Sports stars supported by University of Leicester

Erin Thompson (left), Sukhi Panesar (centre), and Sarah Rogers (right) are among the Leicester Sports Scholarship awardees in 2021/22.

An Olympic hockey player, a national dodgeball star, and one of the UK’s top snowboarders are among the University of Leicester’s latest Sports Scholarship awardees.

17 undergraduate and postgraduate students – from Law to Geology, and Medicine to Aerospace Engineering – have been awarded the prestigious scholarships in 2021/22, to provide additional funding for their sporting activities, and to support with competition in British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and beyond.

Sports Scholarship holders in 2021/22 are provided with individualised coaching and physical conditioning programmes, life skills coaching in collaboration with the University’s coaching and mentoring academy, as well as financial support for travel, equipment and other expenses.

Scholars are also offered complimentary access to the Roger Bettles Sports Centre and the on-campus Danielle Brown Sports Centre, named for the former Leicester Law student who won Archery Gold at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympics, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi.

The latest round of scholars were delivered a special message from Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Gold medallist Nick Cummins, a current PhD researcher at Leicester and himself a former Sports Scholarship awardee. He said:

“I was worried about balancing my sporting and academic commitments as a PhD student, but the Sports Scholarship really helped me do that.

“The University of Leicester has become my main training base, and that has been a tremendous resource. All the staff at the University take great pride in the Sports Scholars.

“After funding for my sport, wheelchair rugby, was cut in 2016, the financial support [of the Sports Scholarship] really helped fill the void in that time. That’s been huge.”

The full list of Leicester’s Sports Scholarship holders in 2021/22 includes:

  • Physiotherapy BSc student Cara Beswick, two-time GB representative at world Karate championships
  • Computer Science BSc student Rohan Bhuhi, won Gold Medal at Sulton of Johor Cup 2019 with GB’s U21 Hockey team
  • Medicine (PG) student James Brosnan, represented Ireland at world championships for Fencing (Foil)
  • Clinical Sciences BSc student Stephen French, ranked top five in the UK in slopestyle and big air Snowboarding
  • Economics BSc student Lauren Henry, represented Great Britain in World Rowing U23 Championships
  • Law LLB student Sukhi Panesar, represented Canada in Hockey at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
  • Law LLB student Sammy Rehman, featured for GB Academy in Wheelchair Basketball
  • Medicine MBChB student Sarah Rogers, represented both Wales and Team GB in Water Polo
  • Physiotherapy BSc student Isabelle Rooke, featured at Cycling (BMX) World Championships
  • Geology PhD researcher Erin Thompson, represented Ireland and Northern Ireland at European Championships in Table Tennis

Steve Bayley, Sport Experience Officer (Performance) at the University of Leicester, added:

“We’re proud to offer Sports Scholarships to student athletes competing at a high level in their chosen discipline.

“To make the marginal gains at elite level you need the support of the University and a dedicated support network – and that’s exactly what we help to provide.

“To have 17 students in 15 different sports – from Athletics to Water Polo – just demonstrates the broad range of support available to our students.”

Information on Sports Scholarship offer in 2022/23, and how to apply, will be made available on the University website in due course.