Alumni help UCL student sports stars realise their potential

28 October 2012

Donations from UCL alumni and friends have enabled some of the sporting talent amongst our student community to reach world-class potential. The UCLU Elite Athlete Programme has been co-funded by a UCL union grant and by the generosity of UCL alumni and friends.

Elite athletes

The programme, launched in 2010, forms part of UCL and UCLU’s commitment to supporting students in achieving sporting excellence alongside their academic endeavours. The UCLU initiative is available for current UCL students competing in Olympic or World Championship sports with world class performance potential. The Elite Athlete Programme offers students Bloomsbury Fitness Membership, physiotherapy and osteopath sessions, personalised training programs, nutritional support and funding towards the cost of equipment and travel.

There are currently 12 UCL students benefiting from the programme. Amongst them are Daniel Grant, a first year Medical Student, who is ranked number 1 handball player in the UK in both singles and doubles and Alice Goudie, a second year geography student and England International Karate Fighter who has been the National karate Champion for the last 3 years. Alice also represented Great Britain in the International University Sports Federation World Championships in 2012, coming 4th place.

Abigail Irozuru

UCL alumna and British athletics champion, Abigail Irozuru was supported by the Elite Athlete Programme from 2010 to 2012 whilst studying law here at UCL. Here Abigail tells us what the UCLU Elite Athlete has meant for her:

“I owe continual thanks to UCLU Elite for the support they have given me throughout the past couple of years. I was provided with excellent training facilities at the Bloomsbury Fitness Centre, given access to physiotherapy treatment, nutritional information and an amazing coach. These advantages have been integral to my performance this year, and it has been a weight off my shoulders to have found such quality services and funding. The support culminated in a world-class level of jumping, at Olympic A standard, and the opportunity to represent Great Britain at a Senior International level. The only negative: that I’m no longer studying at UCL!”

The success of the programme is especially pertinent in a year when UCL has celebrated two of our alumni achieving medal status at the London Olympic Games; Rob Williams (BSc Biotechnology 2006) won silver in the lightweight men’s four rowing and Christine Ohuruogu (UCL Linguistics 2005) won silver in the Women’s 400 metres. With the support of UCL alumni and friends the Elite Athletes Programme has the potential to push an even greater number of UCL students towards world class sporting excellence.

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