Sport and Active Health, your regular roundup of sports news from the University

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Mark Munro, Director of Sport and Active Health at the University, shares a roundup of the latest news from across the world of sport and active health at the University.

Welcome to the latest edition of Sport & Active Health. This month we feature some ways that everybody can get involved in some of our campaigns (and get active) as well as news, updates and sporting successes

Challenge 24

On Thursday 14 March, University Mental Health Day, unite with your University Community in aid of the British Inspirational Trust and SAMH, Scotland’s national mental health charity.  

Challenge yourself

  • Be active for an extra 24 minutes. 
  • Walk an extra 24 minutes on your morning or evening commute. 
  • Be active with 24 friends. 
  • Or anything else you can think of – the possibilities are endless.  

Challenge it forward

And why not share your Challenge 24 activity on your social media channels – and tag in a friend to complete the challenge too (Remember to use #Challenge24 and tag @uoesport so we can share your efforts!) 

Find out more about, and get involved in Challenge 24 by visiting the webpage.

Challenge 24

Get Active 

Free gym entry weekend for students and staff for University Mental Health Day 

To mark University Mental Health Day we’re offering free entry to UoE students and staff at both the Pleasance and Easter Bush Gym. 

  • Pleasance Gym: Free entry for University of Edinburgh students and staff Thursday 14 March to Sunday 17 March 2024  
  • Easter Bush Gym: Free entry for University of Edinburgh students and staff Thursday 14 March and Friday 15 March 2024 

Find out more about our free entry weekend on the University’s Sport & Exercise webpage.

Free gym access weekend for University students and staff

March on in March

Evidence shows there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. We’re encouraging our whole community to #MarchOnInMarch and try some of these steps. You may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most out of life. 

March on in March

Staff group exercise classes 

We’re delighted to have so many staff take part in our new staff only class pilot. For the rest of Semester 2 we’re offering three 30-minute lunchtime classes, Body Conditioning on Tuesdays, Stretch & Destress on Wednesdays and Spin on Thursdays. 

The classes are free for Sport & Exercise gym members or £6 for non-members (payable at reception on arrival). All sessions can be booked up to two weeks in advance online through MyEd. 

Staff only classes information

Active Wellbeing Colour Run

Are you ready for an explosion of colour? Take part in our first Active Wellbeing Colour Run in partnership with, and hosted by, Heriot-Watt University on 20 March. 

Active Wellbeing Colour Run

Easter Football Camps by Edinburgh University Association Football Club

  • For boys and girls aged 5-10 years
  • 10am – 2pm Monday 8 April to Friday 12 April
  • £18 per child per day or £70 for a full week
  • Training from University of Edinburgh players on 3G 5-a-side pitches at Peffermill
  • Free entry to an EUAFC 1st team home game for families of children who attend

Holiday Football Camps | Edinburgh University AFC


An evening of conversation on Student Sport and Mental Health

As part of University Mental Health Day, Edinburgh University Sports Union is collaborating with The Foundation for Positive Mental Health and Heriot-Watt University to deliver an evening of conversation on the topic of Student Sport and Mental Health.

The event will be hosted by Peter Sawkins, Sports President 23/24. The event will hear from a wide variety of views on the challenges of student sport on young people’s mental health, and how we can build supportive networks to create healthier wellbeing environments across our campuses.

The speakers are:

  • Ronnie Millar, Director of University Counselling Services 
  • Dr Alastair Dobbin, GP and co-founder of the Feeling Good App 
  • Chris Sellar, Head of Delivery at Oriam and Board Member of Back Onside 
  • Eilidh Gibson, University of Edinburgh Sport Hall of Fame inductee and former World and European Canoe Slalom Champion 
  • Jade Vincent Borde, Sports Union Health and Wellbeing Executive Officer at Heriot-Watt University 

Event details

  • Thursday 14th March 6-7.30pm 
  • 50 George Square (Lecture Theatre G03) 

To register to attend the event, and submit questions for the speakers in advance, please sign up at the link below.

In Conversation: Student Sport and Mental Health 

The 39th University of Edinburgh Dance Performance

The 39th University of Edinburgh Dance Performance took place last week and was another incredible celebration and showcase of dance styles from across the globe.  

Watch out for news of the 40th Anniversary Performance which will take place in March 2025. 

International Women’s Day

On Friday 8th March students and staff from across the world of sport and active health at the University of Edinburgh came together in support of International Women’s Day.

Edinburgh University Sports Union Elections

Congratulations to the newly elected Sports Union President and Executive for 2024/2025:

  • Sports Union President – Philine Rouwers
  • Vice President Inclusion – Josh Bartholomew
  • Vice President Intramural Sport – Marcus Cunnington
  • Honorary Secretary – Katy Boyce
  • Honorary Treasurer – Mark Prichard
  • Media Officer – India Rankin
  • Partnership and Alumni Officer – Lauren Benseman
  • Wellbeing and Inclusion Officer – Madeleine Bell
  • Intramural Coordinator – Jamie Liversidge 

On the road to Paris 24

Congratulations to Pete Mitchell (Advanced Practice Physiotherapist at the University’s Sport & Exercise Medicine Clinic, FASIC), who has been selected to work at the Paris 2024 Olympics Games. He will be working to provide physiotherapy to the athletes at both the men’s and women‘s golf events. It will be Pete’s second Olympic Games after attending the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games.  

As we approach the summer we’ll share more news of athletes and support staff with a connection to the University attending Paris 2024. 

Celebrating Student Volunteering Week

During National Student Volunteering Week (12th – 17th February) we celebrated and recognised the commitment and hard work of more than 850 student volunteers who contribute to sport at Edinburgh.

Volunteering in sport holds immense value for students, offering a myriad of benefits that extend beyond the field or court. Engaging in volunteer opportunities within the sports community not only enriches a student’s academic experience but also plays a pivotal role in their personal and professional development.

Taking on a volunteer role within student sport provides students with a unique avenue to apply theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom to real-world scenarios. More than 850 students currently volunteer within Sports Union clubs and the Intramural programme, taking on a range of roles including organising events, managing logistics, coaching & officiating. Through this, University of Edinburgh students gain hands-on experience that enhances their understanding of sports management, teamwork, and leadership.

Celebrating Student Volunteering Week

The inaugural ‘Take 5’ cohort complete their programme

The ‘Take 5’ programme is a joint initiative between University of Edinburgh Sport & Exercise and the Student Wellbeing service that seeks to act as a vehicle for lifestyle change by encouraging participants to be open minded and reflect on how engaging physical activity can positively impact their mental wellbeing.

Over the course of five weeks, participants who are referred to the programme from the Student Wellbeing Service, take part in a variety of activities on a weekly basis for two hours on Wednesday afternoons.

Take 5 Programme

New pool hoist installed

A new pool hoist has been installed at the Swimming Pool at St Leonard’s Land. The new portable hoist ensures that the pool is accessible to those who face challenges entering the water and is available for all pool users who require additional assistance or who might not be able to use conventional pool steps.

New pool hoist installed

Eric Liddell Gym Improvements

Following customer feedback and usage analysis from our data partners ‘Track My Gym’, seven new items of kit will be added to the Eric Liddell Gym at the Pleasance. There will also be some changes to the layout of the space to provide an improved member experience.

Eric Liddell Gym improvements

‘Old reception’ refurbishment at the Pleasance 

Refurbishment and upgrade work in the Sports Hall Lobby/toilet area (AKA Old Reception) at the Pleasance Sport Complex and Gym started on Monday 12 February. The work will see two new communal changing rooms created. These will operate as team changing rooms on game days, offer sports clubs and teams using the hall for training a convenient changing area, and provide additional changing capacity for gym users during other times. Seven individual gender-neutral toilets and a DDA-compliant toilet will also be added as part of the upgrade.

Sports Hall Lobby Refurbishment

Volunteer Zambia 2024 inductions

On Sunday 11th February the University of Edinburgh hosted the Scottish induction for this year’s Volunteer Zambia project volunteers. This year, four University of Edinburgh students and a member of the Sport & Exercise staff team will travel to Zambia.

Volunteer Zambia is a collaborative project between several leading UK Universities, and the Wallace Group. The partnership’s mission is to make a difference to the lives of young Zambian people by empowering and enriching communities through the power of sport, leadership and education. The project involves upskilling and educating coaches, rather than teaching the sport. This empowers the local coaches to go out into their communities and deliver higher-quality coaching sessions across Lusaka and further afield.

Volunteer Zambia 2024 induction

Celebrating Success

A total of 33 talented athletes from The University of Edinburgh have been awarded scholarships following the launch of the Winning Students 100 scholarship programme this week.

The programme which is funded by Sport Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council aims to support student athletes along their performance pathways, enhancing international levels of success and helping student-athletes balance their studies with high-performance training and competition.

Among the 33 athletes from The University of Edinburgh (the largest cohort from any university) who have been awarded grants are Commonwealth gold medallist, Grace Reid (Diving) and U23 European 10,000m record holder, Megan Keith (athletics).

Winning Students 100 Scholarships Awarded to Talented Edinburgh Athletes

2024 Senior Women Championship Winners

In early February the University’s Women’s Basketball 1st Team won the 2024 Scottish Basketball Cup! Congratulations!

February success for Edinburgh Sports Hall of Famers

  • Holly Davidson (inducted 2021) became the first female assistant referee in a men’s Six Nations Match.
  • Grace Reid (inducted 2023) claimed British Diving’s first-ever individual Worlds medal in a women’s event, in 1m springboard, which also ensured Team GB will have a full quota of diving spots at Paris 2024.

Other notable successes

  • There have been 20 Gold, 29 Silver, 20 Bronze medals won, including 30 at BUCS Nationals, by Edinburgh students.
  • Five students selected to represent their country, including two students called up to the Scotland Women’s Six Nations training squad. A total of eleven alumni were also selected for the training.

Keep updated

University of Edinburgh Sport | LinkedIn

University of Edinburgh Sport | Instagram

UoE Sport | X (Twitter)

University of Edinburgh Sport | Facebook

You can find out more about all the opportunities we have for you (and your student communities) to get active at  the Sport homepage.

Sport | The University of Edinburgh

You can also find assets to help promote the ways your staff and students can get (or keep) active on the SharePoint resource bank.

The benefits of being active | The University of Edinburgh