Team Newcastle finished the 2016/17 season with 2,223 points, placing it 10th amongst 160 Higher Education institutions in the country. The back-to-back Top 10 ranking means that Newcastle University has now finished in the top of the table in seven of the last 11 BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) seasons.
Fraser Kennedy, Performance Sport Manager, Newcastle University, said: “It's absolutely fantastic Newcastle University have finished within the top 10 for sport nationally for the second consecutive year. It is testament to all the hard work, commitment and effort our student athletes, professional coaches and support team have made to gain this outcome. This firmly puts Newcastle University up there with the very best in HE sport and is significant in terms of supporting the University with its reputation and profile.”
The Top 10 finish follows on a record intake of Sports Scholars who helped establish the University as one of the best performance sport programmes in the country. At the beginning of the academic year, Team Newcastle welcomed 121 student athletes representing 27 different sports.
Newcastle University entered 81 teams into the traditional weekly BUCS Wednesday sports programme playing 899 fixtures, winning 429, drawing 50 and losing 420 giving a win rate ratio of 48%, with 15 teams winning their respective BUCS Leagues. Newcastle had 13 Premier League teams for the 2016/17 season, the highest to date.
The campaign saw outstanding performances by a range of teams, including the Rowing Club, Badminton, Squash, Football, Futsal, Golf, Netball, Lacrosse, Table Tennis, Tennis, Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee, Water Polo, Fencing and others.
Basketball men’s 1s continued their progress in National Basketball League (NBL) by being runners up in Division 2 and winning the national Patrons Cup. This was the third consecutive promotion for the Knights, who now go in to the top league. Both the men and the women had successful BUCS premier league campaigns, consolidating their places for another season and finishing third and fifth respectively in the Super 8’s Championship Finals.
Fielding three men and three women teams, Fencing was once again the University’s most successful Wednesday sport to gain the most BUCS points. All teams put in a significant effort to end up being fourth overall in BUCS.
Newcastle University Boat Club were ranked fourth overall in BUCS for 2016/17. The men won the Victor Ludorum (VL) at the BUCS 4’s and 8’s Head in February on the River Tyne and at the BUCS Regatta in May they gained a total of 16 medals (5 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze).
The women nationally had their best-ever set of results at the women’s Henley Regatta with the Senior coxless 4 and Academic 8 winning their respective races and the Senior 8 runners up. The men’s coxed four beat Imperial College London for the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at the Henley Regatta, breaking the event record by six seconds with a time of 6 minutes 48 seconds.
The women’s 1st Volleyball team, competing in the Premiership League for only the second time, had a successful season finishing third in the league and finishing sixth overall in the country after qualifying for the BUCS National Super 8’s. They also won the National Student Cup for the very first time.
The Water Polo teams had their most successful season to date with the women finishing 3rd in the country and the men winning the national BUCS trophy and finishing 3rd overall in BUCS.
Top sporting university
Newcastle University is signalling its commitment to build on the success of its sports programme and to secure Newcastle’s place as one of the top sporting universities in the UK.
The University announced it is investing over £30m in new state–of-the-art sports facilities to boost its position among the top in the country. The university’s outstanding performances on the sports field will be backed by the new undergraduate BSc Sports and Exercise Science degree programme. Led by Emma Stevenson, Professor of Sports and Exercise Science, the first intake of students will start the programme in September 2017.
Earlier in the year, Newcastle University become an official partner to the region's only Premiership rugby club, Newcastle Falcons. This three-year strategic collaboration will deliver mutual benefits in the fields of sport education, training and research, and includes a jointly-funded Newcastle University PhD studentship based with Falcons staff at Kingston Park Stadium.
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