A Member of the European Parliament has visited the University of Stirling to celebrate its designation as Sports University of the Year 2020.
Alyn Smith MEP joined the University’s high performance swim team and their coaches following the awarding of the accolade by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.
During his visit to the campus, Mr Smith also heard how the University will benefit from a £20 million transformation of its sports facilities through the construction of an iconic new complex at the heart of its campus. The purpose-built high performance suite, with enhanced fitness facilities, will not only support Scotland’s elite athletes, but the students, staff and wider community.
Stirling is the first Scottish university to receive the prestigious title, which builds on its longstanding designation as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence.
The University’s world-renowned sports performance programmes have produced some of the best British athletes in recent years, including record-breaking swimmer Duncan Scott, who became the most decorated Scottish athlete at a single Commonwealth Games.
Welcoming Alyn Smith to the University, Senior Deputy Principal, Professor Malcolm MacLeod, said: “The University’s recent designation as The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2020 is a fantastic achievement, and recognises the contribution that Stirling makes to the world of sport, whether in the classroom, the laboratory, or on the podium.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Alyn Smith to the University to celebrate this achievement, and to highlight the many ways in which our sporting community – from research through to athletes and coaches – are making a difference.”
Alyn Smith MEP said: “The University of Stirling is Scotland’s University of Sporting Excellence, with some of the finest facilities for sporting development in the country. It is therefore fantastic to see the University also named Sports University of the Year, a well-deserved accolade.
“We have seen some big names come through campus, including many recent Olympic medallists. The Stirling area and the country more widely are proud of what Stirling athletes continue to achieve.
“The University is also central to the City Region Deal, and continued investment into the campus, its staff and its students will promote inclusive growth locally, and will expand the opportunities that it has to offer.
“I was delighted to meet with senior staff at the University of Stirling, and discuss what the future holds for this fantastic institution.”
The University’s International Sports Scholarship Programme, one of the largest high performance sports programmes in the UK, has supported more than 1,000 UK and overseas student athletes since its inception in 1981. This combination allows the University to identify and train the future leaders of sport in all roles, from high performance athletes and those who support them, through to coaching and sports development in the community.