Four University of Nottingham student athletes have been awarded the University’s first disability sport scholarships, aimed at supporting their athletic development whilst completing their studies.â€¨â€¨
The University has a well-established sport scholarship scheme with dozens of student athletes receiving funding in recent years. Recent recipients of the bursary include current UK high jump record holder Isobel Pooley and England and Team GB hockey player Harry Martin.
In 2009, Team GB F32 club thrower and Nottingham alumnus Thomas Green (Maths and Statistics 2013) was the first disabled athlete to be awarded funding and training support through the programme.
Now, as one of the few universities in the country to boast a dedicated Disability Sport Officer, Nottingham continues to lead the way in terms of disability sport provision. This year the University has launched a new scholarship programme designed specifically for disabled athletes.
One of the first recipients of the disability sport scholarship is club thrower Muninder Singh Hayer, 19, who is in his first year studying towards a degree in Computer Science.
Josh Mead, 18, who currently represents England’s physical disability cricket team, is also amongst the first to be awarded funding and support through the new programme.
“It is a real privilege for me to receive this scholarship through the University. It’s pleasing to know that the University is highly interested in following the development of disability sport as well as mainstream and able body sport.” he said.
“For me to be able to continue at the level of cricket that I play I have to travel a lot around the country to different venues for training weekends, my scholarship is really going to help me fund this travel. It will also mean that I can guarantee I am the fittest and strongest player I can possibly be for training and in the season” added the first year Music student.
The scholarship, which is designed to help recipients balance the demands of their training and their course, includes financial support, access to physiotherapy and specialist strength and conditioning facilities as well as nutritional advice. The athletes also receive free gym membership and access to a sports buddy scheme, pairing disabled and non-disabled students as training partners.
Disability Sport Officer, Hannah Webber, said:“We’re really excited to be launching the disability sport scholarship at the University this year. We pride ourselves in being able to offer elite disabled athletes a complete package of support, which includes not only training, but also financial, study and lifestyle support. We hope by launching this scholarship that we will continue to demonstrate how passionate the University is about developing disability and elite sporting opportunities.”
The other athletes to receive the first disability scholarships are England futsal player and Physiotherapy student Tom Lamb, 19, and first year nursing student and para-rower Emma Collins, 19.