Thoughts and quotes on Stirling's Sports University of the Year award

The University of Stirling has been crowned the UK’s Sports University of the Year in recognition of our world-class facilities and excellence across sports performance, research and education.

Here, figures from sport offer their congratulations and give their thoughts on the successes behind the award.

Find out more about the UK’s Sports University of the Year award.

“Tennis Scotland is delighted that the University of Stirling has been named The Times and Sunday Times ‘Sports University of the Year 2020’.

“The University has enjoyed a long and successful association with the governing body of tennis, especially within the focus of national performance tennis programmes and also the University tennis scholarship and bursary squads.

“The University of Stirling is now the home to our GB National Tennis Academy and this new programme is designed to deliver players to the top of the game via a world class coaching team and support programme from the partners involved: The University of Stirling, sportscotland Institute of Sport and Dollar Academy, all supported and aligned to the LTA performance plans for British tennis. This is an incredibly exciting time for tennis in Scotland and Great Britain which will also benefit the student and local community via the significantly increased investment at the University.

As the first Tennis Bursar to attend the University of Stirling, it is particularly pleasing for me to now be able to see the programme expand at the University and take advantage of the world class facilities, the partnerships and the sporting impact.

Blane Dodds
CEO, Tennis Scotland

“The Observatory for Sport in Scotland salutes the University of Stirling for its dedication to sport research and education, and for supporting student sport within the university, over many, many years.

“We are not surprised to see Stirling pick up this prestigious award as we also truly value the work, expertise and commitment shown by the university in partnering with stakeholders of Scottish sport to analyse and discuss how research improves sport practice at community levels and shapes positive and sustainable impact on our society and people.

“Congratulations to all at the University of Stirling who have been involved in the development of a world-class environment through many years and we look forward to working together to develop valuable research in the years to come.”

Charlie Raeburn
Chair and Founder Observatory for Sport in Scotland

“Many congratulations to the University of Stirling on winning this prestigious award. This reflects many decades of investment of time, expertise and money into all aspects of sport – from teaching and research,to encouraging increased participation and providing support for world-class performers in a wide range of sports. Stirling now stands as an exemplar of a University with sport at its heart of student experiences and wider community and national development.”

Dr Derek Casey
Former Chief Executive, UK Sports Council Bid Director, Commonwealth Games 2014

“Sport at Stirling is an important part of campus life for so many students, not just the elite, and behind this rating is the truth that sport brings great benefits to everyone. It produces first class sportsmen and women and refreshes the whole university too. A lesson for everyone.”

Dr James Naughtie
Former Chancellor of the University of Stirling Broadcast journalist

“Scottish Swimming is delighted that the University of Stirling has won the Sporting University of the Year accolade. We have worked in partnership with the University since 2001 during which time we have seen the performance swimming programme grow in numbers and stature in terms of athletes achieving on the world stage and the investment of full time coaches guiding them to that success.

“Such success does not happen overnight nor does it happen in isolation; the University of Stirling has played a key role in establishing a wider aquatic strategy group, ensuring a collaborative approach between local learn to swim programme providers, clubs and Scottish Swimming programmes is established, providing opportunities for youngsters and coaches to learn and develop in a world class training environment.

“The University of Stirling swimming programme is widely regarded as one of the best high performing programmes in the UK, providing a range of performance opportunities using different coaching methods, innovation and best practice. With similar visions Scottish Swimming is in no doubt that the University of Stirling will continue to drive success and inspire sporting achievement for generations to come.”

Euan Lowe
Chief Executive of Scottish Swimming

“Many congratulations to the University of Stirling on being announced as The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of Year 2020.“As a high performance athlete based at the University for training, it is apparent that the environment, culture and ambition exude excellence. The University is also wholly committed to the provision of opportunities for students, staff and the community at all levels of sport and physical activity. The opening of the transformational facilities in the summer of 2020 will enhance further the reputation of the University on a global scale.

“This accolade is testament to the commitment, vision and energy of the University and as an Honorary Doctor, I am proud of this significant achievement.”

Eve Muirhead
Olympic medalist curler

“This is a huge achievement and due recognition for all the work by so many people over a long period of time in shaping both high performance and University sport. “Stirling has set the bar for others to follow in terms of its facilities, sport programmes, centres of excellence on campus and, not least, its pathways for elite sportsmen and women to achieve both academically and in their sport at the highest levels.”

Gavin Noble
Team Ireland Chef De Mission

“The University of Stirling was a fantastic place to study and the sporting experience was a highlight during my time there. It’s a great environment for high performance athletes and students alike and the Sunday Times award is thoroughly well deserved. Congratulations!”

Gordon McRorie
Canada international rugby player
University of Stirling student 2007 -2011

“Congratulations to the University of Stirling on winning Sports University of the Year.

“The University played a pivotal role in my development, providing me with the opportunity to use its facilities to develop my basketball game, as well as training with the Institute there.

“The University is thoroughly deserving of this prestigious award. Stirling continues to be a great sporting city and I’m proud to call it home.”

Kieron Achara
Olympian and Glasgow Rocks basketball player

“This fantastic news just confirms what we already knew –Stirling is at the top of the pile when it comes to sporting excellence. With regular medal hauls from the Olympics and other major events, the university is going from strength to strength, and is only going to attract more and more talent, both in terms of students and coaches.

“I’m delighted for the place, in whose old pool I knocked out a few lengths back in the 90s myself! It’s come a long way since then, and this news is deserved recognition of that.”

Mark Daly
BBC journalist

“What a great achievement for Scotland and indeed Scottish sport. Many congratulations to Stirling University–and all our colleagues and friends who have been part of this incredible success story.

“Sport and high performance sport is a significant industry in Scotland and the UK providing a massive contribution to society socially, politically and economically. Stirling University have always shared this ambition since 1998 and the inception of the Institute.”

Mike Whittingham
Director of High Performance and the Scottish Institute of Sport

“Having coached at the University of Stirling, I have seen first-hand its world-class sporting facilities, and the high standards of its coaching, teaching and research. This accolade is well-deserved recognition of the contribution that Stirling makes to sport across the UK and further afield. Congratulations.”

Rab Douglas
Former Scotland International Goalkeeper