Sporting Success: Part 2

The Tab caught up with more of UoB’s sporting stars this week, as some excellent performances continue to add to this season’s trophy haul.

Building on what is already turning into a very successful year for UoB Sport, we met up with more teams that have excelled this season.


On the 21-23 February, the UoB Swimming Club competed in the second BUCS Gatorade National Championships at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. The club performed impressively once again and brought home their first ever gold medal, as well as breaking 14 club records and 19 personal bests.

The men's 4x100m team after breaking their own club record

The men’s 4x100m team after breaking their own club record

The BUCS Championship is a key event on the swimming calendar and this meet is often used by the athletes as a chance to qualify for team GB and the Commonwealth trials in April.

The highlight of the event for Birmingham came from first year Environmental Geology student, Charlotte Reid, who took gold in the women’s 50m backstroke. Charlotte won by the slimmest of margins, taking gold by 1/100th of a second, with a time of 30.42.

Charlotte will also be competing in the 2014 Commonwealth Games trials.

Charlotte and the team with her gold

Charlotte and the team with her gold

Post-race, whilst still at the poolside, Charlotte was clearly happy with her achievement:

“I was very nervous before the race. I just focused on what I was doing, not what anyone else was doing and getting from one side of the pool to the other. I was looking for a medal but didn’t want to put that pressure on myself. It feels very good to be a BUCS Champion!”

Charlotte and her medley relay team after their final

Charlotte and her medley relay team after their final

Meanwhile the Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team which included Kristina Paige, Lizzy Gray, Georgie Smith and Holly Gunner, managed to smash the club record by 3 seconds in the run-in to their event final. Their excellent performance was again demonstrated in the final, where they again managed to shave an additional second off their record.

The Women’s 4x100m medley team also broke their club record, this time by a massive 10 seconds in the heats, going on to secure a fifth place finish in the final.

A pleased gold medallist

A pleased gold medallist

Further records were broken by the Men’s 4x100m relay team of Joe Marsh, Tim Riviere, Phil Hodgson and Matt Masters. In their heat the club record was broken by 1.77 seconds and a further 1.65 in the final.

The club’s excellent performance in this competition promises high hopes for further national qualifiers by the end of the season. Overall the club finished 7th place at this years event against very good competition.



On 5 February, UoB Equestrian travelled to the Radway Riding Centre in Warwickshire for the final mini-league fixture of the BUCS Equestrian league.

All four UoB competitors delivered great performances, each finishing in the top ten and helping the team achieve first place in the competition.

This fixture was of huge importance for Birmingham’s Equestrian team, with the victory providing a place at the BUCS regional competition on April 16.

The dressage stage

The dressage stage

Competing against strong opposition in Warwick and Nottingham Trent Universities, the team consisting of Chris Milton, Lily Blacksell, Jess Long and Lisa Reid, responded aptly to the pressure.

They each produced impressive individual displays across dressage and show-jumping events to finish in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th places respectively.

The squad with their well earned rosettes

The squad with their well earned rosettes

In the dressage stages, the B-team dominated, stretching out a 43 point lead which gave them a hard fought advantage going further into the competition. Despite the difficulties of the course and the horses, the B-team retained their lead in the show-jumping round.

The fine margins in riding style saw Birmingham end level with Nottingham Trent when final scores were announced. However the fact that Birmingham won the earlier dressage stage meant that they came out overall winners of the competition.

Chris tackling a jump

Chris tackling a jump

With qualification for the BUCS regional competition secured, the team are now concentrating hard on their training at their South Leicestershire training ground. The B-team receiving invaluable support and guidance from the A-team captain Lottie Kennedy.

Speaking to The Tab, B-team captain Lily Blacksell spoke of her pride in winning the event:

“Thanks must go to Warwick University for hosting such an enjoyable competition. I am very proud of the B-team. Despite the terrible weather and Chris’ bad back, we clinched yet another fantastic result- as a team and individually. I cannot wait for Regionals in April!”.


UoB Badminton performed admirably at the Gatorade Nationals in Sheffield on the weekend of February 21-23.

The stand-out performances came from the pairing Doug Furze and Hannah Sharman. Their brilliant performance earned them the bronze medal in the mixed competition.

Doug and Hannah showing off their bronze medals

Doug and Hannah sporting their bronze medals

The stellar performances from the pair saw them advance through the rounds to achieve their medal winning position, coming from a set down in their quarter-final to win 22-20 in the final set.

Following the pairs success, we caught up with Doug:

“Getting a bronze at BUCS is one of my proudest achievements within badminton, and to do it how we did was perfect!

“After the quarter final I could hardly believe we had won and were guaranteed a medal, I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. The support from the team was fantastic too!”

The pair’s success appears to have rubbed off on both the Women and Men’s pairs, who managed to reach the quarter-finals of their respective competitions.



Next week the Tab looks at the achievements of the Athletics, Squash and Cheerleading teams.  Stayed tuned for more Sporting Success.