Several Team Scotland medallists from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have been included among more than 150 top athletes selected for a prestigious Winning Students scholarship.
The sports scholarships provide gifted young athletes studying in colleges and universities across Scotland with funding support and the flexibility to achieve their sporting and study goals.
Swimmer Ross Murdoch, who won Gold and Bronze in Glasgow, is one of 82 students past and present who competed at Glasgow 2014.
“The support from Winning Students has ensured I can balance my sport and my studies,” said the University of Stirling Sport & Exercise student. “With its support I was able to study part-time last semester which meant I could focus fully on the Commonwealth Games.
“A Swimming career won’t last forever and I need to prepare for my future once I hang up the goggles so that’s why I enjoy studying at the same time. I’m delighted to be selected as a Winning Students athlete and it’s a proud feeling to know so many talented athletes across Scotland are part of the programme.”
Badminton medallists Robert Blair (Open University in Scotland) and Kirsty Gilmour (University of the West of Scotland) and Boxing Bronze medallist Reece McFadden (New College Lanarkshire) are also named as Winning Students for 2014-15.
Murdoch joined 2013 European U23 1500m Bronze medallist Laura Muir and teenage Wrestling talent Brian Harper, at Denny High School in Falkirk to announce the Winning Students to gain support in 2014-2015.
The trio met hundreds of pupils at the Falkirk school and explained the effort and mental strength required to be a top student athlete. They also passed on their sporting know-how at a series of skills sessions for fifth year pupils. Muir, a Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Glasgow, led an athletics class whilst Harper, studying Sport & Leisure at Forth Valley College, highlighted the physical skills which saw him win the Bronze medal at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival aged just 16.
Recent research found graduates of the scholarships had lower levels of unemployment and higher salaries for their first full-time jobs.
Photo credit: Peter Devlin