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Championing student-athletes

How scholarships power performance in studies and sport.

“Winning the Olympics was utterly incredible,” says modern pentathlete Joe Choong MBE (BSc Mathematical Sciences 2018), who took gold at Tokyo 2020. “It’s something I’ve always dreamed of, but you never know what it’s going to be like until you actually get there.”

Since then, Joe has also taken the top spot at the UIPM 2022 Pentathlon World Championships – feats made possible by your support. He’s now training for the 2023 season, which is his first opportunity to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. During his time at Bath, Joe was supported by an Ivor Powell Sports Scholarship, which was established in 2010 in memory of the Bath honorary graduate and football coach. The scholarship is supported by several alumni through crowdfunding.

Joe says:

“Looking back, training and improvements take patience. Without the building blocks of my first few years training at the University of Bath, I would never have been able to continue up the ladder. In those founding years, the scholarship was crucial in keeping me on the path to my Olympic gold.”

Sports scholarships offer a vote of confidence in a young athlete at the beginning of their career. Fellow modern pentathlete Olivia Green (BSc Sport & Exercise Science 2022), whose sports scholarship was supported by alumni, also performed brilliantly in her first solo World Championships in 2022 – taking home team gold and placing fifth in the solo competition.

“I would like to thank my donors for the support I received while being a student- athlete,” she says. “Modern pentathlon requires lots of expensive equipment. The scholarship released financial pressures, enabling me to better manage competing for my country alongside being a student. As I have now graduated, I look forward to diving into life as a full-time athlete!”

For all you do to keep athletes like Joe and Olivia on top of the podium in sports and studies, thank you.

Pool prowess

In 2022, swimmer and Bill Whiteley scholar Tom Dean became England’s most decorated athlete at a single Commonwealth Games.

Tom Dean stood outside the Sports Training Village on campus

On the ball

Buchan Jones Sports Scholar Hannah Passmore helped Team Bath Netball to third place in the Netball Super League, as well as qualifying for the England Under-21s team.

Hannah Passmore jumping to catch the ball during a netball match

Try your best

Matrix Sports Scholar Orlando Bailey helped the England Under-20s rugby team to Six Nations title-winning success in 2021 and was called up to England’s Six Nations squad in 2022.

Orlando Bailey playing for Bath Rugby

Running away with it

Santander Sports Scholar Aleeya Sibbons led the University to a golden sprint double at the BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships 2022.

Aleeya Sibbons wearing a University of Bath hoodie

Discover more about the impact of sports scholarships

Read our Parade Profile with Orlando