UEL's golden moment
Swimmer Aimee Willmott spearheaded UEL’s largest ever medal haul at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championships by powering to three gold medals in Sheffield.
Willmott was one of nine UEL students who made it to the podium on a triumphant weekend for the University – easily surpassing UEL’s previous best total of six medals a year ago with a total of 11 medals this year.
The 21-year-old, who has already established herself as one of Britain’s top swimmers with two Commonwealth and two European medals, added to her medal collection with victories in the 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle.
She also broke the BUCS record in both the individual medley and the 200m butterfly.
Aimee’s UEL swim teammate, Michael Gunning, added to the medal count with a bronze in the 400m freestyle and narrowly missed out on third place in the 200m butterfly by .03 seconds.
It was also a golden weekend for UEL’s track sprinters. Commonwealth medallist Bianca Williams scorched to victory in the women’s 60m, breaking her own personal best with a winning time of 7.34 seconds.
“I’m so happy that I did my university and coach proud,” said a jubilant Williams after receiving her medal.
Fellow UELSports scholar Omololu Abiodun, fresh from his recent silver medal at the UK Indoor Championships, was crowned BUCS 200m champion, winning his final in 21.24 seconds.
On the Judo mat, Julia Scardone won gold while Sophie Newnes finished joint fourth in her very competitive u78kg.
Boxing was another big hit for UEL. Christian Mbwakongo, who has recently been selected to represent Great Britain in Helsinki on the 12-16 March, struck gold after his final opponent withdrew.
Fellow boxers Mohammed Gharib, Luke Batstone and Stephanie Ware also left Sheffield with medals to complete UEL’s record haul.
In only their second year competing UEL Trampoline Club performed admirably with synchro pair Michael Manning and Lucy Fordham finishing fourth by .01 seconds. Fordham and fellow UEL student David Hollyhead also qualified for the Trampoline finals
David Cosford, Director of Sport, was delighted at UEL’s achievements.
“Yet again UEL students have achieved sporting excellence on a national scale,” said Mr Cosford. “I am left slightly speechless with regards to our incredible haul of medals and BUCS national records.”
Mr Cosford believes the University of East London is now very much an elite sports university, and students who choose to come to UEL will be one step closer to achieving their sporting ambitions.
“Some of our sporting programmes such as athletics, swimming, tennis, basketball and volleyball are up there with the best in the UK and most definitely in London. We’re especially keen to hear from talented your people seeking to go to university so we can ensure they choose UEL,” Mr Cosford said.
Notes to Editors
The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.