Twenty-two students and graduates of the University of Stirling competed at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Stirling students, alumni and staff were out in force too in a range of roles from mentoring the next generation of Scottish sporting talent to filming the action and volunteering at venues.
The University, recognised by the Scottish Government as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, hosted Team Scotland final training on campus in the lead-up to the Games and it proved to be perfect preparation, with the Team going on to make history, winning a record-breaking 53 medals in Glasgow.
Contributing two medals to the tally was swimmer Ross Murdoch, who lit up the Games on the opening night with Gold in the 200m Breaststroke. The Sport and Exercise Science student, one of ten Stirling swimmers competing at Tollcross, added a Bronze in the 100m Breaststroke.
“The emotion of it all, it feels like it was yesterday, but it has been a bit of a blur since,” said Murdoch, who will celebrate at the Athlete’s Parade on Friday (15 August) before turning his focus to the European Championships in Berlin which start today (Wednesday).
“I’ve not had much time to reflect on it as it’s been straight into preparation for the European Championships. Winning the Gold is a feeling I cannot explain, I was almost sad as everything I have ever wanted was to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it was over. I was proud to represent Team Scotland and over the moon to have won a medal, never mind the Gold.
“We have a really good swimming programme at Stirling so it’s no surprise so many swimmers were selected. The group of athletes we have at Stirling, there are no individuals; we are all a team and enjoy being in each other’s company. I’m absolutely buzzing about being at Stirling next season and being part of that team again. We will all have a new focus working towards the next goal.”
Also in the pool, Cameron Brodie, who joins Murdoch at the Europeans, came agonisingly close to a medal with a fantastic fourth in the 200m Butterfly. He bounced back in style, helping Scotland to a Silver medal in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay alongside Stirling team-mate Jak Scott.
Elsewhere, four of the five Team Scotland triathletes were made in Stirling, with Accountancy graduate David McNamee seventh in the individual event, a remarkable achievement following serious surgery just prior to the Games.
Supporting a successful Glasgow 2014 were several staff working for the Organising Committee, including Stirling alumna Rona McIntosh, who led the recruitment and training of the thousands of volunteers in her role as Workforce Operations Manager.
Alan Lynn, a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Sport led mentoring programme Achieve 2014, which aims to give emerging sporting and coaching talent a flavour of what it’s like to be at a Commonwealth Games.
Others included Fiona Stevenson - who took time out from her day job working with the University-based WithScotland to be a Clydesider in the Press Operations team - and Institute of Aquaculture PhD student Hazel McDonald, who put in a fine performance as an opening and closing ceremonies cast member.
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Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence First Minister Alex Salmond designated the University of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence in 2008. Our mission is to deliver the best for Scottish sport through the powerful and inspirational combination of sport and education. We are at the heart of Scottish sport, preparing athletes to perform on the world stage, enabling students to develop their skill sets for excellent careers and producing innovative research to improve the health of the nation. Our sport-centred campus brings together the people shaping Scottish sport, creating a critical mass of sporting expertise and excellence.