women basketball players lifting a trophy and celebrating

Loughborough Basketball Women’s 2s celebrate following the win over Oxford University. Image provided by Pete Simmons (5or6 Creative).

Loughborough University hosts bumper BUCS Big Wednesday

Loughborough University delivered a British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) "Big Wednesday" to remember as it played host to a day of enthralling sporting action across its world-renowned campus.  

Held on the evening of March 19 and the full day of March 20, the landmark date in the university sport calendar saw Loughborough welcome over 2,000 of the UK’s top student-athletes, coaches, and performance support staff as they competed across 57 Championship, Trophy and Vase finals, in 16 different sports.

Loughborough – hosting the showpiece event for the first time since 2015 – provided the perfect backdrop as almost 2,500 spectators witnessed the very best of sport from across the higher education sector.

The event was also supported by more than 100 student volunteers from the University’s Coach and Volunteer Academy (CVA).

a rugby league player is tackled by an opponent

Image caption: Action from Loughborough Men's 2s Rugby League match versus Northumbria University. Image provided by Pete Simmons (5or6 Creative).

Loughborough highlights of the day included Badminton (Men’s 2s) securing a dominant 8-0 victory over the University of Nottingham (Men’s 2s). In the same sport, in a thriller, the Women’s 1s edged past Derby University Women’s 1s by accumulating 23 more points following a 4-4 collective draw.

Over in basketball, Loughborough Women’s 2s claimed the National Trophy with a convincing 68-49 win over Oxford University, whilst the Men’s 1s also lifted silverware with a stunning 77-75 comeback victory over East London.

In a fitting end to proceedings, Football’s Women’s 1s beat Durham University in a dramatic penalty shootout to become National Champions. With the match level at 1-1 after extra time, Doris Greenwood scored the decisive penalty as the hosts ran out 4-2 winners.

Elsewhere, there were further wins for Loughborough in Tennis (Men’s 2s), Badminton (Men’s 1s), and Netball (Women’s 1’s).

Loughborough's women's football team celebrate winning a penalty shootout

Image caption: Loughborough Football Women's 1s celebrate their penalty shootout victory. Image provided by Stillsport Photography.

Richard Wheater, Director of Sport, Loughborough University, said: “We are thrilled, alongside BUCS, to have delivered an incredible spectacle that undoubtedly showcased the highest level of university sport.

“Hosting an event of this magnitude is no mean feat and the day's success is testament to colleagues from across the University, the athletes, coaches, officials, and support staff who were part of the competition, as well as our incredible volunteers.

“It’s a privilege that Loughborough is at the heart of such a milestone date, and we are all already looking forward to hosting BUCS Big Wednesday for the next two years.”

For more information on sport at Loughborough, visit: www.lboro.ac.uk/sport

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 24/40

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2024, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.