Celebrations on a Golden Day of University Sport

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The University of Worcester celebrated a magnificent triple sporting success yesterday, the latest milestone in what is fast becoming a golden year for University sport.

Three teams – the University’s hockey and netball teams, and the Worcester Wolves – were involved in semi-final action yesterday, and all three won their respective ties to advance to their finals.

The hockey team defeated Loughborough to make it through to the BUCs final, while the netballers edged past Birmingham to make it to the final of their equivalent competition.

Later on in the evening, in front of another huge crowd at the University of Worcester Arena, the Worcester Wolves completed a semi-final victory over the Sheffield Sharks with an 84-70 second leg win to book a place in the BBL Trophy final.

This is the first time in their history that the Wolves have made it to the final of the competition, and they will face either the Glasgow Rocks or Cheshire Phoenix at the showpiece event in Glasgow on March 30.

Mick Donovan, Head of the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science and co-founder of the Worcester Wolves, said: “There have been many people involved in supporting the club in various different ways over the past 14 years, and whilst this success can be attributed to the current team, we also realise that foundations have put been in place by the good work of so many others and we are delighted to be going to our first BBL final.”

With the possibility of three further pieces of silverware kept very much alive, several trophies already secured by various University teams were also presented in front of last night’s vibrant University Arena crowd.

Wolves coach Paul James, whose side have enjoyed a brilliant first season in their new home, was presented with his BBL Coach of the Month award for February before the game – the accolade was awarded to James in recognition of the Wolves’ six wins during the month.

Also able to take the acclaim of the crowd were the University of Worcester wheelchair basketball team, who, earlier this month, won the inaugural University Wheelchair Basketball Championships, adding to the University’s reputation as a centre of excellence for inclusive sport.

The men’s rugby team, who lost just one league game on their way to claiming the British Universities 1A Division title; and the netball team, who, in addition to their BUCs final appearance, have gone through the entire league season undefeated to win the 2A Division, were also presented with their league trophies by the Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Pat Agar, and the University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green.

Mick Donovan added: “We have enjoyed fantastic success with our student sports teams this year and have certainly raised the bar in many aspects of performance, coaching and sports science support. 

“It was great to recognise the achievements of some of our clubs with the Worcester sporting community, and we still have plenty more to look forward to, with many of our teams remaining active in their BUCs competitions.”