Newcastle University finished in the top ten of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league table for the 2018/19 season.
1,350 league points and 1,192 individual, knockout and cup points combined to leave Team Newcastle with 2,542 points, meaning the university finished 9th in the league out of 160 institutions. This is also Newcastle’s highest ever BUCS points score, beating 2017/18’s score of 2,345.8.
Regarding Newcastle’s BUCS league finish, 2018/19 Athletics Union officer, Maggie Elstob said:
“I’m incredibly proud to see Newcastle University Sport retain its top 10 BUCS ranking by moving up a place to 9th this year. I loved my year representing these students and am delighted to see their success confirmed with this news.
"We have some of the best student athletes in the country.
"They work hard, are dedicated to running their clubs, and balance academic work with representing their university. Newcastle University should be so excited by this news, and what it means for our students in the future.”
Newcastle entered 83 teams into BUCS this season. 20 of these teams won their leagues, which is the highest amount of league titles in any season for Newcastle. This year saw six teams from Newcastle reach the final of their Conference Cup competitions; Men’s Badminton 1sts, Men’s Basketball 2nds, Women’s Football 1sts, Men’s Hockey 3rds, and Men’s Tennis 1sts all won their finals, whilst Women’s futsal 1sts reached the final.
Success for Newcastle was also seen on the water. The Canoe Club recorded their best set of results in White Water Racing and Slalom events. Furthermore, the Boat Club became successive Victor Ludorum champions and won six gold, seven silver and three bronze medals at the BUCS regatta.
Incoming AU officer for the 2019/20 season, Joe Gubbins, hopes to continue the successes that Team Newcastle have seen this season, saying:
“I think a 9th place finish with our highest ever points total is a massive testament to all the hard work put in over the year. The student athletes, committees, everyone up at the Sports Centre and Maggie put in a huge shift and it’s been rewarded!
“As well as the BUCS success, we’ve seen some really impressive performances and results from our non-BUCS clubs too and they deserve that recognition too. Let’s take it forward and have another strong year.”
The increase of Newcastle’s sporting success is also reflected in the construction of new sports facilities on campus. Almost £32 million has been invested into developing sport at Newcastle University, including the building of the new University Sport and Fitness Centre, which is due to open in autumn 2019. The new centre will include an eight-court sports hall, four squash courts, multi-purpose rooms, a range Sport and Exercise Science Labs, an environmental chamber and a gait track.
Work has also been undertaken at Cochrane Park with the building of three new floodlit 3G pitches, a rowing ergo facility and an improved pavilion. A larger car and coach parking space has also been built as part of this work.