Oxford Brookes sporting talent showcased on the world stage

Thursday, 22 September 2022


Talented students and alumni of Oxford Brookes University enjoyed success on the world sports stage this summer.

Their achievements include successes at four rowing championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Fencing Championship - and setting a new cycling world record.

Oxford Brookes rowers represent Great Britain

Seven members of Oxford Brookes University Boat Club triumphed for Great Britain at the U23 World Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy, which took place at the end of July.

Ben Hinves and Will Denegri were part of the winning and record-breaking crew for the Men’s Coxed Fours, with Jack Prior, Matt Heywood, Jake Wincomb and Scott Cockle all finishing as gold-medal winners in the Men’s Eight. 
The Men’s Quad race also included Oxford Brookes rower Miles Devereux, who finished in seventh place. 

Oxford Brookes student Daisy Bellamy, who rows out of Leander Club, earned a silver medal coming in close behind the USA in the Women’s Eight.


The winning Men's Coxed Fours at the U23 World Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy.
Ben Hinves (middle) and Will Denegri (furthest on right in white lycra). Image credited to AllMarkOne.


Earlier on in the summer, Oxford Brookes rowers achieved their best ever results at the Henley Royal Regatta which took place in late June and early July. The Men’s Eights were successful in winning the Temple Challenge Cup - the fifth time in eight years - as well as the Grand Challenge Cup, while the Men's Coxed Four were crowned winners of the Prince Albert Challenge Cup.

The Women’s Eight crew narrowly missed out to eventual winners Brown University of the USA in the semi-final of The Island Challenge Cup.

There was further success for Oxford Brookes rowers at the Senior European Rowing Championships in Munich in August.

The winning Great Britain Men’s Eight boat included five crew members from Oxford Brookes University. Cox Harry Brightmore, along with rowers Morgan Bolding, Rory Gibbs, Thomas Digby and David Bewicke-Copley formed a part of the crew. 

In addition to the success of the Men’s Eight, the winning coxless Men’s Four crew was made up of three Oxford Brookes rowers in Sam Nunn, Matt Aldridge and Freddie Davidson.

Six Oxford Brookes students also competed in the U23 European Championships in Belgium in early September, with bronze medals for Toby Lassen, Jake Wincomb and Jens Hullah in the Men’s Eight race. Bronze medals were also awarded to Oxford Brookes rowers Ben Hinves and Louis Nares in the Men’s Coxless Four. 

Commonwealth Games success

Maia Bouchier, aged 23, an Oxford Brookes graduate in Business Management, Sport, Coaching and PE was selected for the England T20 Women’s Cricket team at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 
With T20 cricket making its Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham, Maia and the rest of the squad of 14 players made history by becoming the first cricketers to represent England at the Commonwealth Games.

England started their campaign against Sri Lanka on 30 July, with Maia batting at six before she went on to hit the game winning shot for four runs. England then went on to beat South Africa and New Zealand to qualify through the group stages, before coming up short to India in the semi-final match. The team ended the games finishing fourth overall.  Maia said: “It wasn’t to be. We can only move forward and grow from these moments but I am super excited for what is to come! I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

Maia was also a part of Southern Brave’s squad which reached the final of The Hundred, which included a memorable moment with an Umpire. Southern Brave came up just short to the Oval Invincibles, who successfully defended the title at Lord’s on 3 September. 

World record breaking cyclist

An Oxford Brookes alumnus also wrote himself into the sporting history books after breaking a cycling world record in August. 

Dan Bigham, who was Oxford Brookes’ ‘Sportsman of the Year' in 2014, cycled 55.548km in 60 minutes around the Tissot Velodrome track in Grenchen, Switzerland. Dan broke the previous record by a whole 500m. 

The achievement came just weeks after Dan was part of the team which won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in the Men’s 4000m Team pursuit event.


Image: Dan Bigham after having broken the world record. Credit - Ineos Grenadiers

Commonwealth Fencing Championship

Engineering PhD student Shazamin Shahrani, aged 31, represented Malaysia at the Commonwealth Fencing Championship, which took place  9-20 August.

Shazamin is currently the President of Oxford Brookes Fencing Club, and competed in the Epee category at the competition. 

Shazamin said: “I am thrilled to have represented Malaysia for my first Senior Commonwealth competition here in the UK. I am thankful for the months of preparations and training leading up to it. I would like to thank my fencing coaches at Oxford City Fencing Club as well as the TEAMBrookes staff in Oxford Brookes University for their support and guidance.”

Marcus Boswell, Student Sport Manager at Oxford Brookes said: “We are proud to have supported these amazingly talented individuals in their pursuit of both academic and sporting success. 

“Achievement and success take many different forms as we know; some of our student-athletes are happy simply to be selected for their events and will cherish that memory forever, whilst for others we know their sights have been firmly set on medals.  Hopefully their collective hard work and dedication has seen them each reach their desired success, and it will no doubt inspire others to follow in their footsteps in the years to come.”


Main image: Winning Men’s Eight crew at the Senior European Rowing Championships in Munich, Germany.  Harry Brightmore (centre), Morgan Bolding and Rory Gibbs (top right), Thomas Digby (bottom left) and David Bewicke-Copley (bottom right).  Image credited to AllMarkOne.