Friday, November 21, 2014

Top sporting talent studying across Scotland gain funding support

"With support from Winning Students I was able to study part-time last semester which meant I could focus fully on the Commonwealth Games." Ross Murdoch

26 swimming are amongst more than 150 top athletes – including many medallists from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – to have been selected for a prestigious scholarship. The Winning Students 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.

Commonwealth Swimming Champion Ross Murdoch is one of 82 students past and present who competed at Glasgow 2014, their collective achievements placing the programme to 14th on the medal table, just behind Wales.

“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.”

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.

First established in 2008, the Winning Students scholarships are funded by the Scottish Funding Council and managed by the University of Stirling, with 31 colleges and universities now signed up to provide high quality support to their athletes. Additional athletes in Orienteering, Judo and Rowing will be confirmed in December.

Recent research found graduates of the scholarships had lower levels of unemployment and higher salaries for their first full-time jobs. For more information, visit:

Murdoch is putting in final preparations before heading to Doha for the FINA World Swimming Championships, after which he will compete in Edinburgh at the Scottish Gas National Short Course Championships, 12-14 December, Royal Commonwealth Pool (


Swimmers to receive the Scholarship

Ryan Bennett (University of Stirling), Craig Benson (University of Stirling), Craig Bowman (Edinburgh College), Cameron Brodie (University of Stirling), James Clegg (Edinburgh College), Stephen Clegg (Edinburgh College), Hope Gordon (Forth Valley College), Sian Harkin (University of Stirling), Camilla Hattersley (University of Glasgow), Natasha Hofton (University of Stirling), Lucy Hope (University of Edinburgh), Jordan Hughes (University of Stirling), Euan Inglis (Heriot-Watt University), Kathryn Johnstone (Heriot-Watt University), Danielle Joyce (University of Stirling), Raquel Matos (University of Edinburgh), Caitlin McClatchey (University of Edinburgh), Jack McComish (City of Glasgow College), Craig McNally (Heriot-Watt University), Stephen Milne (Perth College UHI), Andrew Mullen (Glasgow Caledonian University), Ross Murdoch (University of Stirling), Corrie Scott (University of Edinburgh), Kirsty Simpson (Robert Gordon University), Calum Tait (University of Edinburgh), Lucy Walkup (University of Stirling).