Before the modern Olympic movement there was the United Hospitals Athletics Club (UHAC).
UHAC itself may no longer be operational, but the United Hospitals Athletics Championships which it organised are still very much alive.
On May 31, 1867, the UHAC was formed at the West Brompton running grounds by Mr S Edwin Jolly. Since then, notable committee members have included Sir Roger Bannister, Dr Peter Sperryn and David Morgan.
The annual meeting hosted by UHAC featured events such as the 100 yards, 250 yards, 880 yards, 1 mile, 2 miles, 120 yard Hurdle Race, 440 yard Hurdle Race, High Jump, Long Jump, Hammer, Cricket Ball Throw, Stone Put, Three Legged Race and the 250 yards Consolation Race.
Such was the thirst for athletics in the late 1880’s, the fourth meeting of the Championships had to be moved to the A.A.C Grounds in Lille Bridge to cater for a crowd of over 3,000 spectators. By the end of the 19th century, the club held its championships at Stamford Bridge – the home of the London Athletics Club.
The United Hospitals Athletics Shield was given to the club with the largest number of points at the end of each championship. This has been awarded annually since 1867 and this year marks its 150 anniversary. But this isn’t the 150th time the shield has been awarded. The competition was postponed through the war years as students were conscripted into the army.
Individual medals are no longer awarded, but one will be on display at LUCA Indoors this Saturday.
Since the demise of UHAC, the championships have been incorporated into other competitions; first into the University of London Championships and more recently into the LUCA Indoor Championships. The shield is currently held by GKT.
This month, the UH clubs voted for a new eligibility rule which states;
An eligible student is someone who is required to complete a clinical placement in a hospital or veterinary practise as a part of their degree or who studies biomedicine or bioveterinary.
Eligible students must declare their eligibility by selecting the UH option on their myLUCA profile.
How do points work?
UH points are awarded to eligible athletes only. In each event, we compare results of UH athletes and award 4 points to first, 2 to second and 1 to third. Points are awarded regardless of the amount of UH athletes in an event, so if only one UH eligible athlete competes, they will automatically get 4 points.
UH athletes don’t need to progress to the final to score. We take the overall results of an event (including a final) to determine points.
Read more about UH here.
Follow the build up to LUCA Indoors here.