Olympic medallist Anna Sloan inspires GCU students

27 February 2017

Anna Sloan claimed Bronze at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

Anna Sloan claimed Bronze at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

GCU students were inspired by Olympic-medal-winning curler and honorary graduate Anna Sloan today.

Anna addressed second and third-year BA (Hons) International Sport Management students as part of GCU’s Elite Sport Symposium.

Anna is part of Team Muirhead, the youngest team to win an Olympic medal for Great Britain, claiming Bronze at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.

She said: “GCU and its values have undoubtedly played a very important role in the success I have had in my curling career.

“I’ll talk to current students about the level of support I’ve received from British Curling, such as the funding that allows me to travel overseas to compete and be the best I can be in my field."

Originally from Lockerbie, Anna juggled her two main sports of horse riding and curling until she attended GCU between 2008-2011, where she studied Sport and Active Lifestyle Promotions.

She first competed internationally for Great Britain in curling at the age of 17, where she won Gold skipping her own rink in the European Youth Olympics.

She next successfully skipped her rink to Gold in the World University Games 2011, the first gold medal for Britain at a winter World University Games.

Anna then joined forces with her rival Eve Muirhead to form the youngest ever rink, becoming World Champions in 2013. They also became the only European team to win a Canadian Slam the same year.

In addition to hearing from Anna, students at today’s symposium gleaned from the expertise of a leading sports scientist at one of England’s elite Championship football clubs, Sean Miller, Academy Sport and Exercise Scientist at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Sean has worked with a number of Scottish football clubs and as a college lecturer before joining Wolves in September 2015. He talked about the high-performance structure within football.

Robert Kielty, programme leader of the BA (Hons) International Sport Management and who worked alongside Sean at Raith Rovers two years ago, hosted the symposium.

He said: “Our strong engagement with industry gives students the platform to transition into high-performance sports environments while they study at GCU. Because of this, our reputation ensures we can attract speakers with an international standing such as Anna and Sean.

“Gaining employment for our new third-year entry students represents an outstanding and sector-leading model and this is reflected in our ongoing research, which is framed within QAA enhancement objectives for higher education.”