Swimming star Andrea Strachan has been awarded a national sports scholarship given to Scotland’s most promising student athletes, including Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games hopefuls.
Andrea, 19, from Lerwick, four times gold medallist in this summer’s island games and a student at Edinburgh University, received the Winning Students award, which will enable her to train and continue her academic studies at the same time.
More than 120 athletes studying in colleges and universities across Scotland will receive funding support from Winning Students during the 2011/12 academic year. Awards are of up £5,500 each year, which students can put towards sporting costs and academic-related expenses. The funding ensures students receive the necessary academic flexibility for them to perform in both their sport and their studies.
Athletes are identified and nominated through partnership with nine governing bodies and the sportscotland institute of sport, while further Individual Scholarships are offered to students competing in other sports. Now in its fourth year, Winning Students has established a network of 29 Scottish colleges and universities with the capacity to support the nation’s best student athletes.
Students selected this year include swimmer Robbie Renwick from the University of Strathclyde, who is training towards the London 2012 Olympic Games, and University of Stirling maths student Marc Austin, bidding for triathlon success at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Programme co-ordinator Jason Atkins said: “Some of the most talented young athletes are currently combining their sport with study and the Winning Students scholarships recognise this. I am delighted the programme is able to support so many athletes and wish them every success.”