There are many sports societies to join when in university, especially for those of you who like to mix socialising with your competitive nature. All of whom will most likely be a part of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). The governing body for UK university sports was formed as of June 2008, following the merger of both the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) and University College Sport (UCS).
What do they do?
In their own words they “support and promote the lifestyle and educational benefits to communities and individuals of taking part in sport”. Those benefits are given to those engaging in sports and other such related activities at higher education. They support not only those who are able bodied but are also provide some disability provision in its programme. They provide more than 50 sports for those studying at university, so there is plenty of choice provided to those with an active interest in competing for their university.
The BUCS has a busy yearly programme comprised of over 5800 teams together with 120 championship events every year. They pull out all the stops with the hosting venues of said championship events. Twickenham (Home stadium of the senior England rugby team) and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, are just but a few of the grand stages university athletes get to compete on.
What competitions can you look forward to
Such is the fierce demand for high level competitions for students, that two major events were developed to supply this demand. BUCS Big Wednesday is the climax of the league season and features several Championship finals in one venue and all on the same day. In addition to this, the BUCS Nationals are the highlight of every season for any individual student athlete. It is the jewel in the governing bodies crown and the UK’s largest annual multi-event competition.
It’s not just on a national level that the BUCS are working but also on a local one. They also have a league structure within the capital which targets inter university participation. Such has been the yearly growth of BUCS sport entries, there is also a full international programme. A programme in which British students can represent their country and go toe to toe with other nations at the World University Games and World University Championships. Students can also choose to represent their university at a European level, in a UEFA Champions League styled format.
Plans for the future
The BUCS made a bold statement when they declared that their mission is to provide “The best university sport experience in the world”. They’ve committed to doing several things between the years of 2017 and 2021, all of which they believe will help bring to fruition their main objective. They are listed below.
- Broadening the scope of their strategic vision to encompass the full range of activity which takes place within the university sport setting, from physical activity and health through to performance sport.
- Creating and developing a workforce within the membership and the communities within universities.
- Raising the profile of the BUCS within these communities and externally with key strategic partners, including celebrating the successes and impact of the delivery of their association to the fullest.
Now you’re aware of who the BUCS are go and get yourself involved!