UEL planning big year

UEL's basketball squad have made a fine start to the BUCS season

UEL's basketball squad have made a fine start to the BUCS season - Credit: Archant

University teams impress in BUCS campaign

The University of East London’s sports teams have much to celebrate heading into 2015.

The men’s basketball squad are still undefeated in the BUCS Premier South (6-0) and hold a points differential of 257.

The men’s volleyball squad started the season with an unbeaten run and now sit in second place with a 5-2 record after losing twice to Bournemouth University, who top the table with a perfect 8-0 record.

The women’s volleyball squad are pushing for promotion to the top tier after starting with seven straight wins, dropping just one set along the way.

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And the men’s football squad has won all four matches to date, including an 11-1 triumph over Imperial College London.

UEL’s Director of Sport David Cosford said: “I’m extremely happy. First teams are all top of the league, if not second, winning most Wednesdays and weekends.

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“Basketball and volleyball are doing exceptionally well, as is tennis. Athletics is going to have a good year and in Swimming, we’ve picked up medals this year already.”

But it isn’t just the main teams that have pleased Cosford.

“It’s nice to see some of the smaller clubs coming forward and doing well,” he added. “Table tennis are doing reasonably well and netball. We’re really looking for them to achieve big things this year, similarly with rugby and hockey.

“Hockey [are] emerging after the last couple of years, having gone through a bit of doldrums, and now they’re doing extremely well.”

UEL’s Big Blue Wednesday initiative on November 26 was also hailed as a success, as they won 13 of 17 matches on the day, but Cosford wants them to improve on their current standing of 60th in the overall BUCS rankings.

“We’ve got quite a few big points coming our way, with some of the individual championships: tennis, athletics, swimming, rowing,” he said.

“Over the first few years of BUCS we’ve gained most points through individual medal performances and that’s what stands us in good stead. So 60th is going to be our minimum this year.”

Basketball head coach Johnathan Campbell expects his teams to keep adding points to the total, but expressed concern over the women’s team.

“The premier team have done very well,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of players. We’re still undefeated, and we want to remain that way for the remainder of the season. I think the second team will be the same.

“The women’s team have struggled, since they’ve lost good players. There hasn’t been enough players to fill the gaps in the roster so they’ve struggled. But the club itself is growing, and hopefully building.

“I think we’re getting over the hump, so fingers crossed the results will be better come the second half of the year.”

UEL will be looking for men’s basketball to provide their first-ever Premier League champion and for several other clubs to earn promotion.

Cosford added: “We’re number one in international student experience. [They] think UEL is number one for sports clubs and sports facilities.

“We’re the best basketball team. We’re the best volleyball team in London and we’ve have the best facilities.

“There are many other areas we would like to be number one in and we’re adding to it. [But] we can say we’re number one already. And we do. And we are. But we’ll carry on improving, carry on pushing the boundaries. We want to improve, want to grow.”

*The University of East London’s SportsDock are offering a free seven-day membership for readers.

As well as a world-class fitness centre and strength and conditioning room there are numerous exercise classes on offer every day.

SportsDock is at University Way, E16 2RD, and open from 6.30am-10.15pm on weekdays, and 9am-8pm on weekends.

Free parking is available and the offer is valid till Saturday January 31.

Terms and conditions apply and are online at sportsdock.co.uk/freepass. For more information email enquiries@sportsdock.co.uk or call 020 8223 6888.

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