Sports Scholar to represent Great Britain



Heriot-Watt Sports Scholar, Rachel Syme, has been selected to represent GB this September at the Junior European Championships. This selection follows Rachel’s successful performance in the British Canoe Sprint Championships at the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham on 4 and 5 July.

At this event Rachel and her crew took part in the U18 category for K2 1,000m race, where they raced alongside U23 women and were placed 5th overall out of 8 boats and 3rd Junior boat in the race.

Rachel, a second year student studying Biological Sciences, is a member of the Vision Squad within the Scottish Canoe Association’s performance programme. The Vision squad is aimed at athletes who are showing a potential to reach finals at Junior and U23 World and European Championships. At the British Championships and other national regattas they compete under Scottish Development Squad and as a team have collected 32 medals at the British Championships, 16 of which were gold.

Rachel said, “In my last year as a junior paddler, getting to represent Great Britain at a major championship was a big aim and having achieved this it has made all the hard work and sacrifices worth it. It has also gave me confidence and renewed determination before stepping up to U23 next season.

“The Heriot-Watt University Sports Scholarship scheme has supported me over the last year by providing membership to the facilities at the Centre for Sport and Exercise, which allowed me to attend the gym in between classes when I couldn’t make it to training at night. They also provided support when I needed to miss university to attend training camps abroad during a semester last year. This scheme has also helped me financially, making it possible for me to attend camps and train with other paddlers my age from across Britain.”