Sporting scholar Eilidh Briggs will swap the golf course for a school gym hall, after years of balancing the demands of competing on the world stage with University study.
The 23-year-old, who picked up her first club at the age of six, reached the pinnacle of student golf during her time at Stirling, representing the University and Scotland on fairways around the world.
She will now undertake a probationary year teaching PE at a Scottish secondary school, having successfully completed her third and fourth year of University as a part time student.
Eilidh was part of Great Britain and Ireland’s carefully selected squad who competed for the Curtis Cup in St. Louis, Missouri – the all-female amateur equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The physical education student won the last ranking tournament, the Welsh Ladies Open Strokeplay, to gain an automatic selection spot on the team.
Meanwhile, Eilidh successfully completed four school placements and will now graduate with a first class honours degree.
The Renfrewshire-born player’s time at University, however, was not without its challenges. Shortly after her Curtis Cup success the talented young golfer suffered a disappointing injury.
“Representing Great Britain and Ireland in the Curtis Cup was one of my biggest goals and to travel to America to take part was a brilliant. It was an amazing experience and more than lived up to my expectations”, Eilidh said.
“Later that year I was competing on behalf of Scotland in the World Amateur Team Championships in Japan when I sustained a nasty injury to my shoulder. It put me out for 18 months. Having climbed to my highest world ranking to date to then watch it all slip away was incredibly disappointing and frustrating. However, it led me to new challenges.”
Eilidh put her teaching skills to the test by captaining the Scottish under 16s golf team at the European Young Masters, taking a place on the Winning Students Advisory Board, and completing a Women in Sport placement with sportscotland.
Eilidh said: “I have always had a love for sport – both playing and teaching. I volunteered as a netball coach from a young age and love seeing young people enjoy being active and learning new skills. I knew then that PE teaching was the job for me and can’t wait to get started.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Stirling. I’ve made so many friends, and met interesting people and had lots of laughs and memorable experiences. Stirling afforded me the opportunity to achieve my academic and sporting goals, while having fun along the way.”
Dr Will Kay, Eilidh’s physical education course adviser, said: “Eilidh is very mature, very balanced and very intelligent. She managed part-time study with training and competing for golf at the highest level, as well as committing herself fully to her full-time school placements. This experience will stand her in great stead as she takes on her probationary year of teaching.”
The young player, who received backing from Winning Students and the Scottish Institute of Sport, is now back on the fairways with the same force as previous years, having been selected to represent Scotland at the European Team Championships in July.
University of Stirling performance golf coach Dean Robertson, added: “From day one, Eilidh has been an outstanding student and ambassador for the University of Stirling golf scholarship programme. She is an exceptional athlete and has achieved so much on the amateur circuit.
“To see Eilidh come back from injury and compete at such a high level, right from the off, shows her sheer grit, determination and love for the sport. This young athlete will be sorely missed.”