Sporting success for Keele athletes at national competition

Talented students at Keele have shown their athletic qualities by representing Keele on the national sporting stage at a number of recent competitions.

Keele had its best medal tally in ten years with two bronze and one silver medal in the recent British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Nationals, with the students putting their abilities to the test against tough competitors from across the country.

The nationals saw more than 5,000 athletes from universities all over Great Britain taking part in sporting competitions in events such as swimming, running, and martial arts at some of Sheffield’s most iconic sporting venues.

The students are all supported by Keele’s Talented Athlete Programme, designed to help students sustain a high level of sport whilst studying and including access to facilities, physiotherapy and funding.

The athletes who took part in the most recent BUCS competition included:

  • James Watson (Swimming)
  • Beth Johnson (Tae Kwon Do)
  • Mark Pearce (Cross Country and Steeplechase)
  • Stephanie Phennah (Sabre Fencing)
  • Louise Webster (Shot-Put/Athletics)
  • Thomas Lish (Judo)
  • Stephen Whatley (Sabre Fencing)
  • Rhian Costall (Archery)

The prestigious competition also provided an opportunity for physiotherapy students at Keele to hone their skills, providing sports massage and rehabilitation exercises to the athletes under the guidance and advice of physiotherapy academics.

Keele’s lead strength and conditioning coach, Nina Walker, said: “I'm hugely proud of what the athletes have been able to achieve and it has been a pleasure to watch them compete at the BUCS Nationals 2020 in Sheffield.

“The results from all of them are a testament to their talent, how hard they work, and how well they manage not only the pressures from full-time study but the time and effort required to excel in their sport at such a high level."

Benn Digweed, a teaching fellow in physiotherapy at Keele, added: “We are hugely proud of what these athletes and others within the Keele Talented Athlete Programme have achieved alongside their full-time studies.

“The programme is also supported by students from Keele’s MSci Physiotherapy and BSc Rehabilitation and Exercise degree programmes, who provided sports massage and rehabilitation. This gives them a unique opportunity to gain experience working with high-performing national and international student athletes, and to enjoy being a part of these athletes’ success.”