Ucas Listing: Scotland Sporting life is up to par

It's not just golf

and "fitba"

north of the border.

Scottish universities

offer perhaps the

most extensive

games facilities

in the land,

writes John Izbicki

THINK SCOTS and sports, and hefty, bearded and kilted chaps tossing cabers may come to mind. Only a few mortals are actually capable of tossing the odd caber, so fortunately a large variety of other sports is available at Scotland's many campuses.

And even if a university does not have sporting facilities, there are plenty to choose from in most localities. The University of Abertay Dundee, for example, has a good gymnasium with a fitness room, clubs that offer boxing, hill walking and mountain-bike riding, but no games. Students can, however, purchase a reasonably priced card for access to many sporting facilities owned by the district council.

At the other extreme is the University of Stirling, which has so many sports on tap that it manages to collect a handsome income from its holiday lets. The campus loch serves as an excellent venue for canoeing, sailing, fishing and, if you have got the stamina, swimming. There are 23 acres of playing fields, a sports hall, numerous squash courts, a fully-equipped athletics field, a bowling-cum-croquet green, a large swimming pool, tennis courts (the campus is home to the Scottish National Tennis Centre), an all-weather pitch, a nine-hole golf course, a running track, a sauna and solarium. What more could one possibly want? Other than skiing, perhaps. Stirling is just a few miles from the nearest slopes. Sporting clubs also abound, including American and Gaelic football, rugby league, rifle, softball and lacrosse. Phew!

At the University of Edinburgh, there are 24 acres of playing fields and three new clay tennis courts. Next to Pollock Halls, the university's main halls of residence, is an Olympic-sized swimming pool, built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games. It is owned by the local authority and costs little to use. And just 10 minutes from the halls is the Pollock Sports Centre, with a sports hall, a fitness room, 10 squash courts and even a rifle and archery range.

Not to be outdone, the University of Dundee boasts 33 acres of playing fields and a vast new sports hall. There are four squash and tennis courts, a gym, a swimming pool and a sauna. There is even a watersports centre. Sporting clubs include boating, boxing, curling, freefall, Gaelic football, kickboxing, trampolining and water polo. What is more, the St Andrews Royal and Ancient Golf Club awards bursaries worth pounds 1,500 apiece to eight students.

But St Andrews University tops the list for size, with 60 acres of playing fields, athletic tracks, all-weather tennis courts, a gymnasium, cricket nets, a boat house, a superb running track, a sauna anda reduced-fee golf course, with a further five golf courses provided locally. Students often find work caddying for the golfers who invade the town virtually throughout the year.

At Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, there is a most impressive array of facilities, including six football and two rugby pitches and a cricket field, as well as a floodlit training area, three tennis courts, a sports hall, a climbing wall, two multi-gyms, golf driving nets, a fitness room with all the weights one could wish for, and an indoor sports court. The Moray House Institute of Education houses the Scottish Centre for Physical Education, while the Riccarton campus is home to the National Squash Centre. Who needs separate sporting activities when both Rangers and Celtic football clubs are on hand? Nevertheless, Glasgow University's Stevenson Building provides a 25-metre swimming pool, a steam room, sauna, two squash courts, a fabulously equipped cardio-vascular suite and an area where students may do muscle building and toning. There is also a full grass pitch nearby and a synthetic seven-a-side pitch used as training grounds for all outdoor sporting activities.

There are several gymnasiums, two pools, football pitches and a sports hall available at the three sites of Glasgow Caledonian University, which also has hill walking and snowboarding clubs.

Although Edinburgh's Napier University does not approach some of the other Scottish institutions for sport, its Sighthill campus, which houses 2,000 business students, has a sports hall with a multi-gym, a climbing wall and tennis courts. Craiglockhart, Napier's electrical engineering, computing and mathematics campus, has a swimming pool and putting green.

Sporting clubs include aerobics, hang-gliding, shooting and windsurfing.

Rugby and football pitches are available at the University of Paisley, along with a sports hall and fitness room, and there is a reciprocal agreement which allows students to use additional facilities at other educational establishments in the vicinity. These include a swimming pool, a golf course and an ice rink.

And across the sea, at Queen's University, Belfast, there is a 400 metre- long running track named after Mary Peters of Olympic fame, and no fewer than 20 playing fields, four of them all-weather. There are also loads of good clubs.

For those keen to see the sporting successes of their prospective university, look out for the latest edition of the Push Guide, to be published on 20 August at pounds 11.99.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - South East & East Anglia

    £60500 - £65500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global leading software co...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior IT Technician

    £22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you want the opportunity to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Home Care Support Worker

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Home Care Support Workers needed in the Hastin...

    Recruitment Genius: Home Care Support Worker - Car / Bike / Moped Drivers

    £7 - £11 per hour: Recruitment Genius: NEW branch opening soon in Worthing fol...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent