December 28, 2021, by brzbs1

A year in review: 2021

2021 has most definitely been a year of two halves for everyone at the University of Nottingham Sport, but also a very successful year. Having started the year in lockdown, we are so grateful to have seen the #GreenandGold return to campus, fitness facilities and sports fields over the last five to six months.

We started the year by continuing our online virtual workouts that were delivered by our superb fitness team remotely. Members of our community could still take part in a regular schedule of activities but in a safe environment as well as gaining insight and tips from our fitness team digitally, as opposed to how they would usually in person. Our clubs also played a pivotal role in ensuring that members still felt a sense of community in sport during lockdown and this was epitomised by our Tennis Club who were presented with the Education Award in the LTA Nottinghamshire County Awards. The club was celebrated for their inclusivity, high standard of coaching and positive atmosphere, as well as their club engagement during lockdown, with the club running multiple workouts and Q&A sessions with coaches. Their terrific achievements were recognised later in the year as the university was named LTA University of the Year.

By the time sport returned to the university in March, we had completed the construction of our new outdoor 3G pitch at David Ross Sports Village. Used for the first time by our Men’s Football Club on March 29th, the pitch has fortunately been well used since and benefits from two HD cameras that can be used for streaming and analysis. Examples of these can be seen on our YouTube channel which was also launched this year, and we look forward to expanding the possibilities of this technology to bring more #GreenandGold sport to people who cannot attend fixtures.

Away from the pitch, our outreach in the community programme Sport For Good continued to make great strides as a partnership with Notts County was announced. Led by the University of Nottingham, the programme uses the power of sport to drive real social change in the local community. Our student volunteer leaders engage in the programme to work with young people in schools to develop their life skills, design and undertake social action projects and help with the transition from primary to secondary school. In term one of 2021/22, 0ver 980 hours of volunteering has taken place by our 84 student volunteers.

Through the summer months of the year, life returned ever closer to normal as the best of our Intramural Sport programme was on show with our IMS All-Stars event, whilst some BUCS events returned such as the 25m Time Trial, Sprint Triathlon Championships, Outdoor Archery and Canoe Polo. Our annual varsity series with Nottingham Trent University also returned in the smaller capacity of ‘The Nottingham Games’ to provide a final chance at representing the #GreenandGold for our athletes that left Nottingham this summer.

Then we pivoted from one games to another as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics finally took place, one year later than originally planned. Despite the delay, the University of Nottingham was very well represented by alumni, current students and associates alike. It was hugely satisfying to see athletes we have supported push themselves to the top of their respective sports and come away with medals, including medals for Sophie Unwin, Stuart Wood, Emily Campbell and Zhao Shuai.

Back on campus, preparations were well underway for the new academic year with our Just Play programme being launched to offer students a fun and safe way to try out new sports with 306 sessions delivered since it began, as well as a new headline sponsor for our IMS programme in Super Smash. The popularity of our IMS programme has never been higher with our biggest amount of teams being entered in the first term of this academic year, with over 2,500 fixtures being played in total!

We were also finally able to celebrate the University of Nottingham Rugby clubs centenary year, as well as induct rugby legend Brian Moore into the University of Nottingham Sport Hall of Fame. Our Girls’ Night In event also returned with a bang, being shortlisted for a FISU Gender Equality Award for the continued work that the programme does to encourage females to engage in physical activity and sport. Alongside this we were also hugely proud that the University of Nottingham won four BUCS Awards whilst being nominated for seven in total. This included the Men’s Football Club winning the Club Charity Initiative Award for their Free School Meals campaign that they have continued during half terms in 2021, our Women’s Rugby Club winning the Inspirational Committee Award for their innovative ways in engaging members, and awards for Angus Bradley and Elizabeth Tallett for their inspirational work during the pandemic.

Once Welcome Fair rolled around, we could not wait for all of our programmes to begin in earnest, including the return of BUCS Wednesday’s. Before the pandemic curtailed the season in 2020, we led the overall BUCS standings and we are delighted that we have re-established that position at the end of 2021. BUCS Sport returning to campus has meant that our athletes have been able to challenge themselves against the best that university sport has to offer and has very often come out on top. This was the case in our first Headliner event since the pandemic began as the University of Nottingham Men’s Football Club won 2-0 as they begun their #RoadToNottingham and the defence of their BUCS Trophy. We have also picked up individuals medals in many BUCS sports including a record breaking Table Tennis medal haul and a superb Tennis gold, whilst our Wheelchair Basketball took part in BUCS competition for the first time to huge success!

Towards the end of the year there was no let up as the #GreenandGold continued to affect positive change in the community during the month of November. Over £60,000 was raised for Movember through fundraising activities organised by our clubs, whilst the University of Nottingham Cycling Club president Luke Halls raised over £5,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Many clubs also showed their support of the Rainbow Laces campaign by lacing up in rainbow colours for their BUCS fixtures.

Since sport and fitness returned this summer, it is fair to say that our students and members have not wasted any time in making up lost ground during lockdown and we hopefully look forward to so much more in 2022!

All in all it has been an incredible year of sport and fitness, both on and off campus, and the main reason for that is you! Thank you and have a fantastic end to 2021!


Posted in AchievementBUCSElite sportEngageIMSInclusive Sport