UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
Established: 1905 (formerly University College of Sheffield from 1897)
Team colour(s): Black
Where better to start than a team that knows the English Institute of Sport that will host the BUCS Nationals all too well. Naturally, Sheffield coach Martin Cook was keen to get in a mention of David Dempsey, who won an enthralling 800m final twelve months ago. What better inspiration for his team-mates…
Tell us about your uni and why it is the best one to compete for?
Being the coach for University of Sheffield is great. We might not be one of the traditional powerful sporting universities, but our performances and standings over the past few years have improved dramatically and we can perform well at BUCS. We work very hard every week, but just as importantly have lots of fun along the way, it is a great training and competing environment. We are hoping that over the next few years we can continue to close the gap on the bigger universities and improve our BUCS standing further.
What is your favourite thing about competing in BUCS events?
With athletics being such an individual sport, BUCS brings out the team element a little more and that for us is perfect! The support and encouragement across the whole team is amazing to see and really brings the best out in the athletes. It is also inspiring to see some potential GB athletes competing across the weekend and nice having BUCS indoors here in Sheffield; a great competition venue and our home track!
WATCH: David Dempsey wins a memorable 800m final
Can you give us your best memory of BUCS competition?
For the University of Sheffield, it has to be David Dempsey finally winning BUCS gold in 2017 after many years of silver and bronze. After years of hard work and graft, it was a very fitting end to his university athletics career and inspired a lot of younger athletes within the club. I think the BUCS cover photo of him says it all!
Aside from that, within the past 2 years, we have had both our male and female relay teams in the the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 making finals which has been fantastic for the club. This shows that we are not relying on certain individual athletes and that we have developed strength in depth, plus lots of hard work and practice to get it right when it counts. We hope we can continue this trend in 2018!
Who is the funniest or loudest member of your team and why?
So many different characters within the team, this is a tough choice. Loudest (and certainly most competitive) would be Liam McGivern. Funniest would have to be our resident Frenchman Alexandre Chazel, a very fun sense of humour and always in a happy and fun mood!
— Shef Uni Athletics (@ShefUniAC) April 18, 2017
Which athletes in your team should we keep an eye out for?
We are hoping that we can get quite a few finalists this weekend and hopefully a couple of medals too. Our best prospects for finalists probably fall with Dom Brown (1500m), Tommy Horton (3000m), Ella Barrett (400m), Harry Russell (800m), Curtis Mitchell (60mH) and the 4x200m relay teams.
Which of the other universities would you say are your biggest rivals and what can you say to the competition ahead of this weekend?
I suppose our only main ‘rival’ would be Sheffield Hallam, a little Steel City battle before our Varsity match in April. The big universities will be strong again and I’m expecting Loughborough, Birmingham, Bath and Brunel to feature in most finals. Good luck to all teams and athletes!
Thanks Martin. The #BUCSNationals will be streamed live on runjumpthrow.com this Friday 16th February through until Sunday. Don’t forget to join us.