Two past University of Stirling tennis scholars have been confirmed as part of Team GB for the Olympic Game and Paralympic Games in Rio, alongside former golf scholar and graduate, Catriona Matthew and boccia player and Stirling graduate, Scott McCowan.
Colin Fleming – who played on Stirling’s world-renowned performance programme at the Scottish National Tennis Centre from 2001 to 2007 – will represent Great Britain in the doubles.
Colin is now one of three Scots tennis stars playing doubles at the Olympics, taking up ranks alongside Andy and Jamie Murray.
While recent Wimbledon and Australian Open wheelchair men’s champion and former Stirling psychology student Gordon Reid, who still trains at the renowned facilities on campus, joins the Paralympic team.
Catriona Matthew, one of the first students to join the University’s golf scholarship programme, will also travel to Brazil next month as golf returns to the Olympic Games after a 112-year absence. The Scots star attained a BA and an MA from Stirling before starting her professional career.
Former psychology and sports studies student, Scott McCowan, who graduated from the University in 2015, will also take part in the Paralympics as one of Team GB’s boccia players.
The athletes join Stirling’s world-class swimmers, also selected to represent Team GB at Rio. Ross Murdoch, Robbie Renwick, Craig Benson and Duncan Scott will compete and the team’s Head Performance Coach, Ben Higson, is part of the British Swimming coaching staff.
As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, Stirling currently supports 88 scholar-athletes, enabling students to balance training and competition at the highest level with study for a University degree.
Cathy Gallagher, Director of Sport at the University, said: “Sport is a part of Stirling’s DNA. We pride ourselves in helping to produce the best athletes to compete at the very highest level and no sporting feat is greater than the Olympics. To have eight current or former University of Stirling athletes travelling to Rio, alongside a coaching presence, is testament to the talent of these sports stars, as well as the hard work and support they have received up to now.”
The Olympic tennis event will be played on hard court, with the event draws made on 4 August. The swimming gets under way on 6 August at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in the heart of Rio while the women’s golf tees off on 17 August, with the men up first on 11 August. The Paralympics begin on 7 September.
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.