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This Summer saw athletes from the Winning Students programme take home a massive 26 medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham for Team Scotland. This is alongside former Winning Student scholar Laura Muir winning 1500m gold at the European Championships in Munich as well as 1500m gold and 800m bronze in Birmingham while earlier in the summer Muir won a bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon. Eilish McColgan another former Winning Student scholar won 10,000m gold and a 5000m silver at Birmingham while also winning a silver medal for 10,000m and Bronze for 5000m at the European Championships in Munich this past fortnight.

The Winning Students programme has been one of Scottish sport’s success stories over the past fourteen years.

During this summer’s Commonwealth Games 69 athletes who were part of Team Scotland were either current or previous Winning Students scholars. This represents almost 27% of the whole of Team Scotland.

Of the Commonwealth Games medallists, swimmer Duncan Scott won two gold medals for 200m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley as well as four other bronze medals. In diving, James Heatley and Grace Reid both took home gold in the Mixed Synchronised 3m Springboard while in Judo Sarah Adlington won gold in the Over 78kg Women category.

The programme ensures that student athletes get support and flexibility to train and compete while studying at a Scottish college or university. Since its inception in 2008, Winning Student athletes have performed at every Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

The programme supports athletes through scholarships of up to £6,000 a year. The money can be used for a range of sports services such as physiotherapy, coaching, psychology and training as well as academic related expenses such as accommodation, living costs and study fees. Winning Students scholars are identified and nominated by the governing body of their sport and the scholarships are funded by the Scottish Funding Council.