Posted on 05/11/2010
Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor
Elite student athletes studying at Royal Holloway, University of London gathered together for the annual STARS Awards evening on Thursday (4 November), in the College’s Picture Gallery.
It was hosted by Deputy Principal, Rob Kemp who described it as a “special night to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our incredibly talented students.”
The Student Talented Athlete Recognition Scheme (STARS) provides a support network for elite student athletes at Royal Holloway who are competing or aiming to compete at the very top level of their sport. The scheme helps students reach their full potential in both sporting and academic life, whilst supporting them with the same level of effort, enthusiasm and dedication that they show in training.
Olympic silver medallist Leon Taylor, was guest speaker at this year’s event. During a diving career spanning more than 20 years, Leon enjoyed sustained success at the highest level. He participated at three Olympic Games and was a member of the Great Britain team for 16 years. The highlight of his career was winning silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He spoke of how he found it hard to balance his sporting career with studying and had to pull out of his degree but he told Royal Holloway students: “I’m glad you’re here and being supported through the STARS scheme. It’s a hard juggling act and it requires hours of dedication but it’s made easier when you have a support network behind you.”
The new influx of STARS students who have been welcomed to the College this year all compete at an elite and performance level in a wide range of sports, including athletics, rugby, karate, golf and fencing. Since the initiative began, STARS has supported nine Olympians and Paralympians and over 100 athletes with world and national rankings.