British Universities & Colleges Sport has a rich history going back over 100 years. Although, it's not always been BUCS it's always focused on enhancing the student experience through sport.

Competition between universities had existed for many decades before the twentieth century. But, there was no association to oversee or promote more widespread inter-university competition.

In February 1918, the Presidents of University Unions conference in Manchester called for the need to establish an association. 

A year later, the first athletic meet took place in Manchester with nine out of the founding 10 competing. 

This meet marked the official beginning of university sport in the United Kingdom.

In 2008, a merger between University College Sport (UCS) and British Universities Sports Association (BUSA), saw the formation of BUCS. The national voice for university sport in the UK.

How BUCS looks today has changed over the years with different names and forms of governing bodies or associations. No matter the name, there has always been the same vision, to create the best university sport experience in the world.

BUCS History Timeline

1918 The Presidents of University Unions expressed the need to have an association to promote sport at universities across the country.

1919 Official beginning of university sport in the United Kingdom.

1922 Introduced new sports to the events programme. This included football, hockey, rugby and swimming.

1923 Established the Women’s Inter-Varsity Board (WIVAB).

1930  Creation of The Universities Athletic Union (UAU).

1931 The UAU appointed Captain Evan A Hunter as their first secretary.

1940 Physical Recreation became compulsory at university for first year students.

1952 The British Universities Sports Board (BUSB) formed. This allowed students to compete at an international level.

1960 The Universities Physical Education Association (UPEA) was introduced. This association was to represent staff responsible for sport at universities.

1962 BUSB was replaced by the British Universities Sports Federation (BUSF). Membership of BUSF as open to all universities in the UK.

1972 UPEA becomes British Universities Physical Education Association (BUPEA).

1979 WIVAB in England and Wales merged and became the Universities Athletic Union (UAU).

1992 The binary divide in higher education was removed. This meant that polytechnic universities were under the same brand as universities.

1993 BUEPA merged with the Association of Polytechnic Physical Education Lecturers (APPEL). It became British Universities and Colleges Physical Education Association (BUCPEA)

1994 The UAU and BUSF merged to create British Universities Sports Association (BUSA).

2000 BUCPEA became University and College Sport (UCS)

2005 Scottish Universities Sport (SUS) was established.

2008 BUCS was formed. This was due to the merge between UCS and BUSA. BUCS became the new, national voice for university sport.

On 31 October 2008, BUCS was launched at an event held by Andy Burnham MP and David Lammy.