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Ayrshire Student to Compete for Scotland in Celtic Nations

Published Friday, 21st March 2014 in Study at SRUC news

Nikki Sutcliffe

A student from Scotland’s Rural College has been selected to play for Scotland in the prestigious Scottish Universities’ Celtic Nations tournament.

Nikki Sutcliffe, 21, will compete in this well-known water polo tournament against teams of students from Wales and Ireland.

The Celtic Nations is an annual tournament where Scottish, Welsh and Irish teams compete to be named champion. It is a great honour to be selected for the team as athletes from higher education institutions across Scotland are eligible. Ten years ago while studying at St Andrew’s University; Prince William was a member of an unsuccessful Scottish men’s team but Nikki hopes this year’s women will perform better.

Nikki says: “I think we have a decent team and we are in with a pretty good chance, although I don’t know much about the Irish and Welsh teams. We’ll have to adapt quite quickly to playing together as we haven’t had much time to practice together.”

Nikki, who is originally from Johannesburg in South Africa, is studying for a degree in Applied Animal Science at SRUC, based at the Riverside Campus in Ayr. She has been playing water polo since the age of 12, usually in a defensive position.

She says: “Water polo is a really really great team sport, good fun to play and keeps you fit. It is one of the few sports where you use both endurance, because you are constantly treading water, and sprinting ability, because you have to be able to move so quickly through the water.”

Nikki has been training with Glasgow University three times a week since her first year at SRUC, building her way up to team captain in her third year, and is also the women’s team manager for Western Baths Water Polo club (based in Glasgow).

For the Celtic Nations tournament, which will be held in Galway on 29 March, Nikki will be playing alongside students from Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University, Dundee University, Glasgow University, Stirling University and Edinburgh University.

Nikki is available for interview and a photograph is available on request. Please contact Sarah Hunter-Argyle using details below if you would like more information.

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