Plenty of University of Bath interest as first combined European Championships take place in Glasgow and Berlin
Fifteen University of Bath-based athletes and a further five graduates will be representing Great Britain across five sports when the inaugural combined European Championships take place in Glasgow and Berlin from August 2-12.
The multi-sport event, which will be staged every four years, has been designed to raise the profile of the existing continental championships in athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon, as well as a new golf team championship.
Eight of them are part of the hugely-successful British Swimming National Centre Bath, including Sport & Exercise Science student Tom Derbyshire. He will make his senior British debut alongside Jess Fullalove, James Guy, Calum Jarvis, Cameron Kurle, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chloe Tutton and Jazz Carlin – the latter will be competing in the open-water events at a major championships for the first time.
Also making their senior British debuts in the Tollcross International Swimming Centre will be two MJ Church Ambassadors present and past – Sport & Exercise Science graduate Anna Hopkin, a Thompson Education Trust Scholar coached by Mark Skimming, and former World University Games champion Jay Lelliott, who studied Sports Performance.
The synchronised swimming competition will take place in a specially-built pool at the Scotstoun Sports Complex and will see Ilaria Brandimarte – founder and chair of Team Bath Synchro Club – proudly wear GB colours for the first time since receiving British citizenship in May.
“I cannot wait to get there, get involved with the atmosphere and show off all the hard work that we have done – it feels like it has been a long time coming,” said Brandimarte, who also works part-time on reception at the Sports Training Village.
“We finished our last training camp last Thursday, where we were training eight or nine hours every day, and we have three more days of training in Glasgow before competition starts on Friday.
“The main aim is to score in the 80s for all the events. It won’t be easy but we have a strong team and many of them have just come back from the Junior World Championships, where they really achieved more than was expected, so the potential is there.
“This is the first European Championships planned in this way and it feels like a mini Olympics, so it will be great to be able to catch up with all my swim-mates from here in Bath.”
Also competing in Glasgow will be India Lee, a member of the British Triathlon National Performance Centre in Bath – she will be looking to repeat her Elite Women’s gold-medal success from the Europeans in 2016.
The rowing competition will feature Biology graduate Sara Parfett, who was coached by Dan Harris on the GB Rowing Team World-Class Start Programme at the University. She will race in a youthful women’s four alongside Caragh McMurty, Emily Ashford and Jo Wratten.
Unfortunately fellow Bath Start graduate Vicky Thornley will not be able to defend her women’s single scull title after withdrawing from the British team on Monday.
There will be plenty of Bath interest in the European Athletics Championships, taking place in Berlin, with Emily Diamond, Eilidh Doyle, MJ Church Ambassador David King and Sports Performance graduate Cameron Chalmers – supported by a Thompson Education Trust Scholarship – all in the British squad.