NESCol student athlete tees up for success with scholarship

May 13, 2024

Golfer Ruby Watt is one of the 106 recipients across Scotland to secure the Winning Student 100 scholarship, which aims to help student athletes balance their training and education. The programme provides grants of up to £3000 and works in partnership with colleges and universities to deliver tailored support and academic flexibility for dual career students.

Funded by sportscotland and the Scottish Funding Council, scholarships have been awarded across 28 different sports and 21 education providers for the 23/24 academic year. Ruby is one of two NESCol students to have received the bursary for this round of funding.

First introduced to golf by her dad, Ruby has been playing for six years and is a recognised UK Sports Institute athlete. She has played for Scotland’s Under 18s team three times and recently represented NESCol at the end of March at the Scottish Student Golf Championships in Lossiemouth.

Ruby is now nearing the end of the first year of her HND in Sports Coaching and Development and has primarily used the funding to help with the costs associated with competitions.

She said: “Being awarded one of the Winning Students 100 scholarships has been brilliant. I am lucky enough to also have sponsorships, but without these or the bursary, my golfing career would be entirely self-funded.

“This past year, I’ve been able to compete in 17 tournaments whilst studying for my HND. The scholarship has helped massively towards competition entry fees, and travel and hotel costs, which can get expensive. Combined with the support of NESCol and sport lecturers, I feel like I have been able to manage both my education and my career as an athlete very well.”

The Winning Students 100 programme is highly competitive, and applicants from across Higher and Further education must meet certain criteria to be eligible for the grant. This includes competing at a certain attainment level in a recognised sport.

Faye Webster, Active Campus Coordinator, NESCol, said: “It is fantastic that bursary schemes like this exist to provide support to dual career student athletes, and we’re delighted to see two of our NESCol students receive scholarships this year. It is a real recognition of their sporting achievements to date, and they should be proud to have made it through a tough selection process.

“Athletes performing at a high level need to juggle a lot of commitments, so often do not have time to pursue additional employment like other students might. They also accumulate a lot of expenses through competition entry fees, travel, accommodation and equipment, so having some financial support can really be beneficial for them.”

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