Students from Hartpury University and Hartpury College have shown there’s more to their prestigious Sports Academy than rugby and football. As part of the Hartpury Athlete Performance Academy, they’ve notched up a string of successes during the current academic year spanning an array of sports.
Covering everything from tennis, downhill skiing, and swimming to karate, biathlon, and many more besides, here are the highlights for 2022/23.
Hartpury PhD student Rory Kavanagh won a bronze medal at the BUCS National Championships. The Irish National Karate team (ONAKAI) member is already a multiple national champion and double Irish champion in the -67kg and open weight divisions. His international medal haul also includes WIKF European Champion and WIKF World Silver.
Felicity Warburton (Level 2 Extended Certificate Sport) became world champion at the recent world games in Amsterdam.
Isis Van Der Stroom (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Animal Management (Science)) enjoyed a busy 2022, contesting the 200m Breaststroke at the British Championships and British Summer National Championships. After posting two season’s bests at the recent City of Bristol meet, Isis is looking to qualify once again for the British Summer Nationals.
First year A-level (Maths, PE and Physics) student Ollie Hill enjoyed success at the British Biathlon Championships that took place in Ruhpolding, Germany in February. Ollie overcame difficult race conditions to take bronze in the Junior (Under-23) British Championship 15km Individual race.
Monty Bedwell (BTEC Level 3 Foundation Diploma Sport and Outdoor Activities) won a medal in the England Ski Downhill Championships, placing 1st in his age group national championship and finishing in 3rd Place in the overall nationals of 2023. He also finished in the top 50 at the English Championships held in Italy.
Alex Abdul-Wahab (BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning) recorded two personal bests at the BUCS National Track Cycling Championships, securing top ten placings in both the BUCS 1k TT and BUCS 200m with times of 1:07.14 and 10.69s respectively. In May, he picked up a bronze medal at the Dublin International Track Cycling event and finished 5th in the keirin.
Ella-Grace Edwards (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport and Exercise Science) finished in 5th place at the England Indoor Under-20 Championships in the 60m race, with a personal best time of 7.58s. Ella has also been selected on England Athletics’ long list for the Youth Commonwealth Games.
Bethany Pye (BTEC level 3 National Extended Diploma Sport (Physical Education and Coaching)) is looking ahead to the World Championships this summer after her outstanding win at the Racketlon World Championships in Austria where she took the U18 Girls Singles and Doubles Championship titles. Beth won the U21 girls singles at the Great British Championships and the women’s doubles for racketlon in April. She played in the national championships for girls U17 table tennis which she beat the no. 12 player in the country, but didn’t get through her group. She also competed in the Schools National Championships for table tennis.
Jessica Geelhoed (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport and Exercise Science) finished in 3rd place at the Regional Association of Colleges (AoC) National Championships - West Midlands Singles tournament. Rachel James A-level (PE, English Literature and English Language) also competed at the AoC National Championships and finished 6th.
It’s already been quite the year for Lucinda Evans A-level (Maths, Biology and Chemistry) who was selected to shoot for British Shooting in Hannover in May, finishing with Bronze in the pairs. She’ll aim to add a win to her stunning collection of accolades including a gold medal from the Scottish Open, a silver medal from the Scottish Junior Women’s Championship, and a bronze medal from the Junior British Open Championship.
Anna Craig (BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences) took an adrenaline-fuelled silver medal in a thrilling BUCS Downhill Championship, following up a 4th-placed finish in the Portugal Downhill Cup in Tarouca.
Lee Douglas, Athlete Performance Academy Manager and Head of Strength and Conditioning at Hartpury said: “We’re very proud of each and every one of our athletes who have enjoyed medal successes as well as seasonal or personal bests during the past year.
“We’re always impressed by the determination and passion each student athlete shows in their sport, and it’s a great pleasure for us to be able to provide the coaching, support and facilities to help make their goals a reality.
“We’re so well known for our rugby, but the elite facilities we’re lucky to have here make it an ideal choice for any student from any sport looking to train, compete and study.”
This year, Hartpury is celebrating its 75th anniversary, reflecting on nearly eight decades of education in its specialist areas. Sport has become a key specialism of the institution and its Dual Career pathway is well documented.
Today, a total of 10 competitive sports academies are well established, providing students with the chance to train and compete in sports including netball, rugby, football, futsal, equine, modern pentathlon, golf, athletics and more.
Student athletes train within an elite sporting environment while studying A-levels, diplomas and degrees as they progress along the much-celebrated Dual Career pathway that’s produced 250 international athletes over the past 15 years and results in high graduate employability among sport students of 97% (Graduate Outcomes 2022).
In addition to its sporting credentials, Hartpury University ranks 1st in the South West and 6th in the UK for Teaching Quality, according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2023.