THE CITY of Sheffield will host the largest annual multi-sport event for the next three years after British Universities ; Colleges Sport struck a ground-breaking new partnership.
The partnership between Sheffield City Trust, BUCS, Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University has been extended and will see Nationals hosted until 2022.
The announcement comes a day after 6,000 students finished competing in a huge weekend of sport across the city in the 10th year of BUCS Nationals in the city.More than 500 officials and volunteers helped facilitate the competition across eight sports – which saw international stars such as Adam Peaty, Morgan Lake and James Wilby compete in Sheffield at venues across the city.
On announcing the extension to the partnership, BUCS Chief Executive Officer, Vince Mayne commented: “For us we’re coming home to a really safe pair of hands that helps us to deliver an incredible event for 6,000 students year on year – we’re really happy that we’ll be coming to Sheffield for the next three years.“Sheffield has a range of facilities and existing partnerships for us, which means we can offer what we want in terms of the sport programme, but we know that the quality of venue is something that really excites the students as well.“For us at BUCS it means we can deliver the best university sports experience in the world, which is what we’re trying to do.”
BUCS Nationals are the highlight of the season for individual sport athletes at university, competing at top Sheffield venues including Ponds Forge, The English Institute of Sport and ICE Sheffield – enhancing the city’s reputation as one of Britain’s major sporting centres. Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and sport at Sheffield City Council, said: “This announcement is further evidence of Sheffield’s enviable sporting credentials. This event is always a highlight in our sporting calendar and we are delighted to support it once more.“With the recent announcement about both the Invictus Games trials and the Rugby World Cup coming to Sheffield, it is clear that our city is in the premier league when it comes to staging memorable and enjoyable sporting successes.”
Table tennis player David Wetherill, who has competed at three Paralympic Games and completed his degree in Sheffield in 2011, hailed the extension to the agreement.“It’s absolutely fantastic that Sheffield is going to be hosting BUCS again for the next three years,” said Wetherill.“My time at university here was about ten years ago now and it’s the first time we had BUCS Nationals – Sheffield is an amazing city for sport and it’s great that we have it here again.“I’ve been training here for so many years now and it feels like the home of sport for me.”The hosting of BUCS Nationals in Sheffield provides an economic boost to the city but also benefits the students of both universities, who are able to compete against world-class opposition on home turf.
Iain McKinney, head of sports services at Sheffield Hallam University, commented: “We are a city of sport and we’ve got world class venues that should be used for events like this, it’s great to see students in them.” While his counterpart at The University of Sheffield, director of sport Andy Cox, said: “The work we’re doing at the University of Sheffield is to push sport and get people to understand the true value of it, so having this event in the city really gives us profile – it’s great for volunteering and it’s great for students who want to compete.” “6,000 students are going to be around Sheffield over those weekends and it’s fantastic to see.”