South West announced Champions at 2022 AoC Sport National Championships

With an air of excitement, the AoC Sport National Championships returned to Nottingham after a 2-year break due to the covid-19 pandemic.   More than 1500 students from 91 colleges took part in 12 different sports at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Willow Sports Centre, Derby and were supported by 282 staff. Over 70 student volunteers and match officials ensured that the competitions ran smoothly, while sports therapy students from Moulton College provided “pop up clinics” as well as pitch side management and injury assessment and advice.

AoC Sport Director of Sport and Student Experience Dean Hardman said: “It goes without saying that the past two years have been extremely difficult for everyone and especially young people.

We were therefore delighted to see the return of the AoC Sport National Championships for the first time since 2019 and the much-needed opportunity for our talented athletes from across the country to compete against each other at this fantastic event.

Opening ceremony
For the first time at Nottingham the opening ceremony was held at the impressive open air cinema where competitors, staff and visitors came to celebrate the opening of the 42nd National Championship.

Joe Marchant, an English professional rugby union player who previously attended the event, offered his congratulations to all the students via a video link and the Championships sponsors showed a video of the sporting opportunities available in the RAF.  Following a procession of the regional flags the championships were formally opened by Mark White, Chairman of the AoC Sport Board of Directors.

Boccia
On Friday Boccia was introduced as a demonstration event.  Boccia is a target ball sport which tests both muscle control and accuracy. For some of the students attending it was their first time competing away from their college and experiencing competition at a large-scale event. The success of the event may result in Boccia becoming an official sport at the next championships.

Saturday Evening
In a break from competition, the students were provided with the opportunity of taking part in some formal activities on Saturday evening. This included glow sports, a Batak wall, Teqball, Roundnet, virtual headsets and an Archon fitness challenge.

Sponsors
We are extremely grateful to our main sponsors from the RAF, who were present throughout the weekend and to our kit suppliers, Serious Sport and UCFB for their continued support.

Wilkinson Sword
After an intense competition, the South West region were presented the Wilkinson Sword winners with a total of 140 points, the first time the region has won the coveted title since 2016. The South East gave everything in their attempt to retain the sword for the fourth time, but had to settle for third place when Yorkshire and Humber claimed the runners-up spot with 127 points.

Thank you to all the colleges and students who have shared their experience across social media.

Visit our Twitter account to see some of the highlights from an action-packed weekend.  The Wilkinson Sword standings can be found here.  The full results for each sport will be published on the website shortly.

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