Tennis Team gain LTA Youth Venue Accreditation status

LTA Youth is an innovative junior programme created to help more children enjoy the benefits of playing and staying in tennis, whatever their age, gender, ability, disability, or background. It is the first national curriculum for tennis ever written, drawing on world leading expertise and informed by both athlete development principles and customer insight from parents and players.

The University of Bristol is delighted to have embraced this new curriculum and as a result have been awarded LTA Youth Recognised Youth status.


Performance sport team trial cutting edge GPS technology

The members of the Performance Sport department at Bristol University are always looking to advance and improve the way in which they manage and support the development, health, and performance of our student-athletes. Their latest innovation, brought in on trial by the Strength and Conditioning (S&C) department facilitated by Dr Will Sparkes, is a set of top-of-the-range GPS units provided by Catapult Sports, an Australian-based sports analytics company that works with many of the top professional sports teams around the world.

These highly advanced GPS units are able to record and monitor every single movementA box of GPS tracking devices an athlete makes on the field or court, including, but not limited to: distance, speed, heart rate, accelerations, decelerations, repeated high-intensity efforts, impacts, changes of direction, and the number of contact involvements. This data is invaluable in helping determine the workload of individual athletes and teams, allowing informed decisions to be made on the design and delivery of training to optimise fitness, reduce the risk of injury and provide athletes with a data-driven return to play should they suffer injury.

Over the last month, the team have been gathering data from Rugby, Football, and Tennis squads and will be monitoring additional sports until Easter. Using their experience in elite sport, the S&C department has been interpreting this data to provide key performance feedback to our sports coaches and athletes.

A student athlete facing away from the camera showing off his GPS tracking deviceThey have already found some very interesting insights from each sport. For example, one of our Men’s footballers covered 11.5 km in a BUCS match, with over 1500 meters of high-speed running and 350 meters of sprinting – numbers typically seen in Premier League matches! This is a testament to the physical demands of our sports and the need for professional training methods and strategies in order to best prepare for the demands of competition.



Joe Goodman, Head of Rugby, said: “The data we have collected with the GPS units have revealed some key insights into the volume and intensity of our training sessions, which really helps me to plan training and ensure the players are as fit and fresh as possible on match day”.

The Performance Sport department, headed by Matt Paine, is dedicated to the health, performance, and development of our student-athletes. The team consists of practitioners covering physiotherapy, psychology, nutrition, and S&C, who collaborate closely with the technical coaches to support athletes in reaching their full potential, both athletically and academically. This partnership with Catapult Sports is just one of the ways in which the department is working to achieve these goals.

My SEH Journey – It’s more than just sport!

This week’s blog is written by former student and current Sport, Exercise and Health staff member, Hannah Soodeen.

Hannah, a University of Bristol student wearing a graduation cap and gown, smiling.
Hannah at her graduation

Prior to coming to university, I had an image of university sports being full of posh, scary athletes who were unintentionally intimidating to a not-so-sporty gal like myself. I quickly learnt that there is a lot more to sports than what meets the eye. Through my experiences with the SEH department at the uni I have found the friendliest, loveliest people who just want every student to be involved in sports. I have also learnt that there is a lot of effort put in behind the scenes, for example a whole world of catering, admin, organization and communication in order to create inclusive sporting opportunities for everyone.  (more…)

Intro to the Trails

This week we have a guest blog from Bristol Run Series Partners – Maverick Race, written by Elyse Fletcher. If you’re interested in learning more about trail running read on, and remember to sign up to the Bristol Run Series 6.5k in the Mendips now!

So you’re interested in trail running, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Maverick Race we are all about trail running! We live and breathe life on the trails, always looking for new trails to run on, new adventures to go on and new runners to join us!

But… What exactly is trail running? Why is it (in our opinion) superior to road running? What are trail shoes? And is it only for runners who can run 100 miles over mountain ranges and tolerate an unpleasant amount of mud?

We’ve written a handy short intro to answer those questions.


The Runner’s Fencepost

Let’s start by imagining a rubber tube, packed tightly with little rubber pellets. You now take out the huge mallet that you just purchased and give one end of the tube a good whack! Due to the compact nature of the tube, much of the force exerted from the strike will travel to the other end of the tube.

Now imagine this same rubber tube is loosely packed, and we give it the same forceful whack at one end. The tube now gets squished by the mallet, flattens out, and force from the strike dissipates from the squished area in a sideways fashion. Consequently, most of the force never reaches the other end.


Hospitality at Coombe Dingle!

In the world of cheffing, there’s a clear hierarchy: Michelin-starred haute cuisine at the top, mass catering dinner ladies at the bottom. But I’ve never believed in it.

My name is Tim, and I’m the head chef at Bristol University’s Coombe Dingle Sports Centre. I’ve done my time in restaurants over the years, working at some seriously fancy outfits – but I truly believe that, on all the metrics that matter, we match or even beat the gastro eateries. I’m talking here about quality, taste, nutrition, ethical sourcing, environmental impact, low food waste, and most of all, happy customers.


B:Active – A Day in the Life of a Student Activator

Maddy celebrating at the end of a run!  Hi, I’m Maddy. I am a 4th year Medical Student here at Bristol and I am also in my 4th year of working for B:Active as one of the student activators. My role in the department has taken many different forms over the years, especially throughout the pandemic, but now that things are (hopefully!) settling back into normality I thought it was about time to take you through a typical day in my life on the B:Active team. I am currently on placement in Gloucester Royal Hospital so on weekdays I join our admin meetings remotely and keep up with the team that way. On the weekends however, I am always back on Bristol soil and so I thought it would make the most sense to talk you through my typical Saturday, as this is when I truly get my B:Active fix. 


Top 5 strength exercises for runners, as recommended by a PT

Following on from our previous post, Sian from SC fitness takes a look at the best strength exercise for runners.

You may have read in our recent blog that strength training is very important for runners. Not only because it’s going to improve your running, but perhaps most importantly because it helps prevent injury. As running is a high impact sport, risk of injury is also high and I bet you have experienced – or at least know someone who has – a niggle or two due to running regularly. It’s understandable, however, that strength training – which is completely different to running – can be overwhelming when it comes to knowing what exercises you should be doing to make sure you’re getting the benefits you need. To help keep things simple and uncomplicated for you, here are my top 5 strength exercises for runners which I advise you include in your training.