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The 2023 Extra Mile Awards

Written by: UPSU

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What is the Extra Mile? 


The Extra Mile is a programme designed to recognise all our societies and sports clubs who go above and beyond to provide an excellent level of service, opportunity and experience for their members, as well as helping the SU Sports and Societies team to achieve strategic goals within the UPSU strategy.

The Extra Mile Accreditation Scheme uses a grading system:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold

Each award has different tasks that need to be completed, as well as a choice of tasks which can be selected by the individual groups depending on their interest areas and goals.

These awards demonstrate to UPSU, Sabbatical Officers, the University of Plymouth and the wider student community how student groups are actively making a difference to develop and engage members. Taking part in the Extra Mile is optional for student groups; however, by getting involved, student group leaders can give their members a fantastic experience and allow them to be recognised for their efforts.


Extra Mile 2023 Awards:




Equestrian Club

The Equestrian Club are well deserving of Bronze Extra Mile this year by consistently putting their members and the community first, most notably for their 100,000 step walk. They aimed to raise money for Hoofbeats Equine Rehabilitation Sanctury, who they have supported throughout the year. This involved 9 members walking for 15.5 hours, covering 54km. By doing so, they raised £1,208.

The club also supported the UPSU Community Larder by raising awareness and sharing videos on how to donate much needed food for students. These videos reached 1200 people, and helped to promote a UPSU wide campaign. The bronze Extra Mile badge is well earned! 


    Photo: University of Plymouth Equestrian Club


Pole Dancing  

This club always puts the work in to look after its members and is dedicated to creating a safe, friendly space to dance. They have spent time hosting tours of their studio to encourage participation and host regular no-drinking socials.

Pole members frequently volunteer throughout the year at Tulgey Woods, helping to make it a cleaner space and providing an opportunity for their members to bond and work together as a team. They are also keen to deliver a sustainable club, having a strictly veggie/vegan end-of-year ball and raising money for Surfers Against Sewage at their showcases.

Therefore, the University of Plymouth Pole Dance Club has been awarded Bronze Extra Mile for all these reasons and more. Congratulations!


     Photo: University of Plymouth Pole Dancing Club


Women’s Rugby  

Women's Rugby has strived to improve its member's experience this year, from hiring an Exeter Chiefs coach and pitch-side photography to a free varsity kit! They also had the opportunity to take their members to Mallorca and watch a premiership match at Exeter. 

They have also hosted team litter picks at Mount Batten Beach and on some rainy days at Central Park. A total of 18 members participated in 5/10km races and raised £675 for Maddy’s Mark, a Bristol-based charity set up dedicated to a University of Bristol BUCS player who sadly passed away last year. The club highly deserves their bronze extra mile badge! 


     Photo: University of Plymouth Women's Rugby at Varsity 2023



The Volleyball Club have gone above and beyond this year, mainly supporting the weekly Give It A Go volleyball sessions, meaning members have volunteered their time to host countless sessions.  

They have focussed on supporting beginner volleyball members and developing players this year by bringing in coaches and setting up new teams.

They have hosted multiple charity tournaments, including an all-day tournament against a local team. This was an incredible event, and the club managed to raise £510.41 for Breast Cancer Now throughout the year. Congratulations to the Volleyball club; they have earned their Bronze Extra Mile! 


     Photo: University of Plymouth Volleyball





Lacrosse has once again proven that they go the extra mile for their members and have been awarded Silver Extra Mile this year!

Their constant commitment to the community is clear to see, with them racking up countless volunteering hours. They regularly travelled to Stover Canal to clear woodland areas and improve biodiversity, hosted litter picks on walks to training sessions and ran Navy coaching days.

The lacrosse team have worked collaboratively with other clubs, creating a 'naked calendar' to raise money for Breast Cancer Now, and participated in a total of 8 fundraising events, raising over £1000 this year.

Lastly, they have managed to source £1000 in sponsorships to give their members the best experience possible. This was used to purchase a playing kit, which helped them return to competing in BUCS!

Well done, Lacrosse!


    Photo: University of Plymouth Lacrosse (W) at Varsity 2023



    Photo: University of Plymouth Lacrosse (M) at Varsity 2023


The Plymouth University Paediatrics Society

The Plymouth University Paediatrics Society (PUPS) have proven that they go the extra mile for their members and have therefore been awarded the Silver Mile Accreditation.

The Society has raised money for multiple charities, including Children’s Hospice South West and Young Minds, raising a total of £1161.90.

They contributed numerous hours of volunteering with the Paediatric department at Derriford Hospital and formed fantastic partnerships with our local Routeways charity and The Beckley Centre.

Additionally to their charity and fundraising, the society also focuses on academic studies. They frequently host teaching sessions for their members, held by fellow members, to ensure everyone gets more opportunities to understand complex topics.

PUPS have also aimed to be sustainable by ensuring that materials bought for society can be used and recycled.

Lastly, they hosted a South West Paediatrics Conference in collaboration with Exeter and Bristol University. To make this accessible to all, they held this online to eliminate the need for travel so many more could attend.


     Photo: The Plymouth University Paediatrics Society 





Storm Cheerleaders have provided an exceptional experience for their members and the community, making them well deserving of Gold Extra Mile.

The Storm Cheerleaders have been involved in the UPSU Community Larder and the Here If You Need events and had over 50% of members have voted in the UPSU Elections in March.

The team have also been committed to fundraising this year, raising a massive £1512.92 for Devon Mind. This has been achieved through their annual showcase, hosting a skills swap with Plymouth Night Patrol, and participating in the 27 Miles in March Challenge.  

The club has worked to implement feedback regularly from members and built a relationship with Power Athletics. This has enabled members to learn safer routines, access a high level of coaching, and boost members' knowledge of the sport.

The club is always looking to get as many people involved as possible and works hard to provide training times that are accessible to those on placement or in work. Their commitment to ensuring all their members feel included and part of a team is wonderful to see. Well done, Storm Cheerleaders!


    Photo: University of Plymouth Storm Cheerleaders


Swim, Synchro and Water Polo  

Swim, Synchro and Water Polo have worked incredibly hard this year to give their members the best memories whilst studying at the University of Plymouth.

They have hosted 9 charity events throughout the year, raising a total of £2277.83: an incredible achievement and commitment from members! These include Aqua Zumba sessions, bake sales, synchro showcases and even a rugby x hockey charity match.  

They have consistently found new and creative ways to support the community through campaigns this year, from Movember to the Christmas Shoebox Appeal for the Samaritans. They have also been involved in volunteer work, including cleaning the Hoe with regular litter picks.

Lastly, the committee worked incredibly hard to bring back the Swimming Gala to Varsity, which kicked off all the sporting events this year! This took a lot of coordination and effort from the club and was a huge success, with Team Plymouth taking the first Varsity win of 2023. They are highly deserving of the Gold Extra Mile: well done!


   Photo: Rugby x Hockey Water Polo match


Women’s Hockey  

Women’s Hockey is a worthy club of Gold Extra Mile and should be proud of what they have accomplished this year!

Alongside upskilling their members through England Hockey, they also introduced a 5th team due to member feedback. This has allowed all members to play the sport they love.  

Many club members volunteer their time to local teams by umpiring and coaching, which has helped develop hockey in the region, with some club members also supporting children in schools by offering tutoring.

This club has gone above and beyond in supporting the community. Moreover, they have also logged an astounding £2186 for MIND and Breast Cancer UK. They have hosted charity tournaments which both raised over £1000! 

Women's Hockey is also dedicated to being sustainable with its kit made from recycled materials by a sustainable company! Well done, Women's Hockey, you deserve Gold!


     Photo: University of Plymouth Women's Hockey


A big congratulations to all our societies and sports clubs this year who have been accredited with either a bronze, silver or gold award!

You can find out more about the Extra Mile programme here, including more information on the Extra Mile Accreditation Scheme, the criteria, and application downloads. Please keep in mind that the UPSU Extra Mile is renewed annually.