High-performing student-athletes in artistic swimming, cycling, rowing and netball join ranks of University of Bath Sporting Scholars
Aspiring Olympians in artistic swimming and rowing, a rising road-race cycling star and two Team Bath Netball Super League players have been awarded sporting scholarships by the University of Bath for the 2022-23 academic year.
George Gray, Sophie Kelly, Jayda Pechova, Angus Pollock and Laura Turberville – who all combine their burgeoning sporting careers with studying at The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023 University of the Year – have received a cash award to help them meet the demands of training, competing and studying at an elite level.
Scholarships are supported by alumni, friends and partners of the University, who are passionate about giving talented young people the opportunity to benefit from Bath’s sporting and academic environment. Double Olympic swimming champion Tom Dean is a current scholar, while previous recipients include fellow Tokyo 2020 gold-medallists Joe Choong (modern pentathlon), Anna Hopkin and Calum Jarvis (both swimming).
Sport and Exercise Science student Turberville is the third member of the British Swimming artistic swimming squad to be supported by a scholarship, joining Tokyo Olympian Kate Shortman and Daniella Lloyd who were both awarded theirs in 2021-22.
The trio all train in Bristol and have their sights set on Paris 2024 after helping Great Britain achieve a sixth-placed finish in the Free Combination Team event at the 2022 World Championships. Turberville, selected for the Team GB Olympic Ambition Programme in 2021, also competed at the European Championships last summer and coaches with the Team Bath Artistic Swimming Club based at the University’s Sports Training Village.
She has been awarded an Ivor Powell Scholarship, named in honour of Team Bath’s legendary long-serving football coach, while Aerospace Engineering student Pollock receives a Goldsmith Scholarship. He is a member of the GB Rowing Team Start programme at the University of Bath and was consistently the fastest U21 sculler in national trials during the 2021-22 season.
That earned Pollock, coached by Dan Harris, a place in GB’s U23 European Championships squad but he had to withdraw through injury nine days before the event. His big target for this year is selection for July’s World Rowing U23 Championships in Bulgaria.
New Matrix scholar Gray will have plenty of opportunity to put what he learns on his Modern Languages (Spanish and Italian) course to good use after securing a contract with leading Italian U23 development road cycling team Zappi Racing.
A regular winner on the UK time trial circuit, Gray has also made his mark on the international circuit and was a stage winner during the 2022 Junior Tour of the Basque Country. He is looking forward to competing on the U23 circuit this year at such events as the Giro D’Italia.
Awarded a Bill Whiteley Scholarship for 2022-23 is netballer Kelly, a Management fresher who is a new member of Team Bath Netball’s youthful 2023 Super League squad. The exciting goal-attack made her league debut aged just 16 for previous club Surrey Storm and has been part of the England Roses Academy squad since 2019, winning Netball Europe gold at U17 and U21 level.
Blue & Gold team-mate Pechova is also in her first year of combining study and netball at the University of Bath, where the Sports Performance student is supported by a Trendell Scholarship. A member of the Future Roses squad, the talented goal-keeper made her senior England debut at the World Fast5 Championships in New Zealand in October and was shortlisted for the 2022 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.
The five new scholars are among 27 current student-athletes to receive financial backing and lifestyle support at the University of Bath, which was the first UK university to offer sports scholarships back in 1976.