Newsnight: Emily Maitlis heads all-female presenting team

Emma Barnett, Emily Maitlis and Kirsty Wark

Emily Maitlis will become the new lead presenter of BBC Two’s Newsnight after Evan Davis’s departure.

Kirsty Wark will have an “enhanced” role on the programme while 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett joins as a new presenter, the BBC confirmed.

The announcement comes a month after Maitlis won network presenter of the year at the RTS TV Journalism Awards.

Davis left the programme last year to take over from Eddie Mair as the lead presenter of PM on BBC Radio 4.

Maitlis said she was “delighted to be moving into this role at a time when Newsnight feels so pivotal to our understanding of this extraordinary moment in British history”. More

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona smash attendance record for women’s football club match

Toni Duggan reels away after scoring Barcelona's second

England international Toni Duggan secured a 2-0 victory for Barcelona in front of a world record crowd of 60,739 fans for a women’s football club match.

Duggan scored Barca’s second in the second half at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium to shake up the title race.

The 27-year-old tweeted after the match: ‘So that’s how it feels to score against your rivals, in front of 60,000 people!!!! Wow, What a day, more importantly what a WIN! Today we made history…’

Atletico were leading Barca by six points at the top of the Liga Iberdrola heading into the game but saw that deficit halved following goals from Asisat Oshoala and Duggan. There are six games left to run this season.  More

Restarting our LGBT+ staff network with a ‘town hall’ meeting on 27 March

Come along and discuss and share your ideas for our network whether you’ve been to network events before, or are new to the network.

We are looking to restart the activities of the university’s LGBT+ Staff Network.  If you would like to be involved please do come along to our ‘town hall’ meeting and let us know your opinions.

The meeting will take place from 4pm on Wednesday 27 March in the Stephen Lawrence building SL001 on the Greenwich campus. Colleagues from Avery Hill, Medway or Bathway who’d like to attend please see the university bus service timetable.

When the network is reestablished our intention is to hold activities and events across our three campuses.

Please let us know in advance if you intend to come along, or if you’d prefer simply pop in on the day.

If you can’t make the meeting please feel free to email us at to express your interest and we will keep you informed of activities and events.

We really look forward to seeing you on 27th.

Companies told women must make up third of senior directors by 2020

Domino's Pizza

Dozens of firms, including Domino’s Pizza, JD Sports and Greene King have been told to put more women in their boardrooms.

The Investment Association, a financial sector trade body, and the government-backed Hampton-Alexander review wrote to 69 companies.

They have called on them to have 33% of their boards made up of women by 2020.

The review has threatened to brand them “red tops” as a warning to investors about their lack of gender diversity.

They said it was “unacceptable” that one in five of the UK’s biggest companies in the FTSE 350 index are falling short on gender diversity.

Of the firms singled out, 66 have only one woman on their board, while three firms – property investor Daejan Holdings, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and TR Property Investment Trust – have an all-male board.  More

Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra Zohra visits the UK

Zohra led by Negin Khpalwak

Five years ago, a unique all-female orchestra was formed in Afghanistan, a nation where only a few years previously music had been outlawed and women barred from education. Now Zohra is visiting the UK for the first time.

No-one claims that in Afghanistan, the Taliban influence has been rooted out entirely. Violence continues. But two decades ago, the Afghanistan National Institute of Music would have been unthinkable.

ANIM was founded in 2008, with international support, to bring music education to young Afghans. Not long before that, the Afghan capital Kabul had finally been wrenched from the grasp of the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim Taliban.

In the Taliban years, music – once a thriving and rich part of Afghan culture, admired around the world – had all but disappeared.

Today in Kabul, ANIM teaches music skills to some 250 young people, both male and female. That figure is about to rise to 320 and there are plans to expand to cities such as Herat, Mazar-e Sharif and Jalalabad.  More

Cheltenham Festival: Frodon and Bryony Frost win Ryanair Chase

Bryony Frost on Frodon

Jockey Bryony Frost made Cheltenham Festival history as she became the first woman to ride a top-level Grade One winner over jumps at the meeting when Frodon landed an emotional triumph in the Ryanair Chase.

Frost, 23, the daughter of Grand National-winning jockey Jimmy, punched the air with delight after victory on the 9-2 chance, trained by Paul Nicholls.

“He’s Pegasus,” said a tearful Frost after her bold-jumping mount finished ahead of Aso and Road To Respect.

As the jockey and her mount returned to a rapturous reception in the winner’s enclosure, 10-time champion trainer Nicholls said it was “one of the best days ever”.  More

Rachael Blackmore: Jump jockey seeking to become first female champion

Racheal Blackmore

For decades, unlike almost every other sport, male and female jockeys have competed on level terms, but in Ireland some men find themselves feeling less than equal.

Admittedly, it’s a guy – former champion Paul Townend – who leads the riders’ title race for the 2018-19 jumps season – but very much hard on his heels is Rachael Blackmore following a prolific run.

However, to steal a favourite phrase from the horse racing formbook, it’s a case of ‘pair well clear’ of the pack, a group headed by Davy Russell and Mark Walsh; after an injury-hit time of it, perennial leading contender Ruby Walsh is further behind.

And, as a jockey very much in favour with aviation tycoon Michael O’Leary’s vast, highly-influential Gigginstown House Stud racing operation, managed by his brother Eddie, the odds on Blackmore winning are nothing fancy.

Were the 29-year-old, who held a decisive advantage through the early months of the campaign, to end up in front when the season concludes at the Punchestown Festival in May, she’d be racing’s first female professional jump jockey champion. Such a result would be a landmark for racing.  More

Matt Dawson MBE at Avery Hill Campus, Wednesday 6 March, supporting University Mental Health and Wellbeing

You can join a Touch Rugby (non-physical) session where former England Rugby International Matt will provide skills and tips. Matt is the Health and Wellbeing Ambassador for Sodexo, our university partner.

There is a strong link between regular moderate physical activity and better mental health, and as part of our University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day we are encouraging everyone – students and staff – to take better care of their wellbeing.

On Wednesday 6 March Matt Dawson MBE will visit our Avery Hill campus, where all students and staff are invited to have a go at Touch Rugby – it’s non-physical – at a session where Matt will provide skills and tips.

You only need a pair of trainers to take part!

To take part in the session, please meet at the David Fussey Sports Hall at 1.45pm, the session will run until 2.30pm.

Matt will give skills and tips during the game as well as spending time with our Masters Strength and Conditioning students and meeting staff who are completing our new Mental Health First Aid training.

Matt retired from his highly successful English Rugby Union career in 2006. During his International career he toured with the British and Irish Lions and was part of England’s winning 2003 Rugby World Cup team.

In 2004, Matt joined the long-running BBC One quiz show “A Question of Sport” as a regular team captain. He appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 and was also the first Celebrity MasterChef Champion in the same year. Matt is an honorary President of the rugby charity Wooden Spoon. Since 2010 he has worked with university partner Sodexo as their Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing.

If you can’t make it to the session on 6 March there are lots of activities across our campuses on 7 March supporting University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day so please come along and get involved.


University of Suffolk: ‘Sport buddies’ boost mental health

Zumba class

Students have started a “sport buddy” scheme to tackle isolation and mental health issues at a university.

The University of Suffolk Students’ Union scheme gives six free sessions to those with difficulties and arranges for a volunteer to accompany them.

Co-ordinator Tiffany Evripidou said they wanted to “intervene” before mental health became a problem.

The union said its research showed attending sessions alone was a big “engagement barrier”.

“We’ve always believed in the power of activity and how it can have a positive impact on well-being,” said Ms Evripidou.

Volunteers at the Ipswich-based university will be given mental health and first aid training.  More

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