Josh is going for gold with national ice hockey team

First-year student at our University Josh Crane will be breaking out his skates and representing university sporting excellence at an international level as part of the GBU Ice Hockey team.

Josh, who is from Tamworth in Staffordshire, will be competing alongside his teammates at the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Universiade Games in 2019 which will be hosted in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

The Universiade is an international sports competitions among students, widely recognised as the second largest multisport games in the world after the Olympics with over 2,500 participants from more than 50 countries.

Following a successful GBU trial on 26 January, Josh received confirmation that he had been selected to join the GBU hockey team. Josh said: “I applied to the GBU programme as soon as I got into university. Being in the hockey community I always knew of the team and it was something I had aspired to be a part of for some time. I’m really excited to be a part of this programme as it aims to make players the best they can be rather than just focusing on preparing for tournaments.”

As part of his selection, Josh will be required to attend GBU Squad training camps and pre-tournament challenge games throughout 2018 in the team’s build up to the 2019 competition.

He added: “The next steps for me are simple- work hard in the gym and on the ice every time I'm out there and aim to get at least 1% better each day. I have to embrace the grind and make the best use of my time with my trainer Mark Simmonds and the scholarship team who have already done so much for me.”

Josh is a Gold Team Leicester scholar. The sports scholarship is a programme that offers students at the University additional support so that they can continue their sporting lives alongside their academic studies. Josh said: “Being awarded the gold scholarship has helped me out incredibly. I've been in regular contact with Stephen Bayley and Mark Simmonds who have been like parents to me here. Stephen has guided me through the start to my university life and has really eased the transition to Leicester.

“To Mark I owe the majority of my development this year as through working with him in the gym, I have found myself to be much fitter, stronger and more flexible. I really have to give a lot of credit to Mark as he is completely dedicated to the development of all his scholars- whether it is by getting new kit for the scholars to work with, envisaging innovative and frankly crazy ways to train and push his scholars to the limit or coming to watch a game as an avid fan, he truly goes above and beyond your wildest expectations as a personal trainer. “

Steve Bayley, Sports Experience Officer at the University, added: “Josh is at the beginning of an exciting journey, he is working extremely hard to successfully combine his academic studies alongside achieving his sporting ambitions. He is working hard on a daily basis in the gym and on the ice, and I look forward to continuing to see Josh develop throughout the years to come.”