Sporting scholarship for promising GCU weightlifter
01 November 2012
Haris aims to become an Olympian
GCU student and weightlifter Haris Ansari is one of 150 gifted young athletes to receive tailored support in working towards his Olympic dreams.
Winning Students, Scotland’s national sport scholarship programme for student athletes, provides funding and academic flexibility to help students achieve their potential.
The 2012-13 scholarship will sustain Haris, 21, as he balances a promising sports career with the demands of a full-time Biomedical Science Degree.
Although Haris describes winning his first school weightlifting competition five years ago as ‘luck’, it has taken more than luck to get the Commonwealth and Olympic hopeful where he is today.
Haris – who competes in the 69 kilo category – already has an impressive medal count, including the Silver at the international Fulda Cup and Gold inBritain’s Under-23s. He competed in the 2012 Olympic Qualifiers, placing an impressive fifth which he describes as a “really good experience” and is receiving increasing publicity, including an STV promotional video for the Olympic Games profiling young athletes in the community.
Balancing full-time education and training is a challenge, admits Haris. “Now I’m in my third year, the work is really piling up. Luckily, the University has been very supportive and flexible, especially during competition time. I also benefit from the Talented Athletes Programme through GCU, which helps me academically and financially.”
As a scholarship winner, he has also been selected to attend the Scottish Personality of the Year awards – one of only three young athletes to be asked.
Haris now has his sights set on the Commonwealth Games 2014 and the Olympics 2016.
“To become an Olympian would be the pinnacle of my career,” he says.
Now in its fifth year of supporting student athletes, eleven current and former Winning Students were competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics. A recent survey of the programme revealed 62% of students cited an improvement to their sporting performance since gaining scholarship support.