Team Leicester - Year in Review

Posted by nats2 at May 16, 2017 09:30 AM |
We take a look at Team Leicester's most successful year to date!

Following the initial success of Team Leicester’s season in the early months of the 2016/17 academic year we reflect on what has been a truly remarkable season for the University’s sports teams.Team leicester logo

Back in December we made a momentous stride forward by breaking our record membership numbers for Team Leicester, ending the first semester with 1966 as our total. Our hope was that we would be able to break the 2000 mark for the first time in history, and that is exactly what we did in January 2017. At present the total number of Team Leicester members stands at 2012, excluding our 26 sports scholars, whereas just 5 short years ago we had 1384 members. This incredible progression not only represents the growth of sport at the University, but also pays homage to the fantastic efforts that our sports clubs have made in recent years. Our student members are the driving force behind Team Leicester and without their willingness and motivation to go the extra mile we would not be in the position we are in today.

Team Leicester’s growth in the early stages of the year certainly proved to have a positive effect on performance. Having finished in a record 46th place in BUCS for the 2015/16 season our students looked set to break records once again, ending the first semester in 37th place. Our students showed no signs of letting up in the business end of the season following the Christmas break, cup runs and league successes became almost common as the points flowed in; amassing a current total of 950 points (37th in BUCS) compared to last year’s record of 779.5. Furthermore, if you take a look back at Team Leicester’s history you’ll discover that just 5 years ago we sat 86th in BUCS. This gargantuan rise of nearly 50 places in such a short space of time is made even more remarkable when examining university sport across the region. Many midlands based universities, the very universities we face regularly throughout the year, have seen massive investment in sport in recent years. Loughborough, Nottingham, Oxford Brookes, Nottingham Trent and Warwick have all seen great investment and focus on sport throughout their institutions. Therefore, Team Leicester’s successes are made even more impressive when considering the teams they battle it out with almost weekly attend these sport focused institutions. At present Leicester sit as the 8th highest BUCS ranked University in the midlands, arguably the most competitive region in the country for elite sport. We hope our clubs can continue to exceed expectations in the years to come. To find out more about what each of our clubs got up to this year check out our Team Leicester - Year in Review booklet.

As the BUCS seasons for most of our clubs came to a close all attention turned to one of the highlights in the sporting calendar, Varsity. The annual competition sees many of our sports teams battle it out with local rivals De Montfort University in an attempt to claim the bragging rights as best sports university in Leicester. Despite De Montfort’s considerable expenditure and focus on sport in recent year Leicester were able to come out on top for the 25th year straight, the score standing at 30.5 – 18.5 with one fixture remaining. All of our teams showed an incredible competitive spirit and a fantastic attitude in their approach to the competition this year, here’s to making it 26 years in a row next year!

Varsity promo group photo

The sports scholarship programme has also seen fantastic levels of success this year. The quality of applicants for this year’s programme was exceptionally high; leading to an unparalleled level of elite sport compared to recent years. With many scholars competing on the world stage in various competitions our athletes have helped to raise the profile of Leicester as a top sporting institution. Many of our scholars have also been a driving force behind the success of our BUCS teams this season, unquestionably playing a key role in the success we have seen across the board this year.

As a service we are also extremely proud of the efforts our clubs make to give back, both locally and nationally. This year we have witnessed an extraordinary amount of selflessness from our clubs, with charity fundraising efforts throughout the academic year and many playing a pivotal role in the recent University Volunteering Week. Whether it be bake sales, pub quizzes or even the eccentric naked calendar our clubs have raised several thousand pounds this year, for charities covering everything from mental health to women’s aid. Additionally, our clubs have acted as impeccable ambassadors for the LGBTQ+ community, uniting with Stonewall during our first ever Pride Week; driven by our Sports Sabbatical Officer Rasteen Riyahi-Boni. All of our clubs rely on a dedicated group of enthusiastic student volunteers to manage club affairs as part of a committee. These leaders take it upon themselves to develop and maintain their club throughout the year, all through an unrivalled passion for success and growth. This year our committees have excelled in their efforts, creating new opportunities for members both on and off the pitch. This was notably seen in the recent Volunteering Week, with our clubs giving up more than 150 hours of their time and raising over £3000 in the process.

Womens Rugby Volunteering Week

All in all, this year has seen Team Leicester excel beyond any expectations we had at the beginning of the year. With incredible individual and team performances throughout the year contributing to our most successful sporting year on record at the University.

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