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European record-holding distance runner Megan Keith one of over 100 student athletes to receive funding from sportscotland and Scottish Funding Council scholarship programme

By Andrew Henderson

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Inverness distance runner Megan Keith is one of 106 student athletes to receive funding from the revamped sportscotland scholarship programme.

Helping student athletes balance their studies with training and competition, the newly-branded Winning Students 100 provides athletes with grants of up to £3000 and works with the academic institutions to offer additional support.

It is expected 500 scholarships will be awarded over the coming years, with funding secured until 2028, and a hardship fund will also be introduced to offer even more support to eligible athletes.

Inverness distance runner Megan Keith is one of 100 university students to receive funding from sportscotland.
Inverness distance runner Megan Keith is one of 100 university students to receive funding from sportscotland.

For 2023/24, 106 scholarships have been awarded across 28 different sports and 21 universities and colleges – including Olympic champions, Commonwealth champions and Under-23 European 10k record holder Megan Keith.

The Inverness Harriers life member commented: “I really appreciate the generous support from Winning Students 100 for the upcoming year.

“In what is looking like an exciting year of competitions, the scholarship will help fund the travel required to train and compete to the best of my ability.”

Four students from the University of the Highlands and Islands have joined Keith in the awards list: Lauren Middleton (badminton), Laura Watt (curling), Kirsten Taylor (judo) and Cerys Cairns (netball).

Forbes Dunlop, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “We are committed to helping young athletes achieve their goals.

“Being able to find the right balance between training, their studies and other commitments is critical to the wellbeing of student athletes.

“We’re delighted that this programme will help these athletes to do that.”

Karen Watt, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Having funded the Winning Students programme from the start, we’re incredibly proud it has helped so many people to be successful college or university students alongside developing a career in sport.

"The achievements of previous Winning Students in life and in sport speak volumes for the benefits of the programme, and I wish the new scholars every success.”

Executive director of sport at the University of Stirling and chair of the Winning Students 100 advisory board, Cathy Gallagher, commented: “The importance of this dual career programme for talented student athletes, cannot be understated.

"The coming together of the Scottish Funding Council, sportscotland and the HE/FE sector forms a significant collaboration within which to create even more impact for the current and future cohort of students.”

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