University of Nottingham were shortlisted for several awards at the virtual 2021 BUCS Awards Dinner.
The University of Nottingham Sport has excelled across the board once again and to be shortlisted for 7 out of 12 awards, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of students, staff and volunteers at the University of Nottingham.
Over the course of the evening, the University of Nottingham won four awards.
The event celebrated the achievements of a variety of people including student athletes, both individual and teams, who have excelled in their respective sporting endeavors, as well as those volunteers and administrators who have gone above and beyond to progress the sports provision of their institution of sport.
Club Charity Initiative – University of Nottingham Men's Football Club
UoNFC chose to collaborate with St. Paul’s RC Church and The Haven Church and Community Centre Foodbank to support Marcus Rashford’s school meals campaign, regularly referred to as the ‘No Child should Go Hungry’ campaign.
The club used its social media platforms to get support from the community to donate food. With the help of 48 club volunteers across 4 days, the club were able to generate enough support to put together over 200 school meals. Any left-over food was donated to The Haven Church and Community Centre Foodbank to support other families in need.
While procuring and making the packed lunches for the children, a lot of work went into promoting the campaign, ensuring the families were aware of the temporary foodbank. The club got over 1,100 likes on Twitter and Instagram and 200+ retweets. This included a retweet from Marcus Rashford himself, engaging the local MP via social media and a BBC Radio Nottingham interview. The initiative was able to raise vital awareness for the campaign that was eventually successful in extending free school meals.
COVID Alumni Hero – Elizabeth Tallett
Liz, a University of Nottingham Badminton Club alumna and UoN Sport Board Member, has had strategic leadership roles in worldwide bio pharmaceutical companies for over 35 years. Of note in the past 12 months, her role on the board of Qiagen saw that Liz was heavily involved in the covid pandemic as it produced the RNA testing kits. Additionally, her role with Moderna was where she was heavily involved in getting the Moderna Vaccine to market.
With the pandemic gripping the world, the race was on to develop a suitable a vaccine to help counter the virus. Liz’s leadership roles on the Boards of both Qiagen and Moderna have both been critical in the fight against the pandemic.
Liz has been at the heart of this with her work with both Moderna and Qiagen and has shown the type of leadership skills that no doubt began as acorns in her early career through involvement in BUCS and have subsequently grown into well-established oak trees.
Inspirational Committee Award – University of Nottingham Women’s Rugby Club
UoNWRFC Club Committee faced some real challenges this season which encouraged them to find new and innovative ways to engage and support their members. They are an outstanding club committee that has made a significant impact at a difficult time on the experience of those in the club and beyond.
They re-launched their social media platforms with “Meet the Committee and Coaches” and “Club Member of the Month” series’ which showcased the hard work of their players and coaches, ensuring that individual efforts did not go unnoticed. Additionally, with in-person training limited for a large proportion of the year, the committee launched a remote training programme.
At the heart of the club is a focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion. The committee have worked hard to ensure they are welcoming and inclusive, setting up a successful family system where new members are partnered with returning members. These support networks have social and welfare benefits and have encouraged integration across the club in a remote environment.
Whilst the committee are incredibly proud of the work they do within the club, they also feel they have a social responsibility to use their platform to support diversity and inclusion within the wider rugby community. When World Rugby announced a proposal to ban transgender athletes from competing, the committee opened a discussion with the Students Union LGBTQ+ Officer to enhance their understanding of the issue.
They are a shining example of a holistic club committee, who recently were awarded the RFU Student Leadership Award for their fantastic work this year.
COVID Student Hero – Angus Bradley
Angus Bradley is an active player and committee member in the University of Nottingham Men’s Hockey Club, a member of the University of Nottingham First Responders Scheme and has also contributed to help his local community during the pandemic.
Since January 2020, he has responded to 256 life-threatening medical emergency calls across Nottinghamshire to provide high-quality, pre-hospital care for those who in-need. He has volunteered over 450 hours so far and attended to various emergencies such as 9 cardiac arrests, 68 chest pains, 51 breathing problems and 26 unconscious patients. In most of the cases, he arrived before the ambulance enabling to provide the patients with the vital emergency care they needed, quicker than it would otherwise have come.
Angus should be very proud for not only being a brilliant advocate for the University of Nottingham Sport, but also going above and beyond in his role in the First Responders and the Men's Hockey club. He is great example of how the student community have continued to support the local community in a really difficult academic year.
Digital Engagement Award – Health & Wellbeing Home
Over the past year, University of Nottingham Sport created the “Health & Wellbeing Home”, an interactive hub which provides access to a live and on-demand physical and mental health programme.
The digital content was highly accessible with inclusive workouts for those with low mobility. There were also exercises aimed at those working from home, in an office environment with desk-based stretching and warm-ups.
We never thought we’d hit 4 million views when we started out. We really wanted to help provide support, but we didn’t realise how strong a digital asset we were creating, and our community have returned to it again-and-again thanks to its rich content, strong brand and innovative delivery. Aside from the physical workouts, fitness tips and motivation more than anything, we brought music, laughter and fun to our students, staff and community when they needed us most – for that we are incredibly proud!
Diversity and Inclusion Award - Nomination University of Nottingham Table Tennis Club
Throughout the year the club quickly saw how the pandemic was negatively impacting our members mental health, and it was not long before a survey confirmed that over 70% of British students also said their mental health had suffered during the pandemic. So, with this in mind UoNTT wanted to create a campaign that would both educate, inspire, and encourage people to talk about mental health and seek help. The Table Tennis Club organised and put on an event in November 2020 for the club members which was called: ‘Big Challenge Week’.
The initiative was to raise awareness about suicide and mental health, through completing daily challenges that were related to a specific statistic related to suicide and mental health.
The club’s daily challenges included: (all stats were based on 1st Nov 2020)
Monday - 5,691 sit ups (representing 5,691 Suicides in England and Wales)
Tuesday - running 140,809m (140,809 young people aged between 10-24yrs old committed suicide worldwide)
Wednesday - spending 1,330 minutes Group discussion and opening conversations surrounding mental health (1,330 students committed suicide in the last 10 years)
Thursday - 20,000 squats. (Within the Samaritans charity there are more than 20,000 volunteers)
Friday - Using the clubs social media network to reach over 800,000 people via social media to raise awareness and encourage people to speak up. (800,000 sadly represents the number of suicides across the world per year).
The Club smashed this last target, with total reach of around 1.2million, with people such as actress Vicky McClure from line of duty sharing post!
Overall, this was a phenomenal club effort, with over 90% of BUCS players and coaches taking part to complete every challenge. Highlighting how important it is to educate, increase awareness and encouraging people to speak about sensitive issues such as mental health. UoNTT Club have demonstrated an amazing unity in coming together to help spread awareness of some important topics.
Sportsman of the Year – Johnnie Torjussen
Johnnie Torjussen is a senior international badminton athlete, multiple British Universities and Colleges Sport and European Universities Sport Association medal winner, as well as a highly valued committee member and sports scholar of the University of Nottingham Badminton club.
There have been many challenges this year due to the pandemic which has caused lots of disruption to Johnnie’s training programme. However, despite all this, he has continued to maintain his motivation and commitment to both his sport and his studies, undertaking online lectures and home-based training programs daily whilst away from the court.
Following a return to the badminton court through his elite athlete exemption, John showed that his hard work throughout the lockdowns had paid off when in February he was selected for his first ever senior international cap for England at the European Mixed Team Championships. This was a testament to his commitment to training during the hard times, with feedback from the national coaches that his level upon return to the court was far above expectation given the circumstances.
Notable achievements 2020/2021
February: Represented England in European Team Championships Finals beating World No.39 Christo Popov of France
March: Represented England in Orleans Individual championships – Round 64
April: Represented England in Portuguese Individual Championships – Quarter final beating World No. 73
May: Represented England in Spanish masters Super 300 in Hueva
Everyone at University of Nottingham Sport would like to extend a huge congratulations to everyone in the #GreenandGold Family on their well-deserved nominations and wins!
Posted on Thursday 15th July 2021