Why Leeds is great if you're into sports and active lifestyles

Are you a sport lover? Well – you’ll LOVE living in Leeds and studying at Leeds Beckett!

Whether you like to watch sport, play it, or even just sit in the pub and watch it from a comfy chair, there’s plenty for you to enjoy here in Leeds. This list here is just a taster of what you can get up to – there’s always more popping up too! 

Image of a female student throwing a ball in the sports hall

Watching sport in Leeds

Rugby league club Leeds Rhinos have strong links with Leeds Beckett, and many of our students love going along to watch their matches. They play at Headingley Stadium, which is just over a five-minute walk from our Headingley Campus. We also have a teaching building there, and our students are lucky enough to have lectures overlooking the stadium’s grounds, which is very impressive. If you’re looking for a new team to support when you move over to Leeds, we’re sure the Rhinos won’t disappoint.

Student tip: For the ultimate day out, grab a picnic with your friends and enjoy it on the Acre on Headingley campus. Then, wander down to Headingley Stadium and catch a Leeds Rhinos game, followed by a tasty treat from ‘I am Doner’ (Google it!!) on the way home. 

Are you a football fan? Well, you may already have that team which you’ve supported for years, but why not adopt a second one too? Many of our students enjoy heading along to Elland Road to watch Leeds United’s matches. It’s a great way to bond with your new university friends as you can all get together to root for your new local team!
Football 750 x 500
Like Leeds Rhinos, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club is also based at Headingley Stadium - just a stone’s throw away from our Headingley Campus. As a Leeds Beckett student, you’re ideally placed to go along and watch some matches on a lovely sunny day. Their cricket matches attract huge crowds, and there’s always a great vibe around Headingley afterwards, when all of the spectators in their fancy dress end up in the bars and restaurants.

Student tip: If you’re not usually a die-hard cricket fan, you could always go along to a T20 match. This is a much shorter (and arguably more exciting!) match than your usual test cricket. It’s usually all over in a couple of hours, meaning that you get the rest of the evening to go and watch the people in fancy dress as they make their way through Headingley. 

Keen cyclist? Well, Yorkshire is the place for you! For the past few years, we have been lucky enough to host the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’. This huge four-day road cycling race spans across the whole county, and it changes its route every year. It began when Yorkshire hosted the first leg of the Tour de France in 2014, and it's grown year on year since then.
Tour de Yorkshire

Student tip: For a fun day out with your friends, why not take a look at the race’s route, and choose a spot to spectate that’s outside of Leeds? By selecting a place you don’t usually visit, you’ll get to explore a new part of Yorkshire, and you can be sure it will be buzzing for hours afterwards as the race always attracts huge crowds! 

You may have spotted the World Triathlon Series on the TV, but have you ever noticed that a leg of this event is held right here in Leeds? The other races are held at Australia’s Gold Coast, Montreal, Abu Dhabi and Yokohoma in Japan – so we’re in good company! The event is always a great couple of days – the city is filled with sport fans, and the vibe around town is incredible.

Sports and active Lifestyles

We pride ourselves on being a fantastic institution for sports. Why not find out more about Leeds Beckett's world-class facilities, coaching and development, memberships, athletic union and more!

Leeds Beckett sports teams

You may already be aware, but our university also has a rich sporting history, of which we’re really proud. We now have over 40 athletic union clubs, as well as a huge campus sports programme for students to participate in. We’re also proud to say that we’ve won our annual sport tournament against The University of Leeds, Varsity, for 13 years in a row.

Here at Leeds Beckett, we have seven different football teams. We’ve got four male, and three female teams, as well as three futsal teams too. They often play in intra-mural leagues, but there’s also five and seven-a-side for the less competitive students out there.
A group of footballers celebrating
Our American Football teams cater for both men and women - from beginners to pro. Five of our female players made the GB squad this year and our Women's Head Coach is the GB Assistant Coach, so you can be sure that you’re being taught by the best.

Our boxing club offers sparring and fitness-based sessions for men and women. Formidable at the BUCS Competition, the team have brought back gold and silver medals in recent years.

On campus, hockey is one of the biggest clubs with eight teams. They take part in lots of tournaments across the year as well as being proactive off the pitch, promoting a positive social scene and taking part in fundraising activities. We also have a partnership with Leeds Hockey Club to provide weekend hockey and opportunities for coaching and umpiring.
Students playing hockey on the blue outdoor pitch
Fancy something different? Our Tchoukball team hosted the European Winner’s Cup back in 2013, and five of our female alumni represented Team UK at the World Championships. This summer, four alumni and two current students will represent Team UK at the European Championships in the Czech Republic. We have two squads, with both men and women playing on the same team.
If you're feeling a little more extreme, our Snowsports Club boasts a Winter Olympian (James Machon) as one of their alumni and are one of the biggest clubs on campus with over 200 members. And if you want to hit the slopes in your own time, there's the indoor real snow slopes at Xscape up the road in Castleford.
Don’t let being landlocked stop you from enjoying the surf! You can join our Surf Club and take regular trips to Scarborough - and further afield - to be beside the sea. Lessons are provided for absolute beginners.
If you want to be part of one of the fastest-growing sports on campus, why not join our Cheerleading squad. We have a match team which perform at our major events and on a BUCS Wednesday, and a competition team which perform dynamic fast-paced gymnastic-based routines.

New Carnegie School of Sport building

Sport in Leeds

If you’re a keen runner, Leeds has plenty of organised races, as well as smaller running clubs for if you fancy a more casual run. The Leeds 10k is held in July, and runners race through Leeds city centre. The Leeds Abbey Dash begins in the city centre, and participants run over to the beautiful ruined abbey in Kirkstall. Both events cause a real buzz in the city, and they’re a great way to raise money for a charity that’s close to your heart.
Runners in race going up The Headrow in Leeds city Centre

Did you know that Leeds actually has a very active skateboarding community? There are a couple of skaters in Leeds who are on teams such as Nike, Huf, DCshoes and more. The local skate shop - Welcome Skate Store - has been going for 10+ years and is the perfect place to buy a new deck or get some advice from the friendly staff. 

The female skate scene is also booming in Leeds! A local initiative called RWTGLeeds (Rollin' With The Girls) was set up three years ago to encourage women to take up skateboarding as a way to get active and build confidence. They often hold meet-ups for people who are too intimidated to go to the parks by themselves - so keep an eye on their Instagram!


Girl doing an ollie on a bank at Hyde Park

Credit: Erin Brier

If you love to hop on two wheels and explore, Leeds is perfect for you. There are plenty of cycling clubs who go out and explore the local area. If you want to head out on your own, why not take a trip into the Yorkshire Dales, The Peak District or one of the many local nature trails? There’s also the Leeds & Liverpool canal, where you can begin in the city centre and cycle all the way to Liverpool.  
Cyclists taking part in a race in Kirkstall, Leeds
Leeds and its surrounding areas has plenty of lush green golf courses for you to enjoy. However, our favourite place to play golf is at ‘Golf Bar Leeds’. It’s a bar with three golf simulator machines, meaning you can play a good game with your friends, whatever the weather!

Student tip: If you’re not sure your golf skills are up to par, head to Golf Bar Leeds first to play a few games before you commit to becoming a member at a proper club.

We’re sure that you’re aware by now that Leeds is a pretty cool city. There’s always something quirky and wonderful to get up to as a student, and sport is no exception. If you’re wanting to stay active while having loads of fun, why not try arial yoga, or hot yoga? You could also try one of the various funky runs – there’s the colour run, where you get splattered with paint, or the tough mud run, where you face obstacles and roll around in mud. You could also attend a UV clubbing aerobics class, a bouncy trampoline class or Harry Potter fans could join our local Quidditch team.

Start your Student Experience

Are you ready to start your student experience with us here at Leeds Beckett? Follow the links below to get a taste of what we have to offer.

Abstract image of the outside of the Rose Bowl Building
Image of smiling female student on laptop in the library