December 8, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja

University of Nottingham secures four National BUCS Awards

University of Nottingham won four awards at the 2020 Virtual BUCS Awards.

The BUCS sport season may have been shortened but Nottingham had already made their mark on the 2020/21 season; achieving medals, breaking record and developing inclusive opportunities for those in sport. Nottingham had been shortlisted for eight of the awards during the evening, showcasing the outstanding sport offer.

The event celebrated the achievements of student athletes who excelled in their sporting endeavours, as well as those volunteers and administrators who have gone above and beyond to progress the sports provision of their institution.


Team of the Year- Track Cycling

During the last BUCS session, University of Nottingham track cycling team won a staggering ten medals (6Gold & 4 Silver) at the BUCS Track Championships. At the same Tournament, also achieved two brand new BUCS Team Pursuit records, with the men securing the overall team title, whilst the women finished 2nd overall. Then, in the National Championships, they achieved 3 personal bests and both team pursuits achieved national medals, for the first time ever in our University history.

 Digital Engagement – University of Nottingham, Empower

Launched in October 2019 and supported by BUCS and Sport England funding, the Empower campaign engages with inactive female students through education on the social, mental and physical benefits of being active. The programme includes sporting sessions, health workshops and one-off events all supported by a vibrant online campaign and community. To engage with this challenging target market, an integrated digital campaign was carefully developed alongside our design agency. This offered a fresh look, represented diverse backgrounds within our community and used a range of the latest digital tools to reach students. We also partnered with on-trend Shreddy fit-tech brand, the first such partnership in HE sport. With over 135,000 followers and promoting accessible online fitness content, Shreddy offered the perfect platform to amplify our message. Empower has been a huge success surpassing in-person and digital engagement targets, including exceeding 55,000 social media impressions.

Student Volunteer of the year- Peter Boyes

In his 5 years as President, Pete has enabled the club to double in size from 50 members in his first year to 124 at the end of 2020. Represented the UoN Sport at BUCS Rowing events for five years at the regatta, 4’s and 8’s and the small boats. Pete has also represented England at the home international regatta in the coxless 4’s. In 2018 and 19, he fully organised andcompeted in the International University Regatta in China. Leading men’s 8’s to a bronze medal in 2018 and ladies 8’s gold in 2019.

Sportswoman of the year- Esme Burge, Hockey

Esme Burge has been an outstanding student and athlete for three years at the University of Nottingham. Esme gained her senior GB international debut in June 2019 when Great Britain’s women played Germany in the FIH Hockey Pro League, earning an assist in a dramatic 3:4 defeat. Having progressed through the GB Elite Development Pathway and representing England at the 2016 U21 World Cup aged just 16, Esme was offered a full-time contract on the senior programme in 2019, leading to further squad selections in the FIH Hockey Pro League against Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia, as well as a tour of Japan in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


Runners up:

Unsung hero- Hannah Webber

Hannah supports inclusive participation programmes, new campaigns, mentors para-athletes, advocates for the importance of mental health and wellbeing, as well as sitting on the University Board for EDI and the BUCS Inclusion Board. On top of all this, Hannah spends what little free time she has coaching Goalball and volunteering in the sport. Hannah is driving the growth of inclusive sporting environments at Nottingham, and bringing all students on the journey with her. She is kind, caring and determined to make university sport a safer, better place for all.

Diversity & Inclusion – University of Nottingham, Rainbow Laces

In the 2019-20 academic year the sports department collaborated with the SU LGBT+ Officer and student network, to actively support the Rainbow Laces campaign and inclusion in sport. We engaged over 35 sports clubs, 20 intramural sports teams and 40 members of staff in the Rainbow Laces campaign. We have since seen a more open dialogue around LGBT+ inclusion within sport at the University. Our Marketing team supported the campaign through the development of an LGBT+ inclusion in sport video, which was shared across digital platforms ensuring that the inclusive sport message reached out to all of our 35,000 students. There has been a noticeable culture shift around LGBT+ inclusion in sport at Nottingham. We have seen key changes to membership processes, facility accessibility and ongoing support from our student run clubs, programmes and societies.

 Sportsman of the year- Stefano Lucchetti, Fencing

Stefano Lucchetti has raised the level of excellence within the University of Nottingham Fencing Club as he ended the season ranked 45th in the world. Winning BUCS individual men’s sabre in February he became the first UoN Fencing Gold medallist in memory, achieving his title in style eliminating a former World Cadet bronze medallist. A victory that has since gone on to inspire the whole club.

In the BUCS Premier North League Stefano had a hits ratio of 2.5 in sabre (2.5 hits scored for each hit conceded) and, with one of the clubs key fencers on a semester abroad, Stefano stepped up and fenced two weapons helping the team take 3rd place overall.

However, on the piste is only one aspect that Stefano has brought to the university and the club. He has taken an active part in the development of the club, becoming an active mentor for his teammates and a motivator in bringing the different weapon groups together. His relentless effort, positivity and work ethic in training has had a massive impact on the sabre group, the men’s firsts and the club overall. Despite focussing on efforts to qualify for the Olympic Games, Stefano has never been distracted from the desire to work for the team and support his team captain and coach in creating the best possible environment to grow fencing at University of Nottingham.

Club of the year- Tennis Club

The club encompasses over 275 members, ranging from complete beginners to BUCS international representatives, with a committee and coaching team dedicated to providing a full pathway of inclusive activity, investing and upskilling their members and building fruitful partnerships within the local community.


Find out more about Sport at Nottingham: Welcome to the University of Nottingham Sport – The University of Nottingham

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