Record year for sport and volunteering at Essex

  • Date

    Sun 10 Apr 22

Student Leaders at the University of Essex celebration

This is an incredible year for student achievements at Essex with records being broken for participation in volunteering and success in sport.

The efforts of the Essex student community were highlighted at the annual Student Leaders celebration hosted by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster and Student’s Union President Samira-Caterina Monteleone at Wivenhoe House.

Professor Forster told those attending: “I am always inspired by our students and it was an honour to host this celebration. Thank you to our student leaders for continuing to champion your communities – and helping the University and the Students’ Union deliver the best possible Essex Experience this year.”

Doubling the previous record for volunteering

Essex students have been making a bigger impact than ever before through their volunteering. 

This year, the Students’ Union’s volunteering programme – known as vTeam - delivered over 18,000 volunteering hours thanks to 1,180 active volunteers.

They supported 14 regular projects across a whole range of areas including working in schools, acting as wellbeing ambassadors and helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds develop their numeracy and literacy skills. The Refugee Teaching programme, run in partnership with Refugee Action – Colchester, is so successful that it won a National Volunteering and Society Award.

They have also backed one-off events and special projects and in National Student Volunteering Week this year, vTeam volunteers delivered more than 50 unique sessions involving 786 participants – over double Essex’s previous record. They delivered more than 2,400 hours – another record for Essex.

Professor Forster said: “This continues our proud tradition of being the UK’s number one university for student volunteering.”

Record year for sport and volunteering at Essex

Record-breaking sports teams

The student sport season has not finished yet, but Essex is vying for its highest overall position in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).

Professor Forster said: “It looks like it will be the most successful season in Essex’s history. Congratulations to everyone who has contributed to that success.”

This year two performance teams were in the National Championship Finals. The Basketball Women’s First team won their final in dramatic fashion and the Volleyball Men’s First team were national runners-up.

So far Essex teams have won their leagues in:

  • National Champions and Premier South League winners: Basketball Women 1st
  • National Runners Up and Premier South League winners: Volleyball Men 1st
  • SE Tier 1 Winners: Football Women 1st
  • SE Tier 1 Winners: Baseball Mixed
  • SE Tier 2B Winners and Conference Cup Winners: Basketball Women 2nd
  • SE Tier 2B Winners: Lacrosse Women 1st
  • SE Tier 2B Winners: Volleyball Men 2nd
  • SE Tier 2B Winners: Tennis Men 1st
  • SE Tier 3B Winners: Badminton Men 1st
  • SE Tier 3B Winners: Hockey Women 1st
  • SE Tier 4B Winners: Rugby Men 2nd
  • SE Tier 4B Winners: Basketball Men 3rd
  • SE Tier 4C Winners: Football Men 2nd
  • SE Tier 6B Winners: Netball Women 2nd

There have also been individual successes, with Rebecca Jeggo a silver medallist in the 200m at the Indoor National Championships and Martin Zujev a bronze medallist in the
Judo National Championships under 66kg category.

This year there were 3,195 Essex Blades members across 40+ sports including two new clubs – Ice Skating and Kendo.

Clubs and societies make a difference

Alongside making an impact through volunteering and sporting success, students have run a staggering 135 societies with membership now reaching 3,600.

Professor Forster said: “During the pandemic, clubs and societies have continued to host a huge range of events online and in person. This has been a much needed and appreciated part of supporting our Essex community. The hundreds of events societies are organising every month for their members is helping build back our great Essex community.”