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Gloucestershire Business News

Sport scholarship event highlights support for students

The University of Gloucestershire's sports scholarships help talented athletes, officials and aspiring coaches achieve their goals across a wide range of sports, and scholars are able to combine this bespoke support with any degree programme.

Two days before the university's first refereeing scholar, Matthew Carley, took charge of the 2021 Rugby Championship clash between South Africa and New Zealand, its next potential crop of sports scholars was given a wealth of information and insights into how they could be supported to follow in his footsteps.

At an 'all scholars welcome' event at Oxstalls campus, students interested in applying for the scholarship heard from university staff who run some of the different aspects of the programme.

As the only university in the UK offering an officiating scholarship alongside studying for a degree, some of the world's top referees have reaped the benefits of the programme, including Christophe Ridley, who attended the Oxstalls event before his Gallagher Premiership Rugby appointment between Leicester and Saracens.

Christophe combined a BSc sports coaching degree with his scholarship, having seen his rugby career ended prematurely by injury at the age of 18.

He said: "Be curious, ask questions; surround yourself with experts in a range of different fields; and be balanced in all parts of your student life."

As a TASS Delivery Site (Sport England's Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme), with accredited practitioners in place to help support TASS athletes in their dual career, the university is an officially recognised place for developing talent.

It also holds TASS Dual Career Accreditation, which acknowledges an enhanced level of academic flexibility and understanding within an institution, allowing talented athletes to balance their studies with a busy sporting schedule.

Sports scholars receive different services depending on their pathway, but all receive support with nutrition, psychology, CPD and fitness.

Matt Tansley, director of sport at University of Gloucestershire, said: "This programme is incredibly important to us. As a sports scholar at the University of Gloucestershire, students will be working with some of the best practitioners, coaches and mentors, and whether they're at the start of the journey, or already working or performing alongside the elite, we're looking forward to supporting them and celebrating their success."

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