Following a new injection of funding from our partners sportscotland and the Scottish Funding Council, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme for talented student athletes has relaunched as Winning Students 100.
Helping student athletes balance their studies with high performance training and competition, the newly branded Winning Students 100 provides athletes with grants of up to £3000 and works with respective colleges and universities to offer additional support such as academic flexibility.
With funding secured until 2028, it is expected 500 scholarships will be awarded over the period with the programme also introducing a hardship fund to offer additional support to eligible student athletes.
106 scholarships have been awarded for 2023/24 across 28 different sports and 21 universities and colleges. New scholars for the revamped programme including Tokyo Paralympic medallist Lewis Stewart as well as several world class athletes from across Scottish sport.
Stewart, who claimed Commonwealth Gold and Silver on the Tandem alongside Neil Fachie at the Birmingham games, said of the support provided by Winning Student:
“I’m proud to be supported by Winning Students 100. It is a crucial funding scheme to allow many athletes to aspire not only to be athletes but also academics whilst helping alleviate the everyday financial stresses of being an elite sportsperson.
It’s no secret that track cycling is an incredibly expensive sport. Thankfully, because of the amazing support of WS100 and the University of Strathclyde Sport it makes pursuing my upcoming race season immeasurably easier.
It’s great to see the so many talented Scottish athletes from so many institutions and sports receive this award.”
Joining Stewart in scholarship funding is track sprinter Lauren Bell (Edinburgh Napier University), BMX Racer Cameron Reid (University of Stirling) and road and endurance track riders Eilidh Shaw (University of Glasgow) and Struan Shaw (City of Glasgow College).
Established in 2008, the original Winning Students programme saw over 1,700 scholarships awarded during its first phase of funding with noteworthy alumni including Olympic medallists Laura Muir (athletics), Duncan Scott (swimming), Vicky Wright and Bruce Mouat (both curling).
As the newest funding partner, sportscotland’s involvement brings true cross-sector collaboration to the programme with Scotland’s sport and higher education bodies both committed to supporting a duel-career pathway for the country’s leading student athletes.
Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “We are committed to helping young athletes achieve their goals. Being able to find the right balance between training, their studies and other commitments is critical to the wellbeing of student athletes. We’re delighted that this programme will help these athletes to do that.”
Executive Director of Sport at the University of Stirling and Chair of the Winning Students 100 Advisory Board, Cathy Gallagher, commented: “The importance of this dual career programme for talented student athletes, cannot be understated. The coming together of the Scottish Funding Council, sportscotland and the HE/FE sector forms a significant collaboration within which to create even more impact for the current and future cohort of students”.
Winning Students 100 is managed by University of Stirling, Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, and supported by an advisory board and management group made up of professionals from across the tertiary education and sport sectors.
More information about the funding can be found: www.winningstudents-scotland.ac.uk