HPP Bursars Feature

High Performance Bursars in action; Alex Sheppy (top left), Emma Haines (top right), Libby Seed (bottom left), Rebekah Nixon (bottom right). 

From BUCS to the international stage-Highlights from our High Performance bursars

Current High Performance Bursars excel in a wide range of sports including kayaking, cross country, shooting and riding. Competing on both the national and international stage as well as for the University in BUCS competition we caught up with Alex, Rebecca, Emma and Libby to see what they have been up to.

In November 2017, 1st year BSc Human Biosciences student Alex Sheppy represented the University in BUCS finishing 4th in both the Classic and Sprint MK1 races earning a total of 8 BUCS points.  Following this, Alex then competed at the English Championships, finishing 3rd in the U23 MK1 Classic race (6th overall) and 2nd in the U23 MK1 Sprint race (5th overall).  Reflecting on his 1st BUCS experience Alex commented “It was great to get out and race for the first time for Exeter University and I’m really pleased to have earnt some BUCS points. The High Performance bursary has been a great help to me so far particularly with sorting out storage for my kayak erg which enables me to train throughout the winter”. Alex’s next major competition is for the Great Britain U23s in Scotland on 17th/18th February, which will also serve as a trial for selection for the Senior Great Britain Team. 

More international success comes from first year BSc Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences student, Rebekah Nixon who recently represented Northern Ireland U23s at the IAAF Antrim International and Celtic Cross-Country International where she finished 32nd.  Following this performance Rebekah has been selected to compete at the UK Inter Counties Cross-Country in Loughborough on 10th March. The University of Exeter also put out a strong performance at the BUCS Cross Country event and finished 10th in the women’s team category, which is the club’s highest ever finish. Fian Sweeny (26th), Rebekkah Nixon (51st) and Elish O’Grady (52nd) were the top 3 finishers. Following this performance Rebekah has been selected to compete at the UK Inter Counties Cross-Country in Loughborough on 10th March.  

Second year BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences student, Emma Haines, competes in shooting and had one of her most successful summers of competition, coming away with 2 international medals with team GB (a silver in the European Championship and a silver in the World Championships). Looking back on the summer competition period Emma commented “Last year was the first time I competed in the Universal trench discipline so I feel I have come on leaps and bounds. I’m currently training to qualify for the GB senior women’s teams in both universal trench and Olympic trap this year. The S&C support I receive as part of TASS and my High Performance bursary has made a real difference to my shooting and helped me to finance training and competition”. Emma also recently competed in the BUCS Clay Pigeon Shooting Championships alongside fellow High Performance bursar Heather Dunmall, with both girls helping the Exeter’s women’s team to a 2ndplace finish and well earnt BUCS points. 

Finally Libby Seed, second year BSc Medical Sciences student, helped her team to success in the first BUCS Riding Competition of the year, with the team finishing 1st overall and Libby taking 2nd place in the individual competition.  In 2017 Libby was selected for the British U21 European Championships and was also the youngest competitor at Lumhulen (Germany) and Burghley. Libby commented “Having access to a High Performance bursary while I’m studying has been really helpful financially to support with some of the costs associated with training and competition. As for BUCS we’ve had a great start to the season and hope to continue this all the way through to the BUCS finals”.

Applications for University of Exeter High Performance bursaries open in the first week of term every academic year and are aimed at athletes competing at international level outside of one of our focus sports. Athletes should be a member of the relevant Athletic Union club and able to represent the University in BUCS competitions.

Written by: Meg Crowson (Sports Scholar and BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences student)

Date: 6 February 2018

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