RGU athlete on right track with scholarship

Monday 19 February 2024

RGU student athlete on the running track
An RGU student who combines her physiotherapy studies with athletics training and competitions has secured a unique scholarship to ensure she thrives both academically and in sport.

Sprinter Rebecca Matheson is one of dozens of Scottish students who have landed funding from Winning Students 100. New funding from sportscotland and the Scottish Funding Council means the recently relaunched scholarship scheme will run until 2028.

It helps student athletes like Rebecca balance their studies with high performance training and competition, provides athletes with grants of up to £3000 and works with universities to offer additional support such as academic flexibility.

Rebecca is one of more than 100 scholarships that have been awarded for 2023/24 across 28 different sports and 21 universities and colleges. Sportscotland is the newest funding partner for Winning Students 100 to help support leading student athletes.  She made her Team Scotland debut at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 where she competed in the final of the 4x100m relay.

She said: “I am very grateful to receive a Winning Students 100 scholarship alongside the high calibre of athletes. It will help me focus on both my studies and athletics and will go towards travel to training and competitions to help me improve within my sport.”

Ian Lowe, Head of Sport at RGU, said: “We are delighted that Rebecca has been awarded a Winning Students 100 scholarship. Juggling the demands of studying alongside being a top-level athlete is demanding and the scholarship will help Rebecca perform at her best in the classroom and on the track. We would like to thank SFC and sportscotland for developing the programme and look forward to helping Rebecca with her dual career as a student athlete.”

Forbes Dunlop, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “We are committed to helping young athletes achieve their goals. Being able to find the right balance between training, their studies and other commitments is critical to the wellbeing of student athletes. We're delighted that this programme will help these athletes to do that."

Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Having funded the Winning Students programme from the start, we’re incredibly proud it has helped so many people to be successful college or university students alongside developing a career in sport. The achievements of previous Winning Students in life and in sport speak volumes for the benefits of the programme, and I wish the new scholars every success.”

Chair of the Winning Students 100 Advisory Board, Cathy Gallagher, commented: “The importance of this dual career programme for talented student athletes, cannot be understated. The coming together of the Scottish Funding Council, sportscotland and the HE/FE sector forms a significant collaboration within which to create even more impact for the current and future cohort of students”.

Established in 2008, the original Winning Students programme saw over 1,700 scholarships awarded during its first phase of funding with noteworthy alumni including Olympic medallists Laura Muir (athletics), Duncan Scott (swimming), Vicky Wright and Bruce Mouat (both curling).

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