GB student athletes head to the 2017 Winter Universiade

A British university delegation, made up of 65 student athletes and 31 support staff, head to the 28th Winter Universiade, hosted in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The biennial international event, which was last hosted in Granada in 2015, will welcome approximately 2,500 student athletes from 58 countries.

The 2017 Winter Universiade, or the World University Winter Games, is an international multi-sport event which is organised for university students and is held under the auspices of the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The event is one of only two senior multi-sport international winter events, alongside the Winter Olympics.

Six year’s of planning and construction has been put towards making the 2017 Winter Universiade a success. In that time, the organising committee have built an array of sporting facilities, including an all-new athlete village, and refurbished many more. 12 sports will be competed across the eight venues in 185 medal events.

The GB delegation will compete in seven of the 12 sports, including their first ever entry into the long track speed skating event. The first of GB’s teams will arrive at the athlete village on 26 January – two days after the village’s official opening date.

GB’s 65-strong athlete delegation is littered with high-calibre athletes hoping to claim a spot on the international podium. Former University of Glasgow student and current University of Strathclyde student, Alasdair Schrieber has previous experience of stepping up to a Winter Universiade podium. Alasdair was part of the GB men’s curling squad that won a bronze medal at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.

Accompanying the GB student athletes are 31 members of support staff across a variety of roles, including: physiotherapists, medical officers, team leaders, coaches and HQ staff. GB’s Chef de Mission for the 2017 Winter Universiade is Neil Rogers, Head of International Programmes at British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS).

“I am delighted that Almaty will see the second-largest GB delegation at a Winter Universiade – and competing by some distance in the most number of sports! Being selected is a fantastic achievement for the athletes concerned – they are each part of national talent programmes, and this event will be a unique opportunity to experience the camaraderie and excitement of a multi-sport environment as part of their progression along the performance pathway.

“Almaty will provide a stunning backdrop to the team’s aspirations, and we look forward to a successful and truly World Class event,” comments Neil.

The event’s opening ceremony will take place on 29 January at the figure skating arena. The GB men’s ice hockey team are in the first action of the 2017 Winter Universiade as they take on Slovakia in their opening fixture. Similarly, the men’s ice skating gold medal final will be the last action of the games on 8 February, before the official closing ceremony – hosted in the same arena as the opening ceremony – will close the 11-day event.

A broadcast of the games will be available in 80 countries, with viewing figures expected to surpass 80 billion. In addition to this, the organising committee are expecting more than 30,000 guests and tourists to attend the festivities.

Follow the student athletes progress at the multi-sport competition on Twitter using the GB-specific hashtag (#WUGSGB), or the official event hashtag (#WUAlmaty2017). To find out more about the competition, including a full event timetable and a list of featured disciplines, visit the BUCS website or the event website.

GB’s official teamwear sponsor for the 2017 winter Universiade is Trespass.

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for university sport in the UK, representing over 160 institutions. BUCS works with National Governing Bodies to deliver sport programmes both domestically and on the international stage in over 60 sports. For more information visit

GB team

HQ Staff
Neil Rogers – Chef de Mission
Vikki Campbell – Deputy Chef de Mission
Abosede Ajayi – Chief Medical Officer
Andrew Hogg – Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Mike Carmont – Medical Officer
Leigh Halfteck  – Lead Physiotherapist
James Boyd – Physiotherapist
Beenish Kamal – Physiotherapist
Sarah Holmes – Physiotherapist
Sarah Watt – Physiotherapist
Claire Livesey – HQ Manager
Chris Purdie – HQ Administrator
James Bramley – HQ Assistant

Elodie Wallace – University of Bath

Jilly Wallace – Aerials Team Leader/ Coach; Moguls Coach

Alice MacAulay – University of Bath
Alex Barounos – University of New Mexico

Benn Hall – Alpine Team Leader/ Coach

Rachael Halliday – University of Strathclyde
Angharad Ward – Durham University
Gina Aitken – University of Glasgow
Rachel Hannen – University of Stirling
Rowena Kerr – Heriot-Watt University
Gregor Cannon – University of Strathclyde
Derrick Sloan – Robert Gordon University
Bruce Mouat – Napier University
Alasdair Schrieiber – University of Strathclyde
Bobby Lammie – University of Stirling

Cate Brewster – Head Coach
Mairi Milne – Women’s Coach

Figure Skating
Charles Parry – Evans – Nottingham Trent

Gurgen Vardanjan – Team Leader/ Coach

Ice Hockey (Men)
James Scott – Sheffield Hallam
Lucas Branin –  University of Tampa
Montgomer Gailer – Oxford Brookes
Ivan Antonov – Royal Holloway University of London
Thomas Hovell – Nottingham Trent University
Christian Johnson – University of Aberdeen
Thomas Parkinson – Leeds Beckett University
Adam Long – Anglia Ruskin UCP
Matthew Croyle – Sheffield Hallam University
Alexander Sampford – Surrey
Jackson Price – Cardiff Metropolitan University
Liam Charnock – Sheffield Hallam University
Michael Mawer – Sheffield Hallam University
Andreas Siagris – Imperial College of London
Daniel Rose – St Marys
Christopher Fox – University College London
Stuart Mogg – Southampton Solent University
Elliott Dewey – University of Portsmouth
Joseph Gretton – Nottingham Trent University
Samuel Cheema – Kingston University
Christopher Cooke – St Marys
Rupert Quiney – University Centre Farnborough

Andrew Miller – Team Manager
Matt Bradbury – Head Coach
Simon Hopkins – Asst Coach
Andrew Marshall – Equipment Manager / Fitness Coach

Ice Hockey (Women)
Lucy Kendall – Nottingham Trent University
Jessica Holgate – Arden University
Danielle Turnbull – Leeds Beckett
Saffron Allen – University of Gloucestershire
Hannah Worthington – The Open University
Lucy Lickman – University of Nottingham
Charlotte Ahmed – University of Sheffield
Abbie Thornton – Leeds Beckett
Louise Adams – University of Essex
Rosanne Adey – Bournemouth University
Clara Ashton – University of Central Lancashire
Meghan Sullivan – Kings College London
Elizabeth Milne – Abertay
Judith Browne – Sheffield Hallam
Sarah Hutchinson – Sheffield Hallam
Samantha Bolwell – Sheffield Hallam
Holly Steeples – Nottingham Trent University
Megan Rathbone – Sheffield Hallam University
Emma Sanders – University of Nottingham

Ian Turner – Team Leader
James Ashton – Head Coach
Ryan Rathbone – Assistant Coach
Brian Miller – Equipment Manager

Long Track Speed Skating
Ellia Smeding – HanzehogeSchool, Groningen
Cornelius Kersten – Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Piet Knip – Team Leader/ Coach

Elodie Wallace – University of Bath
Liam Keyes – University of Sheffield
Sam Jones – Keele University

Jeff Blackburn – Team Leader/ Head Coach

Laurence Willows – University of Portsmouth
Scott Garvie – University of Aberdeen

Ian Findlay – Team Leader/ Coach


Calum Paton – Sheffield Hallam

Barry Parker – Slopestyle Team Leader/ Coach

Gillian Finnerty – University of Leeds
Douglas Green – Robert Gordon University
Rob Wagner – University of Brighton

Danny Chambers – SBX Team Leader/ Coach