The 2024 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.


Bronze Award


Women's Rugby

The Women's Rugby has achieved its Bronze Award by continuously putting members first by employing a development coach to grow the foundations of the team and to support new and returning members.

This academic year, club members organised food drives to donate to local food banks, collecting items each month. They also worked hard to raise money for charity, working closely with Falmouth University and hosting a charity match in Penryn.


Photos from Varsity 2024: 


American Football 

This year, the American Football Club achieved their Bronze Award through their commitment to supporting the local community, including collecting 38.06kg of food for Plymouth Foodbank, hosting a community garden project which included spending 6 hours tidying up local green spaces and raising £615 for Movember and Devon Mind. 



Men's Hockey 

Men's Hockey has achieved their Bronze Award by dedicating their time to raise money for charity, particularly focussing on men's mental health charities. The club raised £1195 for Movember and £334 for Young Minds Trust over the year, with the 1st team running 150km together throughout November for Movember. 


Photos from Varsity 2024:



Silver Award 


Men's Rugby

The Men's Rugby Club has been awarded the Extra Mile Silver Award through their continued effort to support and raise money for charity, including raising an incredible £2954 for Movember this year and helping the local community through various volunteering schemes. This has included volunteering with the SU Buddy Scheme, local litter picks, and volunteering with external organisations such as the Royal Marine Cadets and OddBalls. The club also successfully sourced £2500 of funding through RFU.


Photos from Varsity 2024:



Lacrosse has achieved their Silver Award through their dedication to volunteering, which has included litter picking, Christmas gift drives for Derriford Hospital, and food bank donations, racking up 261 volunteering hours. Lacrosse has also successfully sourced £1000 in funding from sponsors and was granted £750 from the Lacrosse Foundation to support 2nd team development.


Photos from Varsity 2024:



Gold Award


Jiu Jitsu 

The Jiu Jitsu has achieved their Gold Award by raising money for charity, including £1275 for Pete's Dragon by abseiling off the Meldon Viaduct, held a clothes drive for charity in the SU, and organised a pirate-themed litter pick in Plymouth.

As well as their commitment to volunteering and raising money for charity, the club offered countless beginner, taster and collaboration sessions, including with the Pilates Club and other local martial arts clubs. The club has a large focus on upskilling members by offering gradings, which provides members with an opportunity to showcase their skills and move up their grades. Two members also completed a coaching and leadership course, with one member completing his instructor course. 



Swimming, Synchro and Waterpolo

The Swimming Synchro and Waterpolo club have achieved their Gold Award successful sponsorships and their incredible commitment to fundraising for a diversity of charities and causes.

This year the club hosted a charity water polo tournament with Lacrosse, showing amazing collaboration between clubs, and took part in a diversity of fundraising initiatives, including the Plymouth 10k, charity aquazumba sessions, bake sales, and quizzes. The club also took part in the shoebox appeal, donating 8 boxes to Samaritans' Christmas Child Shoebox appeal, and raised £939 for Diabetes UK by taking part in the "Swim 22" challenge, with members swimming either 11, 22 or 44 miles between 22nd March and 22nd June.

The team also successfully sourced a staggering £2825 from sponsorship which helped subiside kit so that everyone was able to pay equal amounts. 


Photos from Varsity 2024:



This year, the Cheerleading Club have been awarded the Gold Award for their efforts to unite their members through the creation of 'cheer families' where students are grouped based on similar interests to help create better connections with new members and returning members.



Pole Dance

Pole Dance Club have been awarded their Gold Award for their commitment to collaboration, including organising 14 joint events with other student groups, far exceeding their 1x a month goal. The teams' dedication to asking for membership feedback through termly surveys has meant the club has implemented new low-impact beginner sessions, which have now become a popular and regular feature in the club's timetable. 

Pole Dance has also made time to take part in volunteering, including hosting a month-long food drive to send to Plymouth Food Bank, held a 12-hour long 'pole-a-thon' to raise money for the local pole studio, and organised a charity showcase: Reclaim the Night.



Women's Hockey

This year, the Women's Hockey Club raised an incredible £2425.50 for a range of charities! From Devon and Cornwall Food Actions (£177.50) to Young Lives vs Cancer (£734), and a staggering £1374 for Devon Air Ambulance running a 24-hour danceathon and charity match.

Aside from their amazing fundraising efforts, the club also focussed on upskilling members to feed back into the club, getting two members qualified as umpires. This not only supports the club, but the local teams in the area as well. 


Photos from Varsity 2024:



SwitchUp (Nintendo Society) has been awarded Gold in the Extra Mile Awards for their fundraising efforts, including a 24-hour charity event in Pitts Hall which raised £900 for Get Well Gamers (a charity which donates gaming consoles to people in hospital).

The club has also committed to collaborating with other universities, including holding tournaments with Reading and Staffordshire University.
This year, SwitchUp won the Society of the Year Award at the Beacon Awards, as well as Chair of the Year, Non-core Committee of the Year, and Most Improved Society of the Year at the Celebrate Success Awards 2024. 




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.