Transcripts of the video interviews with RGU SPORT Scholars.

Claire Birnie - Applied Biomedical Science student and elite tennis player

"What is great is I feel like I get a lot of support and I am able to play my sport whilst studying - so I get a lot of help and I can achieve both my sporting goals and my academic goals as well.

"That's the reason why I came to university. When I was about fourteen, I had a lot of back problems and I was scared that one day I would be told that I cannot play tennis again - so it was good to have the back-up of having a degree behind me.

"It can be quite difficult to get all the trainer sessions in throughout the week and keep up-to-date with course work and things like that but with the sports scholarship I have a little bit more support. If I need time off to get exams, I get a little bit more help for that and I know that I've always got the support of the people here at RGU SPORT and if I do need anything else, they will be able to provide it for me.

"It is quite difficult up in the north east for the university to provide me if there are any tennis things. It is not that popular a sport, but they do provide me with a specific strength and conditioning programme that has helped me - like, my weaknesses on the tennis court - and made me a stronger, fitter, athlete.

"When I was in first year, I was awarded with a Full Blue - it's like the highest level of award that you can get for sporting achievements and I was also Sports Person of the Year that year, and I was a member of the tennis team who won the British University Shield. That was also in my first year and, more recently, I was part of the Senior Scottish Team who won the Four Nations Championships in Glasgow, and in December I was part of the British University Tennis Team in an event in France in which we came third.

"I'm just about at the end of it, so I'm sitting my finals at the moment - so, I'm looking forward to it being over and get playing tennis all the time. But I've really enjoyed my time at university."

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Hannah Miley - Sports and Exercise Science student and Commonwealth and Olympic swimming medal hope.

"I'm starting my second year at university - second semester - and I've been a sports scholar for two years.
Mixing university life and my training has actually worked quite well. It's allowed me to become a bit more routine - I can plan when I can fit my sessions in and when I can fit my lectures in and, overall, it's worked out really well.
The university is behind me, which I really support and appreciate.

"For the university I'm swimming at the BUCS which is coming up in February in which I'm competing down in Sheffield. My key focus this year, apart from doing the BUCS competition, is the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October and hopefully the Europeans in Budapest in July.

"There is a possibility that the Commonwealth Games will clash with some of my lectures, so the university have been really, really helpful in the past in being able to accommodate alternatives to allow me to keep up with my course work and lectures to make sure I don't miss anything. I'm hoping that, for the Commonwealth Games, that can still be the same. They support me a lot, so I can get a lot of help from them.

"I would recommend Robert Gordon University for any elite athlete who's coming to study and to continue with their training. The facilities here are great and can accommodate anyone and also the studies as well - the support networks that can back the athletes are really superior to many other universities that I am aware of."

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PJ Barron - Sports and Exercise Science student and winter Olympic cross country skiing team member.


"I'm a cross-country skier. That involves two different techniques - skating and classic - using different muscle groups. ‘Classic' uses predominantly the arms and the legs occasionally, whereas ‘skating' uses more quads, glutes, hamstrings and is a more lactic-burning sport.

"I'm away to the World Under-23 Championships in Hinderzarten, Black Forest, Germany. This is in preparation for the Winter Olympic Games - hopefully - which is in the preceding weeks.

"I find the degree very interesting. It gives me information that I can apply to my sport. It is enjoyable being in a class again after not being there after a year out. It's good to sort of get to know other people again outside the sport.

"The university helps me by giving me extra tutorials when I need it, helping me to schedule exams when I'm away, and also helps me with my training so that I am able to train at the university to do strength and conditioning (which is an added bonus) around classes instead of having to travel in on separate days.
I would definitely recommend RGU to other elite athletes as it allows you to tie in training with studies seamlessly."

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