Future sports stars balance athletic career with degree thanks to university bursary

04 Feb 2011 14:10:13.530

PA 43/2011

The University of Nottingham has showed its commitment to supporting Britain’s current and future sports stars this week, with the presentation of bursaries to 16 of its elite athletes.

Students have been presented with funding since the bursary scheme began in 1993. However, for the first time this year the scheme has been expanded to include nutrition advice, cardiac screening and specialist strength and conditioning programmes, as well as free access to the University’s sport and physiotherapy facilities.

The recipients, many of whom have already represented their country at youth or senior level, will also have access to a mentor. These mentors will be on hand to offer advice and support to help the athlete to fulfil their academic and sporting potential, while balancing the demands placed on them by coaches, tutors and friends.

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British number one Canoe Slalom star, Jacquelyn Shaw, is one of those to have received a bursary and has been keen to make use of all of the support on offer.

She said: “The sports bursary helps me to buy a new canoe each year, buy new paddles and all the clothing I have to wear. With having competitions all around the country it also helps with accommodation and travel.

“The physical screening available found some important weaknesses in my movement which I am now working on improving, while I will be using the nutritional support available to find out what foods I should be eating on the run up to races and just afterwards.”

Jacquelyn has also met with her mentor to help her to ensure that none of her exams clash with races taking place later in the year. It is this level of support that Director of Physical Recreation and Sport, Dan Tilley, believes is essential to allow the University’s athletes to maximise their potential during a crucial time in their development.

Dan explained: “The University is very much about excellence in everything that it does, and sport is no exception. We aspire to provide the best possible service and environment so that our students can achieve their goals.

“It’s our responsibility to support these elite student athletes who bring so much added value to the University. Because of the nature of sport, the life skills that these athletes have in terms of dedication, commitment, teamwork etc make them great role models for other students. The chance for students to rub shoulders with champions is a great thing.”

Past recipients of the bursaries include Olympians Tim Brabants (Gold Medallist), David Florence (Silver Medallist) and Campbell Walsh (Silver Medallist).

Following his Olympic success, Tim Brabants revealed: “I chose The University of Nottingham because not only is it a top university, it also had all the training facilities I needed to pursue my sport to a high level. I feel the support I received helped me to find the right balance between sport and academia.”

The bursary recipients in 2010/11 are:

Ben Arnold (3yr Management Studies) Hockey – England U21 European Cup Squad member

Jo Hunter (2yr Chemistry) Hockey

David Bainbridge (4yr Mechanical Engineering) Freestyle Kayak – 2009 British and World Champion

Ben Oakley (4yr Medicine) Whitewater Canoeing

Nick Catlin (3yr History) Hockey – Great Britain World Cup squad member

Jacquelyn Shaw (3yr Mathematics & Computer Sciences) Canoe Slalom

Samuel Chambers (1yr Medicine) Triathlon

Alice Spencer (3yr Human Genetics) Canoe Slalom

Gemma Cooper (PhD Biomedical Sciences) Speed Skating

Tim Streather (3yr Management Studies) Rugby Union

Thomas Green (2yr Mathematics) Paralympic Club Throwing

Jess Sylvester (3yr Biochemistry) Swimming

Nick Greenhalgh (1yr International Relations) Rugby Union

Jonathan Thewlis (PhD Mechanical Engineering) Athletics

Rob Goodwin (3yr Industrial Economics) Sailing

Paul Worth (2yr Neuroscience) Speed Skating

A further 32 students have been awarded funding after being added to the University’s elite and development squads. All of these athletes will receive some additional funding.

Find out more at www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport.


Notes to editors: As well as an excellent academic reputation, Nottingham is well known for its sporting success and depth in performance sport. With 75 Athletic Union sports clubs, Nottingham teams have consistently finished in the top 10 out of over 140 institutions competing in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) overall league championship table over the last 15 years.

The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news.

Story credits

For more information, please email Dan Tilley, Director of Physical Recreation and Sport at dan.tilley@nottingham.ac.uk.
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: harry.waddle@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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