Hockeys 1st and 2nd Team BUCS Championship Squad

High Performance Programme Celebrates a Decade of Success

The High Performance Programme provides support to talented athletes that allows them to reach their sporting potential while also fulfilling academic commitments. The High Performance Programme mostly works within its 12 ‘focus sports’ which include Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Golf, Hockey, Rugby Union and Sailing.

On the eve of it’s 10 year anniversary, the High Performance Programme continues to foster fantastic achievements amongst student athletes at Exeter. To date in 2010, the University’s sporting achievements already make for impressive reading:

The Men’s Basketball 1st team have reached the play-off stage for promotion to the BUCS Premier League after winning their league with consummate ease, losing only one game all season to date.

The Men’s Tennis 1st team have finished first in their BUCS league and remain undefeated. They now await the winners of the South-East regional league in a playoff for promotion into the BUCS Premier League.

The University’s hockey teams continue to excel to the extent that Exeter is now renowned as a leading university for the sport; both Men’s and Women’s 1st teams have won their respective BUCS Premier Leagues this season. Lucy Dawkins, Amy Sheehan and Claire Thomas have recently been invited to attend trials for England Under 21s while current men’s National League squad member and former sports scholar, South African Ian Haley, joins a fellow former Exeter sports scholar and current England goalkeeper Nick Brothers in the Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup in New Delhi.

1st year Psychology and Sociology student Karla Drew has been awarded her first international vest after being selected to represent Great Britain Under 23s in the heptathlon discipline of an international Athletics competition to be held in France.

Sarah George, a 1st year Exercise and Sport Science student, has secured a place in the England Under-21’s Women’s Rugby Squad who are set to compete in a Six Nations event later this year. On the Men’s side in 2010, John Bordiss and Tom Hockedy have represented the England Students team in international competition. Tom has also been named vice-captain of this squad.

All of the athletes on the High Performance Programme receive dedicated Sports Science support from the University which includes physiological testing and training, sports psychology and nutritional guidance, delivered at the University’s well-equipped Sports Park.

Nick Beasant, Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and Competitions), while understandably proud of his athletes achievements to date, is looking to build on these successes and continue Exeter’s progress in elite sport performance, ‘’It is always encouraging to see our athletes achieving success in their sporting pursuits. Such achievements are made possible through the hard work and determination of the staff behind the scenes who work with our athletes on a daily basis.’’

One such contributor is Alan Pope, the lead Strength and Conditioning coach. Alan, a UKSCA qualified coach, has worked with some of the UK’s top athletes including GB diver Tom Daly and GB Sailor Nick Thompson. Alan has been part of the High Performance team at Exeter since it’s inception in 2000 and his passion for developing young athletes has helped many student athletes to reach their potential.

Sport, particularly so at a high-performance level, plays a huge role in university applications for many and the development of the High Performance Unit has helped the University of Exeter become a nationally recognised sporting establishment within the Higher Education sector.

Sports facilities at the University have been continually developed in recent years. Amongst various high-standard sports facilities, Exeter now boasts a £1.5million LTA-accredited Indoor Tennis Centre, an Olympic standard water astro pitch and a £2million Indoor Cricket Centre that opened in July 2009.

Over the last decade the High Performance Unit has also built up strong relationships with numerous local and national sporting bodies including Exeter City FC, Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club, England Hockey and National League Basketball outfit Taunton Tigers. It is often through relationships with external agencies such as these that Exeter’s elite student athletes receive most benefit and it is hoped that through these partnerships Exeter will continue to establish itself as a leading sporting University over the next 10 years.

Date: 10 June 2010