Posted Friday 8 January 2016
Each year Kingston University's best athletes are selected on to its sports performance programme, which assists talented student sports stars to balance their training, competition and academic commitments.The latest successful applicants have been announced at an awards ceremony with special guest, former Paralympic medal winner and television presenter Ade Adepitan.
Balancing sport with life could be difficult enough, but even harder when studying full time, he told the assembled students. "It can be very lonely being an athlete. You have to be totally focused and disciplined and it's hard seeing your friends go for a night out and not joining them because you have training at 6am the next day.
"This scheme is great as it lets the students be part of a group of people all in the same situation, who understand and share the challenges and can offer each other support."
Presenting each of the athletes with certificates, he offered some further words of advice. "You have the opportunity every day to be better tomorrow than you are today. It could be shooting one more hoop or swimming one more length, but you can do it. When you think you can't go any further, you can. Push yourself that bit more and surprise yourself," he said.
The University's sports performance programme is split in to three levels depending on ability. A panel decides which level of the programme each successful applicant should be accepted on to:
All students on the programme receive free fitness centre membership, support from the University's Human Performance Laboratory, sports psychology support and discounted osteopathy and sports therapy.
Students performing at a higher level, can also get sports bursaries to cover competition expenses, administration support for competitions and training and a personal liaison officer to help the student balance sporting and academic needs, such as re-negotiating exam dates if they conflict with an international competition.