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Introduction

TeamUCL Sports Clubs achieved so many successes this year, and we’re extremely thankful to all student leaders for their commitment to driving the TeamUCL community forward. Sport and physical activity continue to be embedded in student life at UCL, and it’s because of the efforts of TeamUCL clubs that students can find belonging and community during their time at University. 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 2022/23 and highlight some of the exceptional initiatives that TeamUCL Clubs have supported, pioneered, and developed. This is broken down under the following headings:

Performance

Diversity and Inclusion

Sustainability

Volunteering and Fundraising

Membership Engagement

Alumni

Welfare

Campaigns

Innovation

But first...

This year's numbers

7704 Sports Club members

85 BUCS Teams

62 LUSL Teams

1160 BUCS/LUSL fixtures

96 BUCS Event Medals

67 newly trained First Aiders

12 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

Performance

The 2022-23 season was successful across the board. TeamUCL regained the London Varsity trophy after an impressive series win, with victories for Boat Club, Netball Club, Pole Fitness Club, Table Tennis Club, Tennis Club, Weightlifting and Powerlifting (Barbell Club), Football Club (Men’s), Lacrosse Club (Women’s), Hockey Club (Men’s), Hockey Club (Women’s),  Hockey Club (RUMS Women’s), Taekwondo Club, Volleyball Club (Men’s), Volleyball Club (Women’s), Fencing Club, Rugby Club (RUMS) and Rugby Club (Men’s).

The BUCS season also saw some fantastic performances, with Marie Ndongue Ndocko (Running, Athletics & Cross Country Club), Nell Rudd-Jones (Netball Club), Charlie Hofer (Snowsports Club) and Alex Briggs (Hockey Club (RUMS Men’s)) shortlisted for Captain of the Year. Matthew Cavaliere from Hockey Club (Men’s) narrowly pipped these candidates for the award.

The Friends’ Cup was awarded to Hockey Club (Men’s) for outstanding performances across their BUCS teams this year. The 1st and 2nd teams gained promotions and the 3rd team narrowly missed out following their 2nd place league finish. This is the second promotion in a row for the 1st team, which will see them compete in the BUCS Premier Tier next season.

Table Tennis, Volleyball and Lacrosse Women’s 1st teams all secured promotions to the BUCS Premier Tier, alongside Hockey Club (Men’s) 1st team. In the BUCS cup, Table Tennis’ Women’s 1st team, Football Club (Men’s) 1st team and Fencing Club’s Women’s 2nd team all reached their respective finals, with narrow losses for each team.

Barbell and Taekwondo had excellent results across BUCS competitions. Barbell sent 15 athletes to competitions across the country, gaining a medal and finishing as the 3rd place university overall. From their Friends Cup win in the 21-22 academic year, Taekwondo went on to finish as the #1 ranked team across all BUCS competitions. An outstanding showing which saw three gold, four silver and two bronze medals claimed by the club’s athletes.

Diversity and Inclusion

Squash won the Diversity & Inclusion Award for their standout efforts during Pride in TeamUCL, which cemented them as keen supporters and allies of the LGBTQ+ community at UCL. They organised a panel event with a member of Sports Media LGBT+, a community work group for LGBT+ people working in sports media, ran a media campaign and included a friendly against an LGBTQ+ inclusive Squash club. You can read more about the Squash Club's efforts in their article for Students' Union UCL Pride Month.

Pride in RUMS was a discussion event in February where members from Rugby Club (RUMS), Hockey Club (RUMS Men’s), Badminton Club (RUMS), Football Club (RUMS Men’s), Football Club (RUMS Women’s) and Hockey Club (RUMS Women’s) held an open conversation about LGBTQ+ inclusion in their clubs, led by the Boat Club (RUMS) Inclusivity Officer.

The Netball Club held a friendly tournament with Unicorns, an LGBTQIA+ Netball club in London. The event was promoted during Pride in TeamUCL, and Nell Rudd-Jones, the Club’s Pride Rep wrote about the event in a featured article for Students’ Union UCL Pride Month.

During Black History Month, Gymnastics and Netball worked with the African Caribbean Society to run taster sessions for their members.

Several clubs took part in the Black History Month Pass, which gave Black students free access to sessions during Black History Month, including Snowsports, Skate, Netball (RUMS), Basketball (Women’s), Hockey Club (RUMS Men’s), Hockey Club (RUMS Women’s), Tennis, Cheerleading and Netball.

Members of Rugby Club (Women’s) learned basic sign language and hand signals to use in training to support the participation of a deaf member, and Running, Athletics and Cross Country introduced weekly recovery walk sessions to engage injured and disabled members.

Sustainability

Hiking participated in the Sustainability Fair in September and encouraged environmental sustainability through the "7 principles of Leave No Trace". These principles were learned by all Walk Leaders and shared at the start of every hike to ensure members did not disturb or damage the environment.

Gymnastics and Cheerleading set up a reuse scheme with their club kits. Each club took on ownership of competition kit, lent it to members for each competition. This helps competitive members reduce the cost of competition and avoids the need for returners to buy multiple iterations of kit.

Basketball (Women’s) organised a donation drive to provide equipment and clothes to the charity Hurdles2Hoops, while also promoting reusing and recycling within the club. These principles were further cemented through the club’s policies of purchasing kit that isn’t personalised so it can be used for multiple seasons and using unfit match kit for training.

Football Club (Women’s), Ultimate Frisbee, Boat Club (RUMS) and Skate also ran donation and second-hand kit sale schemes help members avoid buying new kit and equipment. This helped to develop their sustainable practices and increase the accessibility of each club for new members by reducing the cost of participation.

Hockey Club (RUMS Men’s) and Hockey Club (Women’s) banned single use plastic water bottles from trainings and fixtures. This significantly reduced plastic use within each club, and transitioned a large number of members to using refillable bottles.

Netball Club ran a litter pick along Regents Canal to help preserve wildlife and insect habitats.

Volunteering and Fundraising

Cheerleading won the Volunteering Sports Club of the Year Award for their outstanding work on the student-led project ‘UCL Helping Children Discover Cheerleading’. Club members delivered weekly afternoon classes to UCL Academy students in Year 7 to Year 9, during Term 2. 15 members of the club volunteered at these sessions, helping to introduce a sport not currently seen in secondary school curriculums, and inspire young students to take part in physical activity.

Another fantastic example of a student-led volunteering project can be seen in Football Club (Women’s) Girls Can Kick initiative. Working with Camden & Islington United, and under the larger banner of the FA programme Weetabix Wildcats, members of Football Club (Women’s) helped to run free football training sessions for girls aged 5-11. Club volunteers acted as role models by building positive relationships, showcasing impressive skills, providing inspiration, and challenging preconceived notions around female participation in sport.

Members of Rugby Club (Men’s) volunteered with ArtsforAll, a charity that provides weekly art therapy sessions for disabled adults. Students supported with structured sessions and visits to various murals and creative sites around North London.

Hockey Club (RUMS Women’s) raised over £1000 for a range of charities. During Pride in TeamUCL, sales of rainbow headbands and a Pride Sports Night raised £75 for Stonewall and £180 for Black Trans Alliance. Christmas carolling and a 24 hour relay race raised over £350 for the Butterfly Trust, £363.58 was raised for Breast Cancer UK through a fundraiser, and £235 raised through Movember.

Hockey Club (Men’s) and Hockey Club (Women’s) volunteered with Hockey Inner City (HIC), a charity that delivers accessible Hockey sessions to children aged 7 to 13 in South London, while also developing teamwork skills, sportsmanship and friendships. Members of each club helped to deliver weekly sessions and umpire at a youth tournament hosted by HIC, supporting the charity’s mission of delivering Hockey to young people unable to access it otherwise.

Membership and Engagement

Tennis Club have consistently had a strong offer for their members across all levels of the sport, largely due to their tiered system for social tennis members. This was built upon this year by entering a team into the TeamUCL Volleyball League. The clubs’ involvement in TeamUCL leagues created a social space away from tennis for all club members to take part in, and added to a holistic and engaging club calendar for their members.

Hiking Club pioneered their ‘Try It! Hikes’ scheme this year, running six taster sessions close to London, on shorter routes suitable for beginners. These proved extremely popular, with over 50 attendees each hike, many of whom went on to take part in more difficult hikes around the country.

Squash Club created a buddy scheme, matching beginners with experienced players for the season, with over 50 students taking part. This helped to spread the load of coaching, and create an immediate support network for new members. To support social members who wanted to play competitive fixtures, the club also developed a Social League, offering a route from being a social member to engaging in competitive Squash.

To be as inclusive as possible, several clubs consistently ran social events for their members that didn’t centre around alcohol. These included activities like BBQs, film nights, cultural events, and fitness sessions. Skate Club’s social activities were almost exclusively non-alcohol based, while Netball (RUMS), Hiking, Rugby (Women’s), Gymnastics, RAX, Ultimate Frisbee, Football (Women’s), Cheerleading, Hockey Club (Women’s), Cricket Club (Women’s) and Netball all delivered alcohol free socials as part of a diverse calendar of club events.

Alumni

Hiking and Cheerleading work closely with their alumni, who take up voluntary and paid positions within each club. In Hiking, alumni volunteer as Walk Leaders for the club’s various trips, which means experienced hikers can support current and new members to engage in hikes that range in difficulty. For Cheerleading Club, all coaching positions are currently filled by alumni, and current members are able to access the Physiotherapy service, provided by a club alumnus, at a reduced rate.

The Hockey Club (Men’s) alumni network helps to source second hand equipment at reduced costs, and the LinkedIn network has created a forum for current and former members to speak about CV and career development. This has created strong links between new and old members of the club, and developed post-university prospects of a number of students.

Welfare

Football Red Star won the Louis Car memorial award for their work supporting members welfare this year. After the tragic suicide of their member Matt in July 2020, the club looked inward and asked how they could support their members who were struggling with mental heath related issues. Football Red Star wanted their club to be more than a way to let off steam and get away from issues; they wanted the club to be a vehicle to positive mental health by supporting its members to address challenges they were facing. Collaborating with Pole Fitness and UCL Mental Health Society, the club organised several of the Olly’s Future training workshop ‘Talking about Suicide: Ten Tools’, training over 100 UCL students. Furthermore, the club led on the delivery of the MENtal Health Open Mic Night, an event for students to share their experience of mental health through a range of mediums, including a speech, spoken word, poetry and song.

Several clubs created anonymous feedback processes to report welfare issues, including Rugby Club (Men’s), Taekwondo, Netball (RUMS), Hockey Club (Men’s), RAX, Basketball (Women’s), Hockey Club (Women’s) and Gymnastics.

Members of Hockey Club (Men’s) were required to complete the Moodle Sexual Consent Module and Active Bystander training to attend socials and events, which supported the committees’ efforts to encourage supportive and positive behaviours within the club.

Gymnastics also provided their members with an opportunity to discuss consent, partnering with UCL Sexpression to run a workshop and holding a welfare social afterwards.

Focusing on competition, Taekwondo ran welfare meetings for members taking part in their first fight. These meetings involved experienced fighters and allowed newer members to ask questions and understand what to expect during their first competitive outings.

Campaigns

TeamUCL Against Hate hit new heights this year, with over 60 clubs completing training on how they can provide an inclusive environment for all sports club members. Focusing on the three areas of Diversity in TeamUCL, Pride in TeamUCL & Zero Tolerance in TeamUCL, the work that clubs put together in these areas was fantastic to see. Our clubs have led panel events; fundraisers; social media campaigns; fixtures against community teams; themed socials and training sessions; policy updates and workshops, to celebrate and champion inclusive practices in their sports. You can see the full breakdown of the clubs that received Accreditations below.

Gold

Hockey Club (RUMS Women's) - Diversity in TeamUCL Club of the Year

Cheerleading Club - Zero Tolerance in TeamUCL Club of the Year

Basketball Club (Women's)

Pole Fitness Club

Silver

Squash Club - Pride in TeamUCL Club of the Year

Netball Club

Hockey Club (Women's)

Boat Club (RUMS)

Netball Club (RUMS)

Bronze

Gymnastics Club

Boat Club

Ultimate Frisbee Club

Innovation

Calisthenics won Club of the Year at the Sports Awards, largely due to their work co-founding the sports first National Governing Body; the University Calisthenics Association. Alongside this, the club ran the first ever university Calisthenics competition, with 35 universities attending, and a new co-developed beginner rulebook being implemented.

Cheerleading published interviews and Q&A sessions with their postgraduate members to increase the visibility of their experiences with the club, and have gained over 100k views across all their content on TikTok.

The Martial Arts Boat Ball was a Black Tie event run by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, Amateur Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Aikido, Shaolin Kungfu, Kendo, Taekwondo and Karate. Sponsorship allowed the clubs to provide several free alcoholic and non-alcoholic free drinks for attendees, and it was a sell-out event.

Development Award Winners

GoldSilverBronze
Hockey Club (RUMS Women's)Pole Fitness ClubBarbell Club
Cheerleading ClubNetball ClubRugby Club (Men's)
Basketball Club (Women's)Squash ClubRunning, Athletics & Cross Country Club
Boat Club (RUMS)Gymnastics Club
Ultimate Frisbee ClubNetball Club (RUMS)
Hockey Club (RUMS Men's)Tennis Club
Hockey Club (Men's)
Hiking Club