The three-day multi-sport extravaganza known as BUCS Nationals returns to Sheffield from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 February.

4,395 student athletes from 123 institutions will descend on the city for the biggest UK university sporting event of the year. 

This year’s BUCS Nationals will look slightly different to our 10-year anniversary edition 12 months ago, as we welcome two previous Nationals sports back to the event. 

Fencing and Karate will join Indoor Athletics, Long Course Swimming, Badminton and Climbing across our four venues: English Institute of Sport (EIS), Ponds Forge, Canon Medical Arena and Climbing Works. 

Our newest venue, Canon Medical Arena will play host to the Fencing Championships across all three days. One athlete looking to make her mark on the competition is the 2023 Epee gold medallist Rachael Lever. The University of Nottingham scholar will be hoping to retain her title in Sheffield. 

From the piste to the pool, where 1,058 swimmers are set to compete, including a number of global stars. Leah Crisp from the University of Bath booked her ticket to Paris 2024 at the World Aquatic Championships in Doha, while the 800m freestyle world record holder Daniel Wiffen returns to BUCS action for Loughborough University after smashing the longest standing swimming world record at the European Short Course Championships. 

Team GB athletes will also be competing as guest swimmers at our Long Course Championships this weekend. Double Olympic gold medallist James Guy and 2x European champion Abbie Wood continue their preparation for Paris 2024, and we’re excited to welcome them to Ponds Forge. 

Over at Karate, a strong University of Nottingham team will be led by Jordanna Williams. The Commonwealth bronze medallist became BUCS Female Senior Kata champion in 2023 and is hoping for the same colour medal this year. 

The 2023 singles badminton champions will take to court to defend their BUCS titles. Cholan Kayan (University of Manchester) and Kirby Ngan (University of Nottingham) come into the competition in fine form. Cholan was runner-up in the open singles at the English National Championships, while Kirby went one better to retain her singles title at the same event. 

The largest event at BUCS Nationals is the Indoor Athletics Championships, where 1,233 athletes are competing. Two universities have dominated in recent years and are sure to bring endless talent with them to EIS.  

The University of Birmingham’s dominant Didi Okoh is back after picking up two golds and a silver across both track and field disciplines in 2023. Loughborough University meanwhile have a powerhouse athlete of their own in Lydia Church. The Paralympic shot-put ace recently competed against the very best at World Para Athletics Championships, where she finished fourth.  

Last but not least, it’s onto the climbing wall. The one-day competition is always a highlight of BUCS Nationals, drawing in a big crowd for the finals on Saturday evening. Robin Casey, representing the University of Brighton, and Thomas Matthews from the University of Exeter will be hoping to reach out and grab some silverware to take back to their respective universities.

Alice Robinson, BUCS Head of Events said: “We are extremely excited for the 2024 BUCS Nationals in Sheffield. We couldn’t run this event without our dedicated team of officials and organisers. Across the six sports, we have 190 officials and I’d like to thank each one of them as well as Sheffield City Trust, Sheffield City Council, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University for their ongoing support.  

We have been inundated with entries this year which has meant record numbers across some sports. We look forward to welcoming students, staff and families to the four venues across the city this weekend.”

If you can’t make it to the live action this weekend, you’re in luck. We are live streaming all three days of the Indoor Athletics Championships and Long Course Swimming Championships on our YouTube channel.

You can also follow along on Instagram and Twitter/X, where we’ll be showcasing the best of the action across all six sports.

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