The Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU) Elite Athlete Program was set up to support 5 elite student athletes in their training, individual sport specific support, competitions and pathways to future sporting success. The program aims to enable student athletes to focus on their studies, training and competition and less about the financial barriers, time, effort and resources that come with performing to an elite level in sport.
11 student athletes applied for the programme and 10 were selected to receive support. With a higher than expected demand for the programme and the standard of applicants of a high calibre QMSU introduced a tiered support Programme: Gold and Silver.
Gold was a fully funded package where students received £500 support, a full tracksuit and training kit along with support from QMSU Sport such as coaching, physiotherapy, support towards competition subsidies, competition travel and accommodation contributions. 4 students were accepted onto the Gold level support, representing the following sports:
- Karate x 2 (men’s and Women’s)
- 400m Female Athlete x 1
- Rowing x 1 Male athlete
Silver offered training kits alongside full QMSU Sport support as above. The represented sports in Silver are as follows:
- Volleyball x 1 Female
- Tennis x 1 Male
- Handball x 1 Female
- Lacrosse x 1 Female (welsh International)
- Taekwondo x 1 female (Libyan International)
- Womens Football x 1
The athlete’s successes for the 2014/15 academic year include:
- Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in BUCS Karate Championships
- Selection for the World University games in Karate
- Selection for the junior Great Britain 4x400m squad and 400m, winning a gold medal in the recent European Championships
- Winning a national Tennis tournament
- Selection to represent Great Britain in Handball
- Selection for Charlton Athletic Football Club Womens 1st team
- Selection to represent Wales in the European Lacrosse Championships
- Selection to represent Syria in the African Taekwondo Championships
Out of the 10 athletes selected for the programme 8 of the students did not represent the university previously in their chosen sport and 5 of the athletes were unknown to us prior to the start of the programme. All of the 10 athletes have continued to attend and receive the support available to them in the programme for the duration of the year.
You can read the full project report by downloading the pdf file above, or view the poster presented at QMUL’s 2016 Teaching and Learning Conference below (click to enlarge):