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Student sports star wins national championship

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Student sports star wins national championship

UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER Logo

Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education

One of the University of Leicester’s Gold Sports Scholars has capped off a season of sporting successes as a canoeist with a win at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) White Water Canoe Racing Championships.

Ryan Hunt, a first year student studying Natural Sciences at the University, scooped two gold medals for the Men’s National C1 and C2 Classic Championship titles, beating his nearest rival for the C1 by 40 seconds.

Ryan’s gold medals are the first and second ever won by a University of Leicester student at the event.

Matthew Weir, Assistant Director of Sports at the University, commented: “We are really proud of Ryan’s achievements. He has a tough training schedule and combining this with his studies isn’t easy, so it’s fantastic to see all of his hard work paying off.

“It is my hope that Ryan’s victories will inspire Leicester students to recognise the opportunities available to them, give something new a go and strive to be the best they can be.”

As a Gold Sports Scholar, Ryan was supported by a £500 grant from the University’s alumni Student Opportunities Fund, which assists him with the costs of events like these and also helps support him through his training.

Six Gold Sports Scholarships are awarded a year by the University, providing Gold access to sports facilities, coaching, physiotherapy and nutritional advice, among many other benefits.

Steve O’ Connor, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said: “Leicester alumni will be delighted to hear of Ryan’s tremendous achievements at the National C1 Canoeing Championships as their generous donations to the Student Opportunities Fund helped to provide his Gold Sports Scholarship. 

“In some small way they will feel part of his remarkable achievements and encourage even more Leicester graduates to make a gift to provide more scholarships for more talented students like Ryan.”

Ryan was previously a flat water sprint canoeist, holding the under 18,500 metre C1 and C2 titles.

In August 2013, he decided to try white water racing—and since then he has competed with the GB team at an international event in Germany, where he won silver medals in the under 18 classic and sprint events.

Being new to the challenges of white water didn’t stop Ryan from travelling to Hexham on November 9 to compete in the BUCS Championships on the Tyne, where he overcame capsizing into freezing water to win the Men’s National C1 Classic Championships in just over 20 minutes.

Ryan’s wins contribute 24 BUCS points to the University’s league total of 520.

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