Sport, Exercise and Health

Womens' rugby

There were a wide variety of special sporting activities to mark the centenary, many of which were organised in collaboration between Sport, Exercise and Health and the Athletic Union. These included:

International sporting competitions

International matches included:

In September there was an international hockey match to celebrate both the centenary and the refurbishment of the University’s water-based pitch.

On the European front, the University pool hosted an international water polo match (7 March); England played France at rugby (13 March); England played Wales at lacrosse (24 May); and European universities went head to head in a 7-a-side rugby tournament at Combe Dingle Sports Complex (11–12 June).

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Basketball action

Varsity matches

The varsity series with the University of the West of England included the Bristol Boat Race at the harbour (25 April), the Bristol Football Varsity match (30 April) and the Rugby Varsity match (5 May), both of which were held at the Memorial Ground.

Other events included:

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Matches against leading national or local professional clubs

University teams held special matches against leading national or local professional clubs. These included:

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Alumni sporting weekend

Over the weekend of 25-26 April, the University hosted an alumni sporting weekend with ‘centenary’ teams of past and present students competing against each other in rowing, cricket, football, hockey, netball, lacrosse, rugby, and water polo. Over 350 of these sportsmen and women attended the centenary sporting banquet on 25 April at which REDS were awarded, and many distinguished sporting alumni were present.

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Activities with local schools

Continuing its regular programme of activities with local schools into the centenary, the University and its sport volunteers ran the Bristol Festival of School Sport at the Coombe Dingle Sports Complex (24–26 March). Over 1,200 pupils tried a wide range of sports, from boccia to ultimate frisbee, with support and encouragement from volunteer sports leaders and coaches.

The University’s Community Sport Volunteer Scheme trained 100 students as sports leaders, coaches and officials. Throughout the centenary year these volunteers provided over 1,000 hours of support in both local and University sport clubs and associated events.

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Community excercise class

Special ‘health-related’ events with a centenary theme

Other events with a strong centenary flavour included an Action 100 bike ride (30 August) between Bristol and London, in aid of Action Medical Research and the Tamara Johnson Trust Fund. A University team completed the 100-mile challenge with expert support and advice from our health and fitness colleagues. The Bristol-Kenya Partnership sent a Bristol team to the Safaricom Marathon in Lewa to raise money for the wildlife charity Tusk.

There were two pedometer challenges in March and October, when 100 people  walked 100 miles by taking 10,000 steps a day for four weeks and, in a bid to make 10 people feel 10 times better, staff and students were invited to take part in a healthy lifestyle challenge. Those selected had free dedicated support from the sport, exercise and health team for 100 days from 9 February to help them be more active, improve their diet and make other lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking.

The University’s Indoor Centre hosted a centenary exercise class with staff and students taking part in a mix of exercise class styles for 100 minutes on 17 February. It hosted its first-ever gym-based triathlon with members set the challenge of completing 100 miles on the bike, 100kms on the treadmill and 100 minutes on the rowing machine. The Tri-Centenary Triathlon kicked off on 25 February with a team challenge.

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