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Talented students overcome hurdles with the help of sport scholarships

Fresh from its success being named University of the Year, Northumbria University is celebrating another win.

In its first year of fundraising, the University has secured £2m for its Higher Education Without Barriers Fund, established to help students from all backgrounds to succeed. The University is now extending its fundraising efforts to create dedicated sports scholarships for students with outstanding sporting ability.

Made possible by the generosity of business and individual donors, the Fund provides a range of support measures, including scholarships and hardship grants. In the past year, alumni and businesses have created 87 new scholarships. These are a lifeline to gifted scholars who would otherwise face barriers to university study.

Now the University is looking to create specific scholarships for students with the potential to excel both at university and in the sporting arena. The scholarships will support students from backgrounds usually underrepresented in Higher Education to study any subject while benefitting from the University’s world-class sporting facilities, coaching and reputation. The aim of the scholarships is to widen participation and diversity in both Higher Education and Sport. In the first year, the scholarships will support budding female coaches and officials (women make up only 18% of qualified coaches).

In addition, the Fund will also provide PhD studentships for candidates from low participation backgrounds, who want to contribute to Sport research at Northumbria. This is an unrivalled opportunity to join one of the top-ranked departments in the UK. Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria University is ranked 5th in the UK for research power and 92% of their research is independently assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Combining elite sports, research excellence and social equity, these scholarships are the ideal fit for Northumbria University. The institution is deeply committed to widening participation in Higher Education and has an enviable sporting pedigree. Notable sporting alumni include Olympic competitors and Queen’s Honours recipients such as Pete Bakare, Paul Blake, Martin Corry, Steve Cram, Jon Dutton, Ellen Falkner, Stephen Miller and Victoria Pendleton.

In October (20th), businesses and individuals will have the chance to celebrate these sporting successes at Northumbria’s Sport fundraising dinner, which is being held at St James’ Park. The dinner will raise funds to:

  • Provide scholarships for underrepresented students to pursue their academic studies and develop their sporting talents as athletes, coaches or officials.
  • Support the development of sport volunteering and internship programmes that enhance students’ leadership and employability skills.
  • Fund research studentships for gifted scholars to undertake PhD studies in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation (which ranks 5th in the UK for research power).
  • Provide learning resources, kit and equipment for students to reach their potential in sport and increase diversity in the sporting arena.
  • Extend sport participation and physical activity programmes, including the NUTHINKING mental health and wellbeing programme.

Businesses interested in supporting the Sport Dinner (by purchasing a table) or creating a Sport Scholarship can contact James Wilkinson to discuss their options. Supporters will join front-runners Enterprise, Sodexo, Santander Universities UK and Qolcom in backing this exciting initiative.

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