University sport stars Jane Turner and Kevin D'Arcy are set to compete for their countries on the international stage this month within their respective sports of golf and weightlifting.
Both will take part in the 26th World University Summer Games (or Universiade) which will be held this year in Shenzhen, China, from 12 to 23 August.
Two times British Universities Ladies golf champion, Jane (21) will compete in the 72-hole women's golf tournament which will take place at Mission Hills Golf Club - a complex of twelve 18-hole courses.
The graphic design student, who is originally from Penicuik but now lives on Aberdeen's Craigie Street, will pit her skills against some of the brightest young golf stars from across the globe on 17 to 20 August.
She said: "I'm really excited to be competing in the World Student Games. Last year I represented GBR at the World Universities Golf Championships in Malaga, Spain which was a great experience, but the games in China will be entirely different - their magnitude means that they are essentially the student Olympic games!
"I feel really confident in my game right now, I've been training hard (on the course and off) with both the Institute of Sport and my golf coach Stephen Murray. Hopefully everything will come together out in China and my hard work will pay off."
Jane is supported by the RGU: SPORT scholarship scheme, through which she benefits from a package of tailor-made programmes devised to support her individual needs, sports discipline and academic course requirements. Earlier this year, she undertook a two-month warm weather training opportunity in Australia to prepare herself for the summer period. Her summer season has been steady with consistent finishes in most events and a win at the Royal & Ancient (R&A) Bursars Tournament at St Andrews. She is currently ranked fourth in Scotland, and was 42nd in Europe.
Irish weightlifter, Kevin D'Arcy (26), will compete at the Universiade from the 13 to 18 August. Originally from Headford, County Galway, and currently living on Inchbrae Drive, Aberdeen, the physiotherapy student has been weightlifting competitively since 2003.
Kevin was originally a martial arts exponent but made the transition to weightlifting, having enjoyed weight training as part of his martial arts regime. Eight years on and he has firmly established himself as a strong contender on the national and international stages. Recent accolades include securing the Irish Champion title five times, two silver medals at the European Small Nations Championships, and in 2011 he has taken the titles of British Champion (the first Irish national to claim the title) and British Universities Champion.
Looking ahead to Shenzhen, Kevin aims to further his Irish record in the 85kg class. To achieve this he has undertaken an intensive training programme that he has had to fit around industry placements for his degree. This has entailed training twice daily.
"This is the first time that Weightlifting has been included in the Universiade," commented Kevin, "and as such I'm very proud to be the first and only Irish lifter to attend. While I don't have previous results to rank myself against, I intend to make a lifetime personal best on Sinclair points - a method of mathematically comparing weightlifters of various bodyweights to see who is best pound for pound. In doing this I intend to cement my place as the number one lifter in Ireland across all weight classes and thus strengthen my bid for Olympic Games selection next year."
Jane and Kevin train in the university's state-of-the-art sports facility, RGU: SPORT, located in the heart of the University's Garthdee campus. Director of Sport, Filippo Antoniazzi, said:
"We are proud to be instrumental in Jane and Kevin's training and success, and wish them all the best for this international competition. Over the years they have consistently shown themselves to be extremely talented and I share their excitement at the prospect of competing in the Summer Universiade."
Notes to editor
- The World University Games (or the Universiade as it is also known - a combination of the words ‘University' and ‘Olympiad') take place every second year and comprises summer and winter games, taking place in two different cities each time. The approaching summer games will play host to 8,000 athletes from 152 delegations around the world.
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