Club History

Background

The University of Sheffield Athletics and Cross Country Club competed in the very first university track and field championships (for men) in 1919. Initially, the University was a member of the Inter-Varsity Athletics Board of England and Wales from 1919 which was renamed the Universities Athletics Union (UAU) from 1930 and we also became a member of the British Universities Sports Federation (BUSF) from 1962 (when it was formed). Additionally, women had their own sporting body (Women’s Inter-Varsity Board WIVAB) from 1923 until the late 1970's, when they joined the UAU. Due to the University's membership with multiple sporting bodies, it meant a busy race schedule with 2 national track championships per year and multiple cross country championships being held in the same race. The club wore white as the main vest colour from 1919 to 1923, changing to white with blue, black and gold in 1924. Since then, the club has worn either gold, black or a mixture of both as the main vest.  

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Key Dates

  • 1905 University Founded.


  • 1910 Norton Playing Fields acquired (with grass running track).


  • On May 28 1919, Sheffield University were one of 9 institutions that competed in the first ever Inter-Varsity Athletics Board of England and Wales track and field championships. Track and field was the first sport that such a championship existed for. Sheffield University's first ever national medalist came in this championship and was a silver medal for G.Bailey in the 440 yards.


  • 1924 the first Sheffield University female medalists in the WIVAB track and field championships (which began in 1923) were Ms Judge (silver 220 yards) and W. Irving (bronze 880 yards).


  • We've had 3 male individual cross country winners in 1927, 1936 and 1967 and, as a club, the men won the UAU cross country championships overall in 1972 (also coming 2nd in the BUSF championships in the same race).


  • 1928 Norton Pavilion opens and we host the UAU Track and Field Champs.


  • In 1930 and 1939 we held the WIVAB track championships and were due to hold them in 1941, but the war prevented this.


  • We had 3 women represent us for British Universities in Turin in 1933, one of them high-jumped 4 foot 7 inches (E.M. Sleigh)! We also had long jumpers, discus and javelin throwers competing at the championships.


  • We hosted the 16th UAU cross country championships in 1938 at Graves Park on 19th Feb. We came 2nd overall. We also hosted university national Cross Country championships in 1950, 1969, 1970, 1972 and (together with Sheffield Hallam University) in 2017.


  • In 1936, Michael Hamilton won the UAU cross country championships for Sheffield at Alderley Park in Cheshire, a cutting from the Guardian said "Hamilton outclasses his opponents, he made the other runners look a class, and many others 1/2 a dozen classes below him" - he won by 100 yards.


  • 1938 400m Cinder track opened at Norton (anyone know when it was taken away?)


  • The 1966 BUSF track championships were live on ITV.


  • Seb Coe won the 400m in 1981 for Loughborough (he was current 1500m Olympic Champion).


  • First ever university indoor championships were held in 1992.


  • Curtis Robb (who won indoor 800m for us in 1997) also got to the 800m Olympic final in Barcelona in 1992, finishing 6th. He also finished 4th in the World Championships in Stuttgart the following year. He was a 2nd/3rd year medic at Sheffield University at the time.


  • We had 3 girls in the top 8 in the 5000m in one BUSA track and field championships in the 90s and the ladies won the BUSA cross country team championships in 1997.


  • Sheffield University women won the team Biathlon in 1994 (200m swim and 2k cross country race).


  • The women had an individual national university cross country winner in 2005, Hatti Dean.


  • On 4 February 2017 Sheffield University (together with Sheffield Hallam University) hosted the BUCS Cross-Country Championships at Graves Park for the first time since 1972.


  • Our most recent medallists in BUCS competitions are all from 2017:

    • David Dempsey, gold 800m (indoors)
    • Becky Rigby, silver 10000m (outdoors) 
    • Tommy Horton, bronze 3000m (indoors)
    • Becky Rigby, bronze 5000m (outdoors) 

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© University of Sheffield Athletics and Cross Country Club 2017