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Durham First

Sport in brief...

Female hockey players

Performance Highlights

On March 28th Women's hockey beat fierce rivals Birmingham by golden goal to claim the women's BUSA championship. After falling 1-0 and 2-1 behind Durham equalised to take the final into extra-time, where a golden strike sealed victory for the Palatinates.

Women's hockey also sealed promotion to Slazenger National Hockey League 1, having been crowned Champions of the National League North; their sixth consecutive promotion.

Cricket recently celebrated the selection of four of their athletes for the BUSA representative side to tour South Africa - David Balcombe, Mark Phythian, Nick Lamb and James Morris complete a strong Durham contingent in a squad of 14 drawn from the best university cricketers in the British Isles. Morris also assumes the added honour of captaining the side, whilst Phythian is similarly guaranteed a starting XI spot as the only wicketkeeper selected.

Felicity Milton also scooped a Gold medal in the Women's 8k BUSA cross-country championship.

On Saturday March 10th, Durham climber David Jones won a gold medal at the British University Climbing Championships.

Durham's Men's Lacrosse team finished their season on a high by winning the Northern University Knockout Championships.

Female hockey player

Durham's Golf team defeated Midlands Division 1 Champions Warwick to secure a place in the 2007/08 Northern BUSA Premier League.

Durham University Canoe Club hosted the annual BUSA Canoe Slalom championships at Teesside White Water course. The team also took overall Silver in the event.

The Boat Club had a number of successes at the BUSA Head race on the River Trent in Nottingham. DUBC were victorious in the Women's Championship, Junior & Intake eights, and the Men's intake eights.

Women's lacrosse captain Imogen Salmon has been selected for the England U21 squad to compete in the home internationals. Salmon has previously represented both the national U19 and U21, which suggests she is in strong contention to captain the U21 side this season.

Over 400 North East students took part in the first Sports Universities North East England Intra-Mural Festival at Maiden Castle. The event was designed in order to give those non university standard players a chance to play in a different competitive environment. Durham has always prided itself on its high participation rate, but events like this will always be a positive addition to the programme.

Felicity Milton

Felicity Milton - Rising Star

Talented engineering student, Felicity Milton only began cross country running six months ago in order to get fit for playing hockey - yet in late March Felicity finished 49th in the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya. The Great Britain team Felicity was representing finished 5th overall, with Milton returning the 3rd best performance from a GB athlete. This extraordinary feat has left experts astounded and led many to draw comparisons with world record marathon holder Paula Radcliffe. However, despite being heralded as the greatest discovery of the season, the 20 year old student remains determined not to let her running success affect her studies, in which she has already shown great promise. She won the highest honour in the Young Engineers for Britain final in 2005 for which she designed a multi sensory-tuned outdoor percussion instrument to aid sound therapy for wide spectrum autism. Balancing a successful academic career with her new status as an international sportswoman is something Felicity has taken in her stride: "It may be ambitious but I have a dream to pursue a career both as a successful engineer and a world-class athlete."

Picture caption: Grub’s Up! Children at Bowburn Junior School get fit and have fun at lunchtime with a little help from Durham University students. (L-R) Durham University's Erica Borgstrom, Ruth Muir, Harriet Preston-Morely and Helen Round.

University encourages kids to get healthy at lunchtime

Durham University is reporting an improvement in fitness levels and better eating habits since the launch of a project to tackle rising national obesity rates in young people.

Students from Durham University have initiated a Lunchtime  Mentoring Scheme throughout schools in the Durham City area. Over 30 student volunteers are spending their lunchtimes in Bowburn Junior School, Ludworth Primary and St Joseph's Primary School, to give children all the facts about their lunchtime choices.

Durham University Sports Development Officer, Andrea Hoskins, said, "With growing obesity rates in young people in the UK, it is important to educate kids about the importance of healthy eating and exercise at a young age. During school break times the students sit with children, discuss the contents of their lunchboxes, asking them if they help mum and dad with the shopping and whether they prefer school dinners or packed lunches, to get them thinking about what they eat.

After lunchtime it's back out to the playground for a variety of games using equipment made available by the School Sports Co-ordinator, ‘Huff Puff Scheme', which has provided skipping ropes, balls and other fun stuff to keep the children active throughout their break times."

The Lunchtime Mentoring scheme was first piloted in 2006, when a small number of students were involved in helping school children understand the importance of healthy eating and exercise. It has now rolled out extensively, thanks to funding from Sport England.

The students taking part in the scheme are from a wide variety of degree subjects and have all been safety checked under child protection regulations.

What's happening at the University?

Visit the Durham University News page for the latest news and research from across the University.