University of Stirling student athletes scoop major titles in season finale

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Keanna Macinnes pictured in the pool.
Keanna Macinnes set a record in the Women's 50m Butterfly at the BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships.

Student athletes at the University of Stirling – Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence – have ended the season on a high, winning a host of major national titles across multiple sports.

In an impressive run of successes in recent weeks, Stirling athletes have been crowned the best in UK student sport in tennis, golf and swimming, while the men’s football team claimed a scalp against a Scottish League One side to win the East of Scotland Cup.

In total, 16 Stirling teams won their British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league in 2023/24 – including in football, tennis, rugby and baseball.Golf team pictured as champions. Stirling's golfers are crowned best in UK student support.

David Bond, Head of Performance Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, our talented athletes are consistently training and competing at the highest levels of their sports – and everyone at Stirling is incredibly proud of their achievements.

“For our tennis, golf and swimming teams to be crowned best in UK student sport reflects not only the incredible efforts of the athletes involved, but also the hard work and dedication of their coaches and the support teams behind their success – this is a phenomenal achievement.

“The continued success of all our athletes is to be admired – and we wish them all the best as we begin our preparations for season 2024/25.”Women's Hockey team lineup. The Women's Hockey 2 team won the Conference Cup.


In tennis, at the BUCS National Championships, Stirling Men’s 1 – captained by Liam Hignett – eased to a 4-0 victory over Loughborough in the final to claim their second consecutive title. Hignett also won the men’s individual competition, with his teammate Cameron Fryer finishing third.

In other tennis success, Stirling Men’s 5 won the Men’s Scottish Conference Cup – beating St Andrews 2 – and, in the Fast4 format, Stirling Women’s 3 were crowned champions of the Women’s Scottish Conference Trophy, following a win over Edinburgh. Notably, the University of Stirling was named University of the Year at the Tennis Scotland Awards.


In golf, Stirling’s Mixed 1 team beat St Andrews 10-2 to become BUCS National Champions, with Ellie Docherty and Ross Laird winning their respective Order of Merit titles too – confirming their positions as the best female and male student golfers in the UK for 2023/24.

Meanwhile, the Mixed 3 team won the Scottish Conference Cup, beating Stirling’s Mixed 4s. The successes come just weeks after it was announced that the University’s Head of Golf, Dean Robertson, had been selected to lead Great Britain and Ireland at the Walker Cup 2025.


Stirling swimmers – seven of whom have been selected to represent Team GB at this summer’s Olympics – were crowned best UK swim team after triumphing at the BUCS Team Championships.

They also won a host of medals at the BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships in Sheffield. Stirling won seven gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals at the meet – with Keanna Macinnes setting a Scottish senior record in the Women’s 50m Butterfly and the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay Team recording a BUCS record. Ollie Carter also received the accolade of being the top Men’s Para Swimmer for the 400m Freestyle.


In the East of Scotland Cup Final, the University’s Men’s First Football Team beat Scottish League One opponents Edinburgh City at their own stadium to lift the trophy. In front of a packed Meadowbank Stadium, Stirling midfielder James Stokes got the only goal of the match – securing the side’s second title of the season, after they won BUCS Premier North for the fourth year in a row.

Notably, forwards Cammy McKinley and Ben Maciver-Redwood – who are both due to graduate this summer – have been signed on professional contracts by Stirling Albion and Montrose, respectively.

Men's Basketball team lineup. Men's Basketball 1 triumphed in the Conference Cup.

At the BUCS Nationals, Gabrielle Clarkson won a silver medal in the Senior Female: 61kg Kata Karate, while athletics scholar Ben MacMillan achieved bronze in the 3,000m. At BUCS Outdoors, Stirling’s Adam Donnachie won a double gold – in the Seated Men’s Discus and the Seated Men’s Shotput – while Cameron Thores came first in the Men’s Ambulant 100m and second in the Ambulant 400m.

Meanwhile, there were Conference Cup wins for Women’s Hockey 2s, Women’s Football 2s, Men’s Rugby 1s and 2s, and Men’s Basketball 1s; the Cheerleading Pom Team and Level Two Team were crowned national champions; and hockey sports scholar Lexie Macmillan was selected to compete for Scotland – competing at the Four Nations Tournament, scoring three goals in total.

Murray Bushell headshot.
Murray Bushell
Sports Union President
Congratulations to all our teams on a successful season. Our sports clubs continue to succeed year after year, raising the bar with their performances. The Sports Union is incredibly proud of all that our clubs, teams and members have achieved over the 2023/24 season.

Murray Bushell, Sports Union President, said: “Congratulations to all our teams on a successful season. Our sports clubs continue to succeed year after year, raising the bar with their performances. The Sports Union is incredibly proud of all that our clubs, teams and members have achieved over the 2023/24 season. We now look ahead to the 2024/25 season to see the continued success of everyone involved.”