronze medal (Jack Goody)
  • Men’s Senior Kumite:-84kg: 5thplace (James Conlan)
  • Women’s Senior Kumite: 5thplace (Caroline Shaw)


  • Men’s -81kg: Quarter Final (Adam England)


  • Women’s 60m: Bronze medal (Hayley Mills)
  • Women’s 200m: Bronze medal (Hayley Mills)

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