Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Top 10 finish for UCLan at Corporate Games

Following a fantastic 2012 UK Corporate Games hosted in Preston, 110 organisations were represented this year including big names such as the RAF, Accenture, IBM UK, CSC, Ernst & Young, Jaguar Land Rover, Lloyds Bank, BUPA, Asda, Unilever, along with Warwick & Coventry Universities.

The games comprised of 127 events in 22 different sports, held at various venues across Coventry and Warwick between 3 and 5 July.

Despite only entering teams in three sports (dragon boat, women’s golf, and women’s soccer 5’s), UCLan achieved joint eighth place in the overall medal table with a fantastic 23 in total, and were overall winners of Division 4 (21-50 team members) with a staggering 223 points, beating the likes of Barclaycard, EON, HSBC, Dunlop amongst others.

Our Dragon Boat team, aptly named 'Oarsome', comprising of 15 staff from Learning and Information Services, came a very well deserved and hard fought fourth on the Saturday long course. It went two places better on the Sunday short course taking second place and the Silver medal position, beaten by only 1/20th of a second, in an exciting but gruelling race described by the organisers as the closest finish they had ever seen.

UCLan also took silver and bronze medals in both Women’s Golf events with Jan Peace and Wendy Skerritt putting in superb individual performances. The UCLan women’s 5-a-side football team 'Invincible' made it through to the final with ease, going on to win gold and rounding off a hugely successful weekend of sport for the University.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Cash boost for Lancashire's rising stars

Young sporting hopefuls from across the County have been awarded a cash boost to help them towards their sporting goals.

14 young athletes from Lancashire were awarded a £500 grant and support from UCLan in the latest round of the Lancashire Rising Star Fund. The project, in association with Lancashire Sport Partnership, Lancashire County Council and UCLan, awards the grants to individuals to cover costs such as travel, training, accommodation, competition fees, and equipment.

In addition, each recipient will receive a package of support from UCLan that will include strength and conditioning services, nutritional advice and support and access to UCLan sports and training facilities.

The Rising Stars will be invited to a presentation evening at UCLan in September to celebrate their sporting achievements and present them with their grant. The next round of funding will be announced later on in the year.

Details of the athletes can be found here. If you would like to support Lancashire's future sporting stars please email or call 01772 299830.

Monday, 15 July 2013

DSE National Junior Athletics Championships 2013

This weekend saw more than 250 junior athletes descend on Preston for the DSE National Junior Athletics Championships 2013.

UCLan Sports Arena was the venue for the two-day event which has previously been used a stepping stone onto greater achievements.

Paralympians such as Hannah Cockcroft, Shelley Woods, Aled Davies and Hollie Arnold all competed in past events as part of their development into world class athletes. This years' results are available here. Photographs from the event can be found here and here.

UCLanSport would like to offer its congratulations to everyone who took part this year.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The myth about weight training for women

Laura, one of our Fitness Instructors at Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre (STFSC), has kindly submitted a guest article to the UCLanSport blog:

I have been here for over 12 months now and have done numerous amounts of inductions, fitness assessments, programmes and personal training sessions.

I have done programs for males and females in my time at STFSC, but the main issue I've come across and would like to address is the misunderstanding about women and Weight Training.

MYTH: 'Lifting weights makes you bulky and masculine'

This could not be further than the truth. Lifting weights can benefit both men and women, and by including strength training into your workout and pushing yourself that little bit further, it is the only way you will see results and get stronger. I think one of the key points is that muscle actually takes up less space than fat, so if your aim is to lose fat, then building muscle will lead to you looking leaner and more defined.

A further important factor as to why lifting weights will not make females bulky or masculine is down to the hormone called testosterone. The hormone in men can be responsible for the increase in muscle size due to weight training. Men can produce up to 20 times more testosterone daily compared to women. Take a look!

Men: 300-1200 ng/dL

Women: 30-95 ng/dL

ng/dL = nanograms per deciliter

With the above ranges you can see the difference between the production of testosterone in men and women. Men have a significantly higher amount of testosterone compared to women. Therefore, it is clear by these figures that women do not have the hormonal support to gain excessive amounts of muscle. It is not completely ruling out the possibility of you building some muscle, you just won’t build muscle like a man. It will result in a more toned figure.


The stereotypical workout for a woman includes a lot of cardio, followed by picking up a light dumbbell and doing numerous amounts of repetitions. While doing an endless amount of repetitions has its benefits, lifting heavy and challenging weights is going to benefit you more, especially if your aims include weight loss, strength and an improvement of your body shape.

Obviously, I am not suggesting that you all go and pick up the heaviest dumbbell in the gym and try and curl or bench press it, strength gains will take time. However, if you stick at it, you will feel and see the benefits more than doing an endless amount of repetitions with the lightest weight in STFSC (1kg).

If you are a complete beginner then don’t be afraid to start off with the fixed weights machines, they will help you gain a little bit more confidence in weight training, as well as an idea of your strength. However, you are going to improve eventually and will need to challenge your body that little bit more and there is nothing better than free-weights and compound exercises. Yes ladies, this means that you may have to enter the dreaded and masculine free-weights area in the Fitness Suite at STFSC.

But do not worry, we are here to help, guide you through, and eventually change the balance into our favour ladies! Therefore, here are some challenging compound exercises to help you get that shape you have been aiming towards.


Deadlifts are full body workouts and target the legs, back, abs, traps etc. So you can see that this exercise is going to target those areas that women want to tone and shape up.


If you want legs like a Hollywood film star then including Squats into your workouts is going to help you achieve them. Squats target the whole of the upper legs, quads, hamstrings, glutes. They are one of the best exercises for overall leg development.


Lunges are good for again targeting those hard areas us females like to tighten up, glutes, quads, hamstrings.


Press-ups are great for improving your upper body strength; you don’t even need to include a weight. Press-ups target the chest, triceps and shoulders, giving us ladies that nice toned upper body.

Overall, we have discussed why weight training will not cause you to become bulky and masculine, and how it will instead improve body shape, assist with fat loss and improve strength. I do realise we haven’t discussed any specific training methods, but at STFSC we are available to help you find what training methods are suitable for you. All you have to do is ask!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Preston City Games

UCLan was the host venue as hundreds of people from a range of different businesses went head to head in the first ever Preston City Games. The event saw teams from 37 firms compete in different sports including badminton, football, netball.

Other sporting activities included hockey, running, rounders, rugby and table tennis, with the fun taking place at both the UCLan Sports Arena and the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.

The sporting day was hailed a huge success by organisers, who are already looking forward to next year's event on Saturday, June 7th.

Councillor Tom Burns, cabinet member for leisure, said: "It is great to see the business community come together and support the first Preston City Games. Everyone had a fantastic day and I hope they and many others will join us next year when the event will be even bigger."

Winners on the day included BAE Systems, who won in the badminton mixed doubles, UCLan, who won at netball, and Preston Council, who scooped first, second and third place in the men's 5k running event.

The games were held as part of the Guild legacy, as well as the city's status of European City of Sport in 2012 and followed on from the UK Corporate Games which were held in the city last year.

Kate Youngman, senior sports development officer at Preston Council, said: "It was a brilliant day, we couldn't have asked for better weather. The atmosphere was fantastic. Everyone had a beaming smile on their face. It ticked all the right boxes for us and we have had some great feedback already."

The games were organised by Preston Council, Preston College and UCLan.