College football is scoring major success – find out how.
A level playing field for college and university sport
On 3 April a team from Edinburgh College will meet a team from the University of Edinburgh for the first time in the 98-year history of the Queen’s Park Shield, one of the most prestigious trophies in student sport. Originally contested by teams from Scotland’s four ancient universities, the Queen’s Park Shield is now open to every university and college in Scotland. This year’s final marks an important step in a bid by Scottish Student Sport (SSS) to create greater equality of sporting opportunity between colleges and universities. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC), which funds the work of Scottish Student Sport, wants to make the very most of the benefits student sport has to individuals, institutions and to further and higher education in Scotland.
The benefits of student participation in sport include helping retention rates, improved mental health, and promoting diversity. The Queen’s Park Shield final is an Edinburgh derby between the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College. Whatever the result on 3 April, student sport will be the winner.
The match is to be played on 3 April at Spartans FC in north Edinburgh with a 3pm kick-off and will be preceded by the Women’s Cup Final between the Universities of Edinburgh and Stirling (12.30 k/o). All supporters are welcome and admission is free.
Two college students selected to Scotland’s Student Football Squad
Meanwhile, two college students have been selected for the Women’s national football squad for Scottish Student Sport. College players tend to be heavily outnumbered by their university counterparts in the 23-strong training squad, so this is a real achievement for both students – Erin Wilson from New College Lanarkshire and Erin Ross from Dundee and Angus College.
Erin Wilson, who studies HND Coaching and Developing Sport at New College Lanarkshire; and Erin Ross, who studies HNC Fitness, Health & Exercise at Dundee and Angus College will be in contention for a place in a friendly match against Partick Thistle at Peffermill playing fields in Edinburgh today, 22 March. The top 18 players from the training squad will then go on to compete in the Home Nations Competition in Wales on 16 and 17 April.
Erin Wilson said: “I was delighted when the team for the national squad got announced. It gave me a lot of confidence in my own ability that I was chosen along with many talented players. We have had one training session with the national squad and I learned so much, so I’m looking forward to the friendly and the final selection process for the Home Nations. Being only one of two college students selected feels good – it shows that no matter how or where you are studying, you are capable of achieving great things.”
Erin Ross said: “I feel excited and honoured about the opportunity to take part and looking forward to the experience ahead as a young player. Academically, I hope to progress onto a, HND, then third year at University of Abertay studying Sports and Exercise ScienceMost of all I’d like to progress and develop as a player, and hopefully start playing at the top flight of Scottish Women’s Football alongside some of the best players in the country. My main ambition is to play Scottish Women’s Premier League football or maybe even start playing women’s football down south.”
There are currently around 600 student sports clubs in Scotland involving over 35,000 student members. Scottish Student Sport is encouraging the sharing of amenities so that more college and university students share their sporting experiences.
Good luck to the two Erins!