by Craig Wright
Seven athletes from the University of Stirling have been selected to represent their countries at this summer’s World University Games in Taipei.
The biennial event, taking place from 19-30 August, features 22 sports, making it the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.
Five of the Stirling contingent have been selected for Great Britain, with Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist Cameron Brodie named in the swim team after taking silver in the 200m butterfly at the British Championships in April.
Golfers Gemma Batty and Chloe Goadby are also rewarded for a fine year with their selection, having reached the final 32 of the British Ladies Amateur Championship.
Demi Falconer and Katy Morris complete those who will be donning British kit, with the Stirling footballers selected after a season which saw the university claim a Scottish Universities league and cup double, as well as earning promotion to the top division of BUCS and victory in the BUCS Trophy final.
Also travelling to Taipei will be Calum Bain, who will be representing Ireland in the 400m freestyle swimming, and Batty and Goadby’s golfing team-mate Robert Foley, who has been selected for Switzerland.
Speaking about her selection, Goadby was understandably delighted.
“It’s been a whirlwind few months, between training, competing and exams, so I’ve just been taking it one week at a time,” she said.
“I’ve not really had a chance to think too much about international selections, and have just been focusing on doing everything I can to help me perform at my best and reach these goals.
“I’m delighted to have been selected, and am looking forward to making the most of these incredible opportunities. Since completing my studies for the year, I’ve been able to dedicate myself to golf full-time during the summer and it’s great to see the hard work paying off.”
The 19-year-old also paid tribute to the support of her coaches at the university, saying:
“Being part of Stirling’s high-performance programme has had a major influence on both my academic and sporting lives and I’m very grateful to the University and our coach Dean Robertson for helping me to get to where I am today.
“The work I do as part of the ISSP performance golf programme at Stirling complements the hard work I have been doing with my personal coach, David Patrick, and the Scotland national squad. I can’t thank everyone enough for the support, and I am thrilled to be representing my country again.”
Cathy Gallagher, the university’s Director of Sport, expressed her pride at the news, saying:
“To have seven athletes heading to the Games is testament to the hard work and professional ethos of both the students and coaches in our high-performance sport programmes.
“The students’ ability to combine their studies, with performing at the top level of their sport, is inspiring for everyone at the university and we’re extremely proud of their latest achievements.”
Gallagher has first-hand experience of the Games, having formerly held the position as Head of Delegation for Ireland. She expects the university’s selected athletes to make the most of their opportunity.
“Whilst elite competition is the backbone of our International Sports Scholarship Programme, we also want student athletes to enjoy memorable life experiences during their time at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and there aren’t many more memorable than the World University Games,” said Gallagher.
“It is a truly amazing event and a brilliant opportunity for the Stirling athletes to prove themselves at the top level of international student sport. It replicates every aspect of the Olympic Games and our students will thrive in this unique multi-sport experience.”