New year, same sports scholar success  

2024 started with a bang for our outstanding university scholarship athletes and alumni, who have broken in the new year with some incredible performances on the national and international stage, particularly in hockey, netball and cross-country.

Great Britain Men and Women Hockey squads embarked on the road to Paris 2024 after qualifying at the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.

 

In Spain,  GB Women featuring current EDCAP scholar and social policy student Lily Walker as well as four alumni, Lily Owsley, Anna Toman, Amy Costello and goal-scorer Hannah French closely battled to secure their spot, beating Ireland 2-1, after losing 3-2 to Belgium in the semi-finals.

 

GB Men secured their spot after beating New Zealand 3-1 to reach the final in Muscat, Oman. The team featured talented alumni Nick Bandurak. Both teams will now prepare for the Olympic Games in just over six months’ time.

EDCAP scholarship athletes and current students Evie Wood, Alice Atkinson and Betsan Thomas have been named in the Women’s GB Elite Development Squad (GB EDP) for 2024, with fellow scholar Harvey Edwards being named as a reserve for the men’s squad.

 

The programme aims to help junior players smoothly transition to senior international hockey, providing those who have Olympic potential with the support they need. This is an amazing achievement for these players and shows real promise as they look to follow in the footsteps of those named above.

 

Sunday 28 January was a crucial but exciting day for England Netball as the England Roses played in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup Final in Leeds.

 

University of Birmingham alumni Fran Williams played in goal defence whilst captaining the team to the final, alongside fellow alumni Ellie Rattu. The Roses put in an incredible performance, but narrowly missed out on the win to the strong team Origin Australian Diamonds.

 

One week later, the Athletics club came home with a record-breaking medal haul of 13 medals at the BUCS Cross Country Championships. Not only this, but the team won 3 out of the total 4 for both team and individual titles – an exceptional achievement for the team.

Over a gruelling course, EDCAP Scholars Amelia Quirk and Will Barnicoat continued their success from the European Cross Country Championships in December and dominated the field in the Women and Men’s Long Course, bringing home 2 gold medals.

 

Will was closely followed by fellow scholar Tomer Tarragano and Oliver Smart, in a Birmingham 1-2-3, the first clean sweep on the Podium at BUCS Cross Country in history.