Elite Athlete Programme

Team Napier, in partnership with the University, provide funding and support for Elite Athletes, who usually train or compete at regional, national and international level. This varies from training camps to youth and senior level representation.

For more information about our Elite Athlete Programme or to request an application form, please email teamnapier@napierstudents.com


OUR ATHLETES

Elspeth Young
BA (Hons) Hospitalist Management with Entrepreneurship 
Squash

Elspeth combines studying for her honours degree with competing in the sport of squash committing 22 – 25 hours per week to her sport. As a result of her dedication to her sport Elspeth has achieved national recognition by being named in the senior Scottish training squad. 
In the summer of 2015 Elspeth was invited to compete in the women’s French team leagues which provided excellent match experience against the top players in Europe and encouraged her to learn a new language along with the added benefit of ending the summer in 4th place on the Junior European Tour. 
This season Elspeth has had the opportunity to compete at a number of tournaments both in the UK and Europe. She has shown good form by reaching the quarter finals of the Wimbledon Cup and Dutch U19 Open as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Pioneer U19 Cup (Germany) and Boston Open. 
Elspeth is saving up to undertake a squash circuit tour in 2016 to gain experience of Australia with the aim to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018.

"After working had at school I applied for a course at Edinburgh Napier University that I saw I could make a career out of. Having completed a very successful first year I am now in a position to participate fully in the Scottish Senior Squash programme alongside my degree. The combination of sport and education is hard work but has provided me with the skills to manage and organise my time.

My realistic sporting ambition is to compete in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which, along with my success on the European circuit, would reflect well on ENSA and Edinburgh Napier University and inspire others to follow in my footsteps."

Andrew Williamson
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
Fencing

Andrew has competed in both fencing and shooting for Team Napier 2014-15 but this year is focussing on fencing.  At Junior level, Andrew represented Scotland at the Junior Commonwealth Games in Cape Town and captained the men’s sabre team to a bronze medal and ended his Junior career as no 1 in Scotland. 
The transition to the Senior rankings did not curb Andrew’s successes as he sits is currently ranked 6th in Scotland, gold medallist at the 2015 Highland open and has represented Scotland in the 4 Nations Fencing Championship.

"I am extremely grateful to receive support from ENSA as the costs to compete in my sport are very high. The funding has helps significantly towards my travel and expenses costs, reduced the financial strain and it has allowed me to focus on both my course and training."

Hayley Monteith
BSC (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science
Swimming

Hayley is currently working towards the final of the British Swimming Championships which will, hopefully, lead towards Olympic 2016 (Rio) qualification. ENSA have supported Hayley, who is a member of the Performance Programme at Edinburgh University, to attend a 3 weeks intensive training at a warm weather swim training camp in South Africa – a training period which will be vital to her preparation for up and coming competitions. 
Hayley represented Team Napier at the BUCS swimming championships and managed to achiever personal bests in the 50, 100 & 200 meter freestyle events and received well-earned BUCS points for Team Napier.&

"I feel that I can achieve at a high level and my aim for this season’s swimming is to reach the finals of the Olympic trials and also achieve selection for the Scottish National Swimming Squad. I am ranked 4th in Scotland for the  200 meter freestyle and I am looking to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

This year is crucial in allowing me to get the opportunities and experience required to compete at the highest level and I would like to express my gratitude towards the staff at ENSA for helping me compete and train this season."

Leanne Nothard
BSC (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Injuries)
Weightlifting

Leanne has been passionate about sport from a young age with gymnastics and then basketball her main focus. She has participated in weightlifting for only two years having been fast tracked into the elite performer pathway aiming towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.  
After beginning her sports and science degree at Edinburgh Napier University she became involved in strength and conditioning and felt that was a journey she wished to continue. Shortly after she gained a college internship which in turn lead to Leanne becoming the head strength and conditioning coach for the Scotland Women’s Cricket team. Leanne’s commitment to Team Napier is in no doubt after taking on the strength and conditioning role for our own Napier Knights in preparation for the Varsity Match against the Edinburgh University Predators.

"Having the support from Team Napier will really give me the chance to continue with my elite level training and competitions and will enhance my opportunity to reach my goals. Being a committed student athlete, competing nationally whilst studying as an undergraduate is a challenge and the support from Team Napier makes a dramatic difference."

Beth Scoon
BSC (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science (Sports Injuries) 
Ice Hockey

Since becoming an Edinburgh Napier University student she has represented Team Napier at the International level (Great Britain vs Croatia Kazakhstan, Korea, New Zealand and Poland) and was the only Scottish representative in the team. Beth has represented her county at two World Championships, winning medals on both occasions, as well as the Student Winter Games in addition to playing at the highest club level in the UK and competing in the Scottish Men’s National League.
Off the ice, Beth captains the women’s basketball side as well as the teams Sports Development Co-ordinator thereby making good use of her sporting experience in supporting her fellow students and assisting them in reaping the associated benefits of sport.
Beth highly endorses the student athlete lifestyle which uses the life skills and knowledge from both study and high performance sport, resulting in the opportunity to stand out to potential employers in her future career.

"Through my experience … I hope to show other students that despite the hard work required, there are great benefits in pursuing both academic success and elite level sport. With Team Napier’s help I will, proudly, be able to compete at the highest level."

Sarah O’Connell
BSC (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science (Exercise Physiology)
Gaelic Football

Sarah is in her final year at Edinburgh Napier University and juggles her studying with playing Gaelic Football for her club and Scotland team. Since her time at University Sarah has won three British Championships with her club and just lost out on an All-Ireland medal for Scotland at Croke Park in 2015. Most games are scheduled far down south or in Ireland and long weekends away are often required which are very time consuming and costly. Sarah is eager to go one step further this year and gain an All-Ireland medal for Scotland.

“Team Napier have helped me significantly by freeing me from all pecuniary anxieties and allowing me to balance my sport with my academia. As Gaelic football is an amateur sport any financial support makes a huge difference. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Team Napier for all their support and I hope that help such as this continues at Edinburgh Napier University.”

Bojan Donevski
MSC Biotechnology for Environmental Sustainability
Water Polo

Bojan has been representing the Scotland senior men’s water polo team since 2012 during which time he has represented his country at the Tri-Nations (Scotland, Ireland & Wales), the 8 Nations (Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Slovakia, Scandic Selection, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Denmark) and at the 2014 Commonwealth Championships in Aberdeen winning a bronze medal.

"The support I am receiving from Team Napier will allow me to represent Scotland again at the European Nations Cup 2016 in Malta. Being able to play at an international level again with the help of Team Napier and the ENSA allows me to maintain a very high performance, which is important as the Scotland Water Polo Team is already preparing itself for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia."

 

Chiara Da San Martino
BSC (Hons) Biological Sciences
Volleyball

As an international student in her first year at Edinburgh Napier University, Chiara has faced the challenges of education abroad, getting used to a new city and culture as well as juggling the difficulties of study and work. Team Napier provided Chiara with the opportunity to participate and excel in her favourite sport, volleyball, and be selected for the Scottish Student Sport team to play in a tournament against the English Academies. The team performed well with wins over Northumbria and Essex and finished runners up in the round robin tournament.

"As an Edinburgh Napier University student and Team Napier volleyball team member I was delighted that the volleyball team’s good season was recognised on the national stage through my selection for the Scottish Student Sport Representative Squad.

This opportunity was a huge development for my volleyball career as it allowed me to compete against the English Academies, playing at a higher level than I have done before. In my opinion, this made me a better player and I allowed me, in turn, to help my Team Napier volleyball team mates by taking the knowledge gained from the experience and using it at to improve training sessions. This aided our challenge for the league title.

On a personal level, as an international student, it was a magnificent opportunity to join with other students from all over Scotland, travel with them, learn from their experiences and most importantly represent Team Napier as part of the Scottish Student Sport women’s volleyball team."

Ben Kelly
BSC (Hons) Biomedical Science
Rifle

Ben is in his final year studying BSc Biomedical Science (Hons) and has been a regular competitor for Team Napier. In his 4 years at Edinburgh Napier University and has competed in target rifle shooting at a national and international level, representing Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association, Edinburgh Napier University and the Isle of Man.

As a target shooter Ben has won medals at a number of international competitions including a silver medal at the Commonwealth Shooting Federation (European Division) (CSF(ED)) Championships, gold and bronze medals at the Great Britain Junior International Match, and silver and bronze medals at the NatWest Island Games. His greatest achievement to date is representing the Isle of Man at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, in the prone rifle event and he is aiming to represent the Isle of Man in the 2016 Championships being held in Cardiff in September and to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games being held in Gold Coast, Australia

"I am very grateful to Edinburgh Napier University and ENSA for their support. The act of balancing university work and training time is very challenging and it is not feasible to also try to hold down a part time job. As a result, I am reliant on support such as that of the ENSA Elite Athlete Programme to ensure that I am successful in both my sport and my work.

Their help has enabled me attend a number of competitions each year in order to maintain my level of performance. During my time at Napier I am proud to have won 3 BUCS medals for Team Napier at national championships."

Zac Loney
BSC (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
Cycling

Zac was an accomplished cyclist on both the road and track prior to attending Edinburgh Napier University and joining Team Napier with youth and junior championship titles to his name including the Madison, Pursuit and Scratch races as along with the 15km road champion. In 2015 Zac competed in BUCS for the first time on the track and achieved a 3rd place in the Eliminator and went one better in 2016 by finishing 2nd and is looking forward to a good performance in the BUCS road race later this month.

"I believe getting ENSA & Edinburgh Napier University's name out there at important events such as the BUCS championship events is very beneficial for the university as it will promote Napier as a good choice for sports students and will show that the university has a good sporting background, boosting the appeal to many students."

 

Flora Gillies
BSC (Hons) Animal Biology
Cycling

Having represented Scotland at junior and youth level at both track and road cycling, Flora arrived at Edinburgh Napier Student’s Association with an excellent sporting pedigree. As there was no cycling club at Team Napier, Flora took the opportunity to join the Napier Netball team and played for the 1st team who won BUCS Scottish 3A and got through to the ¼ finals of the knockout competition. Flora took part in the BUCS track championship and achieved 3rd place in the Points race and is looking forward to a good performance in the BUCS road race later this month.

"Thanks to Team Napier’s support I will be highlight the profile of the sport and use this to increase the popularity amongst Edinburgh Napier University students and get more of them to join Team Napier -  I know there are more out there who compete at a high level!"

 

Adam Dove
BSC (Hons) Property Development and Valuation
Rifle & Polo

Adam is a dual international in both rifle and polo. Shooting for Scotland Adam gained medals at junior international level and was part of the Great Britain juniors squad who competed in both European and International competitions. Competing for Team Napier in the rifle discipline at BUCS Adam gained a 2nd place in the short range championships.

After just missing out on the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Adam has focussed his efforts on qualification for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.  As a Polo player, Adam has competed for Scotland against England on a number of occasions as well as the 5 Nations tournament and in 2015 was invited to play for GB Universities.

"In both these sports I have competed at a high level and have pushed myself above the rest. The support of Team Napier has been a great help to keep me at this top level."

Christo Gallacher
School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences
Mountain Biking

Christo is in his final year of study at the Edinburgh Napier Universities School of Life, Sport and Social Sciences. He is and accomplished downhill mountain biker who has ranked 6th in Scotland and competed in 3 of the last 4 BUCS competitions for Edinburgh Napier University. He has consistently produced good performances at BUCS finishing a highly credible 5th on two occasions and only missing out on a third top 5 finish due to mechanical failure.

Most recently Christo has won the Enduro White Vallelujah race in March and coming a credible 10th at the Tweedlove International in May 2016 to lead the Tweed Valley Triple Crown Enduro series with one race to go.

"The ENSA Elite Athlete fund helped me compete through my final year of studies. Helping fund my way to international competitions allowed me to focus on my training and studies instead of working. The fund helped to pay for my travel and race entries, which really adds up when you’re doing 20 odd races a year. This stress taken away from me led me to my best season of racing so far, with a 58th at the third round of the Enduro World Series and 10th place at the biggest Enduro race in the UK - the Tweedlove International. It's been awesome being part of ENSA Elite Athlete fund and without the support I think this race season would have been much harder."

Jordan Szafranek
BSC (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
Karate

Jordan is in his first year at Edinburgh Napier University and arrived with an excellent sporting pedigree. Continuing on from his excellent performances which gained him international recognition for Scotland and ranked top 16 in the world, Jordan has won the Scottish Student Sport national title, the Austrian Champions Cup and finishing 3rd in BUCS. He has also competed at both European and World Championships, and is looking to make his way into Team GB.

"As a dedicated and hardworking athlete, I am very appreciative of the support I receive from ENSA. It has allowed me to dedicate more time to training and help me get to where I want to be in my sport. For the last 6 years I have represented Scotland at European and World Championship level and the help from ENSA is helping me work towards my goal of winning a medal."

Samantha Caulfield
BSC (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science
Swimming

Sam is currently in her 2nd year at Napier University and juggles studying for her honours degree with competing in the sport of Swimming. She commits to 9 pool sessions and 3 gym sessions per week with the UoE Performance Swim Team, resulting in a busy schedule. Sam has progressed through the Scottish Swimming Framework having been a Senior Silver Squad member and Sport Scotland institute supported athlete for the past two years.

Sam represented Team Napier at the BUCS Short course swimming championships in November 2016 and made the finals of the 50m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley, receiving well-earned BUCS points for Team Napier at the event.

"I am currently training and aiming towards the 2017 Scottish National Open Championships which act as the qualifier for Team Scotland for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which are held on the Gold Coast, Australia. Meaning this next year is vital in allowing me to get the opportunities and experience required to compete at the highest level. I greatly appreciate the support from ENSA as the cost demands of the sport are very high, so with this help I am able to compete for the university at BUCS long and short course championships along with future training camps and competitions I have coming up."

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Beth Wallace
VP Sports & Societies
VP Sports and Societies

Beth is ENSA’s Vice President Sports & Societies. If you need any information or advice about anything relating to sports clubs and societies at Edinburgh Napier, contact Beth and she will tell you all you need to know.

Email Beth Teamnapier