Seal of approval for RGU from Olympic star

Olympic and world champion swimmer Hannah Miley is celebrating her latest success after graduating from Robert Gordon University (RGU).

Olympic and world champion swimmer Hannah Miley is celebrating her latest success after graduating from Robert Gordon University.Hannah (23), from Inverurie, successfully combined her university studies with an intensive training programme which has seen her win Commonwealth gold as well as World, European and British titles.

The former Inverurie Academy pupil, who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and London 2012 Olympics, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Science at His Majesty’s Theatre (HMT) in Aberdeen on Thursday, July 11.

Hannah said: “I’m really excited to have finished my studies at Robert Gordon University, it’s a significant milestone for me and to graduate with a bachelor’s degree is a very proud achievement.

“I can’t thank RGU enough for the support the university has given me since I enrolled in 2008 – I’ve been able to enjoy the best of both worlds by completing my studies while also pursuing my swimming career. I owe it to RGU for supporting me to a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games as well as competing in three Olympic finals in London.”

Hannah, who studied at RGU’s School of Health Sciences, is also an RGU:SPORT Scholar and has benefitted from a tailor-made package of support from the university which allowed her to combine her studies with the demands of training and competing against the best swimmers in the world.

Hannah said: “The scholarship scheme has been very helpful and meant I could cover the costs of attending university which allowed me to focus completely on studying and my training. The university also ensured I didn’t have to take exams if I was at training camps and I was able to sit them at a later date, sometimes in different parts of the world like the Canary Islands.

“It was always very easy to contact my lecturers by email or Skype to discuss any support I needed which helped me keep on top of my studies. I was also given extensions for my coursework so I could finish them within a time I could manage while I was competing in the pool.

“This made studying more manageable and I wasn’t stressed to get things finished in a rush. If I wasn’t able to attend class one of my friends even recorded the lectures for me so I was able to hear them as well as read the class notes online.”

Hannah was attracted to study at RGU because of its strong reputation as well as the state-of-the-art swimming pool and training facilities at RGU:SPORT in the heart of the university’s Garthdee campus.

“The facilities at RGU:SPORT were a huge attraction for me and to have them right next to where my classes were made the decision very easy,” Hannah said. “I wanted to study at a university close to home so I could still be trained by my dad and RGU ticked all the right boxes.”

Hannah, who is trained by her father Patrick, is the reigning European 400m individual medley champion in both long course and short course formats. She represented Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, winning a gold medal in the 400m individual medley.

Hannah also represented Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 200m and 400m individual medley swimming events and achieved fifth place in the 400m individual medley final at London 2012.

The BSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science degree has recently been recognised as offering the best graduate career prospects in the country in the Complete University Guide 2014.

Hannah added: “The course has been very interesting and has given me the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of all of the different components which come together to help athletes fulfil their potential. It has also helped me understand why my body does what it does during training which has been important as I continue to improve my performance in the pool.

“It has been great to relate my studies to my sport and I have gained good experience in a number of specialist fields such as nutrition, physiology, psychology and general health which has opened doors in areas I am interested in pursuing in the future.

“Studying at RGU has been a fantastic experience and I have loved being a student at such a great university. The support I received allowed me to maximise my performance and has contributed to my success in and out of the pool. I plan to maintain strong links with the university in the future and even though I’ve completed my studies I’ll still be a familiar face on campus as I continue my training programme at RGU:SPORT.”

Release by
Ross Anderson
Communications Officer | Health and Sport