Olympic curler Kyle Waddell, from Hamilton in Lanarkshire, had the opportunity to study at Stirling as part of a scholarship set up by the University and British Curling. Kyle – the grandson of European curling champion Jimmy Waddell – pursued an MSc Sports Coaching.
“I felt that the sports scholarship was too good an opportunity to turn down,” explained Kyle, 24. “My undergraduate degree had focused on sports development and I wanted to learn more about coaching specifics. In addition, coaching at elite level is something I potentially want to pursue after my playing career is over.”
While studying at Stirling, Kyle won a silver medal at the 2017 European Championships before representing Team GB at this year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“My schedule between university and competition was pretty hectic, but Stirling was great in accommodating my sporting commitments – and even gave me a month off to allow me to concentrate on the Olympics – and I used the online material when I couldn’t make class,” Kyle said. “In all honesty, without the support of the university, I couldn’t have completed the course.”
Kyle, who describes his time at Stirling as “influential, challenging and rewarding”, hopes to use his degree to further his career.
“I have enjoyed my time at Stirling and, for me, the most valuable aspect was learning from the experiences of others, both my fellow students and the lecturers,” he said. “I will continue to compete as an athlete, however, I am also looking to use the knowledge from my course to find work in the sports sector.
“I would like to put what I have learned into practice and continue my development.”