More than 80 professionals from 11 organisations and businesses across Kent and Medway, came together last week to compete in a variety of sports-day inspired activities in celebration of Canterbury Christ Church University’s Diamond Jubilee.

The inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Business Games is just one of a series of events taking place this year to celebrate all that has been achieved by the University in the last 60 years.

The event was also a way for the University to thank local organisations who have supported and partnered with the institution over the decades and together have made a positive impact on the region’s economy and its communities.

Teams playing sitting volleyball
Teams playing sitting volleyball

Sponsored by KIMS Hospital and Enterprise Rent –a-car and organised by the University’s Enterprise and Engagement team and Sport and Active Health, the event aimed to bring together local organisations across a variety of sectors giving them the opportunity to network. It was also a great way to learn more about how the University can support local businesses through its knowledge exchange activities, research projects, and opportunities for continued professional development.

Abbie Kempe, Director of Enterprise and Engagement at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “After so many of us working from home over the last two years due to the pandemic, it was fantastic to see so many faces in person celebrating our Diamond Jubilee.

“The local business community has played a very important part in the University’s journey so far, and to enjoy a full day of competitive games in the sun, whilst having the opportunity to network, has been really rewarding.

“Already, we have received some fantastic feedback and we hope to be able to bring the games back bigger and better next year.”

The Sports Trust won the trophy at the first VC's Business Games
The Sports Trust won the trophy at the first VC's Business Games

Throughout the day, teams competed in a variety of activities including, an obstacle course race, ultimate frisbee, and kin-ball. The University’s chosen charity, The Young Lives Foundation (YLF) shared their story and how they support the local community; with fundraising opportunities and prizes generously donated by Shepheard Neame, Kent Cricket, and the University's very own SportsLab – who were also on hand throughout the day providing some well-earned massages.

The games concluded with an awards ceremony hosted by Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Enterprise, and Business Development), Mike Weed, who presented The Vice-Chancellor’s Business Games cup to the winners of the day, The Sports Trust.

Its been nice to work as a team and meet other businesses - a brilliant event.

Ellie Boreham, Furley PageSolicitor

Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Enterprise and Business Development) Professor Mike Weed said: “The University is dedicated to taking on a convening role, helping organisations think about how they can engage with each other as well as the local and regional economy.

“We have put 14,000 graduates into the Kent and Medway economy over the past five years and are dedicated to helping local businesses and organisations with their skills needs. In addition to this, we are able to support development needs and part of that is having ongoing conversations with the business community.

“The Vice-Chancellor’s Business Games is an opportunity for us to think about how we bring together organisations in a dynamic and fun way. Its been particularly lovely this year to see colleagues face-to-face, rather than virtually. Our mission with the games was to celebrate our business connections and to encourage meaningful conversations in a more informal environment. We definitely achieved this.”

It’s been a brilliant fun day and well organised. The relaxed environment gets you talking to other people which is key. It makes a big difference in terms of speaking to other organisations. Thank you to everyone at the University for putting on such a fantastic day.

Barry PluckHead of Charity at The Sports Trust

Paul Carney, Director of Sport and Active Health at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “Creating opportunities for our local community to be more active is incredibly important and we thrive on developing inclusive experiences aimed at bringing people together.

"The Vice-Chancellor’s Business Games was no exception, it provided just the occasion in our Diamond Jubilee year to put on an event for local organisations and businesses, that offered them a unique opportunity to network in the sun, whilst taking part is some incredible activities.

"We have already started to plan the next instalment of the challenge and we hope to see even more local businesses join us next time!”

Sateda, a Sittingbourne charity that supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse was also one of the 11 organisations that took part. Their CEO, Carey Philpott, commented on the day, saying it was a ‘great opportunity to get together outside of the office and bond with team members old and new.’

Other participants included Jenner Contractors, Canterbury Business Improvement District, Finally Agency, Kent County Cricket Club, Brachers, Kent County Council, b&m, and Discovery Park, whose Head of Finance, Darren Jarvis, said: “We’ve had a fantastic day and have used it as a team-building exercise. The finance team doesn’t get out of the office very often and the activities today have all been so inclusive. If it was put on next year, I would encourage us to bring a couple of teams.”

To learn more about the ways you can engage with Canterbury Christ Church University, please email:

Return to