After two incredibly challenging academic years impacted by COVID-19, we are very proud of the successes achieved by so many of our TeamUCL Sports Clubs this year. We are thankful to all student leaders for their exceptional commitment to driving the TeamUCL community forward, firmly establishing sport and physical activity at the heart of Students' Union UCL. For information on which of our Clubs and individual members won end of year awards, visit this page.
This report will look back upon the academic year of 2021/22 and highlight some of the exceptional initiatives that TeamUCL Clubs have supported, pioneered and developed. This is broken down under the following headings:
Diversity and Inclusion
Volunteering and Fundraising
7066 Sports Club members
79 BUCS Teams
58 LUSL Teams
1160 BUCS/LUSL fixtures
96 BUCS Event Medals
48 newly trained First Aiders
9 students upskilled as football referees
26 Elite Athletes and 166 High Performance squad members
500 participants in the TeamUCL League programme, supported by 10 TeamUCL Clubs
The 2021-22 academic year was a very successful one on the pitch, court, slopes and water. The London Varsity Series saw impressive victories for the Boat Club, Tennis Club, Rugby Club (Men’s) , Hockey Club (Men’s), Taekwondo Club, Table Tennis Club, Netball Club, Basketball Club, Barbell Club, Fencing Club and Football Club (Men’s). There were also a number of fantastic BUCS campaigns, with Polina Drugachenok and Camilla Alberio (Volleyball Club) shortlisted for Captain of the Year alongside Imogen Stringer (Netball Club). These candidates were narrowly pipped to the award by Basia Mikucka from the Snowsports Club. The Friends Cup was awarded to the Taekwondo Club for their outstanding performance in BUCS this year, topping the Taekwondo competition medal table with 30 gold, 18 silver and 25 bronze medals
This year was the first in BUCS for the Dodgeball Club. The women’s team came 3rd in the BUCS Women’s Southern Regional League whilst the Men’s team won the Southeastern Regional Men’s League for the first time in the club’s history, qualifying for the University Finals. The Men's team were superbly coached by the winner of the TeamUCL Unsung Hero Award: Issy Smith. Our Gymnastics Club also sent a team to BUCS for the first time this year!
The Table Tennis Club include a number of our most consistently high-performing teams. The Men’s 1s compete in BUCS Premier, and the Women’s 1s reached the final of the National Trophy, winning the first round of the Premier playoffs.
Both our Men’s and Women’s teams in the Volleyball Club finished at the top of the BUCS Tier 1 leagues, with the Men's team winning their play-off game and securing promotion to the BUCS Premier South division for next academic year.
As well as being a Club that works hard to cater for beginners, the Kendo Club are also the home club of two members of the GB women’s team. The Club support their kendo through visits from experienced guest senseis and facilitating visits to other clubs through our good relationship with other dojos in London and the UK.
The Pole Fitness Club were shortlisted for the Diversity and Inclusion Award for their exceptional work around Diversity and Inclusion. The Club regularly circulates a protected characteristics survey which then informs the committee's priorities. Pole Fitness were committed to various TeamUCL Campaigns as well supporting several Club led Campaigns, taking part in Pride in TeamUCL, Girls Night In, Black History Month, Februhairy and supported the Men’s Clubs during Movember. As a predominantly female-dominated sport, the Club hosted a taster session open to all male-identifying members of TeamUCL. One of the most impactful innovations across all of our Clubs this year was the Pole Fitness initiative to incorporate sticky leggings into their kit offering, aimed at attracting and supporting more hijabi members.
The Barbell Club were shortlisted for Club of the Year, and excelled in their work around disability inclusion. The Club organised a disabled students' taster session with Project Active and a seminar on para-powerlifting to teach members and coaches to cater for para-athletes. The Club also partnered with the British Sign Language Society and the Disabled Students' Network to organise a taster session for disabled students.
The Cheerleading Club were shortlisted for the Diversity and Inclusion Award for their outstanding work in broadening accessibility to their sport. The Club held several taster sessions, with a particular focus on students that identify as male. These sessions were branded ‘This Boy Can’ and worked to address the importance of male participation in a typically female dominated sport. The Cheerleading Club have also run a Postgraduate taster session through the Project Active programme.
For their Term 3 alumni day, the Hockey Club (RUMS Women’s) - sold tickets to raise money for Spencer Lynx, a hockey organisation that hosts hockey sessions for underrepresented groups in London.
Our Mixed Martial Arts Club have worked hard to attract Postgraduate members, scheduling training sessions at times that are most accessible for students with PhD or Masters commitments. The Club are proud to support several Postgraduate students develop to a level that enables UCL MMA to compete in external fighters, with one of the start fighters (Alice) a great example of this.
The Swimming Club has worked hard to cater for people of all levels; the fitness squad has had sessions teaching people how to swim from scratch and the competitive squad has allowed pro-athletes to train for competing at the British Swimming Championships. We train at accessible hours (8-9 pm) to make it attractive for postgraduate students to come.
This year, the Tennis Club partnered with A Good Company, which is a sustainable brand that sells purely sustainable products ranging from reusable water bottles to phone cases to toiletries. In our partnership, all UCL Tennis members get 30% off all A Good Company products. The Club also have a recycling system for all tennis balls: BUCS groups uses the new balls, which are then passed down to R&D (social tennis), for whom softer used balls are perfect since they are beginner level. They use the balls until they are fully flat.
The Snowsports Club's ski trip raffle was in cooperation with Protect Our Winters (POW), an environmental organisation working to preserve mountain areas. At this event, we talked about POW and the work they do to bring engagement from our members. NUCO, the company we travel to the Alps with, also carbon compensate, and all our ski trips are carbon neutral.
Our Hockey Club (Men’s) were awarded Club of the Year, and promoted numerous measures of sustainability throughout this academic year. These have included eliminating the use of single-use plastic water bottles, litter pick-ups in London, donating to food banks and refugees and buying second-hand clothes. In Sustainability in Sport Week, the Club promoted Fairtrade fortnight, supporting a clothing/supply drive for Ukrainian refugees.
The Lacrosse Club (Women’s) has promoted sustainability this year through their commitment to only buying merchandising through sustainably certified companies. In term 3, the Club also hosted a book swap in conjunction with the Hockey Club (Women's) and the Netball Club to promote sustainability.
Several Clubs undertook impressive fundraising campaigns this year. The Hockey Club (Women’s) raised money for Solace Women’s Aid at their Christmas Ball, and the Ultimate Frisbee Club raised over £1200.00 for Fare Share in a joint fundraiser with UCL Sci-Fi and Fantasy Society. One of the most successful campaigns was run by the Rugby Club (Men’s), who raised over £4000.00 throughout the year in support of Movember, The Survivors Trust, The British Heart Foundation and Ukranian Refugees
Our Rugby Club (Women's) partnered with Autism Anglia to run a rugby taster event in Regents Park, for adults in the care of the charity and students at Doucecroft School. The Club were proud to share their expertise, providing step-by-step coaching across activities tailored to the needs of the group. Rugby (Women’s) Club President Abigail Hill was also featured on BBC Radio discussing the project. After a very successful year, the Rugby (Women’s) Club were shortlisted for the Louis Carr Memorial Cup for their broader work around welfare.
Several Clubs have worked hard this year to give back to the community at UCL and beyond. Our Table Tennis Club is an active partner of StreetTT, which is an organisation that promotes street table tennis, whilst members of Hockey Club (RUMS Men's) regularly attend a soup kitchen to volunteer with food preparation.
The community outreach and fundraising officer of the Tennis Club (RUMS) has led the club to raise over £600 this year. The Club completed a PPE-clad fun run between 3 teaching hospitals and organised a 24-hour sponsored tennis match for 20 members. The Club also raised money for ‘Bright Ideas for Tennis’, a charity promoting wider access to tennis.
As well as supporting the Rugby Club (Women's) with their partnership event in Regents Park, the Rugby Club (Men's) has given 8 talks across both terms in conjunction with Oddballs on testicular cancer within schools near London.
Despite being our newest Club, the Skate Club have made huge strides this year. They lend equipment such as longboards, skateboards, and roller skates and have gone from one weekly session to two in various locations (indoor/outdoor) to make them more accessible for everyone.
Netball Club (RUMS) hosted a diverse range of socials this year, from weekly Wednesday night socials at Mully’s to pizza in the park; a 'freshers' only dinner, a Christmas dinner, a weekend tour to Bath, and joint socials with other RUMS clubs. These were supplemented by several non-drinking socials including a painting social with UCL Art Society and a spa social.
Lacrosse Club (Women’s) also worked hard to encourage non-alcoholic socials, running regular team meals (2 per term) as well as team fitness socials, a whole club yoga session and quiz and movie nights. Other inventive socials run by the Lacrosse Club (Women's) include an obstacle course style social, a pride in sport quiz and a lacrosse film night.
This year saw the reinstatement of the couch-to-5k programme within the Running, Athletics and Cross-Country Club, a project that was central to the Club's shortlisting for the Shield for Most Improved Sports Club of the Year
The Hockey Club (RUMS Women’s) were given a Silver Development Award this year, notably excelling in their alumni engagement. The Club circulate an alumni newsletter that provides updates on the Club, advertises upcoming events, and includes space for career insights and features from those that have graduated. The Hockey Club (RUMS Men’s) also engage their alumni through speciality talks on focused topics such as ‘life as a foundation doctor’.
This year has seen great engagement with alumni for the Rugby Club (Men’s) which culminated in the club organising a fixture against an alumni XV as part of the Mandy Walker series. The Fencing Club also held an event over the Mandy Walker weekend, and are hosting an alumni dinner in June.
The Barbell Club have launched a summer mentorship program, led by two of our alumni, aimed at teaching all student coaches the fundamentals of coaching and how to transition to a coaching career after graduation.
Our Pole Fitness Club were shortlisted for the Louis Carr Memorial Cup for their outstanding work around welfare and wellbeing. The Club successfully raised over £1000 through the academic year, ensuring that all proceeds from their showcase events were donated to Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide. The Pole Fitness Club also collaborated with Football Red Star. Both Clubs worked with Olly’s Future, and successfully ran a workshop on suicide prevention
The Horse Riding Club held weekly welfare drop-ins where people were encouraged to attend for a chat with the welfare officer, but also just to provide a safe space to work or have a coffee. This was part of their broader work to ensure that welfare was embedded in the weekly activity of the Club, in an informal and accessible manner.
In collaboration with Step Up UCL, the Ultimate Frisbee Club worked hard to co-host multiple mental health workshops throughout Term 3 regarding issues like work/life balance, where members of all sports clubs were invited to participate. Over half of the committee attended the active bystander module.
This year our Netball Club were awarded a Gold Development Award, excelling in their work across all TeamUCL development criteria. One of the most impactful campaigns led by the Club was their ‘Girls Night In’ initiative. The Netball Club inspired 40 other TeamUCL Clubs to boycott bars and nightclubs on the final Sports Night of October, to raise awareness of the rise in spiking and sexual assault reports across the UK. All Clubs were encouraged to donate their Night Club entry costs to The Survivors Trust, a charity working with all survivors of sexual assault
The Hockey Club (Men’s) excelled in their support for TeamUCL Campaigns, and were committed to ensuring a diverse and inclusive Club culture. An exciting project run by the Club was a “Pride Games”, which took place in conjunction with the London Royals, the first openly LGBTQ+ Hockey Club in the UK. The Hockey (Men’s) Club were also one of five pilot Clubs included in the TeamUCL Against Hate Campaign, launched this year by the elected Sports Officers
Our Boat Club (RUMS) participated in the Black History Month, This Girl Can and Pride in TeamUCL campaigns, through creating Instagram posts, running discussion clubs and running their our own internal educational events. We’ve run a circuits session for This Girl Can, in person and with zoom provision, and we ran the first RUMS Pride in Sport Panel event, where members of the RUMS community who are part of a sports club and the LGBTQ+ community shared their experiences.
Netball Club (RUMS) championed mental health campaigns throughout the year, encouraging members to take part in Mind charity’s fundraiser, for which the Club raised over £500.00. The Club also put on a pamper social to encourage self-care during mental health awareness week.
Barbell Club have organised CPD training through the Coaches Only seminar organised by Weightlifting House - these are two-day seminars and the Club provided discounts to our alumni and student coaches. The Club also organised their first speaker series, including talks from Louis Hatchwell on nurturing a winning mindset, Hajni Balazs on cutting and bulking and another by Alex Kolliari-Turner on the risks of performance-enhancing drugs. For the first-ever time, the Club also offered a nutrition service with Hajni Balazs for our members - for competition, cutting, bulking, body recomposition or just creating healthier eating habits.
Both Lacrosse Club (Women’s) and Football Club (Women's) submitted successful applications for a Summer City Partnership in Paris, both set to take place in July 2022.
Our Hiking Club founded a communication platform between all UK university hiking clubs in an attempt to establish an inter-University network in lieu of any national competitions.
Our American Football Club purchased a GoPro and film editing software called Hudl to enable players to watch their performance and improve throughout the year.
Our Tennis Club were awarded a Gold Development Award, partly down to their innovative tiering system for social tennis members (R&D, R&D+, Postgrad R&D). Separating their social tennis members into different sections by ability or academic level allowed the large number of social members to meet each other in smaller groups.
Very sadly, the Rugby Club (RUMS) alumni network was shocked by the death of a much beloved ex-captain Will Sherwood. In response, our alumni network, in conjunction with UCL Medical School, have created a memorial sponsorship in his name. The grant will be awarded to an incoming UCL medic who plays at an exceptional standard of rugby.