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News archive for December 2003

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Student Sports Performance Update

Date released: 15 December 2003

The University of Stirling is celebrating the sporting successes of its students this season:


  • The men's team continued its dominance of Scottish Universities' golf by winning the Winter League for the 5th time in succession.
  • Women’s golfer Lynn Kenny represented Great Britain in the Commonwealth Trophy before reaching the quarterfinals of the New Zealand Amateur Championship in November.
  • Dawn Dewar and Alex Marshall retained their places in the Scottish and English U/21 squads respectively, whilst Jamie MacLeary and Richard Ramsay hold on to their spots in the Scottish Men's and Scottish Youths squads.


  • Susan Hughes has produced a number of outstanding performances in recent months including a win at the Hungarian Open and a Final appearance at the Bulgarian Open. These results have pushed her back into contention for a spot in the Great Britain Olympic squad.
  • Jamie Neill is experiencing his first season in men's senior badminton, whilst Kathryn Graham has started the season well with wins at the West of Scotland Open and the British Universities' Championships.


  • The University's ladies' squash team qualified for the British Universities' Sports Association (BUSA) Premier League for the first time and has held its own against high quality opposition, finishing 6th and retaining Premier League status for 2004-5. The team also now competes in Scottish National Division 1.
  • Frania Gillen-Buchert competed in the Monte Carlo and Hong Kong Opens. Lauren Gray hopes to join her on the Women's International Squash Players' Association (WISPA) tour in the new year.


  • The tennis team has made a significant advancement by beating Loughborough 4 - 2 at home. The 1st team now advances to the BUSA Premier League final stages.
  • The men's 2nd team and the women's 1st team hold top positions in their BUSA conference sections currently. Both these teams secured promotion to their respective National League 1st Divisions with good team performances in the autumn.


  • Stirling maintained its progress in BUSA swimming by holding on to 2nd position in the men's team event behind Loughborough and advancing 9 positions to finish 5th in the women's event.
  • Todd Cooper and Craig Houston have benefited from inclusion in GB Squad meets over the past 2 months.

Individual Awards

  • Andrew Lemoncello (athletics) helped Britain to a bronze medal in the World Fell Running Championships. He also retained his Scottish Universities' Cross-country title.
  • Ailsa Robertson (hockey) is now a regular member of the Scottish U/21 international side.
  • Graham Moodie (hockey), who has taken a year out of study, captained the GB men's senior hockey team in a match in the Far East last month. He is almost certain to compete for GB in the 2004 Olympics.

Club Performance Programme

  • University teams have had mixed results over the autumn semester. BUSA Championship qualifiers include: men's & women's football; men's and women's tennis, men's golf and ladies squash.
  • BUSA Shield qualifiers include: men's rugby and women's basketball.
  • BUSA Trophy qualifiers include: men's 2nd XI football, men's 2nd basketball and men's 2nd golf.
  • BUSA Vase qualifiers include: men's 3rd XI football and men's 4th XI football.
  • BUSA Plate qualifiers include: men's 1st Volleyball.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

Stirling Athletes Gain Commonwealth Games Council Support

Date released: 15 December 2003

The Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland is helping the University of Stirling nurture the sports stars of tomorrow.

The national sporting organisation has agreed to support four athletes within the University's International Sports Scholarship Programme who it believes have the potential to compete for Scotland on the world stage in future years .

Swimmer Ben Higson is the current British Short Course Junior Champion at 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley; Lauren Gray is the current Scottish Junior Squash Champion and competed in the World Junior Squash Championships in Egypt in August; Kathryn Graham is a member of the National Badminton Squad and has won the British Universities' Ladies Singles Championship for the past two years; and Catriona Morrison is making her mark on the World International Triathlon Federation circuit, including a recent third place finish in Portugal.

Chief Executive, Jon Doig said: "The University holds an impressive record for producing individuals who are not only capable of competing on the Commonwealth and world stage, but who are also well-rounded, bright and autonomous individuals. A holistic approach is critical to talent development.   We look forward to these students being a part of our future teams."

Sports Performance Manager, Raleigh Gowrie is delighted that the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland has decided to strengthen its partnership with the University. He said:

"The University has become a hub for many of Scotland's agencies and athletes. We are home to the National Swimming Academy, the Scottish Institute of Sport and the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland. Their presence on campus and focus on sporting excellence enhances the sporting and academic environment. The opportunity for student athletes to mix regularly with high profile sports people can only be beneficial to their long term development."

The International Sports Scholarship Programme is designed for those with an excellent record in national level competition. The scheme includes financial help, top-level coaching and an extra year within a degree programme to allow crucial time for concentrating on competition. 150 awards have been distributed since the introduction of the scheme in 1981 and more than 90 athletes have advanced to full international honours in their chosen sport.

Famous athletes to come out of Stirling include: Solheim Cup golfer Catriona Matthew, Commonwealth Games swimmer Kerry Martin and Scotland rugby players Sean Longstaff and James McLaren.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

For further information:

Jon Doig,
Chief Executive,
Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland
01786 466480

Designing Interiors for People with Dementia

Date released: 19 December 2003

The University of Stirling's Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), which exists to extend and improve services for people with dementia, has launched a practical guide on how to design and modify interiors to help people with dementia.

The book is aimed at everyone concerned with the care of people with dementia: from operators and staff of care homes, to carers and relatives of people with dementia living in their own homes.

'Designing Interiors for people with dementia'was produced in response to the high number of enquiries the DSDC receives asking for advice on internal features such as carpets, colours and lighting.

The book's author, Richard Pollock of Burnett Pollock Associates, has been involved in the customisation of several care home units as well as a council flat.

Mr Pollock said: "A good first step is to imagine you have dementia and to think about what would help you. A good second step is to watch people with dementia struggle with many of the features of the buildings in which they live. We can make life easier for staff and carers at home as well as people with dementia if we provide helpful rather than bewildering or even hostile environments. Of course, people with dementia are not all the same so the content of the book will need to be adapted to meet the specific needs of individuals."

Disabilities associated with dementia include impaired memory, impaired hearing, impaired reasoning, high levels of stress and increasing dependence on the senses. The home of someone with dementia should reflect that. People with dementia must be able to find things and be able to see and recognise objects and features and understand their purpose. Here are some of the book's design tips for spaces and rooms:

Living room: Make the room recognisable with features such as a television, radio, comfortable sofa, easychair and coffee table.

Bedrooms: Wardrobes should have an open-fronted section to display a selection of daily clothing. Vanity units are also useful for displaying personal artefacts. In the case of ensuite toilets, the WC should ideally be visible from the bedhead position. WC pans should be traditional in appearance and the seat should be a contrasting colour to the pan to assist visibility.

Bathrooms: People with dementia must be able to see what they need to use. Have plenty of shelving to display toothpaste, brushes, shampoo etc. rather than mirrored storage cupboards. Use easily identifiable traditional taps with clear indications of hot and cold, rather than mixer taps. Showers need to have controls that are simple to operate and easy-to-see.

Kitchen: The kitchen must be easily recognisable with a traditional cooker, fridge and other white goods. Consider fitting some units that are open fronted or have clear safety glass so that foodstuffs and cooking utensils can be seen. Have one or two units with standard opaque fronts to be indistinct and lockable for higher-risk equipment and cleaning materials.

Signs on doors: Try to include some pictorial interpretation to indicate the function of the room, such as a photograph of a television on the living room door. Ensure there is a good contrast in colour between the lettering, the sign and the background. Black on yellow provides the most easily seen colour contrast.

Lighting: Higher-than-normal levels of natural and artificial lighting should be provided. Glare and reflections should be avoided, as should dark and poorly-lit areas. Bedside lamps that go on automatically when touched can be easier to operate at night-time when switches can be difficult to locate. Wall mounted light switches should be coloured rather than white to help with impaired vision.

The book was developed in collaboration with Highfield Care who gave a generous grant towards the production costs. Proceeds from the book will go towards further research at the DSDC. To order a copy, priced £12, contact the Dementia Services Development Centre on 01786 467741.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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