MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY
Established: 1824 (Manchester Mechanics Institute)
Team colour(s): Orange and blue.
You can hardly miss the Manchester Met athletes in bright orange and blue. Just a few years ago, the club had a single athlete competing, now they are expecting a team of around sixteen at BUCS Indoors with a number of medal contenders. MMU counts British middle-distance runner Jamie Webb among its alumni and the European championship athlete managed back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. Taking up the gauntlet with this preview is club Chairman Will Beauchamp, a final year Physiotherapy student competing in the 3000m this weekend.
Tell us about your uni and why it is the best one to compete for?
Manchester Metropolitan University is currently investing heavily in its sports clubs, and athletics is one of the priority areas for this. Along with the introduction of the sports scholarship scheme a few years ago, we’re now starting to attract some of the country’s best young athletes so it’s a very exciting time to be a student athlete at the university. We also have a great team spirit, and the bond between athletes makes it feel like so much more than an average student sports club. Plus, Manchester has arguably the best sports facilities in the country, so all the ingredients for success are there!
Jamie Webb took gold at BUCS Outdoors for MMU in 2015
What’s your favourite thing about competing in BUCS events?
BUCS events have always attracted a high calibre of student athletes, from Olympians to European champions, so competing against sports men and women of that quality make it a very special indeed. Probably the best thing about BUCS though has to be the atmosphere; whether its on the indoor track or in a muddy field for cross country, the support from your fellow students and other universities is phenomenal and makes it unlike most other sports events!
Can you give us your best memory of BUCS competition?
It would probably have to be the 2018 BUCS cross country championships at Brunel University just a couple of weeks ago. Our men’s team finally beat University of Manchester (convincingly!) and our ladies team finished an incredible 17th place overall, up from 133rd place in 2016! Seeing how far we’d come as a team in such a short space of time was testament to all of our hard work in training, so it was a very memorable day for all of those involved at MMU Athletics.
Who is the funniest or loudest member of your team and why?
Thats a tough one. I like to think I’m the funniest, but I’m definitely not. Sam Garratt is probably the loudest, but he’s a mountain runner so won’t be at the indoor champs this weekend. Sprinter (and resident MMU poster boy) Jack Tomlinson will have to take over as loud-man for the weekend, but he’s more than capable of doing that.
Which athletes in your team should we be keeping an eye out for?
Definitely watch out for Ashton Greenwood (400m) and Toni Buckingham (shot put); both ladies have been in great form recently so are real medal contenders. As for the men, Kevin Metzger (Triple Jump) and Matt Pagan (400m) are also in tremendous form, so could well get on the podium. The up-and-coming distance running duo Will Rawson and Tom Rogerson are also due big performances!
Who would you say are your biggest rivals and what would you say to the competition ahead of the BUCS Nationals?
University of Manchester have always been our biggest rivals – but it’s a friendly rivalry – we’ll still be cheering their athletes on the same as everyone else! I think because we’re relative new comers to the sharp end of competition, other unis may not see us as a threat, but they definitely should.
Our athletes are getting faster and stronger all the time, and we truly believe that we have the potential to be up there with the very best. We love our sport and are hungry for success, so we’re out there to prove the doubters wrong. It’s going to be a great competition, so best of luck to all of the teams this weekend!
Thanks Will. The #BUCSNationals will be streamed live on runjumpthrow.com this Friday 16th February through until Sunday. Don’t forget to join us.