Sport at Derby

Examining how sport at the University of Derby has generated community, student and elite activity in 2018-19

The University of Derby promotes sport and activity to everyone, from members of the public and community clubs to elite athletes on our scholarship programmes. Team Derby has been instrumental in helping more of our students to ‘get active’ and to make use of our excellent sports centre facilities.

In this section, we look in detail at the work of Team Derby and the impressive participation and achievement statistics that its work has generated.

Getting our community active

Rugby player gives hi-five to spectator after a training session
Rugby training for young people from the local community delivered at the Sport Centre at Kedleston Road.

The work of Team Derby has been focused on more than just the University’s performance sports squads and athletes.

In fact, we have been leading initiatives to increase community participation in sport and physical activity across the city and county.

Through a network of partnerships and the offer of our state-of-the-art facilities at our Kedleston Road site, schools, clubs, businesses and community organisations have all benefited.

The Derbyshire School Games, the Derby Business Games, National Citizen Service summer workshops, the Derbyshire County futsal finals and indoor athletics championships are just some of the key events we have been proud to host.

We have also been instrumental in helping different groups experience sport and activity, whether it be an introduction to performance sport in higher education for promising athletes from Derbyshire Schools, in conjunction with the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), or having our students work with Active Derbyshire in the community to encourage greater female participation in sport and physical activity.

Derby County Football Club’s development centres, the Derby County Girls’ Regional Talent Club (RTC) and Derbyshire Girls Football Centre of Excellence, are hosted by the University, making use of the sports facilities at Kedleston Road.

And we have teamed up with Derby City Council to provide work placement opportunities for our students to support programmes designed to achieve behaviour change in the community, and the PING project, which aims to create more recreational opportunities to play table tennis.

Raising awareness of mental health issues with the Derby County Community Trust, and helping the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Project (DANCOP) raise the aspirations of disadvantaged young people who may be considering progression to higher education, have also been highlights of our activity this year.

Promoting student participation

University of Derby men's volleyball team

Getting our students moving has been a priority, and we have seen very encouraging levels of participation in clubs and regular activity.

Thousands of people have made great use of the facilities we have, trying everything from football to trampolining, and boxercise to badminton.

We have also had excellent levels of participation in the many sports clubs and societies run by our Union of Students.

A number of our students have represented the University in the British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) competitions and our fiercely-contested Varsity competition against Northampton, our new rivals this year.

We have hosted the FA People’s Cup, halls of residence tournaments and supported a Colour Run event in collaboration with the Union of Students.

Sport England funding, provided through the BUCS Active Programme, has also engaged more than 100 previously inactive female students to take part in new bespoke activities, such as women only boxercise sessions, a boot camp and lifestyle coaching. The funding also created four new roles for the University’s student workforce to support the project.

In fact, Team Derby has provided more than 50 work-based learning opportunities, which have been taken up by 50 students on 22 different degree programmes across all six of the University’s colleges.

Performance sport

Three track cyclists at start line of race
University of Derby track cycling team

Team Derby squads have once again put in a series of impressive displays in competition throughout the year.

Our students’ sporting performance has consistently maintained the University of Derby in the British Universities and Colleges Sport top 50 institutions over the past few years, having risen from 104th in 2011 to 49th this year.

Among the highlights of the year, our men’s track cycling team retained its place as national champions and the women’s badminton team won promotion to the BUCS Premier League.

On an individual level, archer Philippa Taylor was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2019 World University Games in Naples, while Corey Beck was called up to the England deaf rugby team.

During the academic year we recruited 33 student athletes on our successful sports scholarship programme, including cycling and volleyball.

The University’s Human Performance Unit provided the training and support required by Derby cyclist Leigh Timmis for his successful record-breaking ride across Europe in November 2018.

University of Derby alumnus Marcus Peterson signed a professional contract with NFL club the Los Angeles Chargers, having played for the University’s Derby Braves team while completing his MBA.

And Dr Mark Faghy, Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, worked with the Guyana National Football team to help them qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup in the USA – their first ever major football tournament.

As part of a partnership with the Derbyshire Institute of Sport, we host their elite athletes and provide expertise in delivering their support services which enables them to strive towards their Commonwealth and Olympic aspirations.

The University also has an excellent partnership with Derbyshire County Cricket Club, which enables the University of Derby cricket team to use the club’s training and playing facilities, while the University provides scholarship opportunities for talented cricketers.

39thin British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) ranking
5000students engaged in physical activity
1,600sports centre members
1,500members of University sports clubs
100+previously inactive female students taking part in five bespoke activities
30community users of our sports facilities
12key events hosted at our Kedleston Road site
30talented Derbyshire school pupils being worked with in performance sport
52work-based learning opportunities created for our students