We take a look at some of the various sporting highlights and successes of the last academic year. From the BCU 10k wave to academic staff at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Oh, and a running viola too.
Birmingham Great 10k BCU Wave
Over 150 Birmingham City University students, staff and alumni took to the streets of Birmingham city centre to take part in this year’s Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run with BCU Sport on Sunday the 6 May – the hottest day of 2018 so far!
A particular highlight was the amazing effort of the Speech and Language Therapy students and academics who ran together to raise £3,911.30 for St Mary’s Hospice in Selly Oak.
BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy student Vicki Brett said, “This time last year I struggled to run for 3 minutes continuously! The 10k gave me the motivation to get back into training, so much so that we were out in the snow, rain and freezing temperatures!
“As a group we voted to run for St Mary’s Hospice and fundraising for this charity provided an extra incentive and the atmosphere and support from the crowd on the day helped us complete the course. We’re now thinking about training for and taking on the half marathon!”
The BCU Wave will be returning for the Birmingham 10k in 2019 and similar plans are in place for a BCU Wave to set off at the Birmingham half marathon in October.
BCU Rugby Triumph at BUCS Midlands Conference Cup Final
At the beginning of March, BCU Men’s Rugby Union were crowned champions after an exciting win against the University of Birmingham in the Birmingham Universities and Colleges Midlands Conference Cup final at The Pavilion.
Having qualified for the final before the Christmas break, by beating Nottingham Trent University 34-26 in the league programme, BCU went into the fixture with high spirits and confident mind-sets.
After a slow start having conceded an early try, BCU Coach, Tom Fiddler, rallied his players encouraging a boost in energy and game technique, which saw the team regain a late lead in the first half. BCU dominated during a very competitive game, finishing play with a 27-22 victory.
Sport Scholars’ Successes
William Weston, a second year BA (Hons) Architecture student, finished third in the British Universities and Colleges Sport Downhill Mountain Biking Championship. The competition took place on the 17-19 April in Wales, gathering more than 250 university riders from all over the UK.
Will has also recently been accepted onto the Sport Bursary Program that BCU Sport offers to talented and high performance level athletes that study at BCU.
Will said: “This was my first time doing this university competition, a very well-run event with a fantastic atmosphere. I’m happy that I could represent BCU and bring back some silverware. Next year I’m aiming for gold!”
BCU’s Royal Birmingham Conservatoire student, Alistair Rutherford, also broke a Guinness World Record; running the fastest marathon dressed as a musical instrument.
Donning a custom-made viola costume, Alistair Rutherford – a.k.a. The Running Viola – ran the Birmingham International Marathon on Sunday 15 October with a time of three hours, 20 minutes and 33 seconds – comfortably beating the previous record by almost an hour (53 minutes and 45 seconds). This achievement comes after Alistair broke the half marathon record earlier this year.
Alistair, from Allerton in Liverpool, also set off in the Birmingham 10k in the elite wave after running a series of personal bests.
Birmingham City University staff success at the Commonwealth Games
Peter Thain, who leads the programme for BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, was given an important role supporting the England Men’s Basketball Team at this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia. On his appointment to the Medical Team Peter said: “I’m incredibly honoured to be offered the opportunity to be part of Team England for the Commonwealth Games. Working at a global sporting event is a great privilege and a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Athlete Mentor for BCU Sports Scholars, Heather Fisher, who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics, also celebrated success at the Commonwealth Games. Heather secured a bronze medal with the Women’s England Rugby Sevens and Deon Saffery, BCU Squash Coach, competed for Wales in the singles and mixed doubles.
On the 15 April the Commonwealth Games 2018 officially came to an end with Australia’s Gold Coast formally handing over the Games to the next host city Birmingham for preparations to begin for the 2022 Games.