STUDENT athletes in Worcester are gearing up for top level competitions while trying to score top level grades.

Even though rugby player Lyndsay O'Donnell may be selected for the Scotland squad for the upcoming women's Six Nations tournament, American footballer Okko Outinen will represent Finalnd in the European Championships in May, and both Dan Geisler, who does the duathlon, and Amy Stringer, who does karate, are being targeted for their sports' world championships this year, they all are working their way through degrees at the University of Worcester.

Athlete mentors at the university, Charlotte Beaman, a lecturer in physical education, and Christian Edwards, senior lecturer in sports coaching science, both competed and coached in high level sports and have been tasked with ensuring each student reaches their potential in both a sporting and academic sense.

Ms Beaman said: "We’re really here to make it as straight forward as possible for the athletes to excel in both areas. They have open access to us, we’re here for them as and when they need us and it’s our job to help them meet their goals.

“We sit down and have an initial meeting with them to work out bespoke strategies, then we will monitor aspects of their training like their strength and conditioning work, access to nutritional advice and sports therapy to make sure they are getting the right level of support from the University.

“We have got some incredibly talented young athletes with bright, exciting futures ahead of them.”