From Edinburgh to Exeter, from Stirling to Swansea, over 500 university staff descended on the University of Warwick for the first in-person Conference for three years.

These delegates experienced a myriad of talks, networking and workshops on day one, but the highlight proved to be the opening address from BUCS Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

Addressing the crowd from across the higher education sport sector, The Princess Royal acknowledged the achievements of universities over the last year, whilst praising them for the courage, tenacity and resilience taken to overcome an uncertain few years.

She spoke about how the charitable sector as a whole has experienced difficult times, but how BUCS came through this in a strong position, keeping the sport spirit alive over the last two years. 

Over the course of the morning, Her Royal Highness had a chance to meet with people from across the BUCS membership, including staff working on the race and equality research, and participants from our award winning BUCS and FA Women’s Leadership Programme.  

In The Princess Royal’s speech, she also highlighted BUCS’ work across the diversity and inclusion space, urging institutions to not underestimate the role they play in this, providing programmes with inclusion at their core, that thousands of students participate in.

Her parting comments reinforced the importance of university sport and the role it plays in developing the leaders of the future, setting an empowering tone for the rest of Conference. The Princess Royal thanked the entire higher education sport sector for their contribution to sport, and for the opportunities we are providing for the next generation. Recognising the immeasurable value that the sector brings in developing the leaders of tomorrow, she thanked the sector for going above and beyond to make sure students have the very best experience possible. 

We are honoured that The Princess Royal continues her patronage of BUCS, seeing the value in what sport can bring to students’ university experience, and the life-changing opportunities that institutions can offer.

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