The University of Brighton is to offer sports scholarships to a handful of

outstanding athletes who are studying at the university.

The scholars - who must demonstrate the ability to compete at national and

international level - will receive annual bursaries of £1,000 plus a package

of intensive training support during their time of study at the university.

The package will include free sports science support, free access to all

university training facilities, cut-price access to sports medicine and a

personal mentor to help them combine their academic and sporting


Two or three scholars will be taken on in 2002/3, the first year of the

scheme, but by 2005/6 the university intends to offer up to 15 sports

scholarships at any one time.

Successful applicants could be studying any academic course at the

university, and could participate in any mainstream sport, but they must

satisfy the strict entry criteria (see notes). Applications from athletes

with disabilities are welcomed.

The university already has a superb track record in producing world-class

athletes. Its alumni include Kate Allenby, winner of the bronze medal for

the modern pentathlon at the 2000 Olympics.

Jerry Fairclough, the university's director of sport and recreation, said:

'To compete at an international level in any sport is tough, but when you

combine that with studying for a degree it is tougher still.

'Through giving scholarships we can help high-performance athletes to

complete their studies and still achieve their full potential in their

chosen sport. The scholars will also benefit from the latest sports science

technology, which is available at our Eastbourne site.'