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University of St Andrews golf athletes gain Winning Students scholarships

Thursday 21 February 2013

Winning students scholarships are designed to give students performing at the highest level a platform to excel both on an academic and sporting front. Scholarships of up to £5,500 are awarded each year, with investment in services being tailored to the individual requirements of the athletes involved.

As a member of the Winning Students network, the University of St Andrews is proud to announce that three golf athletes from the University have been awarded a scholarship for 2012-13. These students are Gemma Bradbury, Gabrielle MacDonald and Ailsa Summers, Gemma having received one for the previous three years. There are ten core scholarship sports, including golf, and these athletes are nominated by their governing body against strict academic and sporting criteria. These scholarships provide additional support over and above that provided by the University Golf Development programme and, in some cases, compliments the support received from the SportScotland Scottish Institute of Sport.

“Both competitive Golf and University are expensive ventures in the current climate and maintaining financial stability to allow students to excel at both is increasingly difficult. The Winning Students scholarships provide additional income to individual golf athletes, which compliment University of St Andrews scholarships and bursary opportunities. This allows them to embrace all the opportunities that the “Home of Golf”, University golf and beyond (National and International competition) affords.” Debby Sargent, Performance Sport Manager

All three students are delighted with their scholarships. Here’s what Ailsa, Gabrielle and Gemma had to say about their golfing ambitions for now and after they graduate from the University of St Andrews:

Ailsa Summers

“As a student at the University of St Andrews and with the support from Winning Students, I hope to develop my golf game in the next few years. I want to develop my understanding and experience, to continue to learn from my mistakes and adapt accordingly. This includes improving my playing skills by using the excellent courses and weather conditions to learn new ways to play and therefore have a wider range of shots available. In order to be able to do this, the foundations of my golf swing must be solid, something I am and will be working hard on to benefit in the future. I would ideally be at a level to contend in the highest level of amateur golf after university and maybe turn professional if my ability allows.” 

Ailsa Summers picture

Gabrielle Macdonald

“Developing my golf throughout my time at university is one of my main priorities. Continuous improvement for me in golf will hopefully lead to gaining a full international cap on the Scottish Ladies team. I feel that I need to improve my short-game especially to take my golf to this level, especially focusing on my putting. Building my physical strength during university aids development in my technique and ability to compete. After university I would like to take time out to compete as a full time amateur and eventually to gain my tour card for the Ladies European Tour.”

Gabrielle MacDonald Picture

Gemma Bradbury

“I started playing golf when I was 10, as both my parents and grandparents played so I fancied a go too! After a while, I started entering competitions and eventually got involved in the Welsh set-up, and have since enjoyed six years of playing at junior and senior international level, which I hope to continue with.

In terms of what I’d like to improve, the area I have been working on is the mental side, which plays a very big part in golf particularly. Alongside a sports psychologist, I’ve been working on various factors to give me the best chance of playing well in a tournament. It can sound a bit strange, but having been working in this area for just over a year now I am starting to see the results. Additionally, I’ve made a couple of changes to my swing this winter, which (hopefully!) are the last major changes I will need to make. Maintenance of short game and putting will also be the key for me to do well.

Next year, I intend taking a year out to play golf full-time (without the distraction of exams or a degree!) and hopefully this will enable me to reach the top level of the amateur game which I hope would be a GB+I cap.”

Gemma Bradbury Picture


Posted under: Performance