Four University of Stirling Swimming Club athletes will take to the open water and even to a football stadium as they compete at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Russia.
The Championships take place in Kazan, with the pool-based events being held in the Kazan Arena, home to Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan.
2014 BA Sports Studies graduate Danielle Huskisson leads the charge, racing for the British Marathon Swimming Team in the women’s 10k on Tuesday (28 July). It will be Danielle’s second World Championships, having competed in 2013 after just two races over this hugely demanding distance.
The focus then turns to 200m Breaststroke Commonwealth Champion Ross Murdoch, the Sport & Exercise Science student competing in the 100m event on Sunday (2 August). Ross also made his World Championship debut in 2013 and qualified this time thanks to a massive personal best and a new Scottish Record at the British Championships in April.
On the same day, club team-mates Duncan Scott and Robbie Renwick are joining forces for the 4x100m Freestyle Relay and are back in the pool for the 4x200m Freestyle Relay on Friday (7 August). The duo, one-half of Team Scotland’s 200m Freestyle Relay Silver medal-winning quartet at Glasgow 2014, represent the strength in depth of the swimming programme at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.
Aged just 19, Duncan won six medals at the recent European Games in Baku whilst experienced competitor Robbie can call upon two Olympic Games and five World Championships during his 10 year senior swimming career.
Stirling Head Coach Ben Higson has also been selected on the British Team and is looking forward to the competition getting under way. He said: “It’s a great honour to be selected as one of the coaches and that’s down to the continued success of the University of Stirling swimmers at major events. We are in a fortunate position where we can combine students, graduates and experienced swimmers together and there is a great team cohesion.
“It’s going to be something completely different in Kazan, especially with the swimming being held in the football stadium. There will be a few more spectators than normal and the swimmers will be racing under a canopy. Still, everyone will be on a level playing field, racing in the same pool and I know the guys are all very excited about the experience.
“Every World Championships is massive, bringing with it the opportunity to compete against the best in the world. With the Olympics just around the corner, everything we are doing is built towards our squad producing the best swimming of their life next year.”
Stirling was the first Scottish university to offer swimming scholarships and many swimmers now also receive support from national sports scholarships Winning Students, enabling them to combine their training with study for an academic degree.
The Scottish Government 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.