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Cash boost for Southampton sporting hopefuls

Published: 16 March 2005

The University of Southampton is announcing the award of bursaries worth £60,000 to over thirty elite young athletes studying at the University and local sixth form colleges on Friday 18 March.

The cash boost comes from two bursary schemes designed to support talented sports people in developing their future sporting careers whilst continuing with their studies at the highest level.

The University of Southampton Sports Bursary Scheme is now in its second year and offers support to University students who show outstanding sporting ability. The bursaries aim to help develop individual academic and sporting talent to full potential.

Last year, three of the 15 students awarded bursaries competed in the Olympic Games in Athens: Robert Tobin in the athletics 400 metres and Christina Bassadone and Katherine Hopson in sailing. These students, together with Chris Brittle another bursary recipient for sailing, are now part of the UK Sport England World-Class Potential programme. Their achievements will also be celebrated on 18 March.

In 2005 University Sports Bursaries will be awarded to 12 University students. Benefits of the scheme include a £500 grant, free membership of the University's sport and recreational facilities, personal training and the support of a dedicated sports mentor.

The second scheme, the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), is a new Government initiative to support athletes who want to continue performance sport while studying. Students are nominated by their sport's national governing body and funding is channelled through the University.

This year the University will support 21 students through the TASS scheme: 15 University scholars (two of whom have graduated from the Sports Bursary scheme last year) and six bursary students from local sixth form colleges assigned to the University for the scheme. TASS bursaries are worth £3000 for University athletes and £1000 for sixth form students. They must be used for specified support including coaching and training; physiotherapy; mentoring; equipment; competition costs at national and international levels, and travel costs.

Professor Bill Wakeham, Vice-Chancellor of the University said: "I am delighted that the University continues to support the development of talented young sports people both through the TASS scheme and our own bursary scheme. These awards help cover the cost of the variety of training and support activities needed to develop high-level sporting performance.

"As we bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games in London, it is encouraging to think that many of the young people here today may be representing their country in future Games and be competing at the very highest level in their chosen sport."

This year's awards are being made across a range of sports, from sailing and diving to athletics and shooting. Bursary recipients include Georgina Perrott, a top female international rugby referee and Adam Cropper, ranked 12th in British freestyle windsurfing.

Notes for editors

  1. You are cordially invited to attend the 2005 bursary award announcement at 12 noon on 18 March at the University of Southampton when there will be a photo call and an opportunity to interview athletes and the organizers of the bursary schemes. Please contact Media Relations if you would like to attend.
  2. A full list of bursary recipients is available from Media Relations on request.
  3. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.

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