Published Wednesday, 19th November 2014 in Study at SRUC news
Four SRUC students are among ten picked to compete in the World University Games. Thomas Muirhead and Kyle Smith are joined by Laura Ritchie and Hazel Smith.
All ten curlers in the men’s and women’s teams have received support from Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports' scholarships for talented student athletes.
“The support from Winning Students gives me that financial flexibility that I don’t have to find extra work and can spend my time studying and training,” says Thomas Muirhead. “It makes a huge difference covering everything from the cost of fuel to paying for competition travel and equipment.”
In the meantime his long term focus (apart from his exams) is an Olympic Bronze medal. He has watched his sister Eve excel on the international curling stage, her medal success at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games added to European and World Championship crowns.
Now 19-year-old Thomas and his older brother Glen are two-fifths of the newly formed rink brought together by Tom Brewster, who was alternate for the men’s Silver medal winning Sochi rink and can count two World Championship Silver medals amongst his many accolades.
It has been a solid start for the new recruits, defeating David Murdoch’s Olympic Silver medal-winning rink en-route to winning the Swiss Cup in Basel and recording another victory at a Curling Masters competition in Champery, Switzerland.
“I took the decision not to play in the juniors again, but to concentrate on the men’s”, said Thomas. “I won all three medals at the junior level so now I’m aiming for bigger and better. Already the intensity has stepped up a level and playing with my brother and with all the guys older and more experienced than me, it has spurred me on.”
Winning Students has provided more than 700 scholarships since 2008, supporting 82 competitors at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The scholarships, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and managed by the University of Stirling, provide elite athletes with funding support and the academic flexibility required to perform at the highest level in sport and studies. For more information, visit the Winning Students website.
Photo caption: Thomas Muirhead (photo by Tom Brydone).
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