Sarah Adlington’s gold medal for judo at Glasgow 2014 was doubly sweet. She had undergone shoulder surgery in March and was by no means certain to compete, let alone triumph.

“The road to the Games was pretty rocky,” says the second-year student, who is taking a BSc in Sport and Recreation Management. “When we first looked at the dates we always knew it would be tight as there are often dips in recoveryfrom injury.

“Fortunately I was ready in time. The main thing was to get back fighting fit, make the team selection and then do as much preparation as I could to make sure I was the best I could be on that day, even though I wasn’t going to be at my personal best. To come away with a gold medal at the end of that was absolutely amazing.”

Sarah’s next huge target is the Rio Olympics in 2016, with a myriad of other competitions before then, in the UK and allover the world.

In the face of such challenges, the financial support that the University can offer its most promising sportsmen and sportswomen is even more welcome.

Last semester Sarah, who was born in Shrewsbury but has lived in Scotland for almost 10 years, received an Eric Liddell High Performance Scholarship, named after the University’s first Olympic hero, the legendary runner.

Liddell, whose story features in the film Chariots of Fire, won gold in the 400m and bronze in the 200m at the Paris Games in 1924 while studying pure science. He famously refused to race in his favourite event, the 100m, on religious grounds as it was held on a Sunday.

Two of the University’s most distinguished Olympians, the cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and the rower Dr Katherine Grainger, are among those who have raised funds for the Eric Liddell Scholarships since they were set up two years ago.

Sarah is also on the University’s flagship support scheme, the Individual Performance Programme (IPP). This is offered on a one-year renewable basis and is open to any University student who is competing at junior international standard or above…

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