A record number of University of Birmingham students have been selected this year to represent Team GB and the University in the World University Summer Games 2017, and the European University Championships (EUSA).
A total of seven current students and two alumni have been selected, with five competing in the World University Games and four at EUSA.
The sporting opportunities the University offers, and the quality of its sports scholarship programme, (around 150 scholars each year including Olympic gold medallist Lily Owsley MBE and British Indoor 1500m Champion, Sarah McDonald) is reflected in the continuous successes of the students and alumni now representing the University in a number of sports.
The World University Summer Games will be held in Taipei between 19 – 30 August. Being the second largest multi- sport Games after the Olympics with over 10,000 participants at world-class standard, it’s clearly a credit to all those selected who represent Team GB.
This year, University of Birmingham’s strong presence at the Games includes current students Jonathan Davies (Athletics, 1500m), Megan Lockett (Golf), Graham Harrington (Water Polo), Morgan Hirsch (Water Polo), and Ashe Morgan, a regular GB senior archer.
A recent First Class Honours Physics graduate and University of Birmingham sports scholar, Morgan said: “I’m so excited to be going to the 2017 University Games. After graduating this year I’m extremely proud to represent the University of Birmingham one more time, and would like to finish with a medal in Taiwan, where the standard of archers will be extremely competitive.
He added “The University, and particularly the Sports Scholarship team have been critical to my progress over the last 5 years and have wholeheartedly supported me both in my studies and my sport. I don’t think any other University even comes close to the level of support offered at Birmingham, the sports programmes are truly world class.”
The University of Birmingham, which is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions was superbly represented at the EUSA Rowing Championships in July, in which the top medal winners of championship events in BUCS regatta compete against their contemporaries in Europe.
William White and Peter Purcell-Gilpin, who won Gold in their Men’s double event in the A Final in Serbia, contributed to the record GB medal haul where the squad took home ten Gold, six Silver and five Bronze. It was an outstanding result for both White, a third-year Natural Sciences student, and Purcell-Gilpin, 2017 Geology graduate.
Two current students, Mahammad Ouattara (Philosophy) and Ismael Coulibaly (Medical, Life and Geo Science) also competed in the European University Championships for Taekwondo in Coimbra, Portugal, where Ouattara bought home a Bronze for the University in his category, +87kg. Coulibaly also won Bronze at the British Taekwondo Championships in London in 2016.
Director of Sport Zena Wooldridge OBE, says that the University has had one of its most successful years ever on the international sporting stage. “We started this sporting year with a celebration of 7 Olympic and Paralympic medals bought home by student and alumni from Rio, and we conclude with what must be a record year for student representation at European and World University levels. Not only does the standard of our students’ sporting performance seem to be continually rising, but the academic attainment of our sports scholars is also very impressive.”
The selections coincide with other recent sporting highlights at the University, having recently been selected as an FA Women’s High Performance Football Centre, being the official home of the 2018 World University Squash Championships, and of course the return of the Jamaican Athletics team to train at the University ahead of the World Championships in London.