At last week’s ESPS Awards, many of the student athletes who achieved remarkable feats this past year were celebrated.
The Elite Sports Performance Scheme (ESPS) is a programme dedicated to providing support for athletes studying at the University of Sheffield’s who also compete in all types of sports.
The types of support available include discounted gym memberships and physiotherapy sessions, as well as in some cases free accommodation at the University’s Endcliffe village.
Victoria Baskett, a T44 para sprinter who’s competed at 100 meter and 200 meter sprints at both national and international events left the night with an award in hand.
“Already being here for just a couple of months, the amount of help I’ve received from people has already put me in such stead for having a better year.”
Talking about her sprinting techniques, Baskett said: “I’m actually very grateful to have a sport psychologist who helps me and one of the things we discuss is the way to attack different races.”
“Realistically, I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I’d like to go at least to Paris 2024. I initially aimed for Tokyo but I’ve come to realise how much of mean feat that is.”
Amongst the winners was also ice hockey player Solomon Smith, who’s played professionally for the Edinburgh Capitals and also represented Team GB U19’s in the European Championships.
Speaking about how it was to play for the national side, Smith said: “That was the highest level I’ve ever competed at.”
“Playing against different countries like Germany and Switzerland is a different game. They’re a lot more aggressive, quicker, taller, so it was a massive learning curve.”
“When you put that jersey on it’s the crest on the front that matters the most. The national team is the whole country depending on you to perform.”
Also present was swimmer Rosie Rudin, a junior world record holder and senior international who’s competed at both the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
She spoke about the importance of the award and said: “Doing sport alongside your studies can be really difficult but I feel that with this award, you’ll be able to balance your studies a lot better.”
“I went to the Commonwealths in April and that’s probably the highest point at international level I’ve got to so it’s always hard to better that, so it’s just about moving forward and seeing what I can do from there.”