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Charity work from the heart of MMU Sport 09/11/2015

Over the past few years, our sports clubs, students and members of staff have invested an incredible amount of time to charitable work dedicated to students, both past and present.

We are so proud of how much energy and enthusiasm our current students, members of staff and alumni dedicate to supporting these incredible causes.  And, because of this pride, we would like to introduce three of these.


Charlie West Cross Code Cup

MMU - Charlie West

Last year saw the inaugural Charlie West Cross Code Cup take place at Manchester Metropolitan University; an event that sees our men’s rugby union and men’s rugby league teams come head-to-head to raise money for charity.

Established by alumni, Ed Otty and Blake Mahovic, the event is dedicated to Manchester Metropolitan University student and first team rugby union player, Charlie West, who, following an accident 18 months ago was left paralysed from the neck down.

Event founder and alumnus, Ed Otty, said, “The event was initially discussed as a preseason game that would be beneficial to both clubs however, after the tragic events of summer 2014, we decided to turn the event into something much more.

“Because of the nature of Charlie’s injuries, we decided to host the match in honour of him and to raise money in aid of spinal cord injury research.  The event snowballed and turned out to be so much bigger than we ever could have anticipated, with students and staff showing overwhelming support.”

This year’s event will be held at Broughton Park FC on Saturday 14th November from 7:00pm and will be raising money for Wings for Life, a charity that funds research into spinal cord injury, as well as SpecialEffect and the Mark Hampson Foundation, who have both supported Charlie following his accident.

Sarah Chesters Cup

MMU - Sarah Chesters

In November 2014, our Cheshire-based women’s rugby union club lost one of its alumni suddenly.  Sarah Chesters had developed her love for the sport during her time at Manchester Metropolitan University and was an active member of the club between 2009 and 2012. 

Heavily involved with the committee, Sarah was instrumental in leading the team to its most successful year in history, which saw the team win both the league and cup finals, as well as a number of honours at the annual Union awards.

In recognition of Sarah’s devotion to the sport and the club, the Sarah Chesters Cup was born.  The inaugural touch rugby tournament was held in March 2015 and saw eight teams take part, raising over £1500 for the Stroke Association, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice and Women in Sport; all charities that were close to Sarah’s family’s hearts.

Fellow club member and ex-President, Hannah Templeton, who helped organise the event, said, “When the team found out about the sad news, we knew we wanted to do something special in her memory.  We settled upon our annual Old Boys’ weekend, knowing that all of Sarah’s friends from University would be there.

“When we originally started organising the event, we wanted it to be a celebration of Sarah’s life and her contribution to the University and The Union.

“The event we held succeeded in doing this.  It also helped us raise awareness of some fantastic causes, as well as educate people that life is short and precious, and that you should grab every opportunity that comes your way with both hands.”

The next Sarah Chesters Cup will be held at our Cheshire Campus in March 2016.

James Brownhill Memorial Fund

MMU - James Brownhill


The James Brownhill Memorial Fund started following the death of alumnus, James Brownhill, in a climbing accident on Mont Blanc, two days after receiving his Physiotherapy degree results from Manchester Metropolitan University.  His climbing partner, fellow alumnus David Evans, also died in the accident.

James was an avid climber and mountaineer and, along with David, was an active and committed member of a number of sports clubs at MMU, including mountaineering, hockey and skydiving.  James constantly strove to improve his skills and ability in climbing and mountaineering, devoting time to helping others progress in the sport.

In James’ memory, the Physiotherapy department created a Clinical Excellence Award and The Union created the Brownhill-Evans Memorial Award, recognising an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to student opportunities. 

The James Brownhill Memorial Fund recognises both these awards by providing a financial award, as well as numerous bursaries and a reliable point of reference for all those voluntarily teaching climbing at University.

James’ father, Gary Brownhill, said, “MMU has played a massive part in keeping both James and David’s memory alive and supporting us; his family.

“The fund awards bursaries for climbing courses and we know over 20 student volunteer leaders who have benefitted from the courses.  We feel the training that these students receive is something that would be close to James’ heart.

“James would have been so humbled by this support and proud to be able to help those who played such a massive part in his life.  As his family, we feel the same and are happy to still be involved with supporting MMU wherever possible.”

To find out more about the James Brownhill Memorial fund, visit their website and, to find out more about how the fund has directly benefitted students at MMU, visit our website.

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