Recipe of the Week: Overnight Oats

Our #RecipeOfTheWeek this week is Overnight Oats – a perfect breakfast recipe for people short on time in the morning, or who want to be able to snooze that alarm once more! It can be prepped the night before and finished off in a couple of minutes the next morning.

It’s a really simple recipe, but has huge potential for anyone who wants to get creative with flavour combinations – we’ve given you a few ideas for you to try at the end of the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 50g porridge oats
  • Milk of choice
  • 1-2 tbsp of yoghurt (natural or greek-style)
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Optional: nuts and seeds such as chia seeds, almonds or pumpkin seeds

Method:

1. The night before, put your oats, cinnamon and any nuts and seeds that you are using into a jar, bowl or mug.

2. Pour over your milk of choice until it just covers the oats.

3. Leave in the fridge to soak overnight.

4. The next morning, stir your oats and mix in the yoghurt (you can choose how much you add based on the consistency of the oats that you would like)

5. Top with the fresh or frozen fruit, plus any additional nuts, seeds, a drizzle of honey and extra cinnamon.

6. Serve and enjoy!

Some flavour combinations to try:

  • Chocolate brownie oats: use cocoa powder
  • Apple pie oats: top with stewed apple and granola.
  • Carrot cake oats: mix in grated carrot, nutmeg and raisins and top with yoghurt.
  • Tropical oats: Mix in frozen pineapple and mango and top with desiccated coconut.
  • Mocha oats: Mix a shot of coffee and tbsp of cocoa powder into the oats mixture.

Don’t forget to tag us in any kitchen creations @bristolunisport on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! 

Hosting An Online AGM: Blog Takeover with UBWRFC Captain, Frankie

COVID-19 can be seen everywhere in the news today, in fact it’s almost impossible to open up social media without seeing an article about it. However, at UBWRFC (Women’s Rugby), we didn’t let the fact our members are all hundreds of miles apart get in the way of everyone’s highlight of the year – the AGM.

The aim of our AGM was to make the best out of a bad situation and to ensure newly elected committee don’t miss out on the experience of this important event in our club calendar.

I hope to share with you some tips to ensure every club is able to host a successful, fair but most importantly inclusive, virtual, AGM for their whole club.

Our AGM

  • 65+ members voting
  • 70+ people watching along
  • 11 newly elected committee members
  • Accessible to both members and coaches

Our Tips

Choose an appropriate media platform!

As silly as it sounds, the choice of platform you decide to host your AGM on can really detract or enhance everyone’s experience. An application such as house party is in accessible to a lot of members and quite frankly rather messy-especially for a group of rugby girls. Our solution was to use Facebook live stream as we were able to broadcast the event to everyone without having to make a new group, ensuring everyone was included…coaches too!

Keep it as true to a real AGM as possible

Admittedly this years’ AGM aren’t exactly going to be the same as normal, however by making it as realistic as possible makes the night seem as if it is no different. In our AGM we included speech videos to watch together and live facetime calls to record the newly elected committees’ reaction of the best moment of their life. Additional to this, we had a committee stick man drawing in the background, so that as people were elected their paper faces were moved up, gradually forming the committee as the meeting went along-this even made a new committee picture possible. Play about with this, plus it makes the night more memorable.

Keep everyone involved

As well as live facetimes on the night, club members were also able to comment along and express their thoughts and feelings throughout the night making sure everyone was included.

Be prepared

Even on a regular AGM night, there is bound to be an unexpected curve ball that needs to be dealt with. In our case, a vacant committee position was opened up on the night and people put themselves forward for the position. Ensure you have the ability to deal with situations like this, i.e. be able to make a voting medium quickly to cater for these changes.

Let’s just say these alternative, virtual AGM events will be remembered by club members for years to come but remembered as an event that continued to unify the club even during the craziest time of our lives!

Bristol GBBO Star, Briony Williams, announced as Great Bristol 10k University Ambassador

The University is delighted to announce Briony Williams as their Ambassador for this year’s Great Bristol 10k in May.  

Briony, who lives in Bristol and studied for her post-graduate qualification in teaching at the University, became a household name when she starred in the 2018 series of the Great British Bake-Off, making it all the way to the semi-finals.  

Briony went on to win the 2019 edition of The Great Christmas Bake-Off, and it’s also been announced that she has joined the presenting team of Channel 4’s  ‘Food Unwrapped’. As well as her TV appearances, Briony writes regularly for food magazines and features at food-festivals around the country! 

So, where does running fit in? We wondered the same!  

When she’s not creating masterpieces in her kitchen, Briony admits be being a keen runner. To date, she has taken on several 10k races and a couple of half-marathons, with more lined up for this year.  

This year, the University Bristol 10k campaign is focusing on the benefits that running, and being more physically active in general, can bring to our mental health – something Briony is a huge advocate for.  

Announcing her ambassadorship on Instagram, Briony wrote, “I’m really excited to be championing two things I care about so deeply: running and mental health” 

https://www.instagram.com/p/B79Cb2whXid/

We are thrilled that Briony will be running alongside our students, staff and alumni in the gigantic University Wave, and working with us in the lead-up to the event to encourage everyone on campus – runners and non-runners alike – to get active to support more positive physical and mental health and wellbeing at the same time as raising awareness and funds for the University’s B:Active Healthy Minds initiative. 

Almost 500 students, staff and alumni has already signed up to this iconic Bristol event! Get up, get together, and get active by lacing up your trainers and joining #TeamUoBristol for this year’s Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 3 May.   
 

Sign up for the University Wave

If you are University of Bristol staff, Student or Alumni, you can sign up to run the Great Bristol 10k with discounted entry.

Race Report: University of Bristol Boat Club Head Race 2019

Guest post written by: Iwan Rees (Press and Publicity Officer, UBBC)

University of Bristol Boat Club joined forces with their Nonesuch Alumni rowers!

Last Saturday (30 November 2019) the University of Bristol Boat Club hosted our annual Head Race. Over 150 crews from a range of University Boat Clubs came to Bristol’s Boat House in Saltford, and took to the River Avon to battle it out to be the fastest crew down the course!

Our senior squads took to the water in morning with both first eights looking to defend the headship. As the first boat down the course, the Men’s 1st VIII had a clear course on which to make their mark.  

“After much anticipation, and a dominant display at the BUCS Indoor comp, the Men’s 1st VIII was fired up and rearing to go in search of their third consecutive win at UBBC Head Race.” – Simran Gill, Cox Men’s 1st VIII

Simran Gill was the Cox for the Men’s 1st VIII. For those who don’t know, the Cox (aka Coxswain) in a rowing crew is the team-member who sits in the stern of the boat and is responsible for steering, and coordinating the power and rhythm of the rowers. Simran he told us:

The boys got up to the start with confidence in their strength, with five members already having featured in winning crews over the previous two years. After settling into the loose rhythm they had been honing during training, they maintained this through the s-bends. Once onto the ‘Salford Straight’ they drew from practice and went all-out to secure Bristol’s Men’s Championship Medal for another year.

Men’s 1st VIII came away with a gold medal and an impressive start to the winter racing season!

Up next, the Men’s 2nd VIII stepped up, to follow the 1st VIII to a medal winning time. Isabel Burridge is the Coz for the Men’s 2nd VIII, and she spoke to us about their performance on the day:

“From our progression in sessions, we felt confident going into head race and were aiming high. The race itself went pretty well and the guys rowed fantastically, despite a few hiccups with the cox box and a last-minute manoeuvre! As a team we produced a good time, putting us first in our category and finishing sixth overall – a wonderful result that we as a crew can be proud of.”

The Women’s 1st VIII was the next crew down the course, and were another team looking to defend their headship from last year. They adapted well to new combinations, introduced by new Coach, Holly Stead, and the team put their training progress to use.  They finished in with a gold medal and an impressive 10 second gap between themselves and Bath University team, who finished in second place.

Our Men’s and Women’s Intermediate 4+ crews were the last of the senior boats to race. Both were filled with relative newcomers to the senior squads, but despite this put in a really strong effort, with Women wining Gold and our Men’s crew winning Bronze. We spoke to each crew about their performance on the water:

Motivated by the home crowd we saw a big shift from the dynamic middle pair to overtake the crew out in front at 750m, with a sprint to the finish – we were all exhausted but delighted with our performance as a team.” – Rose Scotton, cox Men’s 4+  

“We went into Head Race with a strong race plan, setting out our goals for the race developed during our training sessions. Once onto the bend after the final bridge, we had to take a wider line due to a capsized four but, after a quick technical reset, we got back into our final focuses for the straight and held our focus on strong grip through the water till the end, achieving first place in our category. – Ophelia Morley, Women’s 4+ crew member.

To finish the day, in Division II, the Novice Squad made their racing debut. This came just weeks after their selection and with very limited time on the water beforehand.  

The Men’s Beginner VIII were first down the 1km course, aiming for a smooth race and to build on the basics they have worked on in training. They finished ninth in their field, but felt positive after the race with Anna, the Men’s Beginner VIII cox, said that despite her nerves:

“The atmosphere and buzz of race day was incredible. I am so pleased with how we did and the resilience demonstrated by everyone. Bring on the next race!”

The Women’s Beginner VIII followed, and finished in eighth place. Overall they were very pleased with their performance as a full crew, having done very little full crew rowing in training. 

We were really happy with our first race, we were energised by the crowds cheering [and] there was a high feeling of morale and team spirit – everyone was very pleased” – Kirsty Partridge, Cox Women’s Beginner VIII

To end the day the Beginner 4+’s raced with an equally impressive debut – our Women’s Crew came third in their category and our Men’s crew finished in ninth (despite a collision into the bank at one point)!

“Our Women’s Beginner IV got off to an excellent start in their rowing career this weekend. During the race they rowed at their very best, and ended the race pushed on by cheering support from the bank. We are very happy with the result and excited to build on this strong foundation going forwards.” – Mollie Cornell, cox Women’s Beginner IV

Ultimately, the day was a huge success for the club. We want to say a huge thanks to Simran Gill, our Events Officer, who organised and executed the day flawlessly. Also, a huge thanks to our Alumni Club – Nonesuch BC – for coming down and giving us a good run for our money!

We now look forward to the rest of the season and to next year’s UBBC Head Race!! 

Find us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the club activities!

Full results – MENS:  

Championship VIII – Gold
Intermediate VIII – Gold
Intermediate IV – 3th
Beginner IV – 10th
Beginner IV – 9th
Championship I – 2nd
Championship II – 2nd

Full results – WOMENS:  

Championship VIII – Gold
Intermediate IV – Gold
Beginner VIII   – 8th
Beginner IV – 3rd
Championship I – 4th
Championship II – 5th

Full results – MIXED:  

Championship II– 5th

Out To Swim: LGBT+ community fitness swimming in Bristol

Whether we are cheering or competing,
we are all at our best when we feel part of the team.

This week, alongside some of our fantastic #WeAreBristol sports clubs and Bristol SU, we celebrated BUCS Wednesday with the addition of Rainbow Laces. But the colourful additions weren’t a fashion statement, they were taking part in Stonewall’s Come Out Active campaign, raising awareness of the need for better LGBT+ inclusivity in sport.

Sport has an amazing power to bring people together. But 4 in 10 LGBT+ people don’t think sport is welcoming.

Stonewall, 2019

The Come Out Active campaign for 2019 ends tomorrow (30 November), but building an inclusive community in sports happens all year around. Our mission at Bristol Uni Sport is to bring people together through sport and physical activity, and help everyone achieve a sense of belonging as part of the #WeAreBristol community.


Out To Swim West is run with support from Bristol Uni Sport, and brings an inclusive and friendly sporting opportunity to campus for LGBT+ adults, and is open to both students and staff.

Out To Swim (OTS) are a masters swimming club for the LGBT+ community. Most of OTS members are LGBT, but the club is inclusive to all, and welcomes all adults with an interest in aquatic sport and swimming for fitness, including disabled swimmers. Out To Swim West are based in Bristol and form a branch of the wider Out To Swim charity organisation who also have clubs based in London and Brighton, and have been running (or should we say, “swimming”) for over 25 years. 

You don’t have to look very hard to see that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still rife in sporting culture. I think a lot of LGBT people had a bad experience with sport growing up…but Out To Swim is the complete opposite: I immediately felt welcome, accepted and comfortable, which is so important.

Ben, OTS West swimmer

Out To Swim West launched in Bristol in the summer of 2018, at Bristol’s Pride weekend and is supported by the University of Bristol. The club was launched with three founding members, Rob, Alistair and Matt, and within twelve months they had eleven regular swimmers. Now, 15-months since their first ‘official’ social swim in August 2018, they have 29 members and are hosting three swim sessions per week (more info about these below)!

For Matt, one of the co-founders of OTS West, it’s about building a community, as much as it is about swimming – the club will regularly meet for a coffee after their Saturday swim session. Alistair, another co-founder of the club, agrees, sharing in a recently Bristol 24/7 article that OTS is more than just a swimming club; “It’s a community and it’s friendships. There are people of all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life. It’s a shared hobby.”

The best thing about OTS is what a supportive community it is. We all encourage and help each other, and there’s no judgement if someone isn’t as strong a swimmer or is having an off day.


Out To Swim West hold swim sessions three times a week at the University of Bristol Swimming Pool which is in the Richmond Building (Bristol SU):

  • Tuesdays: 6.30am to 7.30am (uncoached*, focus on distance)
  • Wednesdays: 7pm to 8pm (uncoached*, focus on skills)
  • Saturdays: 12pm to 1pm (2 lanes, with a coach, focus on skills)

*Uncoached sessions are led by an experienced member of the club

The minimum standard required is 4 lengths front crawl continuously.
Not quite there yet? Don’t worry – the Bristol Uni Sport offers Adult Swimming Lessons to help reach this goal. 


Read the Bristol 24/7 article written about OTS

Students: Join a B:Active Campus LGBT+ Swim session
Saturdays 12pm – 1pm at the University Pool

Find out more, or to arrange a FREE taster session with the club, contact OTS West via their website.

Bristol Alumni Rowers Set To Take On 3000-Mile Atlantic Challenge

(L-R) Flo, Hannah & Georgie will attempt the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in December 2020

This week (18-24 November 2019) is #ThisGirlCan week on Bristol Uni campus. We have a timetable of exclusive female-only classes and club taster sessions, all completely FREE, to encourage more women across campus to get together and get active!

Alongside this timetable of activities, we are featuring on social media a showcase of ordinary women, achieving extraordinary things in world of Sport, Exercise and Health! #WomenInSport

Atlantic Antics

Atlantic Antics 2020 is a self-titled trio of keen rowers – Hannah, Flo and Georgie – who, next year, will take on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000 rowing race from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, to English Harbour, Antigua.

Why the Atlantic?

Flo: “Because why sit at a desk all day when you could be sat in the middle of the ocean?”
Georgie: “Because rivers are too flat.”
Hannah: “Why not?”

The responses of three women determined in their mission to cross the Atlantic together – a journey of 3,000 miles, against 30 other crews from around the world. Not only that, in doing so they are attempting to become be the fastest female trio to complete the trip, aiming for a crossing of only 50 days. If successful, the trio will beat the current record by 10 full days!

The Team

Particularly exciting, is that two-thirds of the trio are Bristol University Alumni, having met one another as members of the University of Bristol Rowing Club!

Flo attended a Fresher’s taster session for rowing and was immediately hooked by the competitive nature of the sport. She rowed for Bristol throughout her degree, and for local club. Hannah also rowed with UBBC throughout her time at Bristol Uni and becoming Women’s Captain. Hannah saw a number of UBBC members complete the Atlantic Challenge and was inspired to follow in their footsteps one way or another!

Georgie found rowing whilst studying at Lincoln University, and was put in touch with Hannah and by someone in the rowing biz who knew she was also looking for a crew to take on the Challenge. Very quickly, Atlantic Antics was born!

Why the challenge?

In Hannah’s words; why not? The trio are taking on this epic challenge because with the adequate training and preparation, they can! Not only that, they could make history by being the fastest female trio to do so.

Beyond that, Hannah, Flo and Georgie are on a mission to inspire other women to give sport a go. Through this challenge they are supporting Women In Sport, a charity “with the goal of giving every woman and girl in the UK the opportunity to experience the transformational rewards of sport.”

The trio admit that sport didn’t come naturally to all of them, but that “what stuck with all of us from those younger years was the friendship and community found in sport”. These courageous women hope that by sharing their ‘antics’ online whilst they prepare for this epic challenge, they will inspire other women to get involved in sport, at any level, and “find something that they are as passionate about as we are”.

6 am training sessions and gruelling training camps put us through our paces and pushed us beyond our limits. Sport has given us the confidence to always try, regardless of how silly we may look, our lack of natural ability, or the chance of failure.

Atlantic Antics 2020

Atlantic Antics is also supporting Rowing Together for Healthy Minds; a charity changing the attitudes surrounding mental health in rowing.

Follow the antics:

On Instagram
On Facebook
On Twitter

Follow Bristol Uni Sport

On Instagram
On Facebook
On Twitter

Get Active To Reduce Stress (Plus 7 More Top Tips)

Monday 4 – Friday 8 November 2019 is #InternationalStressAwarenessWeek. Stress is something that gets talked about a lot day-to-day but is commonly misunderstood. It’s normal to hear friends, peers and colleagues tell you that they are “feeling a bit stressed, but it’s okay”. Stress has become normalised in society and has both negative and positive impacts on the human experience. It is important for us all to understand the impact of stress in our own lives, and also how we can better manage any negative consequences that may arise.

One step that we can all take to reduce negative stress is to factor daily movement into our everyday lives. It is by far one of the most under-utilised stress-busting tools and we have lots of ways to help you stay active on campus this year! For more information about how Bristol Uni Sport can help, visit our website to see all the opportunities available.


What is stress?

Stress is the feeling we experience when: “Demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilise.” (Stress Management Society)

In other words, when lots of tasks pile up, or we perceive there to be a high level of expectation upon us that we are unable to cope with, we feel stressed.

It can be argued that a small amount of short-term stress can be a good thing. Short-term stress is sometimes referred to as the ‘Fight or Flight’ response which, bad in the day, would have ensured we escaped or fought off predators. However, these ‘predators’ now take the shape of deadlines or exams. Whilst in the short-term a small amount of stress might help you meet that looming deadline, to be in a state of stress for long periods of time can be detrimental to our overall physical and mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.


How to tell if you’re stressed

Signs and symptoms of stress can be physical, emotional, psychological, or behavioural. Only you will know how you are truly feeling, but you may find others who are close to you making comments that you seem ‘not yourself’ and these could be indicators that you are suffering from stress.

Examples of symptoms include; lack of concentration, excessive worrying, reduced confidence in your abilities, irritability, tearfulness or anger, weight-loss or weight-gain, aches and pains, greater susceptibility to illnesses like colds and the flu, increased intake of alcohol, and insomnia (Stress Management Society).


The Stress Bucket analogy
The Stress Bucket

Sometimes it is difficult to identify what is causing you to feel stressed on any given day, particularly if there you don’t feel there are any ‘big problems’ causing you to feel the way you do. The analogy of the stress bucket can help yo explain these unexpected feeling of stress and being overwhelmed.

Imagine all of the tasks, priorities, commitments and expectations you have to deal with day-to-day are pebbles being put into a bucket. Some are bigger than others and take up more space, for example maintaining healthy relationships with your friends and family whilst you’re busy. Some might be smaller, such as remembering to pack lunch for the next day.

If your stress bucket gets too full, it only takes one of these small pebbles (maybe you burned your toast at breakfast) to make the bucket spill over. This leads to you feeling overwhelmed and stressed, even though on another day you may have handled the same situation perfectly well.


Tips for Managing Stress

Stress management tools are habits or practices that you can implement in your every-day life to help drain your stress bucket, and stop it from getting too full. Our top tips are below, but there are lots more that you can discover for yourself.

  1. Get Active
    Exercise and physical movement released endorphins, or ‘happy hormones’ into your body! But it doesn’t have to be a hard-core gym session or tough sport – a 10 minute walk can be enough to boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood (Active 10).
  2. Rest and Recovery
    Are you getting enough sleep? The average adult needs 7-9 hours per night to function optimally (Sleep Council). It may mean making some short-term sacrifices to your evening social plans, but concentrating on getting some decent shut-eye will benefit you hugely in the long-run.
  3. Nutrition
    Making sure you are eating a balanced diet can have a hugely positive impact on your overall wellbeing. Small things you can focus on are: getting a minimum of 5 fruits and veggie per day, drinking 2L of water, ensuring a mix of carbs, fats and proteins are included in every meal and cutting back on caffeine in the afternoons.
  4. Work/Life Balance
    Too much time at the pub and not enough time in the library can of course cause us to feel stressed about the amount of work that can pile up. But spending too much time in the library and not enough time with friends can be just as impactful. Find the balance that works for you to make sure you’re giving enough time to both.
  5. Practice Mindfulness
    Mindfulness doesn’t have to mean ‘meditation’ – we know that’s not for everyone. Mindfulness can be an activity that means you’re focused on the ‘here and now’ rather than past, present or future worries. Have a cup of tea, go for a walk or a run, or write a to-do list – it will all help.
  6. Digital Detox
    We’re all guilty of falling into a ‘scroll-hole’ when we should actually be focusing on work. Studies show even having your phone in the same room whilst you work can lower your problem-solving IQ (University of Texas)! Try 30 minutes of phone-free studying to get some focus back.
  7. Build Resilience
    Resilience isn’t just “toughen up and carry on”. Resilience is our ability to ‘bounce back’ from tough times and implement strategies based on past experience. It’s a skill that can be learned and developed – Off The Record have an online ‘Resilience Lab’ that can help you.
  8. Open Up
    Don’t suffer in silence, talk to someone. There are lots of places you can turn for support whilst at University, from friends, family, flatmates and course-mates, to more professional spaces such as Student Wellbeing Services.
Resources

International Stress Management Association: https://isma.org.uk/nsad-free-downloads
Student Wellbeing Service: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/
Off The Record Resilience Lab: https://www.otrbristol.org.uk/the-resilience-lab/
Stress Management Society – Understanding Stress: https://www.stress.org.uk/how-stress-affects-your-body/
The Sleep Council: https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/how-much-sleep-do-we-need/
University of Austin, Texas: “The Mere Presence of Your Smartphone Reduces Brain Power”: https://news.utexas.edu/2017/06/26/the-mere-presence-of-your-smartphone-reduces-brain-power/
It’s Time To Log Off: https://www.itstimetologoff.com/

Healthy Minds: Charlotte’s Story

When Charlotte Jones first stepped into her university’s gym two years ago, she had no idea that exercise would be the remedy to the depression and anxiety she’d been living with.


Charlotte and her mentor, Pete Burrows.

Charlotte experienced mental health difficulties following a series of personal issues which coincided with the pressure of her final year at the University of Bristol, where she was studying Neuroscience. 

The 23-year-old is shared her story on World Mental Health Day [10 October] to give hope to others who are going through a tough period, particularly whilst at University.

Charlotte had experienced low-level mental ill-health before coming to university in 2014, but was coping well. This was the case until her final year when her brother fell ill, a family member passed away and her relationship broke down. 

At the same time, Charlotte was having to manage her dissertation project and the looming prospect of her final exams. 

(more…)