Gifted athletes studying at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence have been selected for a prestigious national scholarship programme.
More than 40 Stirling students will receive funding support and academic flexibility from Winning Students, which provides scholarships up to £5,500 per annum.
Recipients include Scotland international women’s footballer and Glasgow City striker Emily Thomson; paralympian Boccia player Scott McCowan and Scottish Golf Order of Merit winners Eilidh Briggs and Jack McDonald.
Winning Students was established by the University of Stirling and today confirmed support to more than 160 athletes studying in colleges and universities across Scotland.
McDonald, 20, a third year Applied Mathematics student, said: “You have to do well in your studies and your sport to earn the scholarship support so anyone who receives it deserves it. It’s not easy to combine the two and so the support from Winning Students is invaluable.
“It helps me with the financial side of things as golf is an expensive sport and it enables me to play in the big events as well. I want to be a Tour professional but it’s important to me not to put all my eggs in one basket and having a degree behind me will stand me in good stead for the future.”
Eleven members of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were Winning Students while many have already been named in Team Scotland for Glasgow 2014.
Athletes are primarily identified by their sport’s governing body across 11 core sports with further scholarships awarded to exceptional athletes in other sports.
An aim of the programme is to provide Scottish athletes with the opportunity to remain in Scotland to undertake their studies and recent research found 34% of Winning Students indicated the programme had influenced their decision on choice of college or university.