Commonwealth Games student athletes return to university

Commonwealth Games student athletes Holly McArthur, Rob Harwood, Bethan Goodwin, David Weir and David McMath with Principal & Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Jim McDonald.

Strathclyde welcomed back the six elite student athletes who represented Scotland at the XXI Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast, Australia.

The games, which ran from 4-15 April 2018, saw the six students and seven alumni athletes, compete across eight different sports.

The results highlight the tremendous drive, determination and talent that the University can rightly celebrate.

Strathclyde effect

The ‘Strathclyde effect’ soon kicked in when on the first day of competition David Weir, Chemical Engineering student, took the bronze medal as part of the gymnastics artistic team, and Scotland were up and running on the medal table.

More medal success followed from David McMath, Civil Engineering student, whose gold medal in the double trap shooting event helped Scotland surpass their greatest medal tally at an away Games.  

Jess Liddon, Electronic and Electrical Engineering Alumni, also competed in shooting, coming 10th in the 25m pistol and 13th in the 10m pistol.

Alex Dunn, Sport and Physical Activity student, was a busy competitor, representing Scotland in both the mixed badminton doubles and men’s doubles. Alex made it to the second round of the mixed doubles and qualified for the quarter final stage in the men’s doubles where he and his partner faced the top seeds.  Patrick McHugh, a Business School Alumni, was in the other Scottish men’s badminton doubles partnership that made it to the second round of the competition. 

The men’s hockey team reached its highest-ever finishing place of fifth, with current Psychology student Rob Harwood, scoring in the opening match. Also in the men’s team was Gordon McIntyre, Mechanical Engineering alumni who has been in the Commonwealth Games team previously. Alison Howie, Alumni of the Business School, was in the women’s hockey team who finished seventh.

Netball also had three players associated with the University of Strathclyde: current Business School student, Bethan Goodwin, along with alumnus Joanne Pettitt of Biomedical Sciences and Lyndsey Gallagher of PGDE Primary. Both alumni played in the 2016 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the teams finishing position of 9th bettered their position in the Glasgow Games.

Holly McArthur, current Maths and Statistics student, took part in the demanding heptathlon event finishing in 10th position and setting some personal bests along the way to gaining 5,381 points.

Lynn Beattie, Pharmacy alumni, reached the quarter final in beach volleyball, a sport featuring for the first time in a Commonwealth Games. Lynne competed at the 2012 Olympics in the GB volleyball team, but had to change her training venue to Portobello beach for this latest challenge.

Finally, Statistics, Mathematics and Management Sciences Alumni, Aileen McGlynn, missed out by 0.2 secs to getting into the final of the Para Women’s tandem sprint event.  Aileen had won gold in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.  

Elite Athletes

All competing students are part of the University’s Elite Athlete Programme. This programme enables students who perform highly in sport to balance their studies alongside their sport, with flexibility in exam times and submission dates. 

The programme also provides some funding towards the athletes many sport-related expenses. The Elite Athletes Programme currently has 31 talented student athletes enrolled. The programme is due to expand the level of support that its athletes receive with the launch of the £31m Strathclyde Sport facility in September this year, and the appointment of a new Sports Performance Manager, Dave Sykes. 

Anne-Marie Hughes, Assistant Head of Sport at the Centre for Sport and Recreation, said: “On behalf of the Centre for Sport and Recreation, I want to extend my congratulations to all our athletes who were selected and competed for Team Scotland and did themselves proud.”