Students represent Great Britain in World University Games

Student athletes from Sheffield Hallam University are set to represent Team GBR in the Summer Universiade (the World University Games) in Taipei.

Eight students, competing in the swimming, athletics, water polo and taekwondo events will be part of the 168-strong GB delegation travelling to Taiwan’s capital next week, where they will be joined by approximately 10,000 student athletes from over 170 countries.

The GB water polo teams, which feature Sheffield Hallam’s Thomas Grieve, Peter Pickford, Elliot Kelly and Brooke Tafazolli, are in the first event of the 2017 Games as the men take on France and the women face Russia in their opening fixtures on 18 August.

History student, Alicia Barrett will compete in the 100m hurdles on 25 August just days after racing in the World Championships in London, while Courtney Eardley begins her campaign in the Taekwondo heats.

Swimmer, Joe Litchfield hopes to make his mark in the 200m and 400m Individual Medley events while sport coaching student, Isobel Grant makes her major, senior international debut in the 200m butterfly.

The students will be amongst 111 athletes from universities across the country competing in 11 different sports including; archery, women’s football, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, table tennis, tennis and weightlifting.

It is the biggest British delegation of athletes to enter the Games since 2011 and they will be joined by 52 support staff.

The team will be looking to build on the success of the last Games in Gwangju, South Korea in 2015, where Team GBR brought home 11 medals – 3 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze.

Thomas Grieve, 21, a sport development and coaching student, said: “I’m incredibly excited to get there. It’s been a long time in the making after what has been a tough year. And to represent Hallam as well is something I’m really proud of as I’ve had a really good three years here and to finish with this as my final event is something that I am really proud of and I can’t thank the University enough for what they’ve done for me.

“It’s going to be quite tough when we get there as there are a few big European powerhouses out there. I can’t see why we shouldn’t get out of the group stages and progress through the competition – we aren’t going there to make up the numbers, we’re going there to play hard and win.”

Isobel Grant, 19, said: “I’m really excited to be representing GBR. It’s my first major senior international competition and it just feels amazing and I’m happy to be selected. I can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do.”

Dan Porter MBE, head of sports services at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The fact that we have eight students representing Great Britain in the summer Games is reflective of the high calibre of athletes and staff we have here at Hallam.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to compete on a world stage and represent both Hallam and our country and we’re all incredibly proud of them.”