Two sportsmen from the University of Portsmouth have been chosen to compete for team Great Britain at the 2017 World University Winter Games in Kazakhstan.
Both students, Laurence Willows and Elliot Dewey, will travel to the games for the 29th January. The World Games is the second largest event in the world after the Olympic Games.
Captain of the England ice hockey team, Elliot Dewey and ski cross member and former England champion, Laurence Willows will be amongst a further 3,000 sportsmen and women from 50 other countries.
The World University Winter games is an event that happens every two years and is the largest winter sports events in the world for student athletes.
Dewey, 19, and from Basingstoke is a scholar of sport and exercise science at the university. Despite not being a sports scholar, the University have financially contributed to paying his fares to Kazakhstan. He is guaranteed a place on next year’s scholarship scheme.
Willows, who is 20, is studying BSc economics, finance and banking, is from south east London. As a seasoned skier, Willows has been on the slopes since the age of two. In that time, he has competed in four junior world championships and is a former England dry slope champion. He is also one of the University’s sports scholars and therefore receives financial and other help to ensure that he can compete at the highest level.
The head of sport and recreation at the University was evidently delighted by the lads’ achievement. He said: “England isn’t the best at developing winter sports champions and so it’s a double celebration that at one university we have helped nurture two world class winter sportsmen. I am thrilled for them and we will all be cheering them both on.”
The University actively encourages and supports exceptionally talented athletes. The sports scholarship is open to 20 talented students a year, and it includes financial help toward equipment, competition and training; physiotherapy screening and free access to all sports facilities.
As such, the university has begun to amass a talented array of students and alumni that have competed at the highest level. Paralympian and Portsmouth student Lauren Steadman’s inspirational performance in the triathalon at the Brazil Olympics captured the public’s imagination. On top of Lauren’s achievements, sports scholar Dan Bentley won gold in Beijing in 2008 and then bronze in London in 2012 for boccia.