Portsmouth students are picked to represent Britain at ‘University Olympics’

Laurence Willows
Laurence Willows
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TWO YOUNG Portsmouth sportsmen have been selected to compete for Great Britain in an international contest.

University of Portsmouth students Laurence Willows, a member of the England ski cross team, and Elliott Dewey, captain of the England ice hockey team, will compete in the 2017 World University Winter Games in Kazakhstan – the second-largest multi-sport event in the world. They will compete alongside 3,000 sportsmen and women from 50 countries.

Laurence, 20, from south-east London, is a BSc student in economics, finance and banking. Skiing since the age of two, he is a former England dry slope champion.

‘It’s great to be representing my country and, long-term, my aim is to make it to the 2022 Olympics, although I don’t like to look too far ahead,’ said Laurence.

As one of the university’s sports scholars, Laurence receives financial help and other types of support to ensure he can compete at the top level.

‘Support from the university, including sport psychology, for elite athletes, has really helped. I want to continue competing for as long as possible, especially while I have this support at university.’

Elliott, 19, from Basingstoke, studies sport and exercise science, is the captain of the England ice hockey team and NHL cup champion,

Although Elliot is not a sports scholar, the university has still helped to pay for his fares to Kazakhstan and has given him free access to the sports facilities to train. He is guaranteed a place on next year’s sports scholarship scheme.

The university’s head of sport and recreation, Paul Tilley, said he was delighted and proud the university had two competitors in the Winter Games.

‘It’s a double celebration that at one university we have helped nurture two world-class winter sportsmen. I am thrilled for them.’

The Games will take place between January 29 and February 8.