American Football coach speaks of his struggles with knee surgery

By Rian Fearnehough

De Montfort University Lions coach Tayo Anderson is still hoping he can one day play American Football again as he works on recovering from knee surgery.

Tayo started playing football at a young age, after being introduced by seeing a gaming and getting involved while at a church youth camp.

After a year of watching shows and movies, he decided to give the sport a go and fell in love with it.

Tayo enjoyed his role as a wide receiver as this allowed him to score touchdowns and have a big contribution to the team. 

Tayo Anderson coaching the DMU Lions despite injury

Tayo began playing for his university team, which led to him playing after he had finished at university.

He said: “That’s when I had several knocks to the knee, the first of which was in June.

“I went up to catch a ball and had to stretch for it which led to an awkward landing where my knee got caught in the ground.”

This injury has caused Tayo lots of problems as on some days his knee would feel normal and allow him to walk around, however on other days he would really struggle with bending and moving it.

He added: “The day-to-day pain is frustrating the most and not being able to do what you could before surgery.

“It’s been so hard man, learning to walk again and trust the leg, wanting to go crazy and run and do things I’m not capable/safe to do yet.”

Having been an athlete, this was especially difficult for Tayo, especially when attending Lions practices as he was desperate to play again and would forget about his knee when he was near the field. 

Due to this injury Tayo has now become aware of how many floor levels he climbs to or descends to as he tries to help his knee return to full health and avoid having to go through this again.

Despite his injury and experience, he insisted there was “no question” he would one day play again, showing his love and dedication to the sport.

Positive DMU Lions hunt Varsity glory

By Rian Fearnehough

The DMU Lions are preparing for the Varsity challenge against the University of Leicester as they look to put the wrongs of the season right this Sunday(MARCH27).

The Lions had a disappointing end to the season after issues outside the control of the players caused the perfect season to be tarnished with the efforts of the players being forgotten.

David Franklin on a Lions matchday

Coach David Franklin said: “Being frustrated is pointless as it achieves nothing and often makes things worse.

“The Lions are trying to focus on the next game and put the negatives in the past and try to remain positive.”

The Lions are still working hard to show how good the team is and how much they have improved over the course of the season.

A victory in Varsity would be a positive way to end the season that has been marred by problems, despite the performances on the pitch being very good throughout.  

UOL are yet to lose in the Varsity game to the DMU side in the nine times the fixture has been played, which gives the game even more importance as the Lions look to stop the tenth win in a row.

Coach Franklin added: ”The Lions recently had a scrimmage with Coventry who are a division above and we held our own despite having only 16 players.”

Coventry Jets are in the same division as the UOL, giving the Lions even more confidence of being able to win Varsity for the first time.

The Lions have remained positive throughout the season and continue to do so, giving them a huge chance to make history and show how good they are.

The fixture will take place at Beaumont Park on Sunday(MARCH27) at 1pm with the university offering free travel to the fixture, urging people to come down and enjoy a great afternoon of sport.

Two DMU rowers open up about rowing life and looking forward to summer

By Alice Wright

Two DMU rowers have opened up about rowing life and are looking forward to the warmer weather in the summer.

From left to right: George Henshaw, Adam Purcell, Harvey Hill and Tom Maddock

Adam Purcell, 18, and Harvey Hill, 20, both De Montfort University students, decided to join DMU rowing at the Freshers’ Fair because it was something new.

First year Film student Harvey said: “When I came to uni I really wanted to do football and that didn’t really work out.

“During the Freshers’ Fair I signed up for a lot of sports but rowing really called to me through [Novice captain] Alex’s communication through email and he made it sound like he wanted me on the team.”

They both joined DMU rowing in October and have already competed in two races, saying it has added structure to their lives.

Novice performance squad training

Adam, a first year Mechanical Engineering student, said: “There’s been a lot of support and the committee and coach were very welcoming.”

The two DMU students discussed how they are looking forward to the summer months as it will make it “more fun” as they “won’t get numb”.

Harvey explained why he rows: “For me, as well, I’ve always been someone in life who has to have a goal at some point no matter how big or small it is. I think rowing is perfect for that.”

An average week for a competition squad consists of 17-20 hours of sessions but in preparation for a race it increases to 20-25 hours per week including early morning sessions almost every day.

Both students also revealed how they are most excited for the BUCS regatta in Nottingham and how their goal is to get a medal.

Adam said: “Our biggest competitors are Edinburgh and Durham, so our aim is to beat them and if we do that then we’ve probably won.

“They’re both very good, we’ve just got to keep going, doing what we’re doing.”

Adam described the feeling of being on the water in a quad whilst everyone is “swinging together” as the most exciting part of rowing because you feel the “woosh” of the boat.

If you’d like to find out more information about DMU rowing, get in contact with their Instagram page @dmurowing.

Student competitors from all DMU teams invited to enjoy annual sports awards event

By Rian Fearnehough

DMU sport will be hosting an awards evening celebrating the achievements by the various sports teams throughout the year.

The awards evening will be taking place on Thursday, March 31, in The Venue on campus, with members of every sports team invited to attend and hoping to receive an award for their efforts. 

DMU Sports Awards 2019

There are 12 awards on offer, ranging from club of the year to individual awards such as sportsman and sportswoman of the year, allowing nominees many chances to win an award.

Fiona Dick, Head of Sport at DMU, said: “Students nominate each other and their teams for awards. These nominations are then verified for accuracy of information by a panel who then decide on the shortlist for the award.”

The student nominations allow everyone to be recognised for what they do as the members of each team know who has the greatest impact on the team. 

Every sports team has an equal chance of being on the shortlist as the list is decided based on performance and level the teams have played at throughout the year.

The shortlist is then confirmed by the Head of Sport, the Chief Executive of the Students’ Union, the Director of Engagement, and the Student Elected Officer for Student Opportunities. This group then also decides the winners of each award. 

Fiona added: “The awards have a real mix of winners. Everyone has different success each year, I haven’t noticed a trend in awards.”

The awards evening gives the university a chance to thank those who have been representing them in sport over the past year and allows the students involved to celebrate each other’s achievements.

Tickets for the event are still available. The sports department would like as many people there as possible to give a proper thanks to the efforts of the teams throughout the year.

DMU and UoL teams on countdown to Varsity 2022 contests

By Rian Fearnehough

The sports teams of De Montfort University (DMU) are preparing themselves for Varsity for the first time in two years after Covid cancellations caused a hiatus.  

Varsity will feature 47 fixtures between the sports teams of DMU and the University of Leicester (UoL) as well a celebration event, allowing performance-based societies such as bhangra and dance to be involved in the event.

Varsity preview

Varsity is a full week of sport beginning on Tuesday(MARCH22) and finishing on Tuesday, March 29, and is a real celebration of university sport, allowing students to compete in front of their peers.

Fiona Dick, Head of Sport at DMU, said: “Discussions for Varsity start in September as both DMU and UoL realign the vision and values of what Varsity is.” 

Varsity requires a lot of planning to ensure the event works for everyone as it needs to be a celebration of the sports teams and allow them to show off the work they have put in across the year. 

Fiona added: “Varsity provides a culmination of endeavours and allows students to experience playing with bigger crowds.

“The teams are a mixture of nervous and excited but are ready to play and want to win.”

The extra support could help DMU win Varsity overall for the first time which would help promote the sporting opportunities available at the university. As well as an overall trophy, every fixture will also be for a trophy, giving every team something to play for.

DMU is providing transport for students to attend fixtures to ensure that the fixtures have the biggest crowds possible to make some great memories for the students involved. 

To get updates on when the fixtures are taking place, follow DMU sport on Instagram or check out the varsity page