Gavin Noble joins a notable list of current and former University of Stirling student athletes competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The 31-year-old, from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland, is also set to make history as the first male triathlete to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games when he steps up to the start line on Tuesday 7 August.
“It has always been a goal to compete in the Olympics, but I realise now that it means a lot more to other people that to just me,” explained Noble, who graduated with an honours degree in Marketing in 2004.
“I am obviously very proud, but also excited that my family, friends and people who have helped support me will also be a part of this Olympics.”
Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence is host to the national performance training centre for triathlon and central office of national governing body triathlonscotland.
Noble was part of the University’s International Sports Scholarship Programme and eight years on, continues to take advantage of his alma mater.
He added: “The friends I have in Stirling meant that post-study it has become my home and my training base. I have a house in town and I love the training environment. On a sunny day there aren’t many places in the world that offer the variety of terrain on your doorstep.
“triathlonscotland has been very welcoming to me and over the years I also trained a little bit with Stirling Swimming, Stirling Triathlon Club and also quite a lot with Central Athletics.
“With the arrival of the sportscotland institute of sport on campus, the scholarship programme has evolved even further and with all the new facilities, it is now a top destination for athletes in full-time education.
“When I speak to younger Irish athletes I always point them in the direction of the Wallace Monument when they are looking at where to study and train.”
Joining Noble in London is Economics and Finance graduate Colin Fleming, who will represent Team GB in men’s doubles tennis whilst Psychology and Sports Studies graduate Susan Egelstaff (née Hughes) will play in the badminton ladies singles.
Scotland senior international footballer and MPhil student Jane Ross, has been named as a reserve for the Team GB women’s football team and swimmer Rob Bale, who trains at the British Gas ITC Stirling on campus, will compete in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay.
Current Sports Studies student Scott McCowan (Boccia) and Psychology and Sports Studies graduate Charlotte Henshaw (Swimming) have been selected for the Paralympic Games.
Ross receives support from the International Sports Scholarship Programme and both Ross and McCowan are also part of national sports scholarship programme Winning Students.
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Notes to editors:
Please credit photo of Gavin Noble to Delly Carr ITU
International Sports Scholarship programme
More than 800 students have been supported by the University of Stirling’s International Sports Scholarship Programme since its launch in 1981. It provides a twin-track approach, allowing talented young student athletes to combine their education with high performance sports success. In 2011-12, the programme supports 100 athletes across five sports.
For more information, visit www.sportingexcellence.stir.ac.uk/scholarships