A student from the University of Abertay Dundee has been awarded one of this year’s “Winning Students” scholarships, which help talented athletes across Scotland combine their demanding training schedules with study at college or university.
Duncan Riddell, 19, who plays hockey for the Scotland U21s, is studying Sport and Management at Abertay University.
He is one of only 150 students across the country who will receive tailored support from the scheme this academic year, and he was delighted when he heard the news:
“It was a complete surprise to find out I’d been awarded one of the Winning Students scholarships, as Scottish Hockey didn’t even tell me I’d been nominated. But it’s a huge boost to know I’ve got that support behind me now, as it can be quite costly getting to Edinburgh and back for training every week and this’ll really help with the expense.”
The scholarship roster was announced at the Stirling Sports Village today (Tuesday, October 29).
Now in its fifth year supporting student athletes, eleven current and former “Winning Students” were competing at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, no fewer than 29 Winning Students represented their countries, with two gold medals and one silver placing the scholarship programme equivalent to 18th place in the final standings.
Many students are now turning their attention to Glasgow 2014 and Duncan, who has been playing hockey for Scotland for the past six years, is no different: he has his sights firmly set on competing for his country at the Commonwealth Games in two years time:
“Being able to play for Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games is something I definitely want to do, and one of my main aims for this year is to get selected for the full Scotland team. I’ll have to dedicate a lot of my time to training in order to achieve that though, so I’m hugely grateful to have been awarded this scholarship, as it’ll make it much easier to balance training with student life.”
Callum McLeod, Performance Manager at Scottish Hockey, said:
“We nominated Duncan for the Winning Students scholarship because of his recent performances with the Under 21s – he’s improved a lot over the past few years, through the Under 18s and throughout his time with the Under 21s, and he’s got the potential to go on and play for the senior Scotland team.
“He’s a very skilful player and works very hard at all aspects of his game, so is very deserving of this award.”
Winning Students Programme Co-ordinator Jason Atkins said:
“Winning Students is delighted to play its part in developing sporting talent ahead of so many major sporting events. Scotland’s colleges and universities are packed with sporting talent and the support ensures these students can also prepare for successful careers after sport.”
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Notes for editors:
Winning Students is Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for student athletes.
Funded by the Scottish Funding Council and managed by the University of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, high performance student athletes in member colleges and universities across the country are supported with scholarships of up to £5,500 each year.
Athletes are identified and nominated directly by the appropriate governing body of sport in: badminton, curling, football, golf, hockey, judo, orienteering, swimming, tennis and triathlon.
Students competing in other sports can be nominated for an Individual Scholarship.
The programme has established a network of Scottish colleges and universities with the capacity to support the nation’s best student athletes. For more information, visit: www.winningstudents-scotland.ac.uk
A full list of 2012-13 Winning Students scholars is available to view at: www.winningstudents-scotland.ac.uk/the-athletes/2012-13