Sports scholarship

The University of Leicester and Sport and Active Life support individual student athletes to pursue the highest levels in their sport, alongside their academic studies, whilst benefitting from support services and a targeted financial contribution, aimed at assisting each individual to reach their potential.

The Elite Athlete Award

The Elite Athlete Award was introduced to offer high performance athletes at undergraduate or postgraduate level the opportunity to benefit from a level of support, aimed at assisting each individual to reach their potential.

We are looking to receive applications from student athletes who are currently performing at: 

  • A recognised Elite Athlete performance level within their respective sport
  • They are part of their respective sports, Elite Athlete, National Governing Bodies/Federation pathway programmes
  • They have in the past 18 months represented their respective National Governing Bodies/Federations at internationally recognised sporting events and competitions.

If your application is successful, you will be eligible to receive the following.

The following support to be discussed and agreed, if applicable to the individual athlete’s needs.

  • Individualised physical conditioning programme
  • Athlete life skills coaching programme

The Elite Athlete award is determined by the sport's awarding panel on a case-by-case basis. Priority will be given to individuals who demonstrate a commitment to represent or play a full part in a respective Team Leicester sport, which features within the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) programmes.

The University of Leicester and Sport and Active Life reserve the right to make awards to applicants whose sports fall outside the BUCS sport programmes, if the applicant is currently representing their respective NGB at World, Olympic or Paralympic level.

If an applicant is already receiving an APA award as part of their National Governing Body programme status, the University of Leicester Sport and Active Life reserve the right to not award a financial contribution and or an Elite Athlete Award for 2024/25.

Eligibility criteria (Academic)

To be eligible for the Elite Athlete Award you must successfully achieve a place on a course for the 2024/25 academic year at the University of Leicester. Or already be studying here (all courses are eligible, both undergraduate and postgraduate).

Advice for applicants

When applying for the Elite Athlete Award, please be aware of the following:

  • Each academic year the number of received applications far exceeds the available number of awards.
  • Meeting both the eligibility (academic) and individual award performance level criteria does not guarantee an applicant will receive an award. Please take the time to carefully read all the published information.
  • Successful applicant’s academic eligibility for 2024-25 will be checked by the University of Leicester academic student records department prior to any final award confirmation.
  • The Elite Athlete Award is only valid for one academic year. All applicants must reapply each academic year.
  • If you are unsuccessful in your application the first time around you can apply again in your succeeding academic years.
  • If your application is successful, awardees will be expected to provide help in promoting the sporting profile of the University in any way seen fit by the University.

How to apply

All applications will be dealt with by our awarding panel, so please make sure that you include as much relevant information as possible in your application. If you are applying, please wait until the application process opens and don’t miss the closing deadline.

If you have any questions regarding our sports scholarship programme, please contact, Steve Bayley (

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